Going into Week 4 the New England Patriots are 3-0. The offense has not been the high scoring offense that fans are used to in the past, which is causing everyone to panic. The Patriots are relying on two rookie wide receivers in Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins to carry them until they get some key players back in Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola. Through three weeks, it has been nothing but fans crying for the Patriots to bring in a veteran receiver. Yet the Patriots are winning and the rookies are getting better every week. My question is when does it stop? When do the fans realize this is the receiving group that the Patriots are going forward with and stop asking for them to bring in older players like Deion Branch or to overpay for guys like Josh Gordon?
There are some players out there that many fans and media have speculated the Patriots should bring in to help improve the pass catchers on this team. The hot topic right now is Cleveland Browns wideout Josh Gordon. Gordon had a great week coming off his two-game suspension, and reports have been out there that the Browns are showcasing the second year WR. Gordon shows he has potential, but not only are the Browns going to want at least a second round pick for him, but Gordon is one strike away from being kicked out of the NFL for a year. The Patriots had a rough summer with the PR nightmare that was Aaron Hernandez. Alfonzo Dennard has not made that much easier getting into trouble again soon after. The last thing the Patriots are going to do is overpay for a troubled WR who could potentially bring more negative attention to the team. He may be an explosive player, but if we have learned something about the Patriots, they will not overpay in picks to draft or trade for a big time WR.
Other names like Dwayne Bowe, Eric Decker and Hakeem Nicks have popped up in relation to the Patriots. Most of it has just been talk of players that might be available because they are having little impact on their team or they are going to be free agents after this season. Bowe and Decker are on 3-0 teams, and even though Bowe is having a down year, the Chiefs aren’t going to just give him away, not to mention it would cost a high pick and Bowe is one of the higher paidreceivers in the league making over $11 million a year. Those are all things that would push the Patriots away from ever considering it.
Hakeem Nicks is a big time receiver with an injury history that is also in a contract year and is going to want big money in the offseason. Nicks would cost a high pick as well and then probably in the $10 million per year range if you were to want to sign him back. The Giants may be struggling, but they aren’t going to give up on a big time receiving threat that wants to have a big year as much as the Giants need him to.
There are no realistic receivers that are coming in to “save the day” for the Patriots. They are getting healthier and they are still yet to lose a game. When Gronk comes back he will take a lot of pressure off of these young receivers who looked much improved Week 3 against a solid defense in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fans panic every year, for no reason, but if we have learned one thing from this Patriot team, regardless of how much they struggle, they always find a way to win around 12 games. Fans need to take a deep breath and have faith that these young receivers will continue to improve, because there is no Pro Bowl receiver walking in that door to “save the day”.