The New England Patriots have plenty of things to address during this upcoming offseason and even though they went all the way to the AFC Championship Game – where they lost against the Denver Broncos – the team has several holes, especially on the offensive of the ball.
The Patriots will always have a chance to compete while they have Tom Brady under center, but they suffered with the lack of weapons surrounding him. Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola suffered injuries for much of the year and Brady had to rely on rookies like Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins for much of the regular season, but one player who enjoyed a breakout year was Julian Edelman.
The veteran totaled 105 receptions and surpassed the 1,000-yard mark this season while also finding the end zone six times. Since Edelman signed a one-year, $715.000 contract prior to the start of the season, he will hit the open market this year and the Patriots need to make a decision whether to keep him or not for the long run.
According to several sources, Edelman could receive a contract much like Amendola’s one – five years and almost $30 million – but the Patriots might not be the team giving him that kind of deal since they don’t see him as a player who is “franchise tag-worthy.” The Cleveland Browns or Houston Texans could be better fits for him, but it’s no secret that the Patriots could certainly use him considering the lack of talent they had at the wideout position this year.
It’s definitively a tough call and while the ideal scenario would be to bring back Edelman on a discounted deal, that doesn’t seem likely right now. Whichever team that lands him will secure a top receiver that can also add punt-returning skills in a team desperate for offense.