The New England Patriots have lost Cameron Fleming, an explosive offensive lineman to join the Dallas Cowboys. This has created a lot of discussion in this offseason after Nate Solder a left tackle also moved to New York Giants in the free agency. This was a quick signing for the Giants since they desperately needed an offensive upgrade. Solder is also the highest earning offensive lineman courtesy of the New York Giants. They once tried to sign a guard Andrew Norell, but they missed it and they had to press hard to land on Solder. As the highest paid NFL offensive lineman, Solder was nowhere near such a lucrative deal with the Patriots because that is not the way they operate. With this development, it will be interesting to follow New England odds in the next season.
The loss of Fleming and Solder has left a major hole in Patriots offensive line. Now the real work is find the competent left tackle, which is giving the Patriots sleepless nights. Also hitting the free agent market was LaAdrian who was lineup with Fleming to replace Marcus Cannon last season due to injury. However, these two players drew a lot of interest in the free agency. LaAdrian and Fleming later met with the Cowboys, but Patriots succeeded in convincing Waddle to return and they quickly signed him with a one-year contract. Unfortunately, they failed to keep Fleming. According to ESPNs Field Yates, Fleming is about to pen down his deal with Cowboys. It's definitely hurting for New England to lose Fleming, a player who had graded out better compared to Solder in the 2017 season, which is according to a report by Pro Football Focus.
Fleming was ranked No.24 among the tackles and Solder No.32, which clearly shows that Fleming had excelled and Patriots should have reworked on his deal. After losing Fleming, New England have some options they can use to replace Solder. Now that they've retained Waddle, he can take up the left tackle position, although he is not the only option, other players to be considered are Matt Tobin former player with Seattle Seahawks, Cole Croston and Antonio Garcia. Croston has shown great improvement after being considered as undrafted rookie and now Patriots have decided to keep him for another season. The Patriots have enough work cut-out for them to look for a replacement for Solder. They should consider going for a long-term player if the don't have enough confidence with the current players to fill the gap.
However, there is one thing that seems to be working for Patriots and that is Dante Scarnecchia, the offensive line coach. He is considered as the best in what he does. He is able to overcome the serious losses they suffered after Fleming and Solder left the team. Going forward, its going to be an interesting time to see how Patriots are prepared in 2018 season. A lot is expected from them as they continue to reorganize the team. If they're able to fill the gaps left by the two players with competent players, they can perform well in the coming days. Everyone is waiting to see how they intend to replace the current holes in the offensive line.
Cowboys sign OT Cameron Fleming. 6”6 323 pound big man only 25 years old. Adds a solid piece to the flawed o-line we had last year.— Cowboys Football (@CowboysFootball) March 24, 2018