4 Patriots already on the chopping block before OTAs

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers
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It's still relatively early in the 2024 offseason, with only rookie minicamp having been this past weekend, so projecting who will or will not make the Patriots roster is more of a guessing game than a certainty at this point.

However, because a handful of players had less than impressive performances last year, it's easy to believe they are the first names to be considered by Jerod Mayo and Eliot Wolf as cut candidates when the time comes.

Unfortunately, most of those presumed to be on the chopping block are on the offense, which the Patriots can't necessarily afford to thin out at the moment.

But they put together a decent free agency and impressive draft class, which makes it easier to move on from at least the four players on this list.

4 Patriots already on the chopping block before OTAs

JuJu Smith-Schuster

With an emphasis on improving the offense this offseason, the Patriots have the opposite problem with the receiving corps they've dealt with in recent years. Instead of not having enough talent to make up the roster, they currently have 11 receivers signed for the 2024 season.

Not all will make the team, obviously, and JuJu Smith-Schuster is one of the players at the highest risk of being traded before Week 1.

The longtime Steeler was a problematic signing from the start. Not because he was coming off an injury-riddled season with the Chiefs but because signing him meant Bill Belichick was no longer extending Jakobi Meyers, who had become the most productive weapon over the previous three seasons.

Although most fans and even Robert Kraft are yet to get passed Meyers no longer being on the team, there was hope that Smith-Schuster could be a surprisingly solid addition. Unfortunately, that never happened and he finished the year on injured reserve.

Because Kendrick Bourne was extended in free agency, K.J. Osborn was signed, DeMario Douglas being expected to step into an even bigger role, and Javon Baker and Ja'Lynn Polk were drafted, an opening for Smith-Schuster seems to be closing.

Because of how his contract is written, it seems unlikely he will be cut before the season begins and instead be traded. The problem is finding a team that still believes he could add something to their offense after how he performed last year.