Whole Nine Sports

New England Patriots Offseason Grade

New England Patriots
Dylan Sanders
Follow him on Twitter @DillySanders
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Retirements

Rob Gronkowski

TE Rob Gronkowski – This is a big one, it’s hard to replace arguably the best Tight End of all time. Granted, he hasn’t been the same player as of late. However, they look to have gotten worse as Austin Seferian-Jenkins looks to be their starter at the position.

Impact: 10/10

Re-Signings

Jason McCourty

CB Jason McCourty – The Patriots brought back their newest McCourty brother for 2 more years for only $10 million. He played well last year and his return should shock no-one. Especially after his crucial play against Brandin Cooks in the Super Bowl.

Grade: A

Impact: 7/10

Phillip Dorsett

WR Phillip Dorsett – After finally finding a solid home in 2018, the young receiver will be returning on a one-year deal. He had 32 catches for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns, expect those numbers to grow this season.

Grade: B

Impact: 6/10

Ryan Allen

P Ryan Allen – He’s been their punter for the last 5 years and should continue to be a very solid contributor to their team for a while. Nothing flashy, but a good get on a one-year deal.

Grade: B

Impact: 7/10

Stephen Gostkowski

K Stephen Gostkowski – After 13 years in the NFL and 13 years as a Patriot, all will be the same as the Patriots brought him back for a 2 year deal. The career 87.4% kicker should be just as great as usual.

Grade: A

Impact: 8/10

Jonathan Jones

CB Jonathan Jones – The depth CB is bringing his talents back to Foxborough after a career high 3 interceptions. He was brought back on his 2nd-round tender. He is a solid depth guy who can be thrown on fast receivers if need be.

Grade: C+

Impact 5/10

Cuts

Dwayne Allen

TE Dwayne Allen – Allen was mainly a backup, run-blocking TE and seems to most likely have just been a cap casualty. They freed up $7.3 million with the move.

Grade: B

Impact: 5/10

Adrian Clayborn

DE Adrian Clayborn – Clayborn was cut to free up cap space after they didn’t see a need for him after trading for another player at his position. However, they could have kept him around for depth at the position because they also lost Trey Flowers. They freed up 3.5 million by cutting him.

Grade: C

Impact: 5/10

Players Lost in Free Agency

Trey Flowers

DE Trey Flowers – The team leader in sacks and QB hits will be a big loss after he signed with the Lions. He is a very talented and young player who will be hard to replace immediately.

Impact: 9/10

Trent Brown

OT Trent Brown – Brown was swept up by the Raiders who made him the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history. His most likely replacement is Yodny Cajuste who they drafted this year. It’ll be a hard player to replace with a rookie.

Impact: 8/10

Cordarrelle Patterson

WR/RB Cordarrelle Patterson – Patterson had an okay year, but let’s be real. The Patriots can easily plug someone else into his role. They’ve done it before with success and will probably do again.

Impact: 4/10

Malcom Brown

DT Malcom Brown – The young DT started all 4 seasons he was on the Patriots roster for, but never really got a chance to shine in this system. He played on about 44% of the snaps last year.

Impact: 5/10

LaAdrian waddle

OT LaAdrian Waddle – A solid backup for the Patriots for a little over 3 seasons, he got signed by the Bills. This loss will mainly on mean something to them as they have very little depth at the position.

Impact: 3/10

Free Agency Signings

Terrence Brooks

S Terrence Brooks – If someone could be listed as a special teams player as their position in the Depth Chart, this would be the guy. He played about 400 snaps on special teams on the Jets but will now be a Pat for the next 2 seasons. Not a flashy pickup but a very solid one.

Grade: B

Impact: 6/10

Matt LaCosse

TE Matt LaCosse – They needed depth at TE very badly and they found it in Denver. He had 24 catches for 250 yards and a TD.

Grade: C+

Impact: 4/10

Mike Pennel

DL Mike Pennel – The solid run-stuffer never missed a game over his 2 years as a Jet and signed to the Patriots for a mere $5 mil over 2 seasons. He has a great story as an undrafted player with a solid career so far. He is set to fill the Danny Shelton/Malcolm Brown position well. A great low-risk high reward move by the Patriots that fell under the radar.

Grade: A-

Impact: 7/10

Austin Seferian-Jenkins

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Their new starting TE has hopefully found a permanent home in New England. His 4th team in his short career, is very friendly for pass-catchers as they have one of the best of all time throwing at him. Not a huge pick-up but should be serviceable in their offense.

