March is finally here. This time last year, the New England Patriots were gearing up for a groundbreaking free agent spending spree.
While fans shouldn’t expect a similar magnitude of roster turnover this time around, the front office undoubtedly feels the pressure to make upgrades after the team was steamrolled by the Buffalo Bills in the playoffs.
The discrepancy in talent was already a steep obstacle to overcome, but it became clear that the Patriots lacked the necessary depth and speed at premium positions to go on a run, let alone make it past Wild Card Weekend.
When push came to shove, a number of players either underperformed or weren’t even in a position to help the team. You could make the case that up to eight players aren’t deserving of another season with the Patriots in 2022, but we managed to narrow the list down to four.
So, without further ado …
These 4 Patriots don’t deserve another season in 2022.
4. Anfernee Jennings
With Dont’a Hightower and Ja’Whaun Bentley set to hit free agency, the Patriots have burning questions to address at linebacker this offseason. While they’ll likely look to add experience regardless, it’s pretty alarming none of Anfernee Jennings, Chase Winovich or Josh Uche are ready to step into a prominent role.
The fact Jennings has been the biggest letdown of that trio speaks volumes. A late third-round pick out of Alabama back in 2020, Jennings played 14 games as a rookie and totaled 20 tackles and one QB hit over 292 snaps.
In need of a big offseason entering Year 2, Jennings showed up to camp out of shape and spent the entirety of 2021 on injured reserve. Given their shortage of linebackers and his raw physical traits, the Patriots might be reluctant to give up on Jennings, but make no mistake, he’s given the team no reason to keep him around.
Belichick and Co. have been a disaster investing Day 2 draft picks at linebacker and it might behoove them to look into one of Devin Lloyd or Nakobe Dean in the first round this April to avoid making the same mistake again.