Yes the New England Patriots as well as most of their fan base are upset about the loss of quarterback Tom Brady’s most trusted targets Julian Edelman.
But like the Earth itself, everything must keep spinning. Here is a look at the possible ways the Patriots will replace the production of Edelman.
5. Rob Gronkowski
In all seriousness, what can’t Rob Gronkowski do? The tight end has lined up outside the numbers, the slot, on the offensive line, and on special teams.
Gronkowski draws double coverage every time he’s on the field regardless of how good the opposing defense is.
However, the all-pro tight end is low on this list because he is a tight end and will line up as so most of the time and leave the receiver duties to someone else.
But that doesn’t mean you won’t see the big man line up in the slot from time to time.
4. Brandin Cooks
One cannot forget about the undisputed fastest man on the team. Brandin Cooks can do everything Edelman can do but better. He plays in the slot, can run as a deep threat, take end arounds, as well as walk your dog, and paint your back porch at the same time.
Cooks is the guy who drew double coverage all night in the match up against the Detroit Lions and it was clear from the get go that this offense was going to feature more of Cooks with Edelman being given a little less of a workload.
Cooks is in many people’s eyes the long term replacement for the former Kent State quarterback, but will now be thrusted into the spotlight quicker than most anticipated.
However like Gronkowski, Cooks will more than likely be needed elsewhere on the field which means somebody else will be a better option to take the helm full time as the No. 1 slot receiver.
3. James White and Dion Lewis
But Sam, Dion Lewis and James White are running backs how could they replace Edelman?
Each member of this duo can do just as much as Edelman can and more. Lewis and White more often than not line up in the slot or run routes out of the backfield on passing downs. On some occasions they even lineup in the backfield together.
These young backs have the speed to run past defenders whether it’s in the passing game or in the backfield and even without Edelman, will still keep defensive coordinators up at night.
2. Chris Hogan
If you watched last night’s matchup against the Lions, then one may assume that you got a sneak preview of what’s to come without Edelman.
Chris Hogan stepped up and delivered in the slot and as the deep threat which is another dimension that Edelman cannot deliver as he is smaller than Hogan.
Brady seems to be building off of the chemistry he made last year with the Monmouth alum and he just may step in to be as good if not better in the position Edelman has left if not better with the versatility Hogan adds on the field.
1. Danny Amendola
Who better to replace Edelman than one of his off the field best friends Danny Amendola.
Amendola was brought in four years ago to replace Wes Welker who departed for the Denver Broncos but was overshadowed by Edelman’s success since then.
Despite being second on the slot receiver depth chart the majority of the time he’s been here, he has been as reliable as can be when he’s out there.
The former Ram has caught nearly everything thrown his way during his tenure with the Patriots thus far and has a touchdown catch in both Super Bowls he has played in thus far as well as the recipient of the infamous “double pass” in the 2014 Divisional match up against the Baltimore Ravens.
Amendola is also no stranger to stepping up for his friend. When Edelman was sidelined with a foot injury in 2015, he took his place and had one of the best seasons of his career and was one of Brady’s number one targets that year.
If Edelman is the best slot receiver in the NFL, Amendola is second best and the perfect replacement over Hogan because simply put, he has more experience.
So what do you think Patriots Nation? Is there a better way to replace Edelman?