Are Patriots vulnerable this season? 

July, 11, 2013

Tom BradyJim Rogash/Getty ImagesDespite being more vulnerable, the Patriots are still the best team in the AFC East.
Adam Schefter answers reader questions in his mailbag once a week during the NFL season. Got a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: How will the New York Giants' signing of Victor Cruz affect their ability to re-sign Hakeem Nicks?

-- Roger (New York)

A: Not much, Roger. I actually think what has gotten overlooked in keeping Nicks is the emergence of former second-round pick Rueben Randle. If Randle can play the way the Giants are hoping, New York might not be as willing to give Nicks the type of money he will be able to command after this season. New York always can use its franchise tag on Nicks and likely would if he had a Pro Bowl-caliber season. But let me flip it to my scenario. What if Randle does emerge this season? Then losing Nicks becomes a lot more palatable. To me, Randle's season might have a larger impact on whether Nicks stays than Cruz's deal.