Other than bringing back the likes of John Simon, Jason McCourty, and Brandon Bolden, the New England Patriots haven’t spent a dime during the NFL tampering and free agency period thus far. On top of that, they have already lost Trent Brown, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Trey Flowers.
Even with the acquisition of Michael Bennett from the Philadelphia Eagles, New England may not be satisfied with their pass rush to this point.
We’ve heard reports that they might be in the market for a player like recently released Justin Houston, but with just under $10 million worth of cap space after the draft, it just doesn’t seem feasible to give a chunk of that to an aging pass rusher.
With all of that in mind, could the Patriots look to the trade pool again to round out their front-seven?
The NFL offseason is full of unexpected occurrences. Take Tuesday for example, where the Cleveland Browns landed Odell Beckham Jr. for almost pennies on the dollar. The Browns have been all over the place this spring, having also added Olivier Vernon, and Sheldon Richardson to their defense.
Consequently, those two acquisitions may have pushed out a young edge rusher in the final year of his rookie contract. Oklahoma St. product and 2016 second-round pick Emmanuel Ogbah has officially been put on the trade block.
Adam Schefter was the first to report the news that Ogbah is on the block for Browns GM John Dorsey.
Browns are now shopping former defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah after acquiring Olivier Vernon, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2019
Ogbah made 14 starts for the Browns last year, recording three sacks and eight passes deflected. Over the course of his three-year career, the 25-year-old has registered 12.5 sacks and 17 passes deflected for Cleveland.
His energy and athleticism, as well as the ability to get to the QB even when not registering sacks, is something that Bill Belichick has seemed to prioritize on the market in recent years. In three seasons since trading Chandler Jones to Arizona, the New England Patriots haven’t had a guy record double-digit sacks. In fact, last season the Patriots won the Super Bowl thanks to a dominant defensive front led by Trey Flowers’ 7.5 sacks.
On top of intangibles, however, Ogbah can also provide pressure from inside the tackles. Just watch as No. 90 in brown and orange explodes on Jameis Winston to record a sack.
That type of pressure is something the Patriots haven’t seemed to possess in quite some time.
But what makes Ogbah a hot commodity is that he is in the final season of his rookie contract, due to make just $1.351 million this season. The Patriots don’t have a surplus of money to spend this offseason, and could definitely benefit from having as much depth in their front-seven as possible. As a result, the 275-pound defensive end could be on the radar for New England.