For New England Patriots fans, the NFL lockout has reduced the offseason to weekly updates on the length of Tom Brady's hair and stories covering Bret Lockett's supposed fling with supposed celebrity Kim Kardashian.
It's a sad state of affairs with no free agency news or rumors to discuss in New England, but this lockout doesn't have to keep us from speculating. We still know a lot about this team and what to expect in 2011 despite the changes and rookie additions.
Tom Brady is still going to play at an elite level, the offensive line is still in great hands with coach Dante Scarnecchia and the young defensive corps is going to continue developing and improving.
While many constants remain, change can still be expected.
One specific need that New England largely ignored during the draft happens to be at a position the team has long sought a permanent solution for. The Patriots lack an outside pass rusher and have lacked one for quite some time.
This isn't to say the team hasn't tried to solve this dilemma, however.
New England has brought in countless veterans, invested early-round draft selections and even chased big-time free agents. Still, veterans like Tully Banta-Cain, draft picks like Shawn Crable and free agent signings like Adalius Thomas have largely failed to live up to expectations at outside linebacker.
Just last offseason the Patriots went all in on a permanent solution when they pursued free agent Julius Peppers. New England even offered a contract to the star pass rusher reportedly in the $10 million a year range. Its bid obviously fell quite short of Chicago’s $91.5 million offer in the end.
So the question bears asking: Would the Patriots consider investing in another free agent addition, and if so, who would they pursue?
Your answers are mere clicks away.
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