Grade: C+

Impact: 6/10

Trade(s)

Michael Bennett

Patriots trade: 2020 fifth-round pick

Eagles trade: DE Michael Bennett and a 2020 seventh-round pick

What an extremely small price to pay for someone who will be a great contributor for the team. He is 33 years old, but in 2018 he snagged nine sacks and 30 QB hits which would’ve led the team last year.

Grade: A

Impact: 8/10

Draft Picks

N'Keal HArry

Pick 1.32 WR N’Keal Harry – Man, I love this pick so much. Harry was my personal favorite WR in this deep,deep class. WR was their biggest draft need and they found someone who I was sure would go before 32. With a great size at 6’2, 228 pounds he is one of the best contested-ball catchers I have ever seen. He found a great home in New England and he will surely become a household name.

Grade: A+

Impact: 10/10

JoeJuan Williams

Pick 2.45 CB JoeJuan Williams, Vanderbilt – They continue to draft for size by grabbing the huge 6’3 211 pound corner. They must’ve really wanted him as they gave up the 2nd round/56th overall pick and the 3rd round/101st overall pick to move up to 45 and grab him. He has solid potential, but could find a hard time finding major playing time outside of being a great match-up guy in the crowded New England cornerback room.

Grade: C+

Impact: 6/10

Chase Winovich

Pick 3.77 EDGE Chase Winovich, Michigan – I loved Chase Winovich in the draft and them getting him at 77th is a great get especially as they fill a need with Trey Flowers leaving. His past 2 seasons have found him tallying a total 34.5 tackles for a loss and 13.5 sacks. He has a huge personality so that will be interesting to see work out with the reserved Patriot way. Though, if they could handle Gronk they can handle anyone.

Grade: A+

Impact: 7/10

Damien Harris

Pick 3.87 RB Damien Harris, Alabama – Not a need at all, but a great value for who many considered the best RB in the class. He was not only valuable at Alabama as a player, but as a leader. He rocked the field as a runner but also blocked a punt on special teams. Love the player, love the pick. The only downside is how many RBs they already have. The future tandem on Sony Michel and Damien Harris should have Patriots fans’ mouths watering for sure though.

Grade: A

Impact: 5/10

Yodny Cajuste

Pick 3.101 OT Yodny Cajuste, West Virginia – Getting a day one starter after pick 100 is never a bad thing. He’s a fantastic pass protector who stands at 6’5 315 pounds. Good footwork to boot. He will be a starter in Foxborough for YEARS to come. He also saves them from having Isaiah Wynn starting. Great pick.

Grade: A+

Impact: 10/10

Hjalte Froholdt

Pick 4.118 IOL Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas – The player I consider to be the biggest reach. I’m not really feeling this pick too much. A good connection with his old coach Bret Bielema being on the staff. Wasn’t a need, but not a completely terrible pick.

Grade: C-

Impact: 4/10

Jarrett Stidham

Pick 4.133 QB Jarrett Stidham, Auburn – To say I’m not a fan of Jarrett Stidham would be an understatement. I just don’t see what everyone else sees. I get that they eventually need to replace Tom Brady, but Stidham is not that guy. If they really wanted a QB this year they still could’ve waited until later.

Grade: D

Impact: 1/10

Byron Cowart

Pick 5.159 DL Byron Cowart, Maryland – He has the size and versatility to become a quality DT in the NFL, but he hasn’t really produced very well. He won’t be seeing much playing time in a crowded DT position, but should be a good prospect.

Grade: C-

Impact: 3/10

Jake Bailey

Pick 5.163 P Jake Bailey, Stanford – Not at all a need, but his huge leg could see him become a quality kickoff-specialist. He was rated as the 2nd best punter in the draft, so should he sharpen his game he could be a long-term replacement to Ryan Allen who is only one a 1 year deal.

Grade: C

Impact: 4/10

Ken Webster

Pick 7.252 CB Ken Webster, Ole Miss – A hugely athletic prospect who will most likely find himself on the roster as a special teams guy. He was supposed to be a great player but has seen some injury and off the field issues. He could be good or he could never play a snap, but at this point in the draft why not take a chance.

Grade: C

Impact: 4/10

GPA for Draft: 3.39 (B+)

Overall

Bill Belichick

For a team with one goal in mind, to make it back to the Super Bowl, they did a great job of keeping that in sight. The loss of Gronk along with a few key players will be huge, but overall they will be just fine.

Overall Grade: A-