Welcome back to my Patriots’ free agency series. Last time around, we covered the bigger name free agents. This time we shall be focusing on the smaller name free agents. We will be finishing up with the rest of the Patriots’ unrestricted free agents. So shut up and let’s break it down in my quick hits style.
Position: Defensive End
- Probably the biggest name left on this list.
- Regressed after last season.
- Sheard only had 5 sacks this season but had 8 the year before.
- Decent pass rusher but needs a star on the other end to be effective.
Stays?: Probably not, considering another team will probably overpay for him.
Position: Offensive Tackle
- Vollmer missed the entire 2016 season due to an injury.
- Unfortunately, Vollmer is 32 years old.
- Was great before his injury and essential in the Patriots Super Bowl 49 victory.
- On the plus side, he teaches German to the rest of the team.
Stays?: Highly unlikely unless Vollmer is willing to take a major pay cut. Another team will pick up this veteran lineman, but unlikely to be resigned.
Position: Wide Receiver
- Probably the most interesting name left on the list.
- Floyd drank his way into a Super Bowl with the Patriots after being cut by the Cardinals.
- Former first round pick that has shown flashes of great play but no consistency.
- Only had 1 good game with the Patriots.
- The Patriots were the only team to put a claim in for Floyd after being cut.
Stays?: Hard to tell, I expect a receiver-needy team (Eagles) to put in a bid for the former first rounder.
Position: Linebacker/Defensive End/Special Teamer
- Best name on this list. I mean look at it. Barkevious. It’s fun just to say.
- Former first round bust traded from the Browns.
- Did not live up to potential even with Bill Belichick coaching him up.
- Barely played on defense, mostly had special teams snaps.
Stays?: Only if Bill decides he is not done with the Mingo project. Also if Mingo decides to sign a real cheap contract.
Position: Defensive End
- 31-year-old veteran.
- Former Rams defensive end.
- Signed with Patriots to pursue a Superbowl ring.
- Had a bit left in his tank, but clearly past his prime.
Stays?: Hard to tell. If Long does not retire, he will probably go to a team in a nice city to finish up his career.
- Decent safety, but plays behind Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung.
- Has this uncanny ability to get late-game interceptions to close out games.
- Went to Rutgers, so is clearly loved by Bill Belichick.
- Could have great potential as a starter.
Stays?: As much as I would like him to stay, another team will most likely overpay for Harmon.
- The beef head with a degree from Brown University.
- A gritty grinder who worked hard to get into the NFL.
- Second best fullback in the NFL according to PFF.
- Really helped in the run game this year.
- Running game suffered when Develin was injured last year.
Stays?: Absolutely. I do not think Develin wants to leave this team.
Position: Defensive Tackle
- A veteran at 32 years old.
- Still, has gas left in his tank.
- A Vital part of the Patriots success against the running game.
- Had off the field issues before Bill Belichick worked his black magic.
- Definitely happy on the Patriots.
Stays?: I would say most likely. However, Branch may want to find a warm weather team to ride out his final years in the league. Maybe Branch and Long will go together.
Position: Running back/ Special Teamer
- Still fairly young at 27 years old.
- Mostly plays on special teams.
- Core special teamer along with Matthew Slater and Brandon King.
- Occasionally plays on offense usually as a change-of-pace back.
Stays?: Yes. Most likely will not get attention from another team.
Position: Tight End
- No, seriously, who?
- “He was placed on injured reserve on October 15, 2016, with a knee injury after being inactive for the first two games he was on the Patriots roster” – Wikipedia
- Oh. Ok.
Stays?: Maybe? I don’t know. Scruggs has been a backup for his career so Bill may not even resign him.
That does it for all of the Patriots unrestricted free agents for 2017. Now you are all educated on football. Look at you, all grown up and talking football with your peers. I am so proud.