Patriots Rumors: New England Has ‘Couple Targets’ For Linebacker Help

New England has three linebackers set to hit free agency


Mar 9, 2022

There’s at least a chance that Kyle Van Noy, Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Ja’Whaun Bentley all won’t be wearing Patriots uniforms next season. Even if only a couple of them leave in free agency, New England will have holes to fill at linebacker.

The Patriots apparently are acting as if they want their linebacking corps to look different in 2022. In fact, New England already has identified at least two potential additions this offseason, according to NFL Media’s Mike Giardi.

“The other area that has drawn a lot of attention for the Patriots is the LB position,” Giardi tweeted Wednesday. “I’m told they’ve identified a couple targets (this was pre-Bobby Wagner release) to supplement what’s currently on the roster. (i.e. not Earth-shakers, at least not as of a few days ago.)”

As Giardi mentioned, Wagner, one of the best linebackers in football, now is available. You can click here for our breakdown on why the Patriots absolutely should give the 31-year old a call.

Following Van Noy’s release Monday, the Patriots now have the following nine linebackers under contract:

— Matthew Judon
— Chase Winovich
— Josh Uche
— Anfernee Jennings
— Harvey Langi
— Cameron McGrone
— Jahlani Tavai
— Raekwon McMillan
— Ronnie Perkins

Four of those players didn’t play at all last season, while two played sparingly. Uche and Winovich both were relative afterthoughts on defense, and Judon was sensational before regressing down the stretch.

The good news: The Patriots don’t appear willing to run it back with the same group. How big they swing in looking for help remains to be seen, but Judon clearly likes the idea of New England making a run at Wagner.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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