Questions Facing 2021 Patriots Roster

With the 2021 NFL season a week away, fans are questioning the 2021 Patriots Roster. The head coach spent over $160.000,000 The most in franchise history. They drafted a quarterback with the 15the pick in the NFL Draft. New faces will be on the field and time will tell how this team responds. In this post, we will evaluate three areas that the team needs to focus on.

Quarterback Experience/Depth

Last week the organization released Cam Newton. Newton, the controversial starter, suddenly got released. Rumors of vaccination issues quickly spread. Realistically, Cam Newton was beat out by rookie Mac Jones.

The future is now with Mac Jones leading the way. The biggest question can move the Patriot’s offense. And the next question is can he stay healthy. With a deep offensive line and backfield, Jones should be OK. The growing pains will show. Patience from the fans and coaches will be vital.

With new receivers and two new tight ends, Jones should be successful. If the receivers can hold on to the ball and get open, Jones is the perfect quarterback to lead them. One area that needs improvement is receivers holding onto the ball. Last season, the team was one of the worst for dropping passes.

No Stephon Gilmore

With, pre _season over, Stephon Gilmore has yet to be on the field. Gilmore was assigned to the PUP list. Contract talks continue to stall and the Patriots backfield is not as strong as it once was.

The team added cornerback Shaun Wade from Baltimore. Wade, an Ohio State product, was considered a high draft pick, but an injury deterred his stock.

Special Teams Concerns

The Patriots signed undrafted kicker Quinn Nordin out of Michigan. With, Nordin’s signing, Nick Folk is on the practice squad. The issue is Nordin has no NFL experience. Last year’s kicker Nick Folk was effective but was beat out by Nordin. Nordin impressed the Patriots coaches this summer.

Conclusion

With, the offseason roster revamped fans are curious about the upcoming season. All eyes are on Mac Jones. Cam Newton’s work ethic was debatable. Last season Newton did not execute one hurry_up exercise. The Hurry_up is a vital play for any NFL team. Overall, I look for the Patriots to go 10-7 for the 2021 NFL season.

Patriots And Stephon Gilmore Need To Come To Terms

The Patriots and Stephon Gilmore need to come to terms. With the NFL pre _season around the corner, time is running out. Currently, he is in the final year of a four-year deal. In this post, we will review three issues why Stephon Gilmore should be extended.

Creates Opportunity

Patriots fans know the importance of getting Stephon Gilmore re-signed. Gilmore is on the last year of a four_year deal. Injuries hindered him in 2020. In eleven games Gilmore had one interception.

Overall, the four_year Patriot has started in fifty_six games and has eleven interceptions. Getting Gilmore extended makes the Patriots that much better. With, all the new additions, resigning him is a priority.

Gilmore would provide depth in the defensive backfield. The team lost corner Jason McCourty in free agency. The Patriots have Devin McCourty, Johnathan Jones, Jalen Mills, Myles Turner, Kyle Duggar, Adrian Phillips, JoeJuan Williams under contract. With him signed, their defense would be a Super Bowl defense.

The Incentive Option

One resolution for the team to go in is the incentive option. this means that the organization would tack on money and lengthen his contract. Such was the case with former players Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady, and Richard Seymour.

Given his age of thirty and a season_ ending injury in 2020, it comes down to his expectations. One scenario was Deion Branch. Branch held out for more money, which came down to him being traded to Seattle. One thing is for certain, they are better with him than without him.

Compared To Other Corners

In 2019, Stephon Gilmore was the best in football. However, Pro Football Focus Gilmore does not rank in the top 10. Compared to Jalen Ramsey of the Rams, Jaire Alexander of Green Bay, Travon Mullen of Las Vegas. Patriot corner JC Jackson does rank in the top 10. Given Gilmores age, he takes more snaps than Jackson and covers the opposition’s number one receiver. Jackson is younger and used in situational plays.

Conclusion

Having Stephon Gilmore resigned would make life a lot easier for Patriots fans, The team has fifteen million dollars left in cap space for the 2021 season. a healthy Stephon Gilmore is intimidating for NFL quarterbacks. I think in the end both sides will come to terms.

