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Thursday, March 6, 2014
Hot Button: Biggest need on offense

By ESPNBoston.com

Tom Brady
With free agency around the corner, ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss and Field Yates debate the Patriots' greatest need on offense. Read their arguments and vote in our poll to have your say.

* Reiss: Tight end is biggest need. The Patriots currently have two tight ends under contract for 2014 -- Rob Gronkowski and D.J. Williams. It's a certainty that they will be adding more.

So this is a slam dunk when it comes to the team's most obvious need on offense. But is it the greatest need? I think it is.

Word is that Gronkowski is doing well in his recovery from a torn ACL, but there remains a question as to when he will return to the field. And when he does return, how long will he remain there? With this in mind, layering the position with depth is critical.

* Yates: Receiver is biggest need. When declaring wide receiver as the Patriots' biggest offensive need this offseason, it comes with a caveat: Julian Edelman is a big part of the equation.

If Edelman returns, the need doesn't go entirely out the door, but it certainly carries a lower priority. The Patriots invested in three players last offseason -- Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce -- that they believe can be productive within their offense.

Add Edelman back in the mix, and the team has a four-man band that has experience within the offense.

If Edelman departs in free agency, the need grows exponentially.