For nine seasons, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been able to look over his shoulder and see one of the best tight ends in NFL history lined up beside him.
The tight end position has been one of Brady’s favorite targets to turn to when he has been in need of a big-time play, but with the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the hole in New England’s offense has been more noticeable than ever.
In order to give the 42-year-old Brady the offensive security he has had for almost a decade, the Patriots should trade Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker.
Although being 35 years old, Walker is still capable of being a reliable pass-catching threat in the middle of the field. Moving from a Titans offense that has just benched quarterback Marcus Mariota in favor of Ryan Tannehill to a Patriots offense who still has the greatest quarterback of all time under center would drastically change Walkers stats.
In New England, we could see a Delanie Walker that resembles more of the tight end we saw in 2016 and 2017. Walker seems to be stuck in a system that doesn’t trust whatever quarterback is calling plays to throw the ball.
The production Walker could see in a Patriots uniform would be much more substantial than what he is seeing in Tennessee, catching only five balls in the last three games. Walker’s presence in New England would not only help an offense that has been primarily relying on their defense to win games but give the other New England receiver more range to get to open spots on the field.
A presence that can run efficient routes and get to the first down sticks could be a game-changer for the New England offense in addition to changing how defenses play them. The Patriots need offensive help, that is clear, but they have to get the right player that can effectively fit into playing towards Brady’s strengths.
Walker still has a couple of good years left and it would be a shame to see one of the more consistent tight ends we’ve seen in the last decade continue to get little usage in Tennessee. Walker is a smart player that can seamlessly fit into the New England offense and fill a hole that was left behind by Gronkowski.