As Bill Belichick said the Monday after the loss against the Broncos, " We have to turn the page and move on. [We have] a lot of decisions to make in the offseason and those will all come in due course." Let's take a look at the players Belichick can re-sign to make sure the Patriots make it back to the AFC Championship game and maybe to win the Super Bowl.
3. Dane Fletcher
This must re-sign may catch some by suprise. For those who don't know Dane Fletcher was signed by the Patriots in 2010 as and undrafted rookie out of Montana State. Fletcher has played in 38 games over his three year tenure with the Patriots. He has mostly served as the back-up Inside Linebacker behind Brandon Spikes. He has logged 81 total tackles, 4 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 interception. Fletcher started in both of New England's playoff game because Brandon Spikes was put on Injured Reseve because of off the field issues. Spikes is also a free agent this year this is why Fletcher become so important. More than likley Spikes will not be pursed by Belichick nor will Spikes purse Belichick for a new contract, because of recent issues. Fletcher will re-sign at a lower cost and with the return of Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly to stuff the run, Fletcher would be a good fit to cover tight ends and running backs.
2. Julian Edelman
Danny Amendola was brought in to replace Wes Welker's productivity, but instead Julian Edelman fullfilled the role of Welker. Edelman finished the season with 105 receptions on 151 targets, 1,056 recieving yards, 6 recieving touchdowns, and 54 recieving first downs. Edelman nearly doubled Amendola's stats for the season by finishing fourth in receptions and 10th in targets in the NFL. Edelman was cleary Tom Brady's go to reciver all year, just like Welker was the five years that he was in New England. Edelman must be re-sign so that Brady has instant chemistry with a reciever to start the year. There are question marks around Rob Gronkowski's health, whether or not the Patriots will cut Danny Amendola to make cap space, and whether or not Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, and Josh Boyce will continue to make strides in their sophomore season. With all the uncertainy Brady has had at reciever his entire career now is the time to make sure he is comfortable with his recieving corps.
1. Aqib Talib
Without a doubt the most important player that the Patriots need to re-sign is Aqib Talib. There is no question that when Talib is on the field the defense in completely different. When Talib is on the field Belichick can put him on any reciever that the Patriots want to take out of the game and he does his job. Talib is an outstanding talent and he is the most important piece to the Patriots if they are going to win another Super Bowl, yes, more important than Tom Brady. Talib went down with an injury in the last two AFC Championship gaems, both of which the Patriots lost. After Talib went down agaist the Broncos Peyton Manning threw exclusivley to Demarius Thomas. If the Patriots want to compete against the Demarius Thomas' of the world Talib must be re-signed. He is the only defensive back they have that can shutdown an opposing target and compete with a physical reciever like Thomas. Remember, Talib held Jimmy Graham to ZERO catches, let me say that again, ZERO cathces. If Belichick lets Talib walk, the Patriots have zero chance of winning the Super Bowl next year.