New England Patriots: The Case for Offseason Inactivity

During this offseason, the New England Patriots have been mostly silent. What is the reasoning behind their lack of roster moves?

The Patriots have done very little this offseason. Outside of trading for Michael Bennett, New England has been hesitant in the free agent department. The team seems to be sifting through the bottom of the NFL dumpster heap with little reward.

Patriots fans have come to expect some unorthodox moves from their team, but this is minimal activity even for them. The frenzied Boston media has jumped on head coach Bill Belichick for not going out and getting players or even re-signing them. Trent Brown, Malcolm Brown, and Trey Flowers are just some of the key players who have left Foxborough. 

With that being said, why haven’t the Patriots made more moves?

For starters, the Patriots own 12 draft picks. With the core of their team rapidly aging, Belichick should be looking to draft a younger team. Some of the major deficiencies in past years seemed to affect the defense. The inability of the linebackers to run from sideline to sideline and cover well, as well as the pass rush unable to get home without scheming, cost them in the past. 

Where should the Patriots look to improve?

Now, the loss of Flowers hurts the pass rush, but, Belichick didn’t believe he was getting enough value for the price tag. He could target young edge rushers towards the middle of the draft in order to reinforce his returning unit. Adam Butler, Deatrich Wise Jr., and Lawrence Guy will all return with the team. One or two more athletic rushers could make this group fearsome, with Butler and Guy clogging up the middle. New England could also look to draft a linebacker to pair with Kyle Van Noy. This will give Dont’a Hightower the ability to focus more on rushing the quarterback. Van Noy along with a young, long outside backer could create a linebacker tandem to rival the likes of Jaylen Smith and Leighton Vander Esch in Dallas.

On offense, the offensive line looks to be locked in, but the targets for Tom Brady are few and far between. With the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots should target a tight end in the first round of the upcoming draft such as T.J. Hockenson. In the receivers department, Bruce Ellington is not going to cut it as a third wideout. The Patriots should trade their second-round draft picks up enough in order to grab more talent. Marquise Brown is a viable receiver out of Oklahoma. Belichick can develop him into a bonafide deep threat so Julian Edelman can work down low.

Elsewhere, the secondary is getting old. The Pats can draft a young safety, and round out the roster by taking a kicker with one of their final suggestions.

New England has not made a ton of moves for a reason: they have the draft capital to secure younger players. With guys like Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Tom Brady, and Julian Edelman on the back-nine of their careers, Bill Belichick has to use this draft to replenish the youth and talent into the roster. Younger talent will grow the team while simultaneously competing to win their fourth Super Bowl in six years.

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