Free agent snapshot: Danny Trevathan

Mike Petraglia
February 17, 2016 - 6:53 am
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[caption id="attachment_106058" align="alignright" width="400"]Danny Trevathan (59) makes one of two fumble recoveries in Super Bowl 50. (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports) Danny Trevathan (59) makes one of two fumble recoveries in Super Bowl 50. (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)[/caption] When free agency begins in early March, there are a handful of players across the league who could appeal to New England. With the understanding that the status of these players could change because of the franchise or transition tag, here are a few possibilities for the Patriots to consider. We have to stress that all of these guys are not necessarily considered the elite of the free agent class --€“€” instead, they'€™re players we think would be a good fit in New England. We started with Matt Forte, Anquan Boldin, Mohamed Sanu, Alshon Jeffery, Stevan Ridley, and now Danny Trevathan. Player: Danny Trevathan Position: Inside Linebacker Height: 6-foot-1 Weight: 240 pounds Age: 25 (turns 26, March 24) The skinny: Trevathan is a speedy inside linebacker who has had a productive first four years in Denver since being drafted in the sixth round (188 overall) out of Kentucky in 2012. While technically listed on a lot of depth charts as an inside linebacker, Trevathan has enough closing speed to be considered a true weakside, sideline-to-sideline pursuing linebacker. He is undersized (at 6-foot-1) but is considered by scouts to be physical and tough. He turned into a special teams asset with the Broncos. By the numbers: For a linebacker, Trevathan has put up some very impressive statistics in the turnover department, always a Bill Belichick defensive staple. Twice in the Super Bowl, he had huge recoveries for the Broncos. In the first half Panthers running back Mike Tolbert fumbled and Trevathan was there to recover. In the second half, Cam Newton fired a pass over the middle that was intercepted by T.J. Ward. But when Ward hesitated in his return and eventually fumbled, it was Trevathan there to save the day and keep possession with the Broncos. His best season came in 2013, when he started all 16 games for the AFC champs, intercepting three passes and forcing three fumbles. He had a career-best 129 tackles, two sacks and 10 passes defended. After an injury-plagued 2014, Trevathan bounced back this season to start all 15 games he played in, with two interceptions, including a pick-6. In essentially two seasons, (2012 special teams, '14 injured), Trevathan has 19 passes defended, five interceptions, three sacks and three forced fumbles. Why it would work: Bill Belichick will likely need someone to replace Jerod Mayo, assuming the eight-year veteran from Tennessee does not return. And while Dont'a Hightower certainly can fill the bill as a pure run-stopper, Trevathan has proven his ability over his first four years to be able to cover in passing downs. Trevathan is a three-down linebacker and could add remarkable quality depth to the linebacking corps, taking some of the burden off Hightower and Collins. In the Giants' glory days, Belichick had Lawrence Taylor, Pepper Johnson, Harry Carson and Carl Banks. Belichick has always had an affinity for great linebacking play. Add to the fact that Trevathan has proven himself as a special teams cog in Denver, and there's plenty of reason to think Belichick could get his moneys-worth out of him. Why it wouldn'€™€™t work: Trevathan looks for his payday. If the young linebacker hits the free market and agent Bus Cook looks to capitalize financially on the Super Bowl wave - and Trevathan's role in one of the best defenses in recent memory - the Patriots would likely beg off. Trevathan would no doubt be welcome in Foxboro but only at the right price, as the Patriots have some other decisions to make financially after the 2016 season, namely Jamie Collins, Malcolm Butler, Dont'a Hightower and Chandler Jones. It's highly unlikely the Patriots would spend big dollars on an unknown commodity (an outside player coming in) as opposed to committing dollars to a player they already know. Our take: Denver has a lot of decisions to make on defense. They could tag Super Bowl MVP Von Miller or sign him to a long-term deal. They still have to address the future of defensive lineman Malik Jackson after re-signing Derek Wolfe to a four-year, $36 million extension just prior to their Super Bowl run in January. If somehow Trevathan slips through and becomes a free agent, this could be a player the Patriots pursue in free agency to add depth, versatility and youth to the linebacking corps. Look for the Patriots to make a play if Trevathan gets to the open market.