lisberger hinted at retirement in offseason Terrelle Pryor Sr. Super Bowl LI Jersey
, finding his eventual replacement isn’t top priority when window to win with Roethlisberger is still open. If they take WR, it may be sign they don’t feel Martavis Bryant is long-term solution. Bryant remains suspended for violating league’s substance abuse policy, though he is eligible to seek reinstatement.
96. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (17-2)
LAST SEASON: Patriots won their second Super Bowl in three years, overcoming 25-point deficit in last 17 minutes to beat Atlanta. It was their 14th straight year with at least 10 wins and seventh in row with 12 or more. It also was eighth straight playoff appearance and 13th in 14 seasons. This was despite playing first four games without quarterback Tom Brady because of ”Deflategate” suspension. Backup Jimmy Garoppolo was injured in second game Byron Maxwell Super Bowl LI Jersey
, and third-stringer Jacoby Brissett started next two. They went 3-1 before Brady returned. Only game five-time Super Bowl champion lost was in Week 10 against Seattle in rematch of 2015 title game.
THEY NEED: To make decisions on whether to keep Garoppolo, RB LeGarrette Blount and CB Malcolm Butler; OL and DL help.
THEY DON’T NEED: QB, RB, WR Will Hernandez Super Bowl LI Jersey
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: No first- or second-round pick. OT Antonio Garcia, Troy; DT Elijah Qualls, Washington.
OUTLOOK: After sending No. 32 overall pick to New Orleans in trade for WR Brandin Cooks, and 64th overall pick to Carolina for Kony Early Mason Cole Super Bowl LI Jersey
, acquiring TE Dwayne Allen in trade, and signing CB Stephon Gilmore as free agent and RB Mike Gillislee to offer sheet, defending Super Bowl champions can look at draft to build depth instead of plugging holes. Coach Bill Belichick likes it that way, anyway. Look for Patriots to trade Butler to New Orleans to get back No. 32 pick Oren Burks Super Bowl LI Jersey
, then to trade down for more picks in later rounds when they can take complementary players and long-term projects. One of those could be another quarterback if Belichick decides to cash out on Garoppolo now rather than keep him around to sit while Brady continues to defy his age.
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