Although the New England Patriots are undefeated, they still have a glaring concern at wide receiver. Their best weapon, Danny Amendola, is still out with an injury, and it is clear that Tom Brady is struggling without a true No. 1 receiver.
They do have Julian Edelman, but he’s more of a slot guy and lacks the size of a true vertical threat. While a trade is unlikely, the team could motion to pick up a guy in free agency. If that is the case, there are a few players that stand out above the rest in terms of being a solid fit in New England.
Odds are that none of these guys will turn out to be a long-term answer, but New England only needs a bandage while Amendola is out.
While he does bear most of the fault for his lack of production, let’s keep in mind who his quarterbacks were in Cleveland: Colt McCoy followed by Brandon Weeden. Those aren’t exactly Pro-Bowl-caliber quarterbacks. If he were to be signed by the Patriots, his production would undoubtedly rise with Tom Brady throwing him the ball.
He doesn’t need to be great; he needs to be good enough. He’s got good size for a receiver, too, and he is long enough to go up and grab jump balls. The Brady-to-Massaquoi pair would be a dangerous one to defend.
Terrell Owens’ best days are certainly behind him, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still produce in an NFL offense. During his last two stints with NFL teams, it appeared as if his attitude was at a minimum and his mouth was staying closed for the most part.
He’s made it clear that he’s still in shape, and according to Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports, he has even reached out to the Patriots recently reminding them that he’s available. Some may be concerned about his age (39), but Owens reassured everyone that it’s no big deal, per Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe:
I understand they may look at my age as an issue but I'm not your average 39-year-old. I think if you watch me work out, I'm not really concerned about injuries or anything like that. Plus, I'll be getting paid the vet minimum, so it's not like I am asking for any extra incentive in my contract.
He may very well be right; the last time he played, he caught 72 passes for 983 yards and nine touchdowns—not bad for a guy past his prime, huh?
Regardless, Owens may seem like a silly option to some, but his knowledge of NFL offenses and proven production on the field makes this scenario all the more possible.
Most known for his explosiveness rather than his size, Laurent Robinson made a splash during his time with the Dallas Cowboys in 2011, reeling in 51 catches with 11 touchdowns in just 14 games. However, his disappointing output in Jacksonville last season currently has him sitting on the free-agent market.
However, he still possesses great speed and could make for an intimidating duo with Edelman playing opposite him.
The Patriots did very well with smaller receivers during their last Super Bowl run, and Robinson has the potential to provide that missing spark they desperately need on offense.
Edwards has been bouncing around a few franchises for the past few years, but he might find a great home in New England. His size makes him a great fit for Bill Belichick’s offense, once again adding a legitimate vertical threat to Brady's arsenal.