The AFC East powerhouse went 7-9, marking the first season under .500 since Belichick’s first year with the team in 2000. New England also missed the postseason for the first time since 2009 and finished third in the competitive division. Overall, the performance marked a departure from the better part of the last two decades for the Patriots, leaving many to wonder where to go from here.
The first move that the Patriots need to make, according to the FOX Sports host, is to re-acquire Jimmy Garoppolo. Cowherd referenced a report from Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard that said the San Fransisco 49ers quarterback is “Plan A” for New England at the position.
Garapolo’s history with the Patriots is well-recorded, with the team moving off of him after the 2017 season. However, Belichick has always been a believer in the former second round pick and could see this spring as an opportunity to bring him back on board. To do so, New England would need to strike a deal with San Fransisco and would be wise to be wary of the 29-year-old’s extensive injury history.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) March 8, 2021
The second move Cowherd thinks the Patriots should make would help remedy the team’s lack of receiving depth. He believes New England should sign free agent wideout Allen Robinson.
Robinson spent the last three years with the Chicago Bears, where he flew mostly under the radar despite a few strong seasons. In 2020, he made 16 starts, catching 102 passes for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns. Given the Patriots struggles to draft reliable receivers over the last few years, Robinson would instantly become the top option in New England.
Finally, Cowherd feels that if the Patriots trade up and draft tight end Kyle Pitts, Belichick and company would be back in the postseason tomorrow. The FOX Sports host thinks that New England needs more pass-catching threats and the 6-foot-6, 240-pound former Florida product would be just that. In order to land him, the Patriots would need to move up the board in late April, but could do so with a competitive package.
If New England takes Cowherd’s advice, he thinks they could be back in the playoffs as soon as next year. With a handful of defenders coming back after opting out of the 2020 season, his claims doesn’t seem to be too far off. That being said, the organization will need to get past the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, both of which will be in the running come next fall.
Time will tell what Belichick and the Patriots do this spring, but its hard to see the AFC East competitors out of the mix for long.