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Analyzing Jets Rivals: Catching up on New England Patriots Off-season Moves

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (Mark L. Baer, USA Today Sports)

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (Mark L. Baer, USA Today Sports)


Now that all of the free agent signings have mellowed out, let’s take a closer look at the big moves that the other AFC East teams have made during the offseason. And we’ll start with the defending champions, the New England Patriots.

The Patriots haven’t made any major splashes this offseason, typical Patriots offseason. They did not have a first round draft pick this year due to Deflategate so it doesn’t seem as if anyone will have big rookie years for the Pats.

Perhaps the biggest move they made this offseason was trading LB Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals for G Jonathan Cooper. Jones has 211 combined tackles in four years with New England. Cooper was the 7th overall pick by Arizona in 2013.

Back in March, New England signed free agent LB Ramon Humber, a 28 year old that has spent the last six seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He has played at least 13 games in each of the past five seasons. Humber is coming off a season where he had 29 tackles and 18 assists for a combined total of 47. His career highs came in the 2014 season when he had 38 tackles and 12 assists.

The Pats also signed a WR this offseason by the name of Chris Hogan. The 27 year old has spent the last four seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Hogan has appeared in all 16 games in each of the past three seasons. Last year, he averaged 28.1 yards per game and totaled 450 yards on 36 receptions.

The Patriots added to their defensive line by signing free agent DE Chris Long, a 31 year old that has spent the last eight seasons with the St. Louis Rams. Long appeared in all 16 games in the first six years of his career. Because of injuries, Long has only played in 18 total games in the past two seasons.

Trying to add to their LB depth, the Patriots have signed Shea McClellin, who has spent the past four years with the Chicago Bears. In 12 games last year, McClellin had career highs with 53 tackles and 28 assists.

Finally on the offensive side, they signed WR Nate Washington. The 32 year old has played with the Steelers, Titans, and Texans in his career but spent most of his time with the Titans. Last year with Houston, Washington had 47 receptions for 658 yards. His career high was in 2011 with Tennessee when he had 74 receptions for 1,023 yards.

It’s also worth noting that the Patriots gave the ageless Tom Brady a two-year contract extension.

So nothing too crazy this offseason coming from Foxboro. Dethroning the Patriots as division champs will come by stopping Tom Brady and out-thinking Bill Belichick. Not an easy task.

Full breakdowns of the offseason moves of the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins will come later this week.

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