Patriots' Roster: Three tough goodbyes the team might make in 2024

New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders
New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The New England Patriots may have to say some tough goodbyes next offseason depending on how their 2023 season goes. Who could those players be? This might be the last chance for this current organizational set-up.

If things go south in 2023, expect the team to blow it up. It would be tough to endure, as rebuilding seasons are usually not fun, but that is the next step for the team if they fail to make the playoffs for the third time in four seasons.

There are a few candidates on the roster who may end up not being kept for the long-term for whatever reason. Who could those players be?

Patriots' Roster: Three tough goodbyes the team might make in 2024
1. Kyle Dugger, S

Kyle Dugger has turned into one of the best all-around safeties in the NFL, but the 27-year-old is a free agent at the end of the season and might not be brought back in 2024. If the 2023 season does go south, the Pats might part ways with Bill Belichick.

Even if Belichick stays, would the team really invest a long-term contract extension for a then 28-year-old safety? I don't think so. Safety is not a valuable position in today's NFL, and given that Dugger is already pushing 30 years old, he may end up not being offered a contract by the Patriots when he hits free agency next year.

2. David Andrews, C

David Andrews might be entering his last year with the Patriots in 2023. The soon to be 31-year-old is under contract for two more seasons but does have a little bit of an issue staying on the field. The Patriots also took three interior offensive line players in the 2023 NFL Draft and may want to eventually lock up Mike Onwenu to a long-term extension.

Andrews may end up being a casualty because of that. The team could save $5.5 million by cutting Andrews next offseason, which isn't insignificant savings. This one would definitely hurt.

3. Mac Jones, QB

Perhaps the most obvious choice here is third-year signal caller, Mac Jones. Jones still has the hearts of some in the fanbase given what he's gone through in his short career. Some believe in Jones bouncing back and they base that largely on his encouraging rookie season.

Some may be all the way out on Jones, which is fine, but either way, he may not be on the team in 2024. A poor 2023 season where the Pats don't make the playoffs would certainly put Jones' future on the ropes. The Patriots could likely get a mid-round pick for Jones in a hypothetical trade, but if Jones crashes and burns in 2023, that might not be the case.

This may be the hardest goodbye of them all.