Close Article Return to stream X
NFL

New England Patriots Can Look Inside AFC East For Help

+Read full article
Jairus Byrd

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

When free agency starts on Tuesday, March 11, the New England Patriots don’t have to look far to make improvements to the roster. They can get a few notable free agents from within the AFC East, preferably from the Buffalo Bills. Two positions the Patriots need some help at are safety and tight end, and the Bills are most likely letting valuable assets at those positions walk.

The Bills slapped the franchise tag on now three-time Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd before the 2012 season. Both sides couldn’t agree on a long-term deal back then  and have had the same problems this offseason — no agreement on a deal, and this time, no franchise tag. Come next week, the Bills are letting Byrd test his value on the free agent market, and hopefully he doesn’t have to go far to find a new home.

Byrd missed five games last year and still made his third Pro Bowl in his short, five-year career. He ended the season with a team-high four interceptions. In his rookie year of 2009, he burst on to the scene with nine interceptions and 11 passes defended, and hasn’t been thrown at nearly as much since. I guess it didn’t take quarterbacks long to figure out he is great at disrupting passes they have intended for wide receivers.

I think the Bills lost all hope in re-signing Byrd when they signed safety Aaron Williams to a four-year deal just this week. To me, that shows they had their long-term commitment plans intended for Williams instead of Byrd. Hopefully they’ll learn their lesson the hard way!

The Patriots also just released safety Steve Gregory on February 28. They could bring him back like they did with wideout Austin Collie last year, but my guess is that they’ll look to get younger and better at the position through the draft and free agency.

Tight end Scott Chandler is going to be able to test his market value next week as well. If signed, he can be a much better backup to Rob Gronkowski than anyone on the current roster can even dream of being. Chandler has improved his receptions and yards in each of the past three seasons on an average Bills team, at best. He finished last year with 53 catches for 655 yards and two touchdowns, which would have been a huge upgrade at the Patriots’ No. 2 tight end spot.

Gian D’Ambra is a writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook, and connect with him on LinkedIn and Google.

Your Favorites
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NFL Videos

Rob Gronkowski Grinds On Fox Sports 1 Reporter

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was a guest Fox Sports 1's 'Whitlock's House Party by the Bay' on Thursday afternoon, and the show naturally turned into a party considering the guest. Gronkowski recently revealed that he had once stripped at a bachelorette party in college, so when he was challenged to do so by the crew, he proceeded to get his moves on, and it was nothing short of glorious.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NFL Videos

Tom Brady Failed 2-Point Conversion Ends Game

The Denver Broncos played a masterful game against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots today. They were in his face the entire game, and this failed two-point conversion ended what was an exciting final few minutes of the game.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NFL Videos

Gronkowski's Miraculous TD Brings Pats Within Two

After making an absolutely amazing catch in double coverage on 4th-and-10 to keep New England's drive alive, Rob Gronkowski once again came through in the clutch despite having two defenders on him. Tom Brady was under tremendous pressure, and essentially just chucked it up for grabs in Gronkowski's direction. Gronkowski split the two defenders from behind and emerged for the miraculous touchdown reception.

Comment 0 Comments