Free agency officially opened on March 9 and the Patriots were quiet bystanders - at least initially. Once the team settled in, however, the moves have come fast and furious, and some of them should make an impact on what was already a rather formidable team.
Bill Belichick may have started slow but he's made a handful of free agent signings and also swung a pair of trades that involved high-profile players. He sent Pro Bowl defensive end Chandler Jones to Arizona and acquired tight end Martellus Bennett from Chicago, in addition to making several shrewd signings for players such as Chris Hogan, Terrance Knighton, Chris Long and others who will have a chance to help.
In trying to keep the dizzying moves straight, we decided to use our weekly debate to figure out which was best. So this week's Samsonite Make Your Case question of the week is: Which of the Patriots offseason moves was the best?
PFW's Andy Hart says...
I feel this should be like one of our awards where we don't include Tom Brady, as in, other than Martellus Bennett... Anyway, how can you overlook the addition of such a talented tight end for an offense that thrives when using two tight ends?
Bennett has the athleticism and ability to be the best second banana that Rob Gronkowski's ever had, including Aaron Hernandez. The idea of watching those two terrorize opponents, especially in the red zone, has to have Brady salivating as we speak. And the fact that Bill Belichick was able to get him for a late draft pick only makes the addition more valuable.
Bennett might not be here for the long haul since he's on the last year of his deal, but if things work out the way I think they will it's going to be one memorable season.
PFW's Paul Perillo says...
I love the idea of adding Bennett but the Patriots already have the game's most dominant tight end in Gronk. What they don't have is a receiver who can operate outside the numbers and keep defenses honest. The addition of Hogan just might change that.
The former Bills wideout has the versatility to play inside and out but more importantly has the size at 6-2 to be effective near the sidelines the way Brandon LaFell was in 2014. I thought the offense lacked that element last year and when injuries became a factor opposing defenses were able to bottle things up between the hashes.
Hogan may not garner a lot of headlines and post gaudy numbers, but his size, strength and ability to catch the ball will make him a key contributor to what was already a pretty potent offense. And he'll be around for a few years too.
Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.