Austin Collie Adds Much-Needed Depth to Banged Up Wide Receiver Corps on Patriots’ Roster (Mailbag)

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It’s been a busy couple days in Foxboro.

Stevan Ridley is banged up, the team added four players to the injury report, Vince Wilfork hasn’t gone on injured reserve yet and the team signed Austin Collie, according to a source. That’s not to mention the continuing recovery of Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski.

In order to tackle all of those subjects in one post, I thought, “what better time for a mailbage.”

We’ll start with the most multi-pronged question from my longtime follower @deejhaysun:

Why is Aqib Talib not getting the elite CB discussion he has earned?
Thoughts on Jamie Collins’ ceiling? Is Brandon Spikes in Foxboro next year? 

What’s Ryan Mallet’s future? Armond Armstead’s?
Julian Edelman should be starter even after Amendola returns, he’s earned that.
Oh also, M&Ms or Skittles?

-@deejhaysun 

Since the questions were rapid fire, I’ll answer them as such.

-I think Talib is starting to get mentioned with the elite cornerbacks of the NFL. He deserves it for how he’s played this year.

-Collins is a hard player to forecast. I think he could be a very good cover linebacker who had the ability to rush the quarterback from the edge. I wouldn’t be shocked to see some 3-4 alignments with Collins at outside linebacker and Rob Ninkovich at defensive end.

-At this rate, I don’t expect Spikes back, but a lot can change.

-I think the Patriots try their hardest to trade Mallett for decent value this offseason.

-There’s varying reports out about Armstead. I’ve heard he’s not very close to coming back.

-Agreed on Edelman.

-M&Ms, especially if we’re talking the peanut or almond varieties.

How far will the Chiefs make it this year?
-@Xpigtiav 

I think the Chiefs are legit this year. I don’t expect them to challenge the Broncos, but I think they’ll be in the playoffs.

Alex Smith may feel screwed by Jim Harbaugh after what went down last year, but I think the 49ers’ head coach helped Smith out quite a bit while they were in San Francisco together. Smith still can’t throw downfield, but he’s looked like a different, more confident player.

Kansas City had a lot of nice pieces in place last year. They just didn’t have a quarterback or head coach. Now that those are solidified, they have a shot at competing this year.

Should the Patriots re-sign Talib now or try and wait until seasons end? They could still franchise him, but that’s $10 million for one year. He’s proven his worth.
-@natehask 

I think Talib is an elite cornerback, but it’s in the team’s best interest to wait. I think the Patriots should franchise him. Talib is a play you like to have a short leash. The franchise tag will be a lot of money, but a long-term deal would likely be even more guaranteed money.

Talib is playing his best football right now on a one-year deal. The Patriots could double that contract and it would still be a bargain if Talib is playing at this level next year.

What are the chances Danny Amendola, Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson and Stevan Ridley play on Sunday? How will Austin Collie work in this offense?
-@TGoodale 

If I had to list them by most likely to least likely to play, it would go Thompkins, Ridley, Dobson, Amendola. I don’t expect Amendola to play on Sunday, but I would not be shocked if he did suit up. It looks like he’s close from what I saw at practice.

I don’t expect Collie to be around for very long this season. I think they signed a receiver because they have four players at that position on the injury report (Matthew Slater is the fourth). Collie’s a smart player who should be able to pick up the offense quick enough to possibly compete this year. He was used as a slot receiver in Indianapolis, but he can also play outside.

Do you think we sign Julian Edelman again and what kind of deal?
-@Sangulo9 

If he keeps playing at the same level, he may be out of the Patriots’ price range. It would be great to have Edelman back, especially given Amendola’s injury concerns, but Edelman is playing like a starting receiver, and the team already has Thompkins, Dobson and Boyce waiting in the wings and getting better every day.

Re-signing Talib was the best decision this team made during the offseason. Re-signing Edelman comes in a close second, though.

Have a question for Doug Kyed? Send it to him via Twitter at @DougKyedNESN or send it here.

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