4 Patriots free agents who should absolutely be back in 2024

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Kyle Dugger

Kyle Dugger, the Swiss army knife of the secondary, is at the top of the list of defensive free agents who must stay with the Patriots. The likelihood of his re-signing was a bit more iffy when Belichick was still running the show, but things feel a bit different now with Mayo.

From the moment Dugger was drafted, there was a lot of skepticism about how he would fare in the NFL. He came from a DII school and was older than most rookies, causing many to doubt he would ever become much of anything in the league. Fortunately, with good coaching and determination, Dugger has more than proven himself through four years and has become a player even his teammates are advocating to re-sign.

Over the years, he's become more of a juggernaut of the defense, becoming the go-to guy to cover opposing tight ends while demonstrating his incredible versatility by being successful no matter his assignment.

That's not easy to come by with players, but Dugger has consistently produced on the field. Now that the secondary has thinned out with Devin McCourty's retirement and a handful of others heading to free agency as well, re-signing Dugger should be a priority.

The Patriots' defense has become the better side of the team again, and Dugger has been a significant contributor to that. If Mayo hopes to keep continuity with the defense and build upon it, then extending the best players is the way to go, Dugger included.

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