It’s time for the New England Patriots to reshape their offense to enhance their 10-7, 2021 team and be more competitive in 2022 and beyond.
The Patriots returned to familiar territory in 2021, the playoffs, under rookie quarterback Mac Jones. That was the good news.
Yet, unfortunately, their demolition at the hands of the Buffalo Bills proved one thing; they’re not good enough to compete with the NFL’s best. Neither is Jones. He has a lot of work to do.
They have some tough cap decisions to make soon. The current roster needs to become younger and faster, with moves in free agency the upcoming NFL Draft becoming very important. Here are some suggestions on how to fix things on the offensive side of the ball.
The New England Patriots offense needs help
The first order of business for the Patriots on offense should be to add a top-tier receiver either in free agency and/or the draft. They don’t have one now. Instead of adding one top receiver in free agency last offseason, they added two second/third level types in Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne.
Agholor was a bust to say the least. He caught only 37 passes for 473 yards and three touchdowns. Bourne was excellent with 55 catches, five touchdowns, and 800 receiving yards.
Bourne and Jakobi Meyers are solid as No. 2 and 3 receivers, but a true No. 1 is essential. Several free agents are out there who’d fit the bill.
They include Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers; Chris Godwin from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Mike Williams from the Los Angeles Chargers; and, Michael Gallup from the Dallas Cowboys. Adams is the choice here.
To pay this quality player means others on the team, higher price players, many of whom are on defense will have to go. So be it. This is not an option, it’s a necessity.
The New England Patriots have some key decisions on their offensive line
The Patriots misused the offensive linemen who were available this season. It cost them the AFC East and more. The first order of business should be to shore up the line.
They need to re-sign Trent Brown to a contract to play left tackle. Yes, that was offensive LEFT tackle. He’s their best option but he’s a free agent. Pay the man.
Don’t make the same mistake twice by letting him walk. He’s almost impossible to get around, can play on an island, and is exactly what you need in your left tackle.
Ted Karras should also be re-signed. He’s a versatile, top player. Isaiah Wynn is not an NFL-caliber left tackle. He can be slotted in at the right tackle, play guard, or be traded.
Then, the Patriots should use the draft and lower-end free agency to fill in the backups after jettisoning players who can’t play. These include Yasir Durant, Yodny Cajuste, and Justin Herron. The team should just move on from these players.
One of the team’s top two picks should be a big, young, offensive tackle. It’s been delayed for too long now. It’s time. Now let’s take a look at the tight ends.
Hunter Henry was an excellent free-agent signing. Jonnu Smith wasn’t. He failed to live up to the cost or the billing. Due to his contract, he’s going nowhere.
Conversely, the team should move on from two 2020 third-round picks Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene. Neither has nor is likely to contribute anything.
The running back room is strong with Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, the hopefully returning James White, and the irrepressible Brandon Bolden. They can stand pat there.
Those are some quick ideas for the Patriots to revamp their offense. Give more help to Mac Jones (as suggested recently by perhaps the best NFL offensive line coach ever, Dante Scarnecchia) with a front-line receiver or two.
Solidify the offensive line by re-signing Brown and Karras and adding a big young tackle in the draft. Adding another young tight end who can block would also help. Added together, these several moves will be game-changers.
Those are some suggestions for the New England Patriots 2022 offense. What do you think the team should do on that side of the ball?