It's never too early to put an eye on the future, and the New England Patriots are going to need to turn over every stone in order to make sure they assemble the best roster possible for next season. One unique way to upgrade your roster before free agency or the NFL Draft is through reserve/futures signings, but the Patriots (and other teams) could also look to add young players to their practice squad or roster late in the season to get a leg up on getting them incorporated into next year's program.
Part of the issue with the Patriots right now is that no one knows what the future really holds, but the pro scouting department still has a job to do, and that involves throwing some darts at talented players this time of year for a greatly discounted rate. It is rare that you will "hit" on reserve/futures contract players, but it's certainly a worthwhile risk to take.
What players could the Patriots try to bring in with some upside? Let's look at five names.
1. Bryan Edwards, WR
Bryan Edwards is a former third-round pick of the Raiders out of South Carolina who had a really solid year for them back in 2021 where he caught 34 passes for 571 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately, after being traded to the Atlanta Falcons in 2022, Edwards has fallen completely off the map and couldn't latch on with the Chiefs or Saints in offseason opportunities he received in 2023.
But he just turned 25, he's got intriguing size and speed, and Edwards is pretty much the ideal type of player you would look at on a reserve/futures contract. The talent is there, even some prior production. He's been in a funk but the Patriots need to take calculated risks this offseason, especially at receiver.