3 most realistic wide receiver options for Patriots in 2023 offseason
The whole world is watching and waiting for the New England Patriots to go out and make that earth-shattering move at receiver.
It’s fun putting together dream scenarios for them to go out and get a game-changing offensive playmaker like Deebo Samuel, DeAndre Hopkins or Tee Higgins. That’s until the dream is snuffed out by the cold reality that Patriots coach Bill Belichick rarely does business that way.
The Patriots aren’t the type of team that trades away premium draft picks, along with forking over a massive salary, to elite receivers. Belichick has shown a tendency to hang back and pick up cheaper options in hopes of finding value at the position.
That isn’t to insinuate that he won’t be aggressive in trying to find some help for the broken offense. It’s as clear as day that the unit needs offensive playmakers, and it’s hard envisioning them improving in 2023 with an even worse receiving corps than last season. Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor are both pending free agents, and Bill O’Brien isn’t going to just wave a magic wand and make all of the problems go away.
The Patriots need help, and here are three realistic options at receiver that could provide it for them.
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Five-time Pro Bowl receiver Keenan Allen could be a surprise cut this offseason with the Los Angeles Chargers sitting at $19.9 million over the salary cap. It was a luxury to have both Allen and Mike Williams on the same team, but the time might have finally arrived for the Chargers to settle in with one player being the No. 1 option.
Allen being on the free agent market could create the perfect scenario for New England. They wouldn’t have to give up draft picks or worry about being roped into a bad contract.
Despite only playing in 10 games in 2022, Allen still finished the season with 752 receiving yards and four touchdowns. He would instantly emerge as the Patriots’ top receiving option and help boost a unit that hasn’t scared opposing defenses since Tom Brady was under center.
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With Sean Payton as the new head coach for the Denver Broncos, everything is on the table at Mile High, including wideout Jerry Jeudy.
The former No. 15 overall pick of the 2020 NFL draft has shown flashes of being an elite playmaker, but he isn’t going to command the sort of trade value of a player like Cincinnati Bengals star Tee Higgins, either.
Nothing is cheap these days at the receiver position, but this could be the most cost-effective option for the Patriots, given Jeudy’s age (23) and talent. We all know how much Belichick loves his Alabama players as well.
This former Crimson Tide star was also a teammate of Mac Jones’ in college. So there’s a clear connection that makes this trade interesting.
Of course, the biggest argument against this move would come from the Broncos’ side. They would essentially be giving up their top receiving option from an offense that struggled in 2022. Payton would have to be looking to replace Jeudy either through free agency or the draft.
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The Texans have two first-round draft picks, which means they can draft a quarterback and a top prospect at receiver to go along with him.
Brandin Cooks was solid in the one year he played with the Patriots back in 2017, when he hauled in 65 receptions for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns. His value won’t get any higher than it is right now, and it might be time to cash out for the rebuilding Texans.
Cooks still has the speed to take the top off and force opposing defenses to play on their heels. Even though he’s undersized on the outside, he’s a player teams have to account for every time they’re on the field.
This may not be the most exciting option on the list, but it’s clearly an option that could help the Patriots greatly.