Grading every new signing Patriots made during free agency

Washington Commanders v New York Jets
Washington Commanders v New York Jets / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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Grading every new signing Patriots made during free agency

DT Armon Watts (1 year, $3 million)

Although the defense wasn't going to see as much action in free agency this year as the offense, a few players' departures forced the Patriots to find their replacements, with the main one being defensive tackle Lawrence Guy.

The long-time Patriot had a bumpy road in New England over the last few seasons, including the tease of a potential holdout due to contract issues last year. He left in free agency and remains unsigned, so there was a chance he could return for the 2024 season.

However, the Patriots moved on and signed former Steeler Armon Watts to a one-year contract.

The 27-year-old has spent time with three teams already during his five-year career, and hasn't made a tremendous impact anywhere he's been so far. But like many of the other names the Patriots have signed so far, Watts adds more depth to the defensive line and brings a more pass-rush forward skillset that the defense really needs.

Our grade: C

OL Nick Leverett (1 year, $1.8 million)

Just like the signing of Chukwuma Okorafor, bringing in Nick Leverett was another addition to simply add better depth to the offensive line. The backups have been problematic in recent years, whether dealing with injuries or becoming more of a liability on the field than a help. So Leverett is expected to be an upgrade in that regard.

He is also seen as an insurance signing due to the uncertainty of Cole Strange's availability to start the 2024 season. The left guard suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 15 last year, and the belief is he will miss some time as he continues to recover.

Leverett has experience on the interior offensive line and can easily fill in for Strange on the left side until he is cleared to return.

He's coming to New England after spending three seasons with the Bucs, one of which was a year spent helping to protect Tom Brady, and he brings the veteran experience the O-line definitely needs.

Our grade: B