Patriots Tabbed a Landing Spot for ‘Secret Superstar’ Slated for $13 Million Deal

Andrew Van Ginkel, a potential bargain addition for the Patriots offseason.

Getty Andrew Van Ginkel, a potential bargain addition for the Patriots offseason.

When it comes to the Patriots offseason, there will have been monumental changes, even if the team does not do anything else going forward. Moving from septuagenarian legend Bill Belichick to new and untested 37-year-old Jerod Mayo is a pretty big deal. And while there is a No. 3 pick to use and among the most cap space in the NFL available, there will be more changes coming, even if they’re not as dramatic as some expect.

That’s because, despite having around $70 million to spend, the Patriots have a huge number of holes to fill and some of their own free agents—tackle Michael Onwenu, receiver Kendrick Bourne, safety Kyle Dugger—to retain. That money will be occupied pretty quickly.

So it makes sense to go looking for some young bargains, too, and one that springs to the fore is Dolphins edge rusher Andrew Van Ginkel, who has been getting so much attention as an underrated and overlooked star that you’d have to think he is not so underrated and certainly not overlooked. But he is, according to Bleacher Report, an ideal Patriots target.

Andrew Van Ginkel a Fit in Patriots Offseason

In an article headlined, “Overlooked Veterans That Every Team Must Prioritize,” B/R’s Alex Ballentine wrote of Van Ginkel:

“Andrew Van Ginkel has been a solid rotational pass-rusher for the Miami Dolphins for a few years, but he got the opportunity this season to show that he could be a little more. He took advantage and likely made himself some money along the way.

“The 28-year-old is far from a household name, but he became a key piece for the Dolphins defense when Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips both went down with injuries this season. Pressed into a larger role, Van Ginkel racked up six sacks and 19 quarterback hits while making 11 starts and appearing in all 17 regular-season games.”

Adding to Van Ginkel’s attractiveness, Ballentine noted, is his versatility as a guy who can drop back in coverage from the edge position.

“Van Ginkel should appeal more to teams that like to blitz and play a 3-4 base alignment, but his ability to rush the passer could make him appealing even for teams that don’t fit that mold,” Ballentine wrote.

“The New England Patriots are in the same boat, and he would fit their blitz-heavy style well.”

‘Secret Superstar’ a Cost-Effective Addition

Though the defense was clearly a strength for the Patriots, despite general offensive ineptitude in 2023, there will still be some questions for the team to answer in the offseason. Dugger’s future is one of them, and he is projected to get a franchise tag from the Patriots, which means he’d earn $16.3 million next year. Pass-rusher Josh Uche, who has been slow to develop, is another question mark.

But while Van Ginkel is not the pass-rusher that Uche is, he is an upgrade over Uche because of his ability to stay on the field in non-pass-rushing situations. And it helps that he could be relatively affordable. Pro Football Focus has Van Ginkel slotted for a two-year, $13 million contract, something that Pats could easily absorb.

Like B/R, PFF highlighted the fact that Van Ginkel is often overlooked, tabbing him as a “secret superstar” in January.

“His 91.1 PFF grade was the eighth-highest among all edge defenders, his PFF pass-rushing grade was the seventh-highest, and Van Ginkel even flashed in coverage. The Dolphins would love to hang on to his services this offseason, but he’ll likely be in high demand,” the site wrote.

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