Considering their big-money wide receiver contract this offseason went to the oft-injured Danny Amendola and not Wes Welker, there are reasonable concerns about the Patriots’ first option in the passing game.
But with Aaron Hernandez gone and Rob Gronkowski recovering from back surgery (not to mention Brandon Lloyd being shown the door), the secondary targets for Tom Brady are all question marks at this point.
The Patriots ran through the options on their official website, pointing out that running back Shane Vereen saw time in spring drills split wide, as they hope to use him more in the passing game.
There’s plenty of room for someone to emerge, whether it’s Vereen, drafted wideouts Aaron Dobson or Josh Boyce or their collection of stray veteran pickups (Michael Jenkins, Lavelle Hawkins, Donald Jones, Leon Washington).
As long as they have Brady, there’s a general sense that they’ll figure out a way, as he’s been the best deodorant for iffy groups of receivers before.
But unless Amendola and Gronkowski can stay on the field, Brady’s going to have to work harder than ever to cover up the lack of outside talent.