I want Richard Sherman to come to New England as much as anyone else, but it may not happen right away. The Patriots have some things that they need to figure out on the current roster before they can look outside of it. Not only that, but he will probably have to take a pay cut to come here, and the question is: will he?
The first order of business must be keeping the players they have on the roster who are going to be free agents. Malcolm Butler is all but gone, and I would imagine they won’t be offering him a contract anytime soon. That, however, does not mean that there are not players they will try to retain for next year and beyond. Dion Lewis is an obvious one, but the thought is that he may get a huge offer, which is something the Patriots will be unwilling to match. The next piece, and possibly most important, is Nate Solder. Many, myself included, wondering if Solder wouldn’t retire after this year, or if he would only consider staying with the Patriots. Now that the offseason has come, however, it seems as though there’s a market for him, and other teams are willing to pay well for his services. He has protected Brady’s blind side since 2012, in 2011 he played RT, and he has done so admirably. The Patriots drafted Tony Garcia last year, and, at the time, it reminded me of when they drafted Solder before Matt Light’s last year, but Garcia missed the year with blood clots in his lungs, and there’s nothing to assure the Patriots that he is the left tackle of the future just yet. Solder is a priority, and while they won’t be forced to break the bank, they may have to slightly overpay him to keep him here, and they should gladly do so. The final guy on the radar is Danny Amendola. He’s another guy who many thought would either retire or definitely come back to the Patriots. That doesn’t seem to be so clear, as suitors are lining up for him as well. These kinds of things happen when you play the way he has in the playoffs since 2014. My thought before the season ended was that he may retire to pursue a modeling career. Last year, he became the first pro athlete to ever sign a modeling contract, and he is dating Olivia Culpo, a former Miss Universe, who is also a model. With so many potential offers, it seems as though his modeling career will have to wait at least one more year.
Then there’s Sherman himself. He has been linked to the Patriots dating all the way back to last offseason, but it is no sure thing he comes here. The Patriots are typically not willing to break the bank for players(although they did for Gilmore last year), so he may have to take less than he can get on the open market. He also may have to wait a bit until the Patriots figure out their in house contracts, and he may worry that teams will fill their needs before he is willing to make a decision. He has never shown any Regis-like tendencies, where he just pushes for the most money, so when he says he wants a great QB and a chance to win a Super Bowl, I believe him. New England is not the only place that offers those things though, so he could certainly decide to go elsewhere.
So what do I think? I think that #25 will be starting at corner for the Patriots next year. With any luck, Eric Rowe will be able to buy some nice things with money he gets from the guy wearing it. This would look really nice in the secondary wouldn’t it?
Pat is the host of The Weekend Warrior Podcast
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