There’s a lot to look forward to concerning the New England Patriots after they qualified for the playoffs in the first season of the Mac Jones era.
However, getting trounced the first round by the Buffalo Bills, a legitimate championship contender, served as a timely reminder that the roster overhaul ignited after Tom Brady’s departure is still in its infancy stages.
The good news is that the Patriots have a lot of foundational pieces to build around. With just a few tweaks to weaker positions, there’s no reason to think they can’t close to the gap between Buffalo and the NFL’s elite this offseason.
How much that gap closes, though, remains to be seen. As of this writing, the Pats have just over $7 million in cap space for 2022, so they’ll have to perform some financial gymnastics to increase their spending budget.
The simplest way to do that? How about cutting three players that could salvage approximately $15 million in cap space?
3 cuts that can save the Patriots $15 million in cap space
3. Lawrence Guy
Before you say it, we know. The Patriots signed Guy to a four-year, $11.5 million contract in free agency last offseason. Why could they cut him?
Well, for starters, doing so would rescue $3.75 million in cap space. It’s not a huge amount of money, but New England has plenty of defensive tackles on the roster (Christian Barmore, Davon Godchaux, Byron Cowart) to make Guy expendable. With Belichick pulling the free agent strings, that $3.75 million could end up being a big deal. And what’s the sense in keeping him if he played just 49% of the defensive snaps despite appearing in all 17 games this past season?
Additionally, the 2022 draft class is loaded with interior defensive linemen. With three picks inside the top-85, the Patriots could easily find an immediate contributor to play behind Barmore and Godchaux, the expected starters in this scenario.
We understand why the Patriots signed Guy last offseason. At the time, there was no way to know Barmore would evolve into a stud as soon as he did. Luckily for New England, that gives them a perfect excuse to send Guy packing, as much as he might not deserve it given all he’s done for the team since 2017.