Patriots Linked to Big-Name WR After Mike Evans' Extension

NFL free agency is on the horizon and the Pats are looking to upgrade the roster, especially at WR.

Jan 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13)
Jan 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

We are less than a week away from the legal tampering period opening up, allowing players and teams to begin talking. The Patriots should be aggressive as they are sitting on $101 million in salary cap per OvertheCap.

They had a lackluster offense in 2023 and will certainly be looking to upgrade the unit. The Patriots reportedly had an interest in pursuing WR Mike Evans before he inked a two-year, $52 million extension. With Evans off the market, the Patriots have to shift their focus onto a new playmaker.

Patriots Rumors: New England Will Pivot their Focus to Calvin Ridley

The Athletic's Chad Graff believes the Patriots have their eyes on Jacksonville Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley. Graff said, "Receiver Calvin Ridley (Jaguars) will be a free agent and could match the productivity of Evans over the next three years. The Patriots will probably pivot to making him their top priority now."

Ridley is a smooth route runner and has a knack for doing damage after the catch. The Alabama product would immediately become the No. 1 weapon in Foxborough. In five seasons, Ridley has recorded 324 receptions for 4,358 receiving yards, and 36 touchdowns.

The Patriots haven't had a receiver log more than 1,000 receiving yards since Julian Edelman in 2019 (1,117). In the modern-day NFL, that is a long stretch to go without a dominating playmaker on the outside.

Last season, Ridley had 76 receptions for 1,016 yards and eight touchdowns. Getting an upgrade at WR is a must for New England and Ridley would be an enticing option.

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