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Chandler Jones
New England Patriots

Patriots Should Target These 6 Free Agents

  • The Draft Network
  • February 24, 2022
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After a bounce-back year where the Patriots finally made the playoffs after a nearly unprecedented one-year drought, the New England front office enters the 2022 offseason with around $8 million in cap space with the ability to free up a lot more should they decide to add some depth and talent around the board. The Patriots were big spenders in the 2021 offseason, bringing in the likes of Matthew Judon, Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Kendrick Bourne, and Nelson Agholor to name a few. While the Patriots are not as cap flexible as they were the previous season, they are still expected to spend as much money as they possibly can this offseason. While Mac Jones is still on his rookie contract, it should be of the Patriots’ utmost priority to sign as many veterans as possible with the available cap. With cap, team needs, pending free agents, and draft selections all put into consideration, here are three offensive and defensive free agents New England could target when the signing period begins on March 14. Team Needs: CB, LB, S, WR, OT

Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Market Value (4 years, $66,959,920) The Patriots are in desperate need of a true outside wide receiver, and Williams is arguably one of the top choices in a fairly deep free agency class of wideouts. Williams has the size on the outside and the ability to make contested catches that the Patriots haven’t had since Randy Moss. It is in the Patriots’ best interest to make life as easy for Jones in the coming years, especially while the young quarterback is still on his rookie-scale contract. Williams would be an instant injection of spark and size to an offense in need.

Cordarrelle Patterson, RB/WR, Atlanta Falcons

Market Value (2 years, $18,284,060) Cordarralle Patterson spent the 2018 season as a member of the New England Patriots. That season culminated in Patterson’s one and only Super Bowl ring. Looking ahead toward the multi-talented running back’s decision in 2022, a reunion might be in the best interest of both parties. Many NFL fans were surprised by the impact that Patterson, originally a wide receiver, had in the run game this past season. There are those who are still skeptical about how Patterson will fare on another team should he decide to not return to the Falcons. For those who choose to neglect history, the Patriots were truly the first team to utilize Patterson as a true running back. Through his first five seasons in the league, Patterson’s career-high in rush attempts was 13. In his first season in New England, he rushed the ball 42 times at an efficient 5.4 yards per attempt. While the Patriots have two efficient rushers in Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris, both players are lacking when it pertains to the passing game. Patterson offers a unique change of pace and versatility that the Patriots haven’t had since James White was terrorizing opposing defenses.

Duane Brown, OT, Seattle Seahawks

Market Value (2 years, $20,000,000) Since Dante Scarnecchia took back the reins of the New England offensive line in 2016, the play of the front five in New England has been a model of consistency. Keeping that front line stacked with talent will continue to be a priority for the front office. Signing a veteran tackle might be a primary need for New England depending on where Trent Brown decides to sign. Brown is entering the market at the age of 28 and is estimated to earn up to a four-year, $42M contract. The Patriots are likely unwilling to offer Brown as much money as he could get elsewhere and Duane Brown could likely come in on a one-year deal with playoff opportunities.

De’Vondre Campbell, LB, Green Bay Packers 

Market Value (3 years, $18,856,938) De’Vondre Campbell was one of the most improved players in the entire NFL this past season. At the estimated figure of around $6 million a year, the Green Bay linebacker is an absolute bargain. The Patriots are in need of a replacement for the aging Dont’a Hightower in terms of a leader in the linebacking corps, and Campbell is a perfect option. He can play all three downs and makes a living in tackling. Campbell would excel in a Belichick-run defense and should be a top priority for the Patriots.

Carlton Davis, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Market Value (5 years, $98,353,045) All the signs are pointing towards J.C Jackson being the face of the New England defense and it would come as a shock to many if the Patriots aren’t able to retain the Pro-Bowl corner. However, should negotiations fall out, then the Patriots are in dire need of a true No. 1 corner. Carlton Davis could plug into the Belichick defensive system and immediately offer his services as a physical defensive back who could shadow opposing teams' top options.

Chandler Jones, EDGE, Arizona Cardinals 

Market Value (3 years, $43,707,789) The second ex-Patriot to make this list and one of the best defensive players of the past 10 years, Jones is still one of the best pass rushers in the game and is familiar with how Belichick wants to run his defense. The Patriots have a stud in Christian Barmore on the inside and Judon wreaking havoc from the edge. Adding a player the caliber of Jones would take an already dynamic defense to the next level.

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