By MyFM's Jake Archer - Look, we're not even a week removed from the nightmare that was Super Bowl LII but we have to move forward and be #OnTo2018. So I figured it would be a good idea to take a look at some of the notable unrestricted free agents from the Patriots and decide who I would like them to keep and who I think they can let go. Without further ado...
WR Danny Amendola - KEEP
This isn't strictly a "keep him because he's one of my favorite players" pick. At this point, everyone has finally realized how valuable he is to this Patriots team. Amendola is all about winning and has taken pay cut after pay cut to remain here in New England. He's insanely close with Brady and that shows in the big moments when Tom looks to him and Danny comes up with another clutch play. I really hope the two sides do whatever it takes to remain together because I need more Danny "Playoff" Amendola in my life.
CB Malcolm Butler - LET GO
Well I've already written about this whole situation and while I love Malcolm, I know that this relationship needs to end. I'll wish him well and we'll always have those two Super Bowls (especially 49), but it's just time to move on.
RB Dion Lewis - LET GO
This may surprise some people, but I think the Pats will let Dion sign elsewhere and I think they should. Obviously, I'd love to keep him because he's one of the better, more explosive runningbacks in the league but I just don't see it happening. He'll be receiving some huge offers from other teams and the Patriots don't really pay for his position. Outside of Le'Veon Bell, he might command the most interest on the open market. I want him to stay, but the numbers won't be right so I am prepared to see him go.
(This all changes if they slap the franchise tag on him.)
RB Rex Burkhead - KEEP
If Lewis is lost, the Pats should probably sign Burkhead back. He won't command as much money and I think he can combine with James White and Mike Gillislee to get the job done if need be. I'd obviously like to have another guy thrown in that mix, but I'm confident they can win with that. The key here is that Burkhead is still in the prime of his career and will probaby want to maxmize his value. He and Bill Belichick also share an agent...
WR Matthew Slater - KEEP
He's the best special teamer in the NFL and a perfect Patriot. I'm confident this man stays in New England if for no other reason than Bill Belichick simply loves him.
SS Nate Ebner - KEEP
He might be the second best special teamer in the league and he's another great Patriot. He is however, coming off of a tough injury. I think he stays.
LB James Harrison - KEEP
I'd just love to see him stay in New England to torment Pittsburgh more. He contributed a lot more than I thought he would and I believe he's got a little gas left in the tank.
OT Nate Solder - KEEP
This is a very interesting one. There has been some rumors floated about Solder considering retirement and I think he wants to stay here in New England where he has really made a home and been very involved in the community. His son's healthcare needs are also a major factor and this region has some of the best care in the country. You also have to thrown in whether or not offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is coming back for another year. Solder will command good money on the open market and the Patriots cannot franchise tag him, but I think he's too heavily entrenched here. I hope he stays and I'm betting on it.
There's a longer list of players that are free agents for the Pats and there are candidates to be cut as well. It's sure to be an interesting offseason in New England, so stay tuned for all the news here.