Best Remaining New England Patriots Free Agents to Target

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The New England Patriots have already acquired a bunch of quality free agents. The team made waves by signing tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, but have also improved the talent throughout the roster. However, despite this huge spending spree, the Patriots still have quite a bit of money left on the table. Most beat reporters expect New England to continue their aggressive offseason, so let’s take a look at which players could make their way to Foxboro in the coming days.

New England Patriots Free Agents: Identifying the Top Remaining Targets

Will Fuller

The New England Patriots already fixed the pass-catching issue from a season ago. Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry alone make this offense better than what they had last year, while Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne can be reliable role players. However, Fuller would add a whole new dimension to this offense. When healthy, the speedster is one of the best deep threats in the league, and his skill set would be a welcome addition to any offense.

Of course, there is no better way to get Deshaun Watson to waive his no-trade clause than by signing his favorite target. These offseason moves were reportedly made in part to appeal to Watson, as the quarterback will not be with the Houston Texans for much longer. If Watson can prove his innocence in the upcoming lawsuit, then the Patriots should move heaven and earth to bring the disgruntled passer to Foxboro.

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Alternate Choice: Juju Smith-Schuster

Danny Shelton

The Patriots have brought back many an old friend this offseason, and Shelton could be next in line. The massive interior defender had the best years of his career with the Patriots, and he could be in for another great one in 2021. Signing Davon Godchaux while letting Adam Butler walk implies that New England is trying to get bigger and transition to more three-linemen sets. Shelton should thrive in this role, as the 6’-2”, 345 pound defensive tackle excels at eating up double teams and freeing up space for others.

Alternate Choice: Jurrell Casey

Duke Johnson

League reports indicate that New England has been exploring the running back market, with Leonard Fournette and Chris Carson being two of the most popular names. This is a little surprising, as the duo of Damien Harris and Sony Michel proved capable of handling the early-down work. If the Patriots want to add a running back, they’d be better off going after a pass-catcher like Duke Johnson. James White and Rex Burkhead are both free agents and, assuming one or both is lost to free agency, New England will need to get another third-down back. Johnson isn’t much of a runner, but he’s one of the better receiving backs in the league and would be a great fit for this offense.

Alternate Choice: James Conner

Malcolm Butler

It’s anyone’s guess how New England handles their cornerback situation in the offseason. The team currently has a great starting duo in Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson, but both players could leave in the coming months. Gilmore wants a raise and has been the subject of many a trade rumor, while Jackson received a second-round tender, meaning that another team could sign him to a deal New England can’t match.

Given the fact that Jason McCourty is also a free agent, the Patriots might find themselves in dire need of a cornerback. Malcolm Butler isn’t the player he once was, and he’s definitely a downgrade on Jackson and Gilmore. However, he’s still a solid starter that is a proven fit in this system.

Alternate Choice: Troy Hill

Nick Easton

Finishing off the list of possible Patriots free agents is interior offensive lineman Nick Easton. New England’s offensive line should be one of the best in the league, but they could use more depth. Losing Joe Thuney and David Andrews to free agency did a number on their interior depth, and they should consider adding a cost-effective veteran as a do-it-all backup. Nick Easton certainly isn’t the best guard in the world, but you can get by with him should injury strike the interior line. He probably won’t cost much more than the league-minimum and could easily be cut if New England strikes gold in the NFL Draft.

Alternate Choice: Trai Turner

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