By: Steve Balestrieri
With the news that the New England Patriots have parted ways with Wes Welker and brought in Danny Amendola, the team has definitely had an interesting second day of Free Agency after a mainly quiet one on Tuesday.
While Amendola has been signed, many Patriots fans are asking themselves if he was signed to replace Welker and the easy answer is, no the team can’t replace Welker or his production with a single player. I would imagine that they’ll attempt to re-sign Julian Edleman now or perhaps Josh Cribbs, whom they were linked to earlier on Tuesday.
But that won’t be all I think this offense will have a definite different look to it next season. I would expect them to make another move for a free agent WR soon and I believe that Aaron Hernandez will be used much more as a wide-out next season than as a tight end with Rob Gronkowski, Jake Ballard, Daniel Fells and Michael Hoomanawanui lined up there.
There remains a lot of work to do with the defense, especially the cornerback situation and the Patriots need two. They are rumored to be high on Aqib Talib returning and while the Redskins were rumored to be looking at him, they don’t have the free cash to make a serious run at him.
The Patriots made a lot of moves last season during the first week and I would expect much more this week.
During the 2012 first week of free agency the Patriots signed Steve Gregory, Brandon Lloyd, Marquice Cole, Trevor Scott, and Daniel Fells who all played valuable roles during the season. They also swung and missed on Anthony Gonzales and Jonathan Fanene.
The key for the Patriots early in the process will be the re-signing of those free agents remaining on their own roster that they want to bring back and there are plenty of them.
Jake Ballard (Exclusive rights Free Agent)
Michael Hoomanawanui (tendered offer)
At the same time, you can expect them to address the free agent needs they feel will help them filling holes in the roster. While many fans concentrate on the big name, high priced players available, that usually isn’t the team’s M.O. in free agency. With Free Agency just under 30 hours old, it is already shaping up to be a very interesting week as things at Patriot Place heat up….Stay tuned for the next chapter.