New England Patriots: 5 Most Important Players

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The 2016 New England Patriots might have to deal with a suspension to one of their most important players, but who else on the roster must play at a very high level for the team to be a success?

Jan 24, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 New England Patriots should be the favorites to win the AFC East yet again this season, even if future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady stays suspended for the first four games of the regular season, because they’ve built a team that is capable of hanging on while their leader is out of action.

That said, let’s take Brady out of this equation for the time being and really look at the roster of the Patriots and who else besides Brady will be important for the success of this team. Even if Brady does have to sit in the stands for the first four games of the season, it is safe to say head coach Bill Belichick, a future Hall of Famer himself, has a “Plan B” up his sleeve and will have the team prepared for the ’16 season — with or without — Brady.

The Patriots made some solid moves this offseason, adding to their offense and getting back to having possibly the best tight end duo in the game. If their running backs can stay healthy and their offensive line can stay on the field as well (they played most of the season without their starting left tackle Nate Solder), the Patriots not only can, but will, be a very dangerous team.

Plus, if Brady does have to sit out the first four games, when his first game does come up on the schedule, say a few words of comfort to the Cleveland Browns, who are scheduled to face the Patriots on Sunday, Oct. 2.

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