Since Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli seem to draft and sign free-agents in a manner inconsistent with the rest of the NFL, it makes it that much more difficult for us armchair quarterbacks to ascertain their intentions in the offseason. Even so, that doesn’t mean I won’t take a crack at it. Let’s see who’s out there on the post-March 1st free-agent market that could be a fit for the 2005 New England Patriots:
Tebucky Jones is rumored to be on the bubble to possibly be released the Saints. Hey, there’s that veteran safety the Patriots were looking for! Umm, no, maybe not. I still think Arturo Freeman is a better fit if the Patriots go the free-agent way for another safety. But as I had stated in an earlier blog entry, Guss Scott or Dex Reid could be next year’s breakout star safety.
Correll Buckhalter, the oft-injured Eagles back-up running back, could be a good fit behind Corey Dillon as a back-up and injury contingency. Of course, Belichick may see something in Cedric Cobbs that I sure as heck didn’t see in his limited playing time that would make him a viable back up.
Sam Cowart, formerly of the Jets, may be a stopgap solution at ILB with Tedy Bruschi’s future up in the air. Ditto for Junior Seau if the Dolphins release him for cap reasons. Edgarton Hartwell would be a great fit at ILB for the Patriots, but I doubt they’ll pay him what he wants after being in Ray Lewis’s media hog shadow. But he, like Cowart, has 3-4 experience. Antonio Pierce, like Seau a 4-3 MLB, is a heck of a player who was overshadowed by media hog/underachiever MLB Levar Arrington in Washington.
Are the Patriots ever going to sign a free-agent guard that we’ve heard of or who doesn’t quit in training camp? Is it even necessary? Tampa Bay’s Casey Coleman is one I’d love to see in the red, white, & blue, or maybe Marco Rivera of Green Bay. But Belichick will likely bring in Joe Schmoe, an undrafted free-agent from Yokel State, who will get coached by Dante Scarnecchia and go from being a final cut to practice squad player to back-up guard to Super Bowl starter by the end of season. Oh yeah, is Belichick’s first New England draft pick, Adrien Klemm, the king of the injured reserve, going to resign? Is he ever going to play again? Is Klemm a synonym for Eugene Chung?
Pat Williams from Buffalo is a 4-3 DT who has the size, strength, and quickness to be a dominant NT in the 3-4 defense. Of course, the Patriots spent a first-round pick on NT when Vince Wilfork, a top ten-pick talent, inexplicably lasted until their pick. Of course, Williams probably wants about $3 million a year and likely could get it in this free-agent market.
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