The Patriots just won another Super Bowl — their sixth in franchise history — so it’s understandable if most folks in New England haven’t given the NFL offseason much thought.
But free agency and the NFL draft will be here before you know it, and the next few months could go a long way toward determining whether the Patriots repeat as champions or another team ascends to the top of the football mountain.
ESPN.com published an article Friday with “bold” 2019 offseason predictions for each of the 32 teams. Mike Reiss provided the Patriots-centric prediction, which centers around New England’s offense and the weapons available to quarterback Tom Brady.
Here’s what Reiss wrote:
The Patriots load up at receiver.
Similar to 2007, when they traded for Randy Moss and Wes Welker, New England will bring in a few receivers following a season in which they were limited at the position. Whether that’s early in the draft, in free agency or via trade, the cupboard will be well-stocked.
This probably is music to Brady’s ears after a 2018 season in which New England’s offense failed to meet its typically dominant standards. Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski were trusted targets, particularly during the playoffs, and Josh Gordon made an impact before being suspended in December, but Brady has worked with far more impressive receiving groups over the years. The Patriots frequently used a run-heavy approach this season as a result.
Brady will turn 42 years old in August, so perhaps it’s unrealistic to think he’ll duplicate the numbers he posted during his most elite seasons. A few extra playmakers sure wouldn’t hurt, though, even if the Patriots continue to lean more heavily on Sony Michel and their collection of running backs as Brady’s career winds down.
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