As free agency is set to begin in about three weeks the Patriots will be looking to reload their roster in hopes at another run at a Lombardi Trophy. The team currently has almost $18 million in cap space but can free up more money by restructuring some deals or cutting players. As we await the decision on retirement from both Rob Gronkowski and Devin McCourtey, (if both retire Pats free up $20 million in cap space), let’s take a look at some possible free agents that could draw interest from the Patriots:
Adam Humphries, Wide Receiver
The Patriots only have two wideouts signed through the 2019 season; Julian Edelman and 2018 sixth-round draft pick Braxton Berrios. The Patriots have been in talks about acquiring a “premier” wideout over the last year. No, Humphries isn’t a top-10 talent in the league but he is a glorified slot receiver that can learn behind Edelman, who will be 33 in september and is on the last year of his deal. Humphries caught 76 passes for 816 yards and five touchdowns. The 5’11, 195 pound receiver would add depth to a position of need all while coming at relatively cheap price.
Demaryius Thomas, Wide Receiver
After nine seasons as the Broncos’ number one receiving option, Thomas was traded to the Houston Texans at the 2018 trade deadline. Thomas played seven games with the Texans before suffering a torn achilles in week 16, ending his season. The four-time Pro Bowler is set to hit the free agent market and could be looking for one final pay day. However, having already suffered an achilles injury on the opposite foot in years past, Thomas may come at a very reduced price. The Patriots were linked with him at the trade deadline but Denver decided to send him to Houston in exchange for a fourth round pick. Expect the Patriots to make a run at Thomas if the price is right.
Grady Jarrett, Defensive Tackle
The Patriots had a solid rotation at defensive tackle with Malcolm Brown, Lawrence Guy, and Danny Shelton all splitting playing time throughout last season. However Brown and Shelton are free agents this year and it’s likely that neither resign with the team. That opens the need for another defensive tackle. Grady Jarrett is an intriguing option because he has shown flashes of stardom in the past. Many may remember Jarrett for sacking Tom Brady three times in Super Bowl LI. During his four seasons as an Atlanta Falcon he totaled 14 sacks, 95 solo tackles and three forced fumbles. Garrett took big strides in his game year after year and would be a heck of a pick up if the price is right.
It’s always fun to hope certain players land on your favorite team. But the sad reality is that most of the time it doesn’t happen. The Patriots are going to have to free up a lot of money in order to acquire most of the big-name free agents. If star defensive end Trey Flowers walks in free agency the Pats may look to the NFL Draft to replace him. The looming decision for Gronk about his retirement will give us a better idea of how the Patriots will fair come March 11th. Until then, we have to wait patiently to know the future for Gronk.
-Adam Pasquale Jr. is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media and covers the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @adampasqualejr