Patriots are reportedly running into roadblocks in re-signing key free agents

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The Patriots' 2024 offseason was bound to be tricky due to their lengthy list of pending free agents and the number of roster holes needing to be dealt with. It might be more difficult for first-time head coach Jerod Mayo, but even a seasoned veteran like Bill Belichick would have likely struggled to navigate the situation.

For the most part, it seemed like things were going to work in their favor due to the healthy amount of cash they have available to spend on free agents. But that hasn't been the case thus far, and they've only spoken to their own players.

A handful of those set to hit the free agent market have become critical pieces on the team over the last few years and were expected to be prioritized as soon as they could be re-signed. It seems that's how Mayo and Co. have been working since reports have indicated who they have already had conversations with about new contracts.

However, the latest news regarding their progress with those players is concerning.

Patriots are reportedly running into roadblocks in re-signing key free agents

Intertwined with the announcement of the transition tagged being used, Kyle Dugger, were reports about the Patriots' struggles in re-signing Kendrick Bourne and Hunter Henry. The two have been some of the most productive players on the offense since signing with the team in 2021 and would leave a massive void if they play elsewhere next year.

Unfortunately, that could become a reality soon, as the team at MassLive revealed they are not close to getting new deals done with either player.

The Patriots and Bourne are said not to be seeing "eye-to-eye" on what a new contract should be, and there is a difference of opinion regarding his value. Because of this, the reporters believe a deal will unlikely get done before free agency begins on March 13, meaning Bourne can speak with other teams.

The Patriots have encountered a similar problem with trying to re-sign Henry, as they are reportedly "far apart" on an extension. How much of a difference we're talking about is not known, but it's not unexpected, given how much the tight end was being paid previously, and the Patriots likely want to offer less than that.

It's not an ideal way to start free agency, especially when you add the lack of movement involving keeping Mike Onwenu around. The Dugger news was great, but losing their top offensive lineman, receiver, and tight end would put them in an even worse spot this offseason than they were a month ago.

Hopefully, they can figure this out sooner rather than later because their options have dwindled for many positions already, and that'll only increase as free agency begins.

Read more from Musket Fire: