Pro Bowl Edge Rusher Called ‘Free Agent Impact Playmaker’ for Patriots

Getty Bradley Chubb

In 2021, Matthew Judon made a significant impact on the New England Patriots’ defense with his pass-rushing skills. Judon led the team in sacks with 12.5. While Judon established himself as the team’s best player in the eyes of some, an NFL team can never have enough pass rushers.

Perhaps that’s why Patriots.com writer Mike Dussault suggests Denver Broncos’ edge rusher Bradley Chubb might be a player New England targets in free agency ahead of the 2023 season.

Chubb is in headed into the final year of his four-year, $27.2 million deal with the Denver Broncos. The Broncos have the look of a Super Bowl contender with their acquisition of veteran quarterback Russell Wilson. However, with Wilson owed at least $51 million over the next two years, the Broncos may not be able to afford to retain Chubb if he plays well in 2022.

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If that is the case, the Patriots could likely be among a group of NFL teams exploring the possibility of signing Chubb. However, Chubb could prove to be too expensive for the Patriots who have notoriously not paid huge deals to pass rushers.

Chubb is coming off a tough year that saw him miss 10 games and fail to record a sack. During his rookie season in 2018, Chubb played in every game and recorded 12.5 sacks. He finished third in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.

He’ll be a very rich man if he can return to form in 2022.


Top Free-Agent Edge Rushers in 2023

The market for edge rushers in 2023 isn’t going to be flooded with top performers or major names. Future Hall-of-Famer J.J. Watt will be a free agent, but he’s going to be 34 in March 2023, and injuries have taken a major toll on him.

If New England–or any other team–elects to sign they might be looking at a player best suited for a mentorship role. The Indianapolis Colts’ Yannick Ngakoue will also be a free agent and at a few months shy of his 28th birthday, there is still room for him to explode.

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Another name to keep an eye on is Samson Ebukam. He has recorded 4.5 sacks in each of the last three seasons, but he might be primed for a breakout season in 2022 or 2023. He’s a young pass rusher the Patriots might have interest in signing in 2023.


Patriots Pass Rushers Who Could Break Out

While adding a player like Chubb could be intriguing for the Patriots, we can’t forget young pass rushers on New England’s roster like Josh Uche and Ronnie Perkins.

Uche was drafted in 2020 and he has shown flashes of what could be a star pass-rusher in the making. However, injuries have slowed his growth on the field.

Uche has missed 12 games in his first two seasons in the NFL, but he has still recorded four sacks. The hope is that he at least doubles that number in 2022.

Perkins didn’t make it off the practice squad in 2021, but he is expected to make an impact this season. In three seasons with the Oklahoma Sooners, Perkins had 16.5 sacks. A third of that total would likely put a smile on Bill Belichick’s face.

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