3 best moves of the Patriots 2024 offseason

They graded high in three key areas
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The New England Patriots 2024 offseason is essentially in the books. This was the first offseason in 24 years that Bill Belichick didn't hold the reins of the team's personnel. New Executive Vice President of Player Personnel, Eliot Wolf was the man in command. If an overall grade for the offseason were to be doled out here, it would be a B.

In evaluating Wolf's top offseason moves, three stand out individually or in the aggregate. These moves affected both offense and defense. Both sides of the ball were positively impacted. The offense needed the most work and got solid, if not comprehensive, attention.

The solid moves were made on offense included the most important of all. Yet, the defense was also positively impacted by retaining the best of the status quo. Either way, they count on the plus side of the ledger for Eliot Wolf and the Patriots.

Two areas with high offseason grades

You're expected to do well in the draft when you have the third pick overall and high picks in every round. With that third pick, you'd better get it right. Eliot Wolf did the right thing and drafted Drake Maye, one of the top-three quarterbacks in the draft. He filled a huge need for the Patriots. One can't rate that pick any lower than an A+++.

Additionally, he deftly drafted almost exclusively on offense, including wide receivers in both the second and fourth rounds. Each may contribute significantly to the 2024 team. One, Ja'Lynn Polk, is being touted here to be an immediate contributor. Wolf's other picks were OK but not earth-shattering. His failure to draft a left tackle was a huge demerit.

Another plus was re-signing several key players to contract extensions. Because of Bill Belichick's aversion to signing his best young players to early team-friendly deals, two free agents who were granted extensions were overpaid.

They were safety Kyle Dugger and offensive tackle/guard Mike Onwenu. Both went into their free agency years and cashed in. Wolf re-signed these two good players. Onwenu is the better of the two. Yet, it's hard to argue with either extension. The gaffe was Belichick's in not getting both extensions signed earlier. There's no fault for Wolf there.

Wolf also took a major step in the right direction when he signed defensive breakout player Christian Barmore for a massive extension. He got the message this time and deftly signed Barmore after his third season. Belichick should have done so after two. He didn't. His inattention cost the Pats a lot of extra money.

Third big Patriots' offseason plus is addition by subtraction

The Patriots also cut ties with several unproductive players. This process is unending in the NFL, but it takes perspicacity to know exactly when to make the break. In several instances, Wolf's timing this offseason was impeccable.

Former free agent signee, tight end Mike Gesicki, from whom much was expected here last season, did little. He was allowed to leave, and Wolf signed another former favorite here, tight end Austin Hooper. Hooper may be no better, but Wolf didn't hang onto Belichick's mistake and moved on. That's a good sign.

Other free agents cast adrift included the talented but inconsistent left tackle Trent Brown, corners J.C. Jackson and Myles Bryant, running back Ezekiel Eliot, tackle Riley Reiff, safeties Jalen Mills, Adrian Phillips, and Cody Davis, defensive tackle Lawrence Guy, and receiver, DeVante Parker who was released and later retired.

That's a partial yet substantial list of players who the Patriots have let go this off-season. Absent tackle Brown (when he was motivated), few will be missed much in 2024. Wolf did the right thing by cutting ties, moving on, and seeking to find better players elsewhere.

These are three top moves by the Patriots this offseason to try to become relevant again in the AFC East. Some work, some don't, but do the right thing, and you may succeed. Wolf did in several instances; in others, he dropped the ball. There's still time with trades to put more pieces in place. Absent that, we'll see if what he's patched together works. There's no other year than this one.

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