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Patriots Mailbag: Would Curtis Samuel Be Enough To Solve Receiver Woes?

The 2021 NFL offseason officially commenced this week, and the minds of New England Patriots fans are already racing with free agency and the draft quickly approaching.

Watch above and read below for answers to questions about Russell Wilson’s availability, why the Patriots might be smart to trade up for a quarterback in the draft and who the team should target in free agency.

With their luck with drafting and developing WRs, do you see the Patriots skipping the draft for WRs again and spending money on a reliable number one option?

If the Patriots have a shot at LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase or Alabama’s DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle, then I would race up to the podium with my pick, but that does seem unlikely at 15th overall.

The Patriots have the cap space to spend on offense this offseason, so I do think it would be smart to sign a reliable option. Personally, I think New England would be best off signing one of the top, top wide receivers like Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin or JuJu Smith-Schuster. Once again, they have the resources.

Curtis Samuel seems to be the most popular name connected to the Patriots, but I wonder if he would be enough. Samuel was the Carolina Panthers’ No. 3 receiver in 2020 behind D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson. The 24-year-old Ohio State product caught 77 passes for 851 yards with three touchdowns while also adding 41 carries for 200 yards with two touchdowns as an all-around weapon. Samuel only played 68.3 percent of offensive snaps in 2020, however, so I’m not quite sure if he could translate his game into immediately becoming the No. 1 option on the Patriots. It’s possible, but we haven’t seen it, and that’s what New England needs.

Samuel also still will cost a significant amount of money in free agency (Spotrac $12.4 million per year), which could hamstring New England’s opportunity to sign another top second-tier free-agent receiver like Corey Davis or Marvin Jones. So, personally, I’d prefer to spend more on a sure-thing.

Is jimmy g worth a second #maildoug

I believe so, but that also might just be because I think it would be funny if the Patriots drafted Garoppolo in the second round, traded him for a second-round pick and then traded a second-round pick for him. He’d be like the lesser version of Brandin Cooks who is constantly convincing teams to spend a first-round pick on him.

The Patriots initially drafted Garoppolo 62nd overall, traded him for the 43rd overall pick and own the 46th overall pick. The Patriots essentially would have let the 49ers borrow him for parts of four seasons to move up three spots in the draft.

Everyone has their guy, but personally, I’d take Garoppolo over other options like Marcus Mariota, Sam Darnold, Derek Carr, Carson Wentz, etc. if we’re talking about veteran options. Trading up for a quarterback seems like the best overall move.

Is James White pretty much gone? Feels like he’ll go to Tampa next year (don’t blame him). I think RB room will be Michel/Harris as co-leads, and then JJ Taylor is a good group (I still like Michel and think if healthy, he will finally be the RB he was drafted to be)

I wouldn’t say he’s as good as gone, but I wonder how much of their cap space the Patriots will want to spend on returning free agents. White is an all-time Patriot, but it would be understandable if he wanted to play in Florida closer to his family and reunite with Tom Brady on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Sony Michel, Damien Harris, J.J. Taylor and maybe Rex Burkhead (on a reduced one-year contract as he returns from a knee injury) is a pretty good backfield.

Which of the below 3 do you think the Pats are more likely to do:

1. Trade their first selection

2. Select a QB or WR

3. Select a defensive player
That’s tough. Based on the way the board seems to be falling, option No. 3 might be the most likely. I think it’s definitely possible that the Patriots could look to trade up from No. 15 overall to take a quarterback. But if they can’t or are unwilling to do that, then it seems like the top three wide receivers and top four quarterbacks will be gone by No. 15 overall.

Add in tight end Kyle Pitts and one or two of the offensive tackles, and the best values at No. 15 overall could be at linebacker (Micah Parsons), defensive tackle (Christian Barmore), edge defender (Kwity Paye) or cornerback (Caleb Farley or Patrick Surtain II).

Let’s go rapid fire.

What do you put on you taco? #MailDoug

That depends on the type of taco. I’m putting different toppings on a ground beef taco than I would on a carnitas or al pastor taco, for instance.

If it’s a legit taco, then I’m topping it with guacamole, pico de gallo and cheese, preferably something like cotija.

