4 Patriots free agents who should absolutely be back in 2024

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As free agency begins to creep up, many Patriots players should be at the top of the list to re-sign. With so many questions surrounding the team's direction under Jerod Mayo's new leadership, retaining some of the most productive players slated to explore the free agent market is critical, especially on offense.

Locking down these players will also benefit them heading into the upcoming draft, giving them a better picture of the direction they should go with each selection.

Kendrick Bourne

Although some may want to avoid a guy coming off an ACL tear a season before, re-signing Kendrick Bourne feels like a must for the Patriots this offseason.

Besides his infectious positive attitude being a selling point, he has had the most success since arriving in New England during the 2021 spending spree and was on pace to have the best season of his career before suffering an injury against the Dolphins in Week 8.

Bourne has proven he can adapt to any quarterback and immediately become their most trusted target, which will be even more helpful in the next few seasons with many questions surrounding the position. On top of that, the receivers currently signed for the 2024 season aren't exactly exciting or boosting the offense in the way they need to help.

Building the receiving corps around Bourne and Demario Douglas would make them a real threat, especially heading into a jam-packed free agency and draft with a great class of pass catchers readily available for them to choose from.

To make the idea even better, Bourne won't be an expensive option compared to some of his free-agent peers. He has also already voiced his desire to return to the team, even after Bill Belichick's departure, which is a positive sign that he's open to negotiation.