4 easy ways the New England Patriots can be a competitive team in 2024

The Patriots are not that far off from being a good team again.

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Sign receiver Tee Higgins in free agency

The Patriots will grab a quarterback somehow (one would hope), so whether New England brings in someone like Cousins or a rookie, they need someone to throw to. Perhaps a best case for 2024 alone would be for the Patriots to sign both Tee Higgins and Kirk Cousins and draft Marvin Harrison, Jr. New England's pass offense quickly becomes elite as long as the blocking holds up.

Higgins is the kind of physical receiver with excellent speed who can make a decent quarterback even better. His ability to high-point the ball is as good as anyone in the league. His numbers would have been even better had he not played on a Cincinnati Bengals team with another fantastic receiver and, a couple of good ones.

The only potential concern with Higgins is paying him $20-plus million a year and him not being available for every game. He missed three games in 2021, and he missed five in 2023. This season, he had to play quite a bit without quarterback Joe Burrow, and while Higgins had a career-high in yards per catch (15.6), he had his lowest catch rate (55.3 percent) and fewest receiving yards per game (54.7).

I have to admit that I say that last bit in hopes that some NFL team interested in Higgins will read it and not want to pay him what he is worth. But the truth is, Higgins would have been a No. 1 receiver on most teams in the last three years and would help transform the struggling Patriots offense. Unless the Bengals rudely put the franchise tag on Higgins, of course.