It might only be November, but it is never too early to take a look at next offseason for the New England Patriots. Just for the record, this is only speculation and guess work about what I think the team needs. So with that out of the way, what will be New England’s biggest need(s) come next offseason?
The Patriots have a few glaring holes even though the team is currently 7-3. Some of these are at the safety, cornerback, defensive tackle, offensive line and tight end positions. A veteran presence at wide receiver wouldn’t hurt the Patriots either.
The Patriots should consider adding more talent to their secondary via the draft or free agency for two reasons. Aqib Talib is a free agent after the season, and there is no indication of the team wanting to sign him to a long term contract. If the Patriots do end up signing Talib long term, there are no other cornerbacks that frighten opposing quarterbacks. Besides a possible addition of another cornerback and Devin McCourty’s strong play as of late, strong safety could also use major boost.
If the Patriots want to keep beefing up the defensive side of the ball, adding another stout defensive tackle might be good idea. The loss of Vince Wilfork will not just ending up affecting this season but possibly seasons to come. Wilfork, despite being an All-Pro, is an aging star. If this injury doesn’t affect his level of play, age will. Besides Wilfork, the New England defensive line has relied on undrafted rookies all season. The position will likely be addressed more than any other during the upcoming offseason.
Moving to the offensive side of the ball, it has yet to be seen if the Patriots can truly be an explosive unit after the departure of some of their past stars. New England should consider dipping into the offensive line talent pool as well as considering a few offensive playmakers. The Patriots would be wise to give Tom Brady another tight end to utilize. Brady had a great three-year stretch using a multiple tight end offense. It would be smart for New England as this year’s draft is loaded at the position.
Offensive linemen provide the meat and potatoes of professional football. The Patriots have had a very successful offensive line for many years now, but it’s starting to show a little bit of rust and weaknesses. If there are any premium guards or centers available during the offseason, New England better be looking.
I don’t think wide receiver is New England’s biggest need, but the Patriots would be wise to look at some cheap veteran options. There’s no such thing as having enough weapons, and Brady would be on board with that statement.