Guest Post: Pat Pitts (@pittsy35)
The great artist, Mick Jagger once said, “you can’t always get what you want.” This is a perfect sentence to sum up the Patriots offseason transactions. Adding Michael Bennet, but losing Trey Flowers and Malcom Brown in free agency. Yesterday, the Pats signed Austin Seferian-Jenkins to a one year deal. A successful replacement to Gronk, but it came at a price. Earlier today, Chris Hogan signed with the Carolina Panthers. Patriots Nation hates to see another receiver go, but it is time to watch him leave. Hogan was a vital part of the Patriots offense. He acted as Brady’s number three option for the past four years. Earning two Super Bowl rings, 1,651 yards receiving, and 12 touchdowns in his tenure in Foxboro, Hogan did his job. But is it worth shedding a tear over?
Hogan’s numbers have dropped since his first year in New England. He hid in the shadows of guys like Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, and even Josh Gordon the ten games he played. Only tallying 532 yards and three touchdowns is weak. His former role can easily be taken over by a first or second year player looking to work towards a bigger contract. Jenkins on the other hand, has amazing upside.
Seferian-Jenkins could not have came into a better situation. Foxboro is Gronk-less and in need of a superhuman tight end. Over the last few seasons, The Pats have tried to recreate the duo of Gronk-Hernandez. It hasn’t been too successful. The closest they came was the 2016 Super Bowl team with Martellus Bennett. Being the second tight end behind Gronk, Bennett had 703 yards and 7 touchdowns. This is all behind the greatest tight end of all time. With him gone, Seferian-Jenkins has the possibility to surpass those numbers. In 2017, he broke out with the New York Jets earning 357 yards and 3 touchdowns in 13 games. This was in an offense ran by Josh McCown. Not the greatest quarterback of all time. Jenkins is finally in a system where he can have massive success. The Patriots love utilizing their tight ends in the red zone. At 6’5 262 lbs, lining him up in single coverage is like shooting fish in a barrel.
Listen, I am not saying I will not miss Chris Hogan. Hogan will forever have a place in my heart. His touchdown off of the flea flicker against the Steelers in the AFC Championship game is one of my all time favorite Patriots moments. Hogan will have success in Carolina with Moore and Olsen being the two main guys in the system. As for Jenkins, I am hyped. I loved the signing from the moment I received the notification. He is the perfect replacement for Gronk. He finally has an opportunity to play with a top five quarterback in the league, and in a system where he can succeed. August can’t come soon enough.