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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Charlie Wilson

New England Patriots could sign two new stars to help Mac Jones escape Tom Brady shadow

The New England Patriots could hugely improve their chances of getting back to being the franchise that they had been throughout the 2010's with two key moves involving players who are likely to be available this off-season.

Since losing Tom Brady at the end of the 2019 season, it's been a huge struggle for the Patriots offense to be the dominant force that they had been for so long. The 2020 season saw Cam Newton start at quarterback in replacing Brady, with the former MVP struggling as a passer.

This lead to the franchise drafting former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, who had an impressive rookie season under the circumstances, but struggled in his recent year in a dysfunctional Patriots offense.

The Patriots had, strangely, opted not to hire an offensive coordinator, instead letting a former defensive coach, Matt Patricia, call the plays. But it was just questionable coaching that let the quarterback down, but subpar play at wide receiver.

Jakobi Meyers had been the only receiver on the team to log over 600 yards on the season - an embarrassing statistic, with most teams having at least three players to register that many yards. What's more, Meyers might be unlikely to stick around, with the receiver becoming a free agent this off-season and likely to demand a big contract.

But the Patriots could address their receiving issues with two definitive moves - with the players being so dominant that they could immediately boost the team's playoff aspirations.

Mac Jones struggled this past season and will likely need some new weapons at quarterback (GETTY)

Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tee Higgins look like they both may become available this off-season, with the Patriots having the assets to acquire both.

The Cardinals look to be in a full rebuild mode, with a new head coach and general manager at the franchise, while also potentially having Kyler Murray miss the majority of the 2023 season after suffering an ACL injury.

Higgins in Cincinnati meanwhile, could become available with the franchise having to pay both Joe Burrow and Jamarr Chase - with the two players likely higher on their priorities than Higgins, who is likely to command a high salary.

Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will join the Patriots to call the offensive plays in 2023 ((Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images))

For both, the Patriots would have give up high draft capital - potentially a first for Higgins and a second for Hopkins, but it's certainly doable if the team feels it necessary.

The team is also in a strong position financially, currently having around $40 million in cap space available, whilst also having the flexibility to create more room if needed.

The Pats have recent re-hired former offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, who spent a number of years with the team before moving on to a head coaching role with the Houston Texans. He has been with Alabama the last two seasons, calling the plays for potential upcoming number one overall draft pick, Bryce Young.

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