NFL Offseason Previews: New England Patriots
The NFL offseason is upon us, and teams will begin working to craft their 2023 rosters in the coming months. In this series of offseason previews, we will look at what each team has to work with and their biggest needs. Today we continue with the New England Patriots offseason preview.
As a reminder, here are dates to keep in mind for the 2023 NFL offseason:
- March 7: deadline for teams to use the franchise tag
- March 13: legal tampering period opens
- March 15: NFL free agency begins and the new league year starts
- April 21: deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets
- April 27-29: NFL draft
- May 1: deadline for teams to exercise 5th-year options on 2020 first-round draft picks
- July 15: deadline for franchise tag players to sign an extension
You can find previous team’s offseason previews here: Bears | Bengals | Browns | Lions | Packers | Steelers | Vikings | Ravens | 49ers | Broncos | Rams | Chargers | Seahawks | Raiders | Cardinals | Chiefs | Eagles | Dolphins | Giants | Jets |
Once the cream of the crop in the AFC East, the New England Patriots are now the little brothers to the Buffalo Bills. With another good, not great season in the books, the Patriots have plenty of questions to answer.
While the Patriots flirted with a playoff berth down to the end, they finished just 8-9. New England was middle of the pack on both sides of the ball, and the starting quarterback situation left plenty to be desired.
Mac Jones took a step back this season. After a strong rookie campaign, the former Alabama QB threw for 2,997 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in 14 starts for the Patriots.
Key Positional Needs
Here’s where the Patriots need to find help this offseason:
Key Free Agents
Here’s a look at the Patriots upcoming key free agents:
- Nelson Agohlor (WR)
- Damien Harris (RB)
- Marcus Cannon (RT)
- Devin McCourty (FS)
- Conor McDermott (OT)
- Jakobi Meyers (WR)
- Jabrill Peppers (S)
Salary Cap & Draft Capital
Here’s a look at the salary cap room and draft capital that the Patriots have to work with this offseason:
- Current draft picks: 14 (1), 46 (2), 76 (3), 107 (4), 117 (4), 135 (4), 184 (6), 187 (6), 192 (6), 210 (6), 258 (7)
- Cap space: $32.4M
New England needs help. More specifically, Mac Jones needs help. Of course, that is if the Patriots plan to stick with Jones long-term, which seems to be up in the air now. Still, I think New England heads into 2023 with Jones as the starter, so let’s plan on that for now.
Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers is set to his free agency, and the Patriots wide receiver room is pretty bare beyond Meyers. If Jones is going to return to the form we saw in his rookie year, he needs some weapons. So wide receiver should be at the top of New England’s wish list.
Unfortunately for New England, the wide receivers market is pretty thin, and their own free agent is near the top of the position group. However, the Patriots have six picks in the top 150 in the NFL Draft, so they could take a swing (or two) at addressing the position there.
If you’re looking for more offseason reading, Sam Hoppen at 4for4 (our sister company) is previewing each division:
AFC East: Key Free Agents, Draft Picks & Needs, and Available Cap Space | 4for4