Tom Brady did his best to make something out of nothing this season, but during parts of the year the injuries to the offense were simply too much to overcome. Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski all missed time during the year for various injuries while Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount were both lost at certain times. That has the Patriots looking to get involved in the free agent market this offseason in order to add depth to help prevent downfall if another injury happens.
According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, the Patriots will add another offensive threat to the roster this offseason. The first thing the team must do is evaluate the current state of the roster. Edelman is the clear top receiver for Brady, but there are questions after that. LaFell has one more year left on his contract while Amendola has two years with a $6 million and $7 million cap hit. Reiss reports that it is not crazy only one of the two players returns in 2016 while someone gets added.
According to the Boston Herald, neither LaFell nor Amendola are guaranteed anything in 2016. Releasing Amendola can save the Patriots $4.1 million. His value did rise in 2015 as he stepped up following the loss of Edelman. If New England wants to keep someone, it could be him. LaFell did not have the 2015 season the Patriots needed from him thanks to injuries. The team would save $2.67 million by releasing him. After those two, Aaron Dobson, Keshawn Martin and Chris Harper make up the rest of the receivers meaning the Patriots need to add to the roster in order to help Brady in 2016.
With Edelman as their No.1, the Patriots need a No.2 and there are plenty available on the free agent market. Reiss lists off several options including Marvin Jones, Rishard Matthews and Travis Benjamin who should all be very affordable for the team. Anquan Boldin would be a solid veteran option, but not good for the long-term. All four players would do well with the arm of Brady and the help of Edelman.
The receiver position is not the only thing that will be get reviewed by the Patriots. The team must determine whether or not to bring Blount back in 2016 or chase someone else. With Lewis set to return, the Patriots have flexibility. Matt Forte would be a solid short-term option for New England while Chris Ivory, Alfred Morris and Lamar Miller are all expected to be available once the free agent market opens up. The Patriots need to add a body to the run game with so many expiring contracts on the roster.