Patriots Fail To Draft A Number One Receiver

For quite some time, the Patriots have neglected to draft a number one receiver. Instead, they added Damiere Byrd, Marqise Lee, Josh Gordon, and others. Still, no legitimate number one receiver. In 2021 they signed Nelson Agholar Kendrick Bourne, Jacobi Meyers, and Gunner Olszewski, and N’Keal Harry Certainly not a group for opposing defensive coordinators to worry about. In this post, we will review three reasons why this will concern Patriots fans.

No Game_ Changing Receiver

Every contending team has a game_changing receiver. The only deep threat on the roster is Nelson Agholor and Jacobi Meyers. N’keal Harry is a deep threat but has trouble getting open.

Newly acquired Kendrick Bourne is OK but no Julian Edelman. Now that Edelman is retired, finding a suitable replacement will be difficult. With Cam Newton calling the signals fans can expect a lot of passes to the slot receiver.

Tight End Depth

The organization added Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry in the off_season. Paired with Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene Bill Belichick has some flexibility at tight end. Covid 19 opt_out Matt LaCosse will also be returning.

Since Rob Gronkowski retired the tight end position has been vacant. Signing two new tight ends will finally solidify the position. In 2020, the Patriot’s tight ends were targeted a grand total of 32 times.

Julio Jones Rumors

Recently there have been rumors of a possible trade for Julio Jones. A deal like this makes sense for both Atlanta and New England. The cash_ strapped Falcons would clear cap space by moving him. As for New England, trading for Julio Jones would put them over the top.

The current group is by far mediocre at best. A trade like this would make the Patriots a threat in the AFC East again.

Conclusion

With the 2021 schedule being released the Patriots are mostly at home during the first two months. Only two away games Houston and Los Angeles Chargers are scheduled. In order to regain supremacy in the AFC East, they need a hot start. Anything less will be unacceptable for Patriots fans.

3 Week One Starters From The 2021 Patriots Draft Class

With Patriots mini_camp approaching, it’s time to predict 3 potential weeks one starter from the 2021 Patriot’s draft class. The off_ season was active, to say the least. With several new faces, 2021 will be exciting. A young new quarterback gives fans hope again In this post, we will evaluate three draft selections who could potentially be starters this season.

Christian Barmore/Productive DT/ Alabama

Head coach Bill Belichick traded two fourth_round draft picks for Barmore. The four_year starter at Alabama started 22 games as a two_year starter at Alabama. His physical structure is what defensive coordinators love.

As a starter,Barmore was credited with 34 solo tackles,10 sacks, and recovered 5 fumbles. The Patriot’s style of play is the perfect fit for Barmore. The only drawback is his maturity level. Playing under the rigid Belichick style only time will tell.

Tre Nixon/Vertical Receiver/ Central Florida

This pick can go either way. The Patriots selected Nixon with the 242nd pick in this year’s draft Central Florida. The speedy receiver is a burner who can stretch the field. I project Nixon as the surprise of training camp. Like N’keal Harry, he has trouble separating himself from cover players.

Nixon transferred after two_years at Ole Miss. His pass _catching skills are inconsistent. A seventh_round draft choice, Belichick may decide to red_shirt him. It will be interesting to see how he competes against the Patriot’s receiving department.

Rhamondre Stevenson/FB/ Oklahoma

This is the most interesting pick out of this year’s draft class. Stevenson is a 6′ 1″ 231lb_ pound fullback. Known for his superior blocking skills, he is also an excellent receiver out of the backfield. Being an excellent blocker will be a welcomed addition for quarterback Cam Newton.

With the Patriots stressing the run I feel Stevenson will be a significant contributor this season. In two_years at Oklahoma, he started 19 games for 298 total yards and 13 touchdowns. He averaged 7 yards per carry. He will be a weapon in the red zone.

Conclusion

The year 2020 was disappointing for Patriots fans. With a seventeen_game schedule, I look for the club to go 11-6. Quarterback Cam Newton has a year in the Patriot’s system under his belt. Number One Draft Pick Mac Jones is waiting in the wings. Look for the club to be better in 2021.

Patriots Have Many Holes To Fill In This Year’s Draft.

