6 players who could be playing their final games for the Patriots

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JuJu Smith-Schuster

Because the primary reason for signing JuJu Smith-Schuster was to essentially be a replacement for Jakobi Meyers and is yet to fill that void, it wouldn't be at all shocking to see the receiver traded or released by the end of the season.

Although some of why his season has been disappointing isn't entirely his fault, since the offense in totality hasn't performed up to par either, Smith-Schuster hasn't been the player the team has needed from a newly added receiver. Through seven games, he's totaled just 21 receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown, not exactly the upgrade or equal Bill Belichick was hoping he would be.

It seems either Bill O'Brien or Mac Jones has also taken notice, as his usage in recent weeks has dramatically decreased, making just one catch in three of four games. That will inevitably change as the rest of the season progresses since Kendrick Bourne is done for the year and DeVante Parker is working through a concussion, instantly boosting Smith-Schuster's importance on the depth chart.

That does give him time to step up his game and prove he can be a worthy piece on the offense throughout his contract, which he will need to do even more so after his game-tying or possibly winning drop against the Commanders in Week 9.

If that doesn't pan out, there's no reason to believe he will be on the roster next season. Even though some of the only other receivers signed for the 2024 season are also iffy (Kayshon Boutte, DeVante Parker, and Tyquan Thornton), there's no reason to keep a player that doesn't contribute enough to the team, opening the door for a Smith-Schuster trade during the offseason.