The free-agency period has been good one way or another for every NFL team. Hence, it’s time to take a look at the positives in our newest series for End Zone Score. Which newcomer to the club was the franchise’s best offseason move and why? We got things started with each of the 2016 last-place teams and now it’s time to focus on the eight division champions. You can get caught up on the entire series by clicking right here. Now, it’s the New England Patriots that are in the spotlight.
Talk about taking your pick? Be it via trades and restricted free agency, the defending Super Bowl champions have surrendered their share of draft choices to bolster their current roster with quality additions. Recently, the Patriots have up a fifth-round pick to the Buffalo Bills in compensation for signing running back Mike Gillislee. Trades this offseason have brought tight end Dwayne Allen (Indianapolis Colts) and defensive end Kony Ealy (Carolina Panthers). And the team has also signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore (Bills) and running back Rex Burkhead (Cincinnati Bengals).
Then there’s the deal with the New Orleans Saints that brings three-year wide receiver Brandin Cooks to Foxborough. After three seasons of catching passes from Drew Brees, he joins a receiving corps that includes Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan, as well as tight ends Allen and Rob Gronkowski. After catching 53 passes, three scores, in 10 games as a rookie, the former Oregon State product has hauled in 162 balls for 2,311 yards and 17 touchdown in 32 contests since 2015. He can take a short pass and turn it into a home run, witness his 98-yard score in Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders.
The New England Patriots still have six picks in the 2017 NFL Draft to add more talent. But the acquisition for Cooks makes an already-dangerous offensive attack even more lethal to opponents.