The Patriots’ stars, for the most part, lived up to expectations in the 2019 season.
While the campaign as a whole was beneath his standards, Tom Brady still threw for over 4,000 yards. Julian Edelman corralled 100 catches and set a new career high in receiving yards, and a Defensive Player of the Year Award soon could be coming Stephon Gilmore’s way. New England’s household names deserve proper praise for helping the franchise collect an 11th consecutive AFC East title, but the under-the-radar players cannot be overlooked.
Included in this bunch is Danny Shelton, who bounced back from a disappointing 2018 season and shined in his second go-around in Foxboro. In fact, NFL.com believes the 26-year-old defensive tackle was the Patriots’ unsung hero in 2019.
“Shelton was a disappointment during his first year with the Patriots following a trade with the Browns,” Adam Rank wrote. “It seemed like the kind of move that always works out for the Patriots, but it didn’t. At least not until this season. Shelton played a huge role in the middle for New England and finished tied for third on the team in tackles. He had a monster play against the Bengals in Week 15 that helped turn the tide for the Patriots, who looked like they were about to careen out of the playoffs.”
Shelton did himself well by turning things around this past season. The five-year veteran is set to become a free agent in mid-March, and there’s a chance he’ll cash in with a team looking for a boost in the trenches.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images