The New England Patriots have plenty of questions to answer this offseason, but it begins with the looming decision of Tom Brady. The future Hall of Fame quarterback could choose to finish his career elsewhere once free agency begins.
The 2019 season isn’t one that fans in New England will want to remember any time soon. Despite going 12-4, the Patriots were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round. It was the first time that the Patriots weren’t part of the AFC Championship game since 2009.
Essentially, the future of the Patriots’ dynasty rests in Brady’s hands. Even though he’ll meet with other teams, it’s tough to envision him in another uniform in 2020.
Regardless if Brady returns or not, New England needs to strengthen the roster for next season. In the coming months, we’ll have a better sense of what the future of the Patriots is going to look like. With all of that out of the way, here are the three moves the Patriots must make in the offseason.
3. Draft K.J. Hamler
For most teams, they’d consider a 12-4 season a successful year in the NFL. However, the Patriots have a different level of standards than most teams and the 2019 season is chalked up as a failure in their book.
Amid the few flaws that this Patriots roster had, the lack of vertical weapons was easily noticeable. There’s no doubt that Julian Edelman and James White are reliable targets in the short and intermediate passing game. On the other hand, New England doesn’t have someone that can stretch the field vertically.
By good fortune, the Patriots lucked out with this year’s draft class being littered with talented wide receivers. Among the endless list of options, K.J. Hamler would be a perfect solution to New England’s offensive woes.
2. Re-Sign Devin McCourty
While the offense for the Patriots sputtered in 2019, the defense flourished. More specifically, Devin McCourty had arguably the best season of his 10-year career in 2019.
The veteran safety was able to contribute 58 tackles, seven deflections, five interceptions, and two forced fumbles. What’s even more impressive is that McCourty finished with five interceptions despite being targeted only 30 times.
Besides Brady, McCourty is the most important free agent that the Patriots will have. Even at 32-years-old, re-signing McCourty should be a priority for New England this offseason.
1. Re-Sign Tom Brady
Simply put, the Patriots need to do everything they can to re-sign Brady this offseason. That is all that needs to be said and that should be the end of this article that may or may not be read by anxious fans in Foxborough.
Yes, Brady is 42-years-old and he showed that his age is beginning to catch up to him in 2019. However, it was apparent that Brady wasn’t even close to being the biggest issue for the Patriots’ offense.
In addition, New England doesn’t have a better option available at the quarterback position. It’s safe to say that Jarrett Stidham isn’t ready to start and there aren’t any surefire options in free agency. Bringing Brady back for another couple of seasons should be priority No. 1 for the Patriots.