Now that the 2023 season is in the rearview mirror for the Patriots, a lot of decisions will need to be made, the most important of which will be the future of Bill Belichick. On top of that are the decisions about how to proceed with the roster, especially since an expected teardown is set to happen in hopes of building a better team for 2024.
Despite completing a disappointing season, ending with a record of 4-13, there were plenty of players who played some of their best football. Yet, they were obviously overshadowed by all those who didn't.
Among the players who had forgettable performances in 2023, a few definitely won't be back because of it.
Trent Brown has to be the least surprising name on this list, which is unfortunate because he was one of the best offensive linemen in the league at one point in the season. But almost like clockwork, it appears he checked out before the year was over, becoming more of a liability than a productive member of the roster.
When the offensive line was in flux for most of the season, Brown consistently provided the best protection of the quarterback. Not only could everyone tell, and the stats backed it up, but he didn't shy away from letting the world know.
Brown chirped back at a reporter who had suggested he became a problem behind the scenes, stating he had been tardy several times which is why he wasn't present for the team's game in Germany. He shared he felt he was being targeted due to his standout performance up to that point and felt that was unfair.
After that, he also slammed the team in the media due to their handling of Malik Cunningham's tenure after he signed with the Ravens. Although most agreed with what he had to say, it wasn't a good look to be calling out your team publicly.
That continued a few weeks later when Brown opened up about wanting to test free agency this upcoming offseason. He said he wants to see what opportunities are out there, which seemed to match up with reports that he declared his desire to play for another team next season earlier in the year.
If things had gone differently, Brown would've been a player at the top of the list of those who needed to be re-signed for 2024. But given how he doesn't even seem to want to be in New England any longer, he's now at the top of the list of guys who will almost certainly not be in a Patriots uniform next year.