During a disappointing season unfamiliar to many fans, the Patriots have quite a list of players likely to play their final games for the team during the next eight weeks. Whether it be due to expiring contracts that won't be extended, poor performance, or a free agent signing mistake, a handful of players are most definitely on their way out of Foxboro as soon as Week 18 concludes.
In some cases, it's unfortunate because the player has contributed a lot during their time as a Patriot, while others seem like they need a fresh start somewhere to really overhaul their career.
Regardless of the reasoning, here are six players who could be playing their final games with the Patriots during the second half of the season.
With his rookie contract expiring at the end of the season and his name being floated as a leading trade candidate before last month's deadline, Josh Uche looks to have one foot out the door of New England already.
The 2020 draft pick has been a solid piece on the defense in the four years he's been a Patriot, accomplishing the best season of his career last year when he recorded 27 combined tackles, nine tackles for a loss, 14 QB hits, two forced fumbles, and 11.5 sacks.
It looked like Uche was well on his way to being a younger version of what Matthew Judon was to the Patriots, but given how he's performed through seven games this season, it looks like last year may have been an outlier year.
He was expected to be the player to step up in Judon's place after the linebacker went down with a biceps injury in Week 4, as the leading veteran who had worked closely with the team's sack leader over the past three years. Unfortunately, that's not what has transpired, as injuries kept him sidelined, and forgettable performances have continued.
Although he wasn't traded before the Halloween deadline, the fact that Bill Belichick entertained the idea of trading Uche away would indicate his plans not to re-sign him. That, along with Uche not becoming a dominating force on the field or on opposing quarterbacks, makes the likely inevitable decision to let him walk in free agency sensible.