As we get closer to NFL free agency on March 18, we’ll go through the Patriots’ biggest positions of need and go over some of the options available via trade and free agency. We’ll also lay out some of the landscape across the NFL that may or may not complicate the situation for the Patriots.
If your team has a good receiver without baggage, they rarely hit free agency and, when they do, they get overpaid.
Last year, Golden Tate was the top free agent and got $23 million fully guaranteed on a four-year deal. Jamison Crowder was next to the Jets for $17 million fully guaranteed on a three-year deal. Tyrell Williams, who isn't a No. 1, got $22 million in guarantees from the Raiders. John Brown averaged $9 million a season from the Bills. Same with Adam Humphries to the Titans.
The Patriots obviously need a dangerous threat on the outside. Everyone they have, right now, is more of a possession-type receiver (JulianEdelman, MohamedSanu) although N'Keal Harry could develop into a dangerous weapon with more experience.
With a tough FA landscape at receiver and not a ton of cap space compared to other teams, the Patriots may have to go with a trade, which is often cheaper.