Grading the Patriots' first batch of (re-)signings in 2024 free agency

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots
Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages
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Anfernee Jennings returns to the Patriots on a 3-year contract

One of the more underrated players of the 2023 season was certainly Anfernee Jennings. He was a quiet yet productive part of the impressive defense and had a standout year for the first time since he was drafted in 2020.

He consistently proved to be a beneficial part of the team, especially once Matthew Judon went down with a season-ending injury in Week 4. Although he didn't necessarily step up big time in the pass-rushing game, as he only recorded 1.5 sacks, he was a big part of the notable run defense that had previously been a weaker part of the defense.

Jennings was so good in that area that he tied with one of the best defensive players in the game, Maxx Crosby, in run stops for the 2023 season with 38 and played in two fewer games while doing it.

Because of his progression over the last two years and his determination to improve and become a more significant part of the defense, it was a good move to bring him back.

Our grade: A

Nathan Rourke, Christian Elliss, and Tyrone Wheatley Jr. receive 1-year contracts

The decision to bring back three of their ERFAs (exclusive rights free agents) was made solely to provide good depth pieces and potential solid backups when needed. And because of that, they're pretty solid deals.

Our grade: C

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