Just a month ago, the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in what fans are calling the greatest Super Bowl in history the history of the NFL. Even though the team just won, it did not stop them from improving their roster this offseason. Here is a recap of the biggest moves New England has made so far this offseason.
Last season, with Rob Gronkowski out for most of the season due to multiple injuries, the team turned to Martellus Bennett, who the team acquired from the Chicago Bears in a trade. Bennett made the most out of his opportunity and played great.
The problem with that is Bennett was about to become a free agent, so there was a good chance he would take off, which he did by signing with the Green Bay Packers. The team filled that hole the day before the free agency window opened, acquiring Dwayne Allen from the Indianapolis Colts for a 2017 fourth round pick.
In 14 games last season, Allen recorded 35 receptions, for 406 yards and 6 touchdowns. After a down 2015 season, Allen bounced back in 2016, recording more receptions, receiving yards, and more touchdowns.
Throughout the 2016 season, the secondary looked to be shaky at times, allowing receivers to get open for big plays and allowing quarterbacks to have big games at times. New England improved the secondary by signing a big-time free agent, which is something that the team mostly never does.
The team and cornerback Stephon Gillmore agreed on a five-year deal on the first day of free agency, as it was worth $65 million. Gillmore spent the last five seasons with the Buffalo Bills.
Last season in 15 games, Gillmore had 48 combined tackles, 5 interceptions for 125 return yards. Even though the Bills did not make the playoffs, Gillmore played a huge part of the teams secondary. Gillmore did get beat by receivers in coverage from time to time last season, but at the end of the day, he still made an impact on that Bills defense.
Rewind back to the 2007 season through 2010. The reason I am bringing this up is because that was the last time New England had a number one deep threat wide receiver, and his name was Randy Moss.
It looks like the days of New England not having a number one deep threat are over, as the team acquired Brandin Cooks and a 2017 fourth round pick from the New Orlean Saints for a 2017 first round pick and a 2017 third round pick. A report came out the day after the trade was official that New England will forfeit the Saints fourth-round pick that they acquired due to the punishment of the alleged deflated ball scandal back in 2015.
Last season in 16 games, Cooks recorded 78 receptions, for 1,173 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns which are all career high for Cooks. Even though the Saints missed out on the playoffs, Cooks was an important part of the passing game. With Drew Brees at quarterback, Cooks had an outstanding year, proving why he is a deep threat number one receiver.
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