The NFL combine just happened, and mock drafts are flying around, but all the Patriots’ needs will change drastically by next week when NFL teams are tossing big money. So I will be pausing my Mock Draft series and going into the moves I think the Patriots must make to be back in the playoffs.
Bill Belichick is not a fan of losing football games and his roster has holes & fat to be trimmed. They have a top-15 pick and money to spend over the next three years (35 before cuts in 2023, 155 in 2024, and 260 in 2025). So this is more of a three-part move here where they can still add more.
Trade Two 2023 Fourths & 2024 Third For Ramsey
This technically doesn’t have to happen till the draft but if the Rams get that money off their books before the FA period begins, they could make a move if one presents itself to them. The compensation is lighter than usual because the Patriots would be taking his whole contract. I would also imagine they restructure or extend him in an effort to spread his money out and start using up some of that future cap to make the team better now. Ramsey is only 28 and can still act as a lockdown corner which is something this defense is begging for.
New England would be able to restructure its deal and spread out the cost due to the vast large amount of cap space they have in 2024 & 2025. Unfortunately the Patriots would have to let Jonathan Jones walk but Ramsey would be treated like the best thing since sliced bread here in New England. He fits Bill’s scheme and would allow the team to be more flexible in how it deploys coverages. Judon and Uche would have more time to eat up opposing quarterbacks.
Sign Tackle Orlando Brown Jr
KC did not opt to franchise tag Brown Jr, they could still get a deal done but with their cap situation it is tough to see a way they negotiate that one. Especially with a team like the Patriots who have long-term flexibility cap wise can offer him a five-year 112 million dollar deal. New England will have to give big guarantees down the line but this would ensure Mac Jones stay upright. The contracts are going up every year and in two years this deal will look like a value.
Brown Jr would come into the room and help Andrews set the standard and a championship pedigree will continue on with him. He and Onwenu could lock down the left side of that line and give the run game a bump. Belichick needs to start paying a premium for premium positions and protecting Mac needs to be the priority so we can get a proper evaluation.
Get Devin McCourty’s Successor Jessie Bates
McCourty is 36 years old, and while still competitive he isn’t what he used to be, the Patriots need a replacement. Jessie Bates is ten years younger and has the same coverage ability to play that deep third of the field. Adding not only Ramsey but Bates would give New England one of the league’s best defenses. They would have the ability to cover almost every scheme and player.
Devin could come back in a veteran minimum role and share some tricks with Bates and give them all a season to play together. It would be one of the rare combinations of pass rush and great coverage opposing offenses would feel the pressure much more. Judon, Ramsey, Bates, Uche, Dugger, and McCourty will keep people up at night.