New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo has put the final touches on his coaching staff for next season as the team hired Alex Van Pelt to be the offensive coordinator.
Van Pelt spent the last four seasons with the Cleveland Browns as their offensive coordinator before being shockingly fired last month after the Browns’ Super Wild Card loss to the Houston Texans.
The former Browns offensive coordinator has a challenge in front of him as he has to fix a Pats’ offense that was ranked 31st in scoring (13.9 points per game), 26th in rushing (95.7 yards per game), and 28th in passing (180.5 yards per game).
The good news for Van Pelt is the Patriots have a ton of cap space and draft picks to work with as he tries to revamp this beleaguered offense. Speaking of cap space, there are a couple of Browns free agents that could be a nice fit in Van Pelt’s offense with the Patriots.
Below, we’ll look at a few Browns players that Van Pelt could lure to New England and hopefully produce a spark.
1. Kareem Hunt
There’s a chance that the Patriots won’t be bringing back Ezekiel Elliott, leaving an opening at the RB2 spot behind Rhamondre Stevenson. New England could fill the void with a rookie RB or go with an established option in Kareem Hunt.
Hunt was a weapon inside the red zone for the Browns this season, as he scored a career-high nine rushing touchdowns. He was a perfect complement to second-year running back Jerome Ford as Cleveland lost Nick Chubb to a season-ending knee injury in September.
If the Patriots signed Hunt, he would be used to spell Stevenson but also out of the backfield as a pass catcher. The veteran running back didn’t get a lot of targets this season (21). However, he averaged 41.5 targets per season between 2019 and 2022.
With Elliott set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, the only other running backs on the roster outside of Stevenson, as Kevin Harris and JaMycal Hasty. Harris only had 123 yards from scrimmage on 19 touches and a touchdown.
Therefore, Hunt would be an immediate upgrade and someone that the Patriots need to think about signing, especially if they will be rolling with a rookie quarterback next season.