New England Patriots rumors: 2 cheap pass rushers Belichick should target

Detroit Lions outside linebacker Trey Flowers (90) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Lions outside linebacker Trey Flowers (90) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Melvin Ingram (24) Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

New England Patriots free agent target No. 2: Melvin Ingram III

After spending his first nine seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, Melvin Ingram III decided it was time for a change last offseason. He ended up signing a one year, $4 million deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers to help out their up-and-coming defense. Unfortunately, Ingram never found a consistent role with the Steelers, and he was eventually traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in November.

Ingram had a much more important role with the Chiefs, although his numbers didn’t really improve. He finished the season with just 25 tackles, two sacks, and one fumble forced. Ingram did have 11 QB hits on the season, so those numbers suggest he was getting a bit unlucky when it comes to the sacks.

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Heading into his age 33 season, it’s clear that Ingram is past his prime. However, he proved in KC that he can still be a solid two-way player off the edge. Ingram has always been a solid pass rusher, but he’s also been a huge help against the run. That’s a key piece of playing in New England’s defense, and it’s why a player like Winovich never found a way to succeed here.

Ingram’s production has certainly tailed off over the past two seasons, but it wouldn’t be a horrible idea to pair him up with Judon and see what he can do. With Judon dominating the offensive line’s attention, Ingram would probably draw one-on-one matchups 95 percent of the time. His strong finish to the season with the Chiefs helped a bit, but he probably is looking at a one year deal worth somewhere between $5-7 million.

There are safer bets on the market, but Ingram could end up being one of the best value players on the market with just a slight uptick in his production. He’s a solid edge player in both pass and rush defense, and he could be a solid placeholder for the upcoming season. Ingram isn’t the prettiest option, but a solid five or six sack season would be all it takes to make this deal worth it.