A whopping 16 former Patriots will be trying to take down New England in 2024

Nov 5, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) passes the ball during the first half against the Washington Commanders at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) passes the ball during the first half against the Washington Commanders at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports / Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots are set to face over a dozen former draft picks or rostered players during the 2024 season, headlined by failed draft pick Mac Jones.

Many of those they'll meet during the 18-week season will likely seek some sort of revenge, whether for being cut or never getting a chance to showcase what they could do in the NFL. Others could give New England real problems due to the incredible talent their new team has.

Hopefully, despite the pessimistic outlook for the Patriots' season, they'll be able to keep most of their former players from making too much of an impact on game day. But it will be a tall task, given how many they'll line up against week after week.

16 former Patriots players that New England will face in 2024

Week 1 @ Bengals: LT Trent Brown and TE Mike Gesicki

The Patriots open the 2024 season on the road against a perennial AFC favorite and will have two recent Patriots hoping for their demise.

Trent Brown has been the team's starting left tackle for the last three years, but last season, things didn't go so well for him. At one point, he was the best offensive lineman on the team only to fall from grace by season's end.

He voiced his displeasure with the team multiple times over the weeks, and even since he signed with Cincinnati, so he will surely be seeking revenge against his former team.

The same cannot be said about Mike Gesicki, whose one season with the Patriots just didn't go as planned. Expectations were high, with experts even proclaiming the tight end as the steal of free agency, but he never lived up to the hype.

Week 2 vs. Seahawks: TE Pharaoh Brown

There were no expectations for veteran journeyman last year, but Pharaoh Brown impressed in his limited usage within a chaotic offense. He had the best season of his six-year career and brought a boost to the field at the right time despite a losing end result.

He signed with the Seahawks in free agency and might want to prove the Patriots regret not keeping him beyond the 2023 season.

Weeks 5 & 12 vs. Dolphins: P Jake Bailey, WR Braxton Berrios, G Chasen Hines, TE Jonnu Smith, T Isaiah Wynn

Most of the former Patriots on the Dolphins have already played against their former team before this upcoming season, but it will be the first time Chasen Hines and Jonnu Smith will play the Patriots since their departures.

Hines is a former sixth round drat pick in 2022 by the Patriots who is yet to play in an NFL game. Whether or not he will this season is unclear, but he has a chance to play against the team that didn't give him much of an opportunity upon being drafted.

Smith, like Gesicki, never gained his footing with the New England offense. He was deemed a big name signing in 2021 as one of the best tight ends available in free agency, but his two forgettable seasons prompted Belichick to trade him to the Falcons last year.

The tight end had an impressive first year with Atlanta and could continue that with the Dolphins next season. That will give him two games to show all the skills he wasn't showcasing during his time with the Patriots and prove he could've been a solid piece of the offense with better coaching.

Week 6 vs. Texans: CB Myles Bryant

Myles Bryant was one of the latest undrafted free agents who became a success story during Belichick's tenure in New England. Although his performances could be inconsistent, and fans remember him for more of his mistakes, he became a versatile part of the defense throughout his four years with the team.

He was an expected roster cut but had the potential to be re-signed with the departures of other cornerbacks in free agency. Instead, he signed with the exciting Texans and will be looking to lock down a Patriots receiver when they meet in Week 6.

Week 7 @ Jaguars: QB Mac Jones

The Mac Jones era in Foxboro was quite a roller coaster, and many foresaw a premature ending. After his beyond-disappointing 2023 season, the new regime decided to work with the quarterback to determine where he would like to play next, which is why he was traded to the Jaguars in free agency.

Playing against his former team would probably be thrilling for Jones this season, but because Trevor Lawrence is the Jaguars starter, he will likely be watching the game from the bench, so his revenge will have to wait for another time.

Week 9 @ Titans: K Nick Folk

Releasing Nick Folk in favor of keeping rookie kicker Chad Ryland is a big stain on Belichick's resume for the 2023 season. The veteran went on to have one of the most accurate seasons of his career with the Titans, while Ryland became more of a liability and reason for losses to start his.

Given how poorly the Patriots special teams has played over the last few years, seeing Folk continue his career successfully elsewhere seems like he's already taken down his former team. But he could easily do it again midseason.

Week 10 @ Bears: DE Byron Cowart

The former fifth round draft pick was apart of the Patriots roster for three seasons before he was waived and claimed by the Colts in 2022. He then bounced around to three teams the folllowing season and is now signed by the Bears for the 2024 season.

This will be his first time facing the team that drafted him, and he has a good chance to make an impact with a dramatically improved Chicago team.

Week 11 vs. Rams: QB Jimmy Garoppolo

After a weird ending to his tenure with the Raiders and starting the 2024 season suspended for the first four games, Jimmy Garoppolo returns to Foxboro as a backup quarterback in Week 11.

He has been a name rumored to make his way back to the Patriots over the last few years, but after a failed stint in Las Vegas and the Patriots holding a high draft pick, there looked to be no place for him on the roster.

Week 13 vs. Colts: LB Cameron McGrone, CB Ameer Speed

Cameron McGrone and Ameer Speed are two players who were drafted by the Patriots but never took the field with the team in an actual game.

They are now signed to the Colts and are expected to play and could take advantage of the matchup with their former team to show off the type of player they are.

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