New England Patriots: Bill Belichick Hints Team May Target Wideout in 2012 Draft
Belichick, who also acts as the team's general manager, has overseen an impressively active free agency period to this stage. The Patriots have been one of the most prolific franchises this offseason when it comes to handing out contracts.
The majority of those additions have come at one position so far—wide receiver. The team has signed three free agents while re-signing, restructuring and franchising four more.
Brandon Lloyd and Anthony Gonzalez are the new comers with Donte Stallworth re-joining the team after a four-year absence. Deion Branch, Mathew Slater and Chad Ochocinco are all back in the fold with new contracts while the Wes Welker negotiations continue to roll along.
Throw in Julian Edelman, Tiquan Underwood and Britt Davis (practice squad) and the Patriots are sitting pretty with 10 receivers. But according to Belichick, they may not be done making additions.
You always try to have competition at every position. We’ve always had about that many receivers going to camp -- 10, 11, somewhere in there -- [and] we’ll see what the roster limit ends up being this year, said Belichick (via ESPN) who spoke at the AFC coaches breakfast.
So if another addition is possible, if not likely, the question then becomes, where is the team looking to find this said addition?
"There are some guys that I'm sure will be at that position that aren’t even on our team right now, that we’re not even talking about. It’s just a process", said the coach.
Regardless of the signings, is a rookie addition at receiver necessary?
If the team was interested in another free agent, one would think they would have acted on that interest already. What seems more likely is that the team expects to add a receiver during the draft and let the competition work itself out.
We’re a long away from … We really re-signed a couple of guys at the beginning of March, but we’re not even a month into the whole offseason team-building process. We have March. We have April. We have June. July. Training camp will start at the end of July. It’s a long process. We’ll see how it all comes together.
This is great news for those who worried that the frenzied free-agent activity at wideout would take the Patriots out of the running for prospects at the position. The fact that the team isn't ignoring the average age at receiver (29 years) is also phenomenal.
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