The New England Patriots made some moves this offseason that were exciting, but one move is projected to be a failure.
New England suffered major losses on both sides of the ball. Shaq Mason was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and cornerback J.C. Jackson departed to the Los Angeles Chargers in free agency.
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But the Patriots did make some moves to improve. New England acquired DeVante Parker via trade and the wide receiver looks like he will be a major part of the offense. Parker is now the only wide receiver on the Patriots roster to have ever recorded a 1,000-yard season.
New England also acquired Mack Wilson via a trade with the Cleveland Browns. While there is some excitement over Parker, the same can’t be said for Wilson.
Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay believes that Wilson will be the Patriots “biggest bust” in 2022.
“After deploying Dont’a Hightower in the middle of their defense for the past decade, New England opted not to retain the 32-year-old in free agency,” Kay stated. “That decision has opened the door for Mack Wilson to play a bigger role for the club in 2022. It’s a decision the Patriots could regret, even if Hightower had clearly lost a step in recent seasons. Wilson spent the last three years with the Cleveland Browns, failing to carve out a reliable role after being drafted in the fifth round back in 2019.
While New England is hoping he can live up to the potential he has thus far failed to reach, it could be difficult for the Alabama product to finally put it all together,” he continued. “The Patriots’ complex defense is notoriously difficult to pick up, and it could take the linebacker time to make the adjustment, setting him up for a down 2022 campaign.”
How Has Wilson’s Career Been?
Wilson didn’t have a great start to his NFL career. That’s part of the reason he ended up in New England.
In three NFL seasons, Wilson has tallied 163 tackles and just one sack.
Wilson was traded in a deal that sent Chase Winovich to the Browns. With these players now having new homes, their respective teams will be hoping that all that was needed was a fresh start.
Wilson joins a Patriots team that is filled with talented linebackers such as Matt Judon and Ja’Whaun Bentley. So while he might be cut, he also could be a valuable complementary player to the two leaders at the position.
Who Could Step Up for the Patriots?
If Wilson is indeed a bust, some Patriots linebackers will need to step up. Right now, the best candidate seems to be Josh Uche.
The former Michigan man received from Bill Belichick in minicamp.
“I think he is a big piece of our defense,” Belichick said during a pre-practice press conference. “We’ll see exactly what it turns out to be.”
Uche’s career got off to a mediocre start. In two NFL seasons, he has played in 21 games and has 21 tackles and four sacks to his name.
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