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Ranking the players the New England Patriots will miss in 2018

5. Nate Solder

Left tackle is such an important position, especially with an aging franchise quarterback. Yet, how do you miss a player if you’ve improved at that position? Solder was a rock of consistency, but he was average and is now the highest paid offensive lineman in the league for the Giants. Trent Brown is a beast who can dominate, and first round pick Isaiah Wynn is a great talent who’ll be able to take over if and when necessary.

4. Dion Lewis

I love Dion Lewis. Who doesn’t? But running backs come and go and the Patriots have been seamlessly moving on from players at that position for years.

3. Danny Amendola

This will be a much bigger loss if the Patriots have injury problems at receiver when the playoffs roll around. Amendola has been a very clutch player that Brady trusts, but he is a part time player who has had his own history of injuries. There is no way they could pay him what the Dolphins did. We’ll miss him here but he’ll be a bust in Miami.

2. Brandin Cooks

I was actually quite disappointed in Cooks. I don’t remember many times when he was running free after a catch and making a play. He’s a very fast and talented player, but he wasn’t a playmaker here. That being said, he was still a full time receiver who caught over a 1000 yards worth of balls. With Julian Edelman set to miss the first 4 games, and a number of other unproven receivers, he could be missed.

1. Malcolm Butler

He had a bit of a down year in 2017 but he’s always been reliable and competitive. Eric Rowe has the inside track to be the starter with Jason McCourtey and some talented youngsters in the mix. It’s such an important position and there’s a decent chance at a drop off in production in 2018.

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