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The Patriots have won the Super Bowl. But that's no reason not to reload, like they've been doing for the last nearly two decades. After losing important free agents like Trey Flowers and Cordarrelle Patterson, the Patriots find themselves in need of more receivers and edge rushers. While it's not exactly a dire need, they should probably be filled sooner rather than later. How could the Patriots add to their roster in free agency and trades?
Randall Cobb: While he's not the biggest name, his versatility is rivaled by few in the NFL. Bill Belichick has made it known that he's a fan of Cobb, and it's easy to see why. Injuries limited Cobb to 9 games in 2018, but the former Kentucky quarterback has shown he can do it all in his career. He can catch passes, run the ball, return kickoffs and punts, and even pass the ball if necessary. He can fill the Cordarrelle Patterson role, and he might be even better than Patterson was. He isn't as athletic as CP and doesn't have CP's blazing speed, but he's just as versatile and probably a better football player than CP is.
Pierre Garcon: Garcon is the longest-tenured player on either side of the ball on this list. An 11 year NFL veteran, Garcon is coming off of back to back injury-filled seasons with the 49ers. However, just before he went to San Francisco, he was still productive for the Washington Redskins, posting over 1000 yards in 2016. He also led the NFL in receptions in 2013. And just remember: Garcon hasn't had a great quarterback since he was on the Colts with Peyton Manning all the way back in 2010.
Michael Crabtree: Crabtree had some of the best hands in the history of the NFL when he entered the league. In his ten NFL seasons since then, he's been kind of a letdown, only going over 1000 yards twice. But I would argue that it isn't really his fault. His quarterbacks since he came into the league have been mediocre at best and bad at worst. Alex Smith. Colin Kaepernick. Derek Carr. Joe Flacco. His best quarterback was probably Lamar Jackson, and even he needs to work on his passing. Getting him a quarterback like Tom Brady would be nothing but good for him, even as he starts to decline.
Demaryius Thomas: Another former Peyton Manning receiver, Thomas posted five consecutive seasons with over 1000 yards from 2012-16, then posted 949 in 2017. His 2018 was a bit of a down year, but to be fair, he did change teams for the first time in his career, and half of the season, his quarterback ess Case Keenum. He's probably the biggest name on this list, and adding him would make a solid 1-2 punch with Josh Gordon, and even if Gordon isn't cleared for whatever reason, he'd still draw the #1 corner to let guys like Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, and Braxton Berrios do their thing against other defensive backs.
Eric Berry: A former All-Pro, Berry has made the Pro Bowl in every season he's been healthy. The problem is he just can't stay healthy. He missed 15 games in 2012 with a torn ACL. He missed 10 games in 2014 with cancer. He missed 15 games in 2017 with an Achilles injury. He missed 14 games in 2018 with bone spurs. So, would signing Berry even be worth it after his injury history? Well, maybe. He can't stay healthy. But signing him on a relatively small contract on the off chance he stays on the field could vastly improve the Patriots secondary. However, despite Berry's talent, that might be too much to ask.
Justin Houston: The Patriots need edge help. Michael Bennett and Deatrich Wise won't cut it. Re-signing John Simon and having Derek Rivers come back from injury is a start, but losing Trey Flowers is huge. Just like Eric Berry, Houston is a former Chief. His best season was back in 2014, when he recorded 22.0 sacks. Even in 2018, his 9.0 sacks were 1.5 more than the Patriots 2018 leader, Trey Flowers. Add to that Houston is just turning 30, and it's not at all a stretch to say he still has a few years left of sacking quarterbacks at a high level. However, Houston does have a bit of an injury history, although nothing like Berry's. He tore his ACL in 2015, and that prematurely ended his season. This injury also kept him out the first 11 games of 2016. He does miss a few games here and there every season, but that's mostly due to age and not any major injuries except for his ACL tear. A contract for him should also be relatively cheap.
Emmanuel Ogbah: Ogbah is kind of a wild card. He recorded only 3.0 sacks last season, but he's only 25. He hasn't begun to fulfill his potential yet. He's currently the odd man out in Cleveland, and the Browns are looking to trade him. Myles Garrett and the Browns trade for Olivier Vernon have essentially overshadowed him. His asking price shouldn't be too high either, because he hasn't been doing a lot in the NFL, even though he was a former second round pick. Even though the Patriots have six picks in the first 101, they shouldn't have to touch too many of them to make a potential Ogbah trade work.
And there are players the Patriots should take a look at. However, it's unlike Bill Belichick to go after any big names, even if those “big names” aren’t really that big. Of course, they can still swing a trade for almost anyone within reason with their aforementioned early round picks. And there's nothing really stopping Belichick from signing someone not on this list, or just getting another no name receiver for depth. He could also keep all of his picks in this draft class and try to fill up the Patriots that way.