Resetting the New England Patriots’ roster after spending spree


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — After a dizzying stretch of negotiating in the course of the NFL free-agency interval, the New England Patriots’ roster has undergone a big transformation. Much more change is predicted.

For now, here is the new-look position-by-position breakdown:

Quarterback: Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham, Jake Dolegala

The Patriots might nonetheless add one other signal-caller, however as extra salary-cap house has been dedicated to different positions, the percentages now favor it being a rookie or a lower-cost choice.

Working again: Damien Harris, Sony Michel, Brandon Bolden, J.J. Taylor

All eyes are on “passing again” and three-time captain James White, who stays a free agent. The Patriots must be including to this spot in both free company or the draft.

Fullback: Jakob Johnson, Danny Vitale, Dalton Keene

With the Patriots including two high tight ends in free company, maybe they’ll now view Keene, a 2020 third-round decide from Virginia Tech, extra within the fullback/H-back realm as a flexible chess piece.

Tight finish: Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Ryan Izzo, Devin Asiasi, Matt LaCosse

The Patriots’ grouping of two tight-ends is known as “Detroit,” which is a reference to teach Invoice Belichick’s early years within the NFL as a Lions assistant, when the two-tight-end bundle was a giant a part of their assault with Charlie Sanders and David Hill. In 2021, “Detroit” involves New England in a giant approach.

Extensive receiver: Julian Edelman, Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, Matthew Slater, Marqise Lee, Devin Smith, Kristian Wilkerson, Isaiah Zuber

Agholor led the NFL in yards per goal final season (11.1) and had six touchdowns on vertical routes, third within the NFL behind on Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill. His presence provides an explosive component this group was lacking in 2020 when it ranked twenty second in yards per reception (12.3).

Offensive line: Isaiah Wynn (LT), Trent Brown (RT/LT), Shaq Mason (RG), Mike Onwenu (G/RT), Justin Herron (OT), Korey Cunningham (OT), Marcus Martin (C/G), Najee Toran (C), Yodny Cajuste (OT), Ross Reynolds (G)

Dropping stalwart left guard Joe Thuney to the Chiefs and with heart David Andrews set to hit free company, this group could possibly be with out two foundational gamers. The more than likely mixture at this level is Wynn at left deal with, Onwenu at left guard, Mason at proper guard and Brown at proper deal with, with a giant query at heart.

Defensive position: Davon Godchaux, Deatrich Sensible Jr., Henry Anderson, Beau Allen, Byron Cowart, Carl Davis, Rashod Berry, Nick Thurman, Invoice Murray, Akeem Spence

Massive adjustments up entrance with veteran two-gapper Lawrence Man and inside penetrator Adam Butler nonetheless available on the market. Godchaux and Anderson ought to assist towards the run, an space the entrance seven struggled with at instances in 2020.

Linebacker: Dont’a Hightower, Matthew Judon, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Chase Winovich, Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, Terez Corridor, Tashawn Bower, Cassh Maluia, Michael Pinckney, Brandon King

If Judon integrates into the Patriots’ system, he affords a sturdy edge presence and pass-rush risk — mixed with Hightower — that would reshape the entrance seven into one of many hardest, meanest items within the NFL.

Cornerback: Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson (RFA), Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, Myles Bryant, Dee Virgin, Michael Jackson, D’Angelo Ross, Justin Bethel

Gilmore’s $7 million wage nonetheless looks like one thing that may should be addressed, because it’s onerous to think about he is on board enjoying for that below-market quantity. With the Patriots liberally spending, maybe they’d additionally contemplate a bump for Gilmore.

Security: Devin McCourty, Adrian Phillips, Patrick Chung, Kyle Dugger, Jalen Mills

Mills is the one participant within the NFL to play 50-plus snaps in any respect seven of those pre-snap areas final season: Left and proper OLB; left and proper slot CB; left and proper broad CB and free security. He is the kind of versatile chess piece that would match properly given the number of packages the Patriots play.

Particular groups: Roberto Aguayo (kicker), Justin Rohrwasser (kicker), Jake Bailey (punter), Joe Cardona (long-snapper)

Veteran kicker Nick People, who was one of many group’s MVPs final season, stays a free agent.

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