For years, many have scoffed at the notion that the Patriots need a top-level, traditional burner of a wide receiver to “stretch the field,” but it now appears Bill Belichick might be making a dramatic adjustment to the way the New England offense works.
There’s been plenty of smoke recentlyregarding the Pats’ want for an outside target for Tom Brady, as the team tried to trade for DeAndre Hopkins last fall and they have been highly interested in acquiring New Orleans wide out Brandin Cooks. On Tuesday, it looks as though they had talks with free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson– who led the entire league in yards per catch (17.9) in 2016.
“Along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys also have inquired about wide receiver DeSean Jackson, according to a person with knowledge of the situation,” The Washington Post reported late Tuesday afternoon. “Barring any unforeseen circumstances, it’s expected that the Redskins and Jackson will part ways, multiple people with knowledge of the situation have indicated.”
Every few years, the Patriots change up the look of their offense (and defense – remember the 4-3 vs. 3-4 debates?). Since the beginning of this decade, the Pats have relied heavily on two tight end sets. Due to the Pats’ success, many teams in the NFL have copied that strategy – so it might now be time for the trend-setting Pats to go back to something resembling a more traditional pro offense with an outside burner.