The New England Patriots may focus on skill positions in free agency this offseason and players like Matt Forte, Anquan Boldin and Percy Harvin could be potential targets for the team. The Pats could target someone like Braxton Miller in the second round of the draft, as the team does not have a first round pick this year.
The Patriots dealt with a number of injuries on offense last season and that could spark the team to target that side of the ball in free agency. Mike Reiss at ESPN Boston writes that "offensive skill positions rank as top needs" for the team this offseason. Reiss writes that running back Matt Forte could be a potential target for the Patriots, as the team has Dion Lewis coming back from ACL surgery and may not sign back LeGarrette Blount as a free agent.
Reiss writes that the Patriots may "explore the possibility" of signing Forte and that the running back "could be a perfect fit" for the team on offense. Reiss writes that the Patriots put an emphasis on catching the ball out of the backfield and that is one thing that Forte excels at. Forte said last week on the NFL Network that he is not concerned about money and that he is looking to "win Super Bowls." New England would be a good fit for Forte if that is what his main concern is moving forward.
Forte had his worst season last year during his time in Chicago, but he still was very productive and that should make him a target for teams on the market. Over the past three seasons Forte has combined to catch over 200 balls out of the backfield and in three of the past four seasons he has rushed for over 1000 yards.
Reiss writes that the wide receiver position is an area of need as well and that the Patriots could consider veteran free agent options like Anquan Boldin or James Jones. The team will have Julian Edelman and Keshawn Martin back, while Danny Amendola could be a cap casualty with his $5 million salary. Brandon LaFell also could be on the chopping block after dealing with injuries and inconsistency last season.
The Patriots may look at wide receiver options in the NFL draft and one name that keeps popping up in connection with the team is Braxton Miller. According to Tony Pauline at Draftinsider.net, the Patriots, Chiefs and Steelers have shown interest in the Ohio State receiver. Miller is a former quarterback and the Patriots have shown they like former QBs who play wide receiver, ie Julian Edelman. Miller could be a nice fit in the second round if he lasts through the first set of picks and he comes in after putting up over 500 total yards rushing and receiving last season.