Cap hit: $4,250,823
This one may be controversial, given he's still on a rookie contract. However, because of how Mac Jones played during the 2023 season, which ultimately led to him being benched, paying him over $4 million is quite a bit of money for a guy who was ensuring the team lost many games during the year.
He was named the clear winner of the quarterback competition from the summer, as Bailey Zappe failed to impress the coaches enough to be named the starter, but the impact of the 2022 season seemed to be weighing heavy on Jones after the first few games.
The season started optimistically, despite the Patriots' losses, but as the weeks continued, Jones' performances got worse and worse, which led to him being benched four times before Belichick ended his season after their Week 11 game against the Giants.
The questionable decision-making and ill-timed interceptions, some of which were pick-sixes, to the mostly defeated attitude, were all signs of a different player than what we saw his rookie year. It became obvious Jones was a broken player, and although the coaching staff didn't recognize it, it resulted in his permanent benching.
Cap hit: $3,686,666
One of the more disappointing trades in the Bill Belichick era was undoubtedly the one for DeVante Parker. Not because of how much the team was paying him but because there was a belief he could be the big-bodied, 50/50 ball receiver the Patriots needed. He had some standout moments in his first season with the team in 2022, but bobbles led to interceptions off his hands far too often to be pleased about.
This past season, we saw even less production from him, primarily due to injury. He missed four games, but even when he was on the field, he didn't make the impact for the offense that was expected of him. Last year, he recorded just 33 receptions for 394 yards, a significant decline from the year prior, and even that was a disappointing output.
Although Parker's contract is far from outrageous, it seems that way, given how little he's been able to acclimate to the team entirely, become fully immersed in the offense, and become a reliable weapon for any quarterback to throw to.