After a disappointing 2020 season resulting in a 7-9 record, the New England Patriots looked to make some noise this offseason, getting back to where they belong. So far, the NFL world has been shocked with the amount of additions they have made throughout free agency, many zooming to the assumption that they are back to the playoffs. But, is this really a team to believe in? Cam is back, they reunite with Kyle Van Noy, and many more moves to be specified later, but is that really what New England needs for success? Sure, they have done a lot bringing in more veteran talent, but could this be all for not?
Now, the tweet above sure provides a lot of promise for Patriot fans, but what was it that they really needed this year? It wasn’t two solid tight ends, as we know very few teams that can utilize both those guys successfully. They needed a solid WR1 for Cam Newton to pass to. Julian Edelman is great, but when you’re targeting a Chris Godwin or Kenny Golladay, and end up with Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, I wouldn’t consider it a success. Next year, Newton won’t have a total upgrade in weapons. He’ll have Michel and Edelman back, two solid players that provided the Patriots with fire power in the past. What Newton needs at this point in his career is a wideout that he can trust whenever he throws it up there. In my opinion, I just can’t see him being that much better next year. Not a hater, but just my view on the future.
Defensively, I like a lot of what I saw from the Pats via free agency. The addition of Matt Judon was immense, as he should bring talent that not many other OLB’s possess. He had 9 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks last year. Speaking of linebackers, Kyle Van Noy has announced he’s reuniting with New England following his release by Miami. Van Noy brings the veteran presence to this D, winning 2 Super Bowls during his tenure with the Patriots. With the Dolphins, KVN recorded six sacks along with 69 tackles. He is still a valuable asset to this team, one of the more underrated moves so far. Overall, with the additions of Jalen Mills and Davon Godchaux along with the previously mentioned players, I really like how the Patriots approached this offseason defensively. An average defense turned above average.
Back to the overall consensus of this offseason. It was definitely a plus, considering the fact that nobody really expected them to come out of the gate firing like they did. But, the WR position is more important to this team than most people think. Ask Tom Brady. He was a Wild Card exit the year he was short on weapons to throw to. Not just that, but it’s safe to say Newton’s arm isn’t what Brady’s arm is. The Patriots may end up finishing with a better record than this past season, but when they face the Bills and Dolphins twice each, it’ll be tough to make a run for the playoffs. Hopefully Bellichick can figure out how to use his young weapons offensively with Newton, but I personally believe that an elite WR was the biggest need. Not both Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith (who can pan out to help a lot). Will we see a form of MVP Cam?
Top Photo: Maddie Meyers (Getty Images)