If I’m going to Taco Bell, then I want cheese, nacho cheese and lettuce.

Micah parsons taken off board due to character issues? Especially as a first pick.

I’ll tackle both of these at once and just say I’m not sure how teams will handle these situations. Here’s more information on Parsons:

Former Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos was still selected 38th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft despite being involved in the same situation.

We’ll see on Parsons and Jones, but I wouldn’t expect either situation to significantly negatively impact the players’ draft stock. Think of that what you will.

What’s the timeframe looking like on a JC Jackson extension?

Are they cutting anybody, is anybody retiring?

What pass rushers could we look to bring in?

Is Dan Arnold a viable TE free agent signing?

Is it a foregone conclusion that Thuney is leaving?

— I would guess the Patriots will use the restricted free agency tender on JC Jackson over extending him.

— Nothing so far on the release or retirement fronts.

— Trent Murphy is a name to watch at outside linebacker. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots got involved if JJ Watt is released.

— Dan Arnold is pretty undersized for the position, but he was actually a pretty effective blocker despite being listed at just 6-foot-6, 220 pounds. Yeah, he’s a possibility.

— Joe Thuney is probably signing elsewhere, but I also thought it was a foregone conclusion that he would leave in free agency last offseason. The franchise tag is likely off the table, so the Patriots would need to agree to a long term contract with their left guard, and that hasn’t happened in the past year. The Patriots are probably better off moving Michael Onwenu to left guard and re-signing center David Andrews, who will be cheaper than Thuney, instead. That would leave Marcus Cannon, Justin Herron or Jermaine Eluemunor for the right tackle position.

sup? also, can you think of a potential gilmore trade package?

It’s a little strange that football season officially is over, so now I’m trying to catch up on some sleep.

Stephon Gilmore could still be traded for a draft pick or included in a package to move up for a quarterback. Personally, I might prefer to pay him and keep him. If the Patriots want to be competitive in 2021, they should keep their No. 1 cornerback.

If the Pats draft a QB who do they bring in as a veteran mentor? #MailDoug

I think Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jacoby Brissett are the most popular names to monitor. If the Patriots trade up for a QB, then they could bring back Cam Newton if the cost is low enough or sign a player like Tyrod Taylor or Kyle Allen to serve as a cheap bridge option.

Have you heard anything about all the guys who opted out of last year?

Patriots free safety and defensive captain Devin McCourty said last week that he expects Cannon, running back Brandon Bolden, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung to return.

Is Jacoby Brissett a better overall QB than Cam Newton now, as we speak ? #MailDoug

Here are their advanced metrics over the last two seasons:

Brissett (576 plays):

EPA + CPOE: .060 (26th)
EPA/play: .101 (24th)
Success rate: 47.6% (25th)
CPOE: -3.8% (37th)
Air yards: 7.9 (25th)
QBR (2019): 52.1 (21st)
PFF grade: 59.2 (33rd)

Newton (646 plays):

EPA + CPOE: .042 (33rd)
EPA/play: .027 (31st)
Success rate: 47.4% (29th)
CPOE: -2.2 (35th)
Air yards: 7.4 (34th)
QBR (2020): 47.0 (30th)
PFF grade (2020): 70.9 (23rd)

Ultimately, I’d probably just sign the better value. Brissett was the better passer in 2019, but Newton might have been the better overall player in 2020 when you include his rushing ability.

Pancakes, crepes or waffles ? #MailDoug #DougsBuds

Pancakes. And not just the blocking type.

OBJ as an under the radar trade target? He shouldn’t cost more than a 3rd or 4th given age, contract, recent production, and injury. Plus CLE has proven to be successful without him, makes sense to save $15M with Mayfield, Chubb, Hunt, and Ward coming up for new contracts

Yes. Definitely.

O/U 9 wins in 2021? #MailDoug

Call me crazy, but I’m taking the over.

The Patriots went 7-9 despite having $20 million in cap space plus $31 million in dead cap. Now, the Patriots are set to have over $60 million in cap space. That’s a big swing in cap loss to cap gain. That should be enough for two or three wins.

The post Patriots Mailbag: Would Curtis Samuel Be Enough To Solve Receiver Woes? appeared first on

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