According to the Boston Globe, the New England Patriots are prioritizing the wide receiver position this offseason. The paper states that their boots on the ground are hearing that the Patriots are likely to add a wide receiver in free agency once the new NFL calendar year opens at 4pm March 13th.
The New England Patriots could have their choice of some premiere receivers this free agency period. San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Jackson could be an unrestricted free agent along with New Orleans Saints receiver Marques Colston. The Patriots could go younger, and possibly surrender a first-round pick for Pittsburgh Steelers WR Mike Wallace.
The Patriots are first going to have to address their own wide receiver issue, determining what to do with WR Wes Welker, a potential free agent in his own right. A big-target wide receiver is needed by the Patriots in order to help open the middle for their big duo of tight ends coming across the middle. Any of these receivers would be a significant upgrade for the Patriots.
New England enters the 2012 NFL Draft with yet another plethora of draft selections, with two first and two second-round selections. Surrendering a low first-round pick on Mike Wallace, possibly on Vincent Jackson, wouldn’t be a bad idea. With the New Orleans Saints placing the franchise tag on QB Drew Brees, there is the very real possibility that Marques Colston will hit the open market at the start of free agency as well.
The window is closing on the Tom Brady-led New England Patriots. Yes, they reached the Super Bowl this season, but age is starting to creep into the lineup and the past few years, the drafting has been suspect in certain positions. Tom Brady threw for over 5,000 yards in 2011, but he’ll be 35 at the start of the 2012 season. Brady is still playing at an exceptional level, but the franchise has to seriously start looking three years into the future.
There are still the pieces in place for the Patriots to make another Super Bowl run in the coming few seasons, but serious changes need to be made in the offseason and wide receiver is one position in need of a serious upgrade. Tom Brady needs another weapon, and if it requires the franchise burning one of their two first-round picks to acquire a veteran receiver, then so be it.
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