New England Patriots free agency 2018: Top 5 targets

New England Patriots, NFL Free Agency, NFL Offseason

The Patriots made waves last offseason with some big moves, and they’ll have to fill some holes with free agents leaving Foxboro. Who should they pick up?

The New England Patriots somehow did it again and made it to the Super Bowl with a random cast of players on their roster in the 2017-18 season. They seemingly always have needs somewhere, but always find a way to make it work regardless.

This offseason, however, things will be different. Both of their coordinators will be leaving for head coaching jobs, and plenty of talented players are on their way to the free-agent market. Malcolm Butler, Nate Solder, Dion Lewis and multiple others are all due for some good money after helping the team in big ways over the last few seasons, and everything seems to be changing.

The free agency market this spring and summer is pretty stacked, and the Patriots will likely be looking to fill some needs, much like they did in their big splash last offseason. There’s plenty of talent to work with, but who should they be pinpointing in their search?

That’s where we come in. To help out Bill Belichick and the Patriots front office, here are five targets they’ll need to keep in mind when free agency rolls around.

5. Nate Solder

The Patriots always seem to have a need in their offensive line, but one mainstay over the years has been Nate Solder on Tom Brady’s blind side. While it hasn’t been entirely perfect at times, the team should pursue Solder this offseason as he enters free agency.

People wonder why Brady has been able to play into his 40’s under center for the Patriots, and there are plenty of reasons for that. Sure, his diet and training regimen is impressive. Obviously, he can take a hit if needed and hasn’t seen too much wear and tear until this season. Yes, he’s not completely human and likely from another planet. But, one big reason has been the play of his offensive line in front of him.

While the team has rotated names over the years, with David Andrews, LaAdrian Waddle and plenty of others coming into the fray recently as key names, Solder has been around forever. He’s a perfect example of the “Patriot Way” working its wonders, and he’s had a couple of successful seasons in a row since Dante Scarnecchia returned as the team’s offensive line coach.

The team could always go out and try and find a random name to throw on Brady’s blind side as he enters his 41st year of life, but why not keep someone he trusts around as he enters his final seasons in the league? Solder is a perfect fit, and is a player that the Patriots need to keep around this offseason, if possible.

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