Over the last couple of weeks, it has become glaringly obvious that the New England Patriots have some pressing needs on the offensive side of the ball beyond Tom Brady‘s play. The bulk of that rests with their lack of a real game-changing factor at the wide receiver position that has significantly limited the Patriots’ effectiveness in moving the ball down the field. New England remains a promising position to lock in a first-round playoff bye, but there remains a month left in the season for them to figure out that situation before the postseason. There is one player that could be the missing piece, and it may not be who many are thinking.
Patriots’ offensive woes mounting
The Patriots steamrolled through the competition in the first half of the season, pushing their way atop the league.
However, things have slowed down a bit over the last few weeks with there starting to be some concerning issues with their performance offensively. Brady and the passing game have been limited in production since the loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He was able to pass for 326 yards and three touchdowns against the Houston Texans, but it came in a fashion where he threw 47 passes in a game that was primarily dictated by the opponent.
That has only further circled the need for the Patriots to address their offensive issues, which could all stem from needing to upgrade at the wide receiver position. Hall of Famer Deion Sanders chimed in on the situation over the weekend, stating that he believes the team will do something to fix that issue before the playoffs. (h/t Nick Goss of NBC Sports Boston)
“I guarantee it, something’s going to happen within the next few weeks in the receiver department,” Hall of Fame cornerback and current NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders said on “NFL Gameday” earlier this week. “They’ve got to get [Tom Brady] some help, because what I saw [Sunday] was ridiculous.”
With that in mind, there is one name that could be on the radar as a possible solution to this growing issue in New England.
No, it’s not Antonio Brown
The most obvious choice that comes to mind in this situation is none other than Antonio Brown, given that he previously played for the team and remains a free agent.
However, there are still pending legal matters around him that make it difficult to envision him being able to play this season. The NFL is in the midst of a thorough investigation of the situation while the sexual misconduct charges are going through the court system, which could be some time before that is settled in any manner.
Brown would be an ideal fit, but there is just too much around him off the field to believe the Patriots will revisit that scenario, at least for this season. That leaves them with an even more limited option to go through in the free-agent market, but there is one player that has expressed his interest in playing but hasn’t drawn any serious consideration up to this point.
Patriots could bring in Dez Bryant
With Brown more than likely off the list for a slew of reasons, it could put former Pro Bowl wide receiver Dez Bryant into consideration.
Since tearing his Achilles tendon last November, Bryant has continued to work his way back from the injury. The 31-year-old posted videos of himself working out and running routes back in October with no hindrance or hesitation going full speed.
There is no telling what type of player Bryant could be at this point in his career, but he’s worth at least kicking the tires on for a tryout given his resume. He also voiced on social media last month that he isn’t expecting to join a team as a starter, but more as a contributor, which falls right in line with the mental approach New England wide receivers have fostered over the years.
The bottom line is that the Patriots are in desperate need of help at the wide receiver position, and Bryant may fit that bill.