The New England Patriots unfortunately have some players who are not living up to their contracts and may not finish them with the team. This is the price of doing business in the NFL. Taking risks in free agency can lead to teams dumping players before their contracts expire with the team.
Two offseasons ago, New England invested heavily in their team and went crazy in free agency. Because of that, they may have some contracts on the books that they may want to get out of, either during the 2023 season or after it.
Patriots who may not finish out their contracts with the team
Trent Brown, Tackle
Trent Brown had a rough season at right tackle for the Patriots and is under contract for one more year. However, the Patriots have cap space and a first round pick, so could they easily draft or sign multiple starting tackles, leaving Brown the odd man out?
I think it’s possible. In fact, cutting Brown saves the team $8 million against the cap, so the potential savings are right there in front of them. I think Brown is a fine left tackle, but it’s clear that his time at RT was a massive failure.
Jonnu Smith, Tight end
Jonnu Smith was a major signing for the team two years ago, but he has not lived up to the $50,000,000 contract he’s signed with the team. In two seasons in New England, Smith has caught 55 balls for 539 yards and one touchdown.
He just has not lived up to his contract. He’s got two more years left and unless he breaks out in year three for the team they’ll cut him next offseason and save millions on their 2024 cap space.
Mac Jones, Quarterback
Mac Jones is on his rookie deal and does have a fifth year option, but I’m not sure he plays out even a standard four year rookie deal. I could see the team making a major move for a quarterback this offseason.
Even if they don’t, Mac Jones could not progress enough in year three to warrant the team keeping him on the roster. He could even be a nice trade piece if the team wanted to go that route at some point.