The Patriots Need to Make a Splash Signing at WR
By: Eric Sojash (Twitter @SojashSports)
Kenny ‘BabyTron’ Golloday wide receiver for the Detroit Lions is set to be a Free Agent this offseason and despite an injury plague 2020 campaign, there should be plenty of teams lining up for his top-notch pass-catching abilities. Golloday led the NFL in touchdown receptions (11) in 2019 but missed the majority of last season with hip and hamstring injuries. The 27-year-old is scheduled to be a Free Agent in March and there are rumors he is looking for a new contract in the neighborhood of five years $80 million with $35-40 million guaranteed.
The Lions following another abysmal season decided to part ways with their Head coach and GM this offseason and appear to be in a full rebuild after trading Franchise QB Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for QB Jared Goff, two first-round picks, and a third-round pick. With a new regime and a plethora of picks, the Lions may look to the draft to replace Kenny G. If that is the case, these are the best landing spots for Golloday in Free Agency.
It is no secret the Ravens need more pass catchers, lacking a true number one receiving threat is a glaring hole this offense must address. Featuring one of the league’s top rushing attacks, improving the passing game should be priority numero uno for the Ravens and Coach Harbough this off-season. The addition of three times Pro Bowl WR Dez Bryant mid-season was commendable and a feel-good story but did not translate into productivity. If the Ravens and their franchise QB Lamar Jackson want to take that next step and make a legitimate Superbowl run, adding a true number one WR like Kenny G is the answer.
The Jags are the most intriguing franchises heading into the 2021 season as they have the most projected cap space, the number one pick in the draft, and a new Head Coach in Urban Meyer who’s spent the past 15 years leading the Florida Gators (2005-2010) and the Ohio State Buckeyes (2012-2018) respectively. With all signs pointing to Jags drafting QB Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick, surrounding him with legitimate proven weapons only makes sense. With young developing talents like WR D.J Charke on the outside and WR Laviska Shenault in the slot, adding Kenny G to this offense would give the Jags a versatile receiving threat defenses will struggle to stop.
New York Giants
The New York football Giants are coming off another poorest, injury-plagued season which saw their star running back Saquon Barkley lost for the second consecutive season and WR Sterling Shepard in and out of the lineup religiously. Although the win-loss record was poor, the undermanned group that took the field on Sundays, led by first-year Head Coach Joe Judge, is a group heading in the right direction. QB Daniel Jones showed improvements in his accuracy, escape ability, and pocket awareness this season despite the lack of a true number one receiving threat. WR Darius Slayton, who finished this season with 50 receptions for 751 yards and three TDs, has flashed high-level talent and play-making ability but isn’t consistent enough. Rumors were swirling in early December that the Giants were favorites to land Golladay in Free agency and I don’t see why not. Giant’s fans good things are on the horizon.
New England Patriots
The dynasty that is known as the New England Patriots is officially over. Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady has left and taken the “Patriot Way” with him to south Florida, leaving Coach Belichick and the Patriots in a complete rebuild. Assuming the Quarterback position will be addressed in the draft or free agency, the Patriot’s next position of need is at WR. Without aging and injured Julian Edelman, the Patriots relied on the likes of undrafted free agent WR Jakobi Meyers and their 2019 first-round pick WR N’Keal Harry to shoulder the receiving load this season and it failed miserably. The passing offense ended the season averaging 180.6 yards per game (third-worst in the NFL) leaving much to be improved. After retaining Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels this offseason, I expect the Patriots to be aggressive in their search for much-needed offensive talent and the likes of Kenny Golladay should be right at the top of their list.
Financially this will be a challenge as the Eagles cap space heading into 2021 is a disaster. Assuming the Eagles cut ties with veteran WRs Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson and find a trade partner for Elite pass catching TE Zach Ertz, there will be both cap space and a massive need for an upgrade at WR. Coming off a tumultuous season in which the Eagles passer rating (72.9) ranked 31st in the NFL (only the Denver Broncos ranked lower (72.5)) the Eagles must address the WR position. In the upcoming draft, the Eagles hold the sixth pick and many mock drafts predict them taking a WR with that pick. Adding Kenny G in free agency, then pairing him with last year’s first-round pick WR Jalen Reagor might be the better move and will allow the Eagles to use the sixth pick on a defensive stud or trade back for more draft capital. Golladay provides an immediate solution at the WR position while allowing the Eagles to rebuild and remain competitive heading into the 2021 season.