3 worst moves the New England Patriots have made this offseason

The team is undergoing a transformative shift but some moves - or non-moves - will not help.
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The New England Patriots are having an offseason like none other in this century. For the first time since 2000, Bill Belichick is no longer the head coach. Pats fans can hope for the best in 2024, of course, but there are a lot of unknowns.

This year was also the first draft without Bill Belichick in 24 years years and new general manager Eliot Wolf seemingly made some odd choices. Taking Drake Maye with the number three pick could pay off big, obviously, but wide receiver Ja'Lynn Polk might have been a reach in round two, and other receivers were available.

Joe Milton III was an odd pick in round six as well because there was no need to take another quarterback. The Patriots now have too many QBs. But Milton has a rocket for an arm and might eventually get some reps, so he wasn't the worst move the Patriots made this offseason.

The following three were.

3 worst moves the New England Patriots have made in the 2024 offseason

Hiring Jerod Mayo as head coach

We all hope that Mayo will do a great job, of course, but a team doing a rebuild should have been able to go with a new head coach with head coaching experience. He would have been able to see the grays when brand-new head coaches can only see black and white.

Mayo doesn't know what he doesn't know and he will be learning on the job while trying to get a younger roster to understand what they need to do as well.

New England backed itself into a corner with Mayo due to the way his contract was structured. Mayo appears to be a good guy, but that does not mean one knows how to create a long-term atmosphere for winning football games.

Mayo has never even been a coordinator in the NFL, so expecting him to go from leading his small group of inside linebackers to an entire team, including the offense, and Mayo has never coached that side of the ball, seems like a huge ask that could easily lead to failure.

Again, it isn't Mayo's fault he is the head coach directly; his contract said he would be the next coach. However, if the task is too big for Mayo, he might not only hurt the team but himself. If he fails, what team is going to take a chance on him being a head coach again?

Bringing Hunter Henry back

Maybe the issue here is not that the Patriots brought Henry back, but they seemed to be bidding against themselves for his services. He accepted a three-year deal with New England this offseason for $27 million, of which $15.8 million is guaranteed.

Henry has seemed on the verge of being a very productive tight end in the NFL since he was chosen in the second round of the 2019 draft, but he hasn't ever truly been and he likely will never be.

Former head coach Bill Belichick appeared to love having tight ends be heavily involved in the offense and who can blame him since Rob Gronkowski was clearly a future Hall of Fame player. But one great tight end does not mean the rest will be good.

Since Belichick was terminated this offseason, one might have assumed the Patriots would rebuild the TE group, but instead, they brought back Henry.

If Henry had re-signed for $5 million per season on average (with a guarantee of about $3 million per year), then maybe that would have been OK. He still should not be counted on to produce at a high level, however, as his receiving numbers in terms of yardage have gone down every season since 2019.

His longest reception was only 24 yards in 2023. No matter how good the quarterback is in Foxborough, Henry is not going to help the offense that much.

Not trading Bailey Zappe for literally anything

Zappe is currently signed for next to nothing through 2024 and he is a restricted free agent after that. He was a spot starter in 2023, and honestly, he wasn't awful compared to Mac Jones. At least Zappe kept calm and showed he could lead a lousy offense. That has to be worth something to some team, one might assume.

Instead, the Patriots decided to take a quarterback in the 2024 NFL draft who will certainly replace Zappe, and that was after signing Jacoby Brissett to an $8 million-plus deal this offseason. And just for fun, New England also took quarterback Joe Milton in the draft.

New England does not just have one too many quarterbacks; they have two extra ones.

New England will probably release Zappe and save a million dollars. But the team might have gotten a sixth or seventh-round choice back for him in a trade. That might not sound like much, but some guy named Tom Brady was a sixth-round choice, so gems can be found late in drafts.

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