The release of backup long snapper Christian Yount and undrafted linebacker C.J. Johnson this week opened up a couple more roster spots under New England's 90-man offseason limit.
The Patriots actually have three openings at this point on the roster and could have a fourth slot when training camp kicks off next week assuming that Olympian Nate Ebner is put on the reserve/did not report list as he pursues his rugby dreams.
With that in mind, here's a quick look at some of the spots where the Patriots might consider adding a body, with a few random names thrown out for consideration.
1.Quarterback: Tom Brady is going to be suspended for the first four games. So, we know that pushes Jimmy Garoppolo into the starting job. It also pushes third-round rookie Jacoby Brissett to the No. 2 spot – one play away from game action, as I believe the cliché goes – on the depth chart for the first four weeks. With that in mind it wouldn't be crazy to think the team could add a fourth quarterback to the mix as an insurance policy. Familiar vets like Matt Flynn and Ryan Lindley are on the street. So is Ryan Fitzpatrick, if reigniting the Border War is a dream. And the Rams are seemingly all done with Nick Foles. So there are options with more experience if the Patriots want to go down that road.
2.Running back: Arian Foster signed with the Dolphins so the potential biggest-name addition to the backfield is gone. There are still familiar names on the market, though, including Joique Bell, Toby Gerhart, Fred Jackson, Ahmad Bradshaw and plenty of others. That guy could push LeGarrette Blount and Co. in a backfield that still has plenty of questions to answer in terms of health, roles and reps.
3.Tight end: With Michael Williams gone to a torn ACL, the Patriots don't have a great option for a third, blocking tight end. Sure, the team can use an extra tackle in that role. And fullback James Develin is a nice option. But adding a big-bodied blocker to the depth chart – young or old – at least for the preseason probably wouldn't be a bad idea.
4.Cornerback: The Patriots have a pretty young cornerback depth chart. There is top-end talent and a group of green newcomers. But there isn't much veteran experience. Going to get a street free agent even just to add veteran knowledge to the summer competition can't be ruled out. Hey, Tarell Brown is still out there. Leon Hall? Anyone?
What do you think of our list of potential positions of roster need and potential fits? Other ideas? Let us know with a comment below!