NFL just made Patriots free agency dreams more difficult

New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals
New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Patriots went into the 2024 offseason with some of the most cap space to spend, which came at the perfect time for their massive rebuild. They were sitting pretty with nearly $70 million, making them a likely leading candidate to sign some of the top free agents, but the NFL just made their aspirations a bit more complicated.

How did they do that?

Well, it was just announced that the 2024 salary cap is much higher than anticipated, meaning the Patriots will now have over $82 million. Although that's fantastic news considering how much upgrading their roster needs, it also means every other team in the league received a massive boost in cash, creating more competition for the Patriots to lure free agents.

This wouldn't necessarily be an issue in the past, mainly due to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady enticing players enough to sign in New England. But now that they're coming off a season with a losing record, are in the midst of a rebuild from top to bottom, and have a first-time head coach on the sideline, the appeal to be a Patriot may not be very high anymore.

But, at the same time, we don't know how Mayo and Co. will approach free agency and how much they will be willing to spend to sign the players they want. Historically, there wasn't much to get excited over with Belichick making the deals. He typically waited it out and hoped to get players at a bargain price, which worked well when they were in the middle of the dynasty.

It won't be as easy now that they've been knocked back down to earth. The one good thing will be that Mayo is well-liked, which can go a long way, especially with players on the team vouching for him in their circles. Then there's the fact of players signing to teams for the money, even if the team is not going to be a contender any time soon.

So, if money drives them, the Patriots can pay them. It'll just come down to how much they're willing to spend at the end of the day.

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