Now that Mac Jones is officially a Patriot let’s look at the big picture. The Patriots have many holes to fill. Defensively, they ranked 26th in 2020. They were one of the worst teams in the league in stopping the run. So where do they go from here? My guess is Bill Belichick will focus on the defensive line adding to the rotation. In this post, we will discuss three departments the team needs to restructure.

Middle Linebacker/Defensive Front

The good news is Donta Hightower is returning for the 2021 campaign. Other than that there is not much to get excited about. Edge rusher Josh Uche showed flashes of promise. Chase Winovich is gradually getting better. Number one pick Kyle Duggar has shown he can play. I personally feel they need to get more physical. Teams ran all over them last season, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. That statistic needs to improve.

New additions Henry Anderson, Davon Godchaulx, and Matthew Judon, and Kyle Van Noy will bolster the front seven. Stopping the run is priority number one in 2021.

Patrick Chung Retiring/McCourty Aging

In the off_ season safety, Patrick Chung retired. Chung was noted for his ability in stopping the run. Long time safety Devin McCourty a year older. Second_year safety Kyle Duggar is not ready to take over yet.

Replacing Julian Edelman

The biggest off season news was Julian Edelman announcing his retirement. Edelman is one of the greatest slot receivers in Patriots history. Known for his toughness,Edelman made one of the most clutch catches in Super Bowl history in the comeback win.

Two names to keep an eye on are Elijah Moore of Ole Miss and terrace Marshall Jr of LSu. Both receivers are excellent route runners with burning speed.

Conclusion

Poor execution was frustrating for Patriots fans. A 7-9 record is frustrating for Patriots fans But with the free _agent spending spree and new blood coming in,2021 will be an exciting year.

Patriots Enter Free Agency With A Bang

Tuesday the Patriots, entered the NFL Free Agency with a bang. They added 8 pieces the most team history. Coming to terms were tight end Jonu Smith, defensive end Matthew Judon from Baltimore, wide receiver Nelson Agholor from the Raiders, Defensive end Henry Anderson of the Jets. Other signings were Davon Godchaux defensive tackle from the Jets, Jalen Mills Defensive back from Philadelphia. As of Wednesday, they locked up tight end Hunter Henry from the LA Chargers. In this post, we will review three reasons why these signings will improve the Patriots in 2021.

Tight End Position Addressed

For the first time in three seasons, the Patriots strengthened the tight end department. Si With the addition of Hunter Henry and Jonu Smith, quarterback Cam Newton has two huge targets to work with.

The 2020 draft class of Dalton Keene and Devin Asiasi did not pan out. Outside of Asiasi and Keene, the club has Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse. In 16 games last tight end department accounted for only 7 catches. Both Henry and Smith are elite blockers, which is a significant upgrade.

How Much Are They Improved From 2020?

The next question is how much are they improved from 2020. Head coach Bill Belichick has completely reshaped the roster. Jonu Smith and Hunter Henry are a significant upgrade. Edge rusher Matthew Judon is an All_Pro pass _ rusher.

In, Hunter Henry, the team is getting a quality tight end. In five seasons as a Charger, he has caught 196 receptions for 21 touchdowns. He is also an excellent blocker. Jonu Smith on the other hand provides many skills. He is one of the best route runners in the league and possesses excellent blocking skills. In, four years at Tennessee, he totaled 114 receptions and 16 touchdowns.

By signing Hunter and Smith, it marks the first time since the successful duo of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

Risky Moves Versus Quality Moves

Receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne are considered risky. In four years as an Eagle, Agholor had two decent seasons. In Kendrick Bourne, the team is getting another slot receiver. Overall, they should give the offense a huge boost.

As for the quality signings Hunter Henry, Jonu Smith, and Matthew Judon are all skilled players. Defensive back Jalen Mills brings stability and depth to the defensive backfield.

Conclusion

In all the signings fans have renowned hope in the Patriots again. Losing Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski was a culture shock. It was nice to see the Patriots being aggressive.

Matt Patricia Returning Will Be Beneficial For Patriots

The Patriots announced last week, that former Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will be returning to the organization. Patricia has served the Patriots in many capacities as a defensive coach. He first joined the team in 2004 as an offensive coordinator. a year later he switched over to the defensive side as a linebacking coach. He was also part of the success by winning two Super Bowls. In this post, we will review three reasons why a Matt Patricia return will benefit the 2021 Patriots.

