By Dakota Follett (@dakfollett) | Published April 8, 2020
For the first time in nearly two decades the Patriots will begin the season with a quarterback not named Tom Brady as their starter. Of the 283 games started by the future Hall of Famer, he won 219 of them. In addition, the Patriots will need to add multiple new weapons to throw to in the passing game both at wide receiver and tight end, not to mention the players they’ll need to replace after being raided by former assistant coaches who are noe headmen (see; Detroit and Miami). Be sure to download your copy of the 2020 NFL Draft Bible, featuring 600+ scouting reports.
*Italic indicates offseason acquisition.
QUARTERBACK: Jarrett Stidham/Brian Hoyer
Money Invested: $1.883M | Percentage of Cap: 1% | Need Level: URGENT
Overview: Nobody knows what the Patriots’ plans are here but chances are they’ll look to grab a quarterback to at least groom into a hopeful starter.
RUNNING BACK: Sony Michel/James White | Depth: Rex Burkhead/Brandon Bolden/Damien Harris
Money Invested: $14.009M | Percentage of Cap: 7.1% | Need Level: LOW
Overview: The Patriots are already a decent amount of money at the position but could add a player late.
FULLBACK: James Develin/Dan Vitale/Jakob Johnson
Money Invested: $3.438M | Percentage of Cap: 1.7% | Need Level: NONE
Overview: The Pats had a ton of injury issues here last year that forced them to use a linebacker, so grabbing depth is necessary
WIDE RECEIVER: Julian Edelman/Mohamed Sanu/N’Keal Harry | Depth: Damiere Byrd/Jakobi Meyers/Matthew Slater/Gunner Olszewski/Quincy Adeboyejo/Devin Ross
Money Invested: $24.926M | Percentage of Cap: 12.6% | Need Level: HIGH
Overview: Everyone knows the issues the Patriots faced with this receiving group last year, which made them deal a second-round pick for Mohamed Sanu before the trade deadline. The group continued to struggle and it remains a major need following the initial wave of free agency.
TIGHT END: Matt LaCosse/Ryan Izzo
Money Invested: $2.217M | Percentage of Cap: 1.1% | Need Level: HIGH
Overview: Neither of these players appear to be long-term solutions.
OFFENSIVE TACKLE: Isaiah Wynn/Marcus Cannon | Depth: Yodny Cajuste/Korey Cunningham/Najee Toran
Money Invested: $15.009M | Percentage of Cap: 7.6% | Need Level: MEDIUM
Overview: Isaiah Wynn was taken in the first-round last year to be their left tackle of the future but depth will need to be addressed.
OFFENSIVE GUARD: Joe Thuney/Shaq Mason | Depth: Jermaine Eluemunor/Hjalte Froholdt
Money Invested: $27.292M | Percentage of Cap: 13.8% | Need Level: MEDIUM
Overview: Joe Thuney will play under the franchise tag next season and it remains to be seen if the Patriots are willing to dish out the cash for him.
CENTER: David Andrews
Money Invested: $3.400M | Percentage of Cap: 1.7% | Need Level: MEDIUM/HIGH
Overview: Depth behind David Andrews is crucial due to the uncertainty of his health and his ability to play in 2020.
DEFENSIVE LINE: Lawrence Guy/Beau Allen/John Simon | Depth: Deatrich Wise Jr./Adam Butler/Chase Winovich/Tashawn Bower/Shilique Calhoun/Derek Rivers/Brandon Copeland/Keionta Davis/Byron Cowart/Nick