12 hours into free agency, fans of the New England Patriots were freaking out. Was it fair to criticize them so shortly after the start of free agency? No. Was it justifiable? Yeah, I think it was. For years now, we watch the Patriots pass on the best players available and instead sign a “value” player. Value players such as Steve Gregory, who was cut earlier in the offseason. However, this year, the Patriots would not disappoint.
After star cornerback Aqib Talib went to the rival Denver Broncos, fans started to fall into a deep depression. However, the next day Darrelle Revis came to New England singing Third Eye Blind’s “Jumper.” (I hope that line didn’t go over too many heads.) Just like that, we were all talking about the Lombardi Trophy coming back home. They weren’t done.
The Patriots’ next target was former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner. After #FakeRevisSightings, Patriot fans were onto #BrownerWatch. Nobody knew where he was or what was going on for a few days; but in the end, the Patriots signed the 6’4” cornerback to a three-year deal. While he will sit out the first four games due to a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, the Patriots have enough depth in the secondary to fill the spot and when he comes back, they could have the best secondary in football.
The defense had been shored up. It was time to address quarterback Tom Brady’s toys. For a while, it looked as though Julian Edelman was going to get away from the Patriots. His departure would have left the Patriots with a gaping hole at wide receiver. Danny Amendola can never be relied on to stay healthy and, while I believe Aaron Dobson will show great improvement in year two, that is no guarantee. To lose Edelman would be to take away Brady’s top receiver for two consecutive years. To the delight of many, especially Brady, the Patriots re-signed Edelman. They also inked former Panther Brandon LaFell to a three-year deal.
The Patriots are most likely done. They could bring in some depth players, but they will not make any more impact signings. Or so we think…
Earlier this week, it was reported that the Patriots had inquired about Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Yes, that DeSean Jackson. Will the Patriots make a play for Jackson? Doubtful. As dangerous as he would be in the New England offense, Jackson will not be a Patriot. He has said he will not renegotiate his contract; he is due to make $10.5 million in 2014. If he is not traded, he will most likely be released. In that case, it is even less likely that he signs with the Patriots. Somebody like the Cleveland Browns or Oakland Raiders will offer him a massive contract. (Last time I said the Patriots would not win a bidding war was when the Bucs were shopping Revis. Maybe whatever I write about, the opposite happens.)
Jackson would be dangerous in New England with Brady as his quarterback. However, is he worth trading a third round pick for and paying him over $10 million? I do not think so. I would love to see that Patriots make the move, but I will not be disappointed when they do not. Instead of Jackson, they could sign somebody like Kenny Britt, who has great potential, but no head on his shoulders, and go with the guys they have now.
Overall, I think everybody in New England is pleasantly surprised with the offseason the Patriots have had. If the Patriots stopped after they signed Revis, fans would still be happy. They have finally decided to go for it, instead of being complacent with winning the weak AFC East.
To sum the Patriots’ offseason up in three words, I would like to quote Agnes from Despicable Me 2…I’M SO HAPPY!!!!!