3 Patriots players who definitely won't be back in 2024

New England Patriots v Denver Broncos
New England Patriots v Denver Broncos / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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Josh Uche

Unlike the other names on this list, Josh Uche won't return in 2024 due to poor performance. He won't be back because he will be considered one of the better outside linebackers available in free agency.

His 2022 season was the best of his career, recording 27 combined tackles, 9 tackles for a loss, 14 quarterback hits, 2 forced fumbles and 11.5 sacks. Because of that, the hope was he would build upon that success and become the player the Patriots believed he could be this year.

But even with Matthew Judon sidelined for all but four games, Uche couldn't replicate the production of one year ago, which ultimately made him a potential trade target before the deadline in October.

It had been rumored that Bill Belichick was nearing a deal with the Detroit Lions for him hours before the deadline, but because he wouldn't budge on his asking price, Uche remained with the Patriots for the season. If there is any truth to that, it seems fair to assume he won't be one of the prioritized players in line for a new contract this offseason.

Considering how much money he could probably get elsewhere in the league, it wouldn't be surprising to see him move on even if the Patriots made an offer. But it may also come down to who the head coach is in New England next year. If it's not Belichick and Jerod Mayo takes over, that could entice Uche to stay, as he was very vocal about his appreciation and respect for the linebackers coach when speaking to the media leading up to the team's final game of the year.

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