Familiar With The Defense

Matt Patricia has served under Bill Belichick since 2004. During that span, he has seen many great players develop under his leadership. Players such Teddy Bruschi, Richard Seymour, Vince Wilforkhttp Devin McCourty, and Chandler Jones have all performed under Matt Patricia.

Last season, the team was last in stopping the run. Overall, New England allowed 5 yards per carry. One of its’s worst seasons under head coach Bill Belichick.

Front Seven Needs To Be Restructured

For years, New England has been known for their front seven. With players leaving and opt_outs the organization has suffered significantly. New faces have been leaving an impression on the coaching staff. Second_year linebacker Chris Winovich is developing into a team leader. Linebacker Josh Uche has shown he can make a solid contribution. And safety Kyle Duggar will compete for a starting spot next season.

The team finished 11th in the NFL last season. With the addition of Matt Patricia, the Patriot’s defense will be exciting to watch. With several holes to fill, this year’s draft will be interesting.

With ten draft picks available drafting defense, and a quarterback will be a priority. Players returning next season after opting out will be another issue. Linebacker Donta Hightower may retire. And Devin McCourty. Matt Patricia returning may prove significant with these decisions.

Excellent Working Relationship With Bill Belichick

During his 14 year tenure, Matt Patricia has shared brilliant success with Bill Belichick. Two Super Bowls were won under his leadership. A lot needs to be done in order to get back to Super Bowl _caliber.

New England has 60 million dollars in cap space available. Stopping the run was the club’s biggest weakness last season. If the Patriots spend their money wisely, the playoffs are possible.

Conclusion

The Patriots are at a crossroads. A well _thought game plan is a must this off _season. Step number one is a quarterback, Step number two is stronger defense, step number three is to get back to the Super Bowl.

3 Possible Patriot Quarterbacks For a Bargain In 2021

The glory days of the Patriots dynasty is over. Unless Bill Belichick can find a possible Patriot quarterback fit for a bargain, it will be another depressing season for fans. Monday the team suffered its worst loss in club history at the hands of the Bills 38-9. In this post, we will explore three possible free _agent quarterback fits for the 2021 season.

3 Possible Patriot Quarterbacks

Tyrod Taylor

Tyrod Taylor has been around for a long time. The nine_year veteran is currently Justin Hebert’s backup for the Chargers. Taylor is in the middle of a two_year 11 million dollar deal. It guarantees him to make 6 million.

Earlier in the season, Taylor was diagnosed with a lung infection and replaced by Justin Hebert. He only appeared in two games, leading the Chargers to victory.

With the Cam Newton experiment a failure, it’s unlikely he will be back in 2021 as the Patriots signal_ caller. In 15 games this year Newton has thrown for only 5 touchdown passes. However, he has run for 12 touchdowns.

Taylor is only 29 years old and has plenty of upside left. The ex Baltimore Rave and Buffalo Bill is a good decision maker and accurate thrower. He has played in 72 career games with a decent rating of 89%. For the price, he would be the perfect bridge for the rebuilding patriots.

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston was a former 1st found pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The ex Florida State graduate signed a one_year deal for 1.1 million dollars. Hampered by injuries, he has only appeared in three games this season.

Winston is a mammoth standing at 6″4″ weighing 231 lbs. His size and mobility would be attractive to the Patriots coaching staff. He is decent in the pocket and has a rifle arm when healthy.

With New England’s excellent offensive line, it may be a perfect situation for both parties. The Patriots are going to have to add receivers in the offseason. For the price, he may be the perfect solution.

Marcus Mariota

The interesting aspect of this situation is the price tag. The Raiders have two quarterbacks locked up for outrageous salaries. Mariota is the cheaper of the two at 20 million. His competition, Derek Carr is tied up 18 million per year.

Overall, the Raiders have had a disappointing season at 7-8. The most recent, a 26-25 loss to Miami. With all the cap space tied up in quarterbacks, one of the two will be cut. My guess is it will be Mariota.

Cutting Mariota could pave the way to a possible New England destination. He is only 27 and can scramble with the best of them. Not to mention a cannon of an arm. If he can stay healthy, he may be worth the risk.

