COMMENTARY | The ability of Tom Brady's receiving corps has been a hot topic so far this season while the New England Patriots have gotten out to a 4-0 start. Without Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and Brandon Lloyd, the team's offense has not looked like the explosive group we've come to expect.
Through a couple of minor moves, the Patriots made some changes that could have an impact on who Brady ends up throwing to. The team released tight end Zach Sudfeld, and signed Austin Collie.
Sudfeld hasn't contributed at all this season, compiling exactly zero catches. Many fantasy owners jumped on him before the season, thinking the big tight end could put up decent numbers until Gronkowski returns. He clearly didn't come along as quickly as Bill Belichick hoped, as the team has already moved on.
The Austin Collie signing is certainly interesting. He was a productive member of the Indianapolis Colts just a few years ago, but there are plenty of concerns regarding his health. Collie's concussion issues are a major threat to his career and livelihood, but apparently he's ready to play.
So, will either of these moves end up meaning anything?
The only thing the Sudfeld release means is that Gronk will be back on the field soon. Even if he's not ready to return, Sudfeld wasn't contributing, so it really doesn't matter. Anyone on this roster could replace what Sudfeld was bringing to the table, which is almost nothing.
Collie has shown the ability to be a productive receiver, but not every proven receiver comes to New England and adjusts accordingly. Ask Chad Ochocinco. It's probably just a signing to add emergency depth, as Danny Amendola should be returning at some point in the near future. Amendola, Collie, and Julian Edeleman all have comparable styles, so it's curious that the team will be carrying all three.
Patriots fans shouldn't read too much into either of these moves. Collie could be a serviceable option for Brady down the road, and he's probably worth keeping an eye on for fantasy owners.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering New England sports for various blogs over the past 4 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.
- Sports & Recreation
- New England Patriots
- Tom Brady
- Rob Gronkowski
- Austin Collie
- Aaron Hernandez
- Wes Welker