2019 NFL Free Agency is officially underway as the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots look to bolster their roster in an attempt to compete for a second consecutive title. Here are some players that Bill Belichick and Co. may have their eye on this offseason, according to NFL experts.
Matt Bowen of ESPN identified the best scheme fits for 25 of the top free agents available this offseason and listed New England as a potential destination for the 32-year-old defensive tackle. Suh spent last season with the Los Angeles Rams after spending three seasons with the Miami Dolphins and five seasons with the Detroit Lions. In 2018, he recorded 59 tackles to go along with 4.5 sacks.
“The Patriots are trading for Michael Bennett, but New England can make more moves here on the defensive line with Trey Flowers, Malcom Brown, and Danny Shelton all hitting the free-agent market,” Bowen writes. “Suh’s playoff tape tells us that the 32-year-old defensive lineman can still wreck things up front from multiple alignments. I’m thinking a one-year deal that puts Suh with a team in position to make a title run. The Eagles make sense here, too.”
30-year-old Golden Tate is coming off a season in which he recorded 74 receptions for 795 yards with the Philadelphia Eagles. One of the most accomplished wideouts in this year’s free agency, Tate had posted three seasons of 1,000 yards with the Lions, and would figure to be expensive for New England to sign. However, it might be worth it to add some depth at the slot position next to Julien Edelman.
“He’s always been a Patriots-type player,” writes Kevin Duffy of the Boston Herald. “Tate makes his money on short, high-percentage routes, often working from the slot.”
Beasley has appeared to be an obvious fit in New England for years, writes Justin Leger of NBC Sports Boston. The Patriots are a team in need of depth at the slot position and Beasley’s durability would be valuable, having missed just one game over the past five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys.
Last season, Beasley had 65 receptions for 672 yards and three touchdowns.
Though Kansas City’s defense struggled last season, Nelson was a bright spot with six interceptions between the regular season and playoffs to go along with 68 combined tackles.
“Nelson has the quickness and ball skills the Patriots would like,” writes Nick O’Malley of MassLive. He’s a solid piece for any secondary.”
With Rob Gronkowski’s future uncertain, help at the tight end position stands out as one of the New England Patriots’ greatest needs this offseason, writes Zack Cox of NESN. On the Patriots roster currently, Jacob Hollister was the only tight end to see the field last season other than Gronkowski.
The top pass-catcher for the Raiders a season ago, Cook set career highs in receptions (68), yards (896), and touchdowns (six). The 31-year-old was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his 10-year NFL career and is best tight end available in this year’s free agent class, Cox writes.
Another potential acquisition highlighted by O’Malley was the 37-year-old defensive end. Wake is a five-time pro-bowler and ranks third among all active players in sacks (98) and sixth in fumbles forced (22).
While he’s no longer a lock for double-digit sacks every year, Wake is still an effective pass rusher at this point in his career.
After 10 seasons in Miami, he’s likely looking for one last deal at the end of his career. He’ll likely go in as a veteran pass rush specialist for a team.
The Patriots have seen plenty of Wake over the years and know what kind of impact he can make. He’d be an interesting option for a James Harrison-type role, a late-career veteran who comes in on passing downs.
After the Patriots traded for his brother, Michael, Martellus Bennett has expressed interest in coming out of retirement to join the Patriots according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Martellus won a Super Bowl with the Patriots during the 2016 season.
Michael and Martellus Bennett always have wanted to play together. Now that the Patriots are trading for Michael, Martellus is interested in coming out of retirement to join his brother in New England, per a source. Then would be the McCourty and Bennett Bros. in New England.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 8, 2019