By Patrick Morgan
The New England Patriots addressed needs at receiver, tight end, defensive tackle, and on special teams by adding five new players in free agency on Friday.
They might not be making any dazzling, high-profile moves in free agency so far this offseason, but the New England Patriots are doing the smart thing and adding depth at several key areas of need. On Friday, they signed five new free agent players to the team, all on modest, cap-friendly contracts.
With wide receiver being arguably New England’s largest hole to fill this spring and summer, the team took steps towards replacing the departed Cordarrelle Patterson and the suspended Josh Gordon by adding Bruce Ellington and Maurice Harris.
Ellington is a former fourth-round draft pick out of the University of South Carolina. He played two seasons in San Francisco with the 49ers before stints with the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions. In four professional seasons (Ellington missed all of 2016 on injured reserve), Ellington has racked up 769 yards receiving and five touchdowns.
While those numbers are far from satisfactory or encouraging, it’s hoped that a change of scenery and proper coaching could coax more potential from Ellington. He also has some experience returning kicks and punts, so he could inherit some of Patterson’s workload theoretically on special teams as...