ESPN Writer Suggests Five Moves Patriots Should Make This Offseason


Feb 25, 2019

The New England Patriots will enter the 2019 NFL season as the defending Super Bowl champions.

Ho-hum, right?

It’s familiar territory for the Patriots — winners of six titles since the 2001 season — but don’t bank on New England resting on its laurels and expecting more success based on what it has accomplished in the past. The Patriots have several questions they must answer this offseason, and the moves Bill Belichick makes — or doesn’t make — in the coming months could impact New England’s chances of repeating.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell recently spent some time breaking down the first five moves he believes each NFL team should make this offseason. He made his suggestions for the Patriots while addressing the AFC East in a piece published last week on

Here’s what Barnwell thinks the Pats must do to kick off their offseason:

1. Extend Tom Brady’s deal.
2. Convince Rob Gronkowski to return (or get a very notable replacement).
3. Let Trent Brown leave, and try to bring back Trey Flowers.
4. Add help on the defensive line.
5. Find a punter.

You can read more about Barnwell’s suggestions by clicking here.

Overall, it’s hard to argue with any of those moves. The futures of Brady and Gronkowski have been discussed ad nauseam, but there’s no denying their importance to New England’s continued success. Brady, who turns 42 in August, is under contract through next season and has said he wants to play until he’s 45. Gronkowski, meanwhile, currently is contemplating retirement for the second straight February.

The best-case scenario for the Patriots would be to sign Brady to a contract extension that gives New England some additional salary cap flexibility for 2019 and enter next season with him still throwing balls to Gronkowski, one of the best tight ends in NFL history.

The rest of Barnwell’s list is a bit more debatable, but Flowers has evolved into such an important part of New England’s defense. The edge defender’s price tag ultimately might prove too high in free agency, but it certainly would make sense for the Patriots to explore bringing him back, even if it means moving on from Brown. As Barnwell mentions, New England could use some extra D-line depth regardless of whether Flowers returns.

When it comes to the Patriots’ punting situation, let’s take a minute to appreciate how good Allen was in Super Bowl LIII. Then, let’s remember we’re talking about a punter and that the Patriots might not be too worried about finding a serviceable replacement if Allen walks in free agency.

Click for more about the Patriots’ possible moves >>

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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