These could be the guys the Facebook commenters will be okay with me wanting on the roster. However, the Patriots have holes that don’t need the top names on the market to fill them. So let’s take a look at some players that wouldn’t break the bank but would really help the organization.
Adding Size To The Corner Group
Most of our secondary consists of shorter players who get taken advantage of by the larger outside receivers. For example, a player like Shaquill Griffin is 6’0, 200 pounds, and runs a 4.3. Griffin isn’t a top-tier lockdown corner(we could get to that later), but he does add matchup versatility and is a solid veteran to the room.
Last season wasn’t his best with the Jaguars, but he wasn’t bad. He just wasn’t worth the 16-million-dollar cap hit for them. He would fit right into our backs rotation and move Myles Bryant strictly to a special teams role.
If Bill could sign him to a two-year 15 million dollar ten million guaranteed contract, that would be great for us, and he could play himself into his next contract like many other corners have come and done with the Patriots.
100 Tackle Coverage Linebacker
Drue Tranquill could fill a need that has been pressing on this team for quite some time. A three-down linebacker who can rack up tackles and drop back into coverage. He has outplayed high draft picks and stayed on the field for most of his career. He isn’t the fastest or the strongest, but he is scrappy and has a great football IQ.
Mike Reiss floated his name last week, but now that we see what the market it makes a lot of sense to add a guy with a 76.7 PFF coverage grade. This isn’t a splashy signing, but it fills a need with a productive player who could be part of the next wave of “Patriot Way” Players. The team needs leaders, and pairing him next to Bentley could bring out each other’s strengths. Tranquill isn’t the best against the run, but this is where Bentley excels.
Giving him a three-year 13 million dollar deal with eight guaranteed over the first two years and the rest in incentives.
Splash In The Secondary
According to the market, this is the flashiest signing of the three on the list and is still a valuable asset. Marcus Peters would fit wonderfully within this defense; he has length, speed, and a history of being a consistent playmaker. To back it up, he brings that attitude and cornerback persona to the account. Jack Jones has the ego but none of the credibility to back it up yet.
Adding Peters & Griffin to Jonathan Jones would allow Jones to move inside back to the slot and give Jack & Marcus Jones time as subs, fresh legs, or for the right matchup instead of playing them against mismatches. Griffin adds size and speed, while Peters adds grit and a physical presence that the team has been lacking for quite some time on the back end. It’s time to reunite Judon and Peters.
Three years 26 million dollars with 20 guaranteed over the first two years. None of these contracts will kill the Patriots if they set them up with low base salaries this year. They have plenty of people working at Gillette that are smarter than I am so making the language in the contract work isn’t something I am worried about.
All of these additions are on defense but add size and speed to the back end and infuse it with some new blood. Peters is a star but not many people are talking about him currently which is why he fits the profile to put in here. Griffin and Tranqull are much more likely. The main point of this is that they could come at the right price for Bill Belichick and the Patriots