Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald takes a look at the Patriots options at the wide receiver position as they prepare for the offseason.
According to Howe, the receiver position needs a “dose of reinvigoration.”
It appears as though the Patriots biggest decision centers around impending free agent WR Julian Edelman who is expected to secure a similar contract to the one signed by Danny Amendola last year — five years, $31 million.
Howe writes that although they could target a receiver in this year’s draft, it probably makes more sense for them focus on other positions of need such as defensive line and tight end in the early portion of the draft.
That brings us to potential free agent options.
Howe mentions Jeremy Maclin and Hakeem Nicks as the best options the team could consider as well as lower priced receivers targets like: Anquan Boldin, Golden Tate, Emmanuel Sanders, Nate Burleson, Riley Cooper, Kenny Britt and Brandon LaFell.
Assuming that the Patriots decide to part ways with Edelman get bigger at receiver, Howe suggests offering Nicks a two-year deal worth $7 million to $10 million, depending of course on the amount of interest he finds on the open market.
Nicks, 25, has previously mentioned that he would like to back re-sign with the Giants, but it increasing looks like he’ll be playing elsewhere in 2014.
Nicks should be one of the more interesting free agents to watch this offseason, considering that he is among the best available options. Although, he has never played a full season for the Giants and did not catch a single touchdown in 2013. Nicks put together back-to-back solid season in 2010 and 2011, but has since seen his overall production dip in the past two years.
The Patriots don’t have an exorbitant amount of cap space to work with, but a few roster moves could put them in position to target a veteran who’s value on the open market dips to some degree. I can’t see New England getting in a bidding way with anyone, but I’m sure they’ll be checking in on a number of players.
We have him listed as the No. 30 player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.