3 underrated moves the New England Patriots made in the 2023 offseason

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Moving Jalen Mills to safety

It was a weird start to free agency when news dropped about the Patriots releasing Jalen Mills with no indication why.

Fortunately, the release was never processed, and Mills was re-signed in a move that was essentially a re-structure of his contract. The news was well received, but there was one noticeable change made upon his re-signing that could have incredible ramifications throughout the upcoming season.

In his first two seasons with the Patriots and for most of his NFL career, Mills was considered a cornerback. He built a resume with experience playing all over the secondary, which was a tremendous help for New England as they transitioned after losing J.C. Jackson and Stephon Gilmore.

Now that he's remaining with the team, his new contract indicated Belichick's plan to move Mills to safety. Although he hasn't played that position during his time in New England, he did play free safety for the Eagles during the 2020 season.

With Devin McCourty announcing his retirement and expecting the cornerbacks to be led by Jonathan Jones, Marcus Jones, and rookie Christian Gonzalez, Mills' position change makes much more sense.

McCourty's absence allows Mills to build upon what he's accomplished so far, re-establish himself, and become an even more vital player on the team. His athleticism and versatility will match well with the teammates he joins: Kyle Dugger, Jabrill Peppers, and Adrian Phillips.

And like Mike Gesicki, the newly named safety has also been impressing this spring during practices.

It may still be early in the offseason, and practices haven't been incredibly competitive, but it's never bad when a player is succeeding in drills, right?