5 Patriots players who need to be gone before the 2024 season begins

New England would be in even greater position to succeed by moving on from these players.
Kathryn Riley/GettyImages
1 of 3

This will be a great offseason for the New England Patriots. That means that the 2024 season is going to go really well, too. Why do I think this? There is no reason not to.

The Patriots are awash in cap room with $69,866,052, according to Spotrac. New England also has the number three overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft and a high choice in the second round. New England is set up better than almost any other team to get good very quickly.

But New England also needs to make some roster decisions on which players to keep and which to discard. One player that follows, for instance, is simply holding a roster spot that a likely more productive player should have. So, who should New England not welcome back in 2024? Here are five thoughts.

New England Patriots need to shed quarterback Mac Jones

This one is easy, right?

Mac Jones needs to be gone for his own sake as much as the team's. Sure, maybe he will improve under a new offensive direction, but will much overall change from Bill Belichick to Jerod Mayo? Likely, not. Plus, Jones might simply see a New England Patriots jersey and begin to have PTSD about his 2023 season (helpful should the Patriots ever play against Jones should he sign elsewhere).

New England has their long-term backup in Bailey Zappe. Let's hope the team either signs a quality quarterback in free agency - the Pats can afford Kirk Cousins, for instance - or drafts a quarterback with the third overall choice. Maybe Zappe even starts at the beginning of 2024 so that the rookie can learn a bit before he gets thrown to the proverbial fire. But as Zappe should be the backup, there is no room for Jones.

Losing Jones would be a financial loss, though. His dead cap and cap hit are the same, but his signing bonus was already guaranteed from the beginning. The team potentially releasing Jones is not about financials. Jones needs a new start, and the new quarterback in New England does not need Jones staring over his shoulder.