Conclusion

With 51 million dollars in cap space, do not expect the Patriots to give away the farm on a quarterback. The club needs receivers in the worst way. This team is in for a total rebuild that will take two or three years. It’s safe to say the Patriots mystique is over.

Patriots Success In 2020 Hinges Solely On The Defense

With the 2020 NFL season kicking off Sunday, The Patriot’s success hinges solely on the defense. With a new quarterback in Cam Newton, the team’s defense will be the key to their success., Last season, for example, the defense led the league in interceptions 23 and blocked punts 6. In this post, we will review three reasons the defense will be a major role in the organization’s outcome.

Patriots Success IN 2020 Hinges Solely On  The Defense                                                                                                                                                               

League High In Opt _Outs  For starters, the Patriots had a league_ high of eight opt_ outs. Team captain Donta Hightower is the most notable member to sit out the season.  After Hightower, the next player is Patrick Chung. Chung is a vital contributor to the third downs. Other missing pieces are Duron Harmon and Elandon Roberts.

Head coach Bill Belichick installing youth movement on defense. Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, and Chase Winovich, and Jonathan Simon will lead the linebacking unit.

As for pass coverage, that remains the team’s strongest area.  Third_Year man JC Jackson has emerged as one of the leagues best. Stephon Gilmore is the best shut down back in the game.

Difficulty In Stopping the Run, The Patriot’s biggest challenge last year was stopping the run. Lamar Jackson of the Ravens had a field day mid_ way through the season last year.                

 Tennessee’s Derrick Henry ran for 183 yards in the wild card game.  If the Patriots have any hope of postseason dreams, they have to stop the run _heavy teams.                         

 

Front Seven Needs To Step It Up With the loss of Donta Hightower, the team will have to rely on the front seven. Adam Butler, Dieatrich Wise, and Lawrence Guy need to apply pressure. Newly signed Beau Allen has yet to step on the field.

Conclusion   The landscape has changed without Tom Brady. The Patriots have the game’s best head coach in Bill Belichick. With a thin receiving group,  Cam Newton has his challenges.  Look for a strong running game, especially from Cam Newton. My prediction is the Patriots will go 7-10 with Cam Newton calling the signals.

Weighing In On The Patriots Opting Out Issues

It has been a trying 2020 offseason for the Patriots. The team is dealing with a slew of opting _out issues. Coved 19 is jeopardizing the upcoming season. Leading the way on the opt _out lists are Dont’a Hightower, Marcus Cannon, Brandon Bolden, Patrick Chung, and Danny Vitale. Hightower is the quarterback of the defense. If anymore opt_ out head coach Bill Belichick will have a problem on his hands. In this post, we will weigh in on the Patriots opt_out issues.

Weighing In On The Patriots Team Opting Out Issues                                                       

 Conspiracy Theorist Experts Taking Over  Events like opting_out promote conspiracy theories. Especially when they surround the Patriots. Bill Belichick is not the most popular person. With, Tom Brading signing with Tampa Bay this only sparks conspiracy The Patriots have been a victim of Spygate and Deflategate. Opting_out  from playing only makes it worse. With training camp underway, the next couple of weeks should be interesting. This makes suitable conversation for the local talk shows and podcasts.

Key Players Opting Out The Patriots defense will be seriously a Dante Hightower has been the leader for several years. Patrick Chung is a valuable cog in the defensive backfield. Without either, the Patriots will have to trade or sign an available free agent. Starting a rookie means growing pains and defeats.

The Team  Awarded Extra Cap Space  Before training camp, the club was awarded extra cap space.  The team came to terms on the Antonio Brown contract, and Aron Hernandez estate.

Instead of being under 1,000,000 dollars, the club has an additional  7.5 million dollars in cap space. Some names to keep an eye on are  James Harrison defensive tackle and edge rusher, Jedaveon Clowney.  Clowney would provide leadership left by Hightower. I personally like defensive tackle, James Harrison. Only 31 years old he’s a versatile run stopper.  He has recently played for the Jets and Lions.

Looking Ahead Depending on the pandemic the NFL season could be at stake. Players are opting_out  to protect their families. The Patriots have been one of the hardest _hit teams.  With the loss of Tom Brady and others, it could be a long season for Patriots fans.