Just a couple of months after winning their sixth Super Bowl success, the New England Patriots haven’t wasted any time in preparing for the new season. While those players that led the franchise to the Super Bowl last year are still some way away from returning to preseason training, the management are busy at work attempting to put together a roster capable of repeating last season’s success. With an army of free agents coming and going for training sessions, the Patriots will cast their eye over a huge selection of players all looking to secure a deal with the defending champions.
One high-profile player that has already spent time training with New England during the offseason has been Adrian Peterson. The controversial running back is fit again after recovering from the knee injury that plagued him throughout his last season with the Minnesota Vikings. Peterson might not be the only player who splits the public opinion that the Patriots attempt to add to their roster before the start of the 2017 campaign, with Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman also still reportedly a target for New England.
But what would each player add to this Patriots roster, and with the baggage both bring, would any deal ultimately be beneficial to a franchise priced at 5/1 with the latest NFL betting odds to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy next February?
Adrian Peterson: One of the best running backs in recent years, Peterson’s knee injury came at a bad time for him from a financial point of view. If he had been kept on for another season by the Vikings, the 29-year old would have been paid $18 million. As it is, though, the future Hall of Famer is looking for a new team to play with, with a host of NFL teams battling it out to secure the services for a man with nearly 12,000 career rushing yards.
While he might not still be the same player he was before his knee problems last year, the seven-time Pro Bowler is still one of the best in the business. The question is whether he fits into how the Patriots play. If he can, Bill Belichick will have a real decision to make, well aware that players as good as Peterson don’t come around very often.
Richard Sherman: Any trade for Sherman would be dependent on the future of Malcolm Butler. If the Patriots do lose their cornerback, they are expected to move fast to try and prise Sherman away from the Seahawks. With Butler’s future still hanging in the balance, last year’s Super Bowl hero is waiting to see whether he’ll be a Patriot next season. While Pats fans won’t want to see Butler leave, the prospect of having Sherman in this team is an exciting one.
A veteran of six NFL seasons, Sherman has been one of the league’s most consistent players, starting all 16 regular season games for the last five years. A four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All Pro, at 29 years old, Sherman is playing as well as he ever has done. Instrumental to Seattle’s success over the past five years, the Seahawks won’t trade Sherman on the cheap, but it could be a move that the Pats feel is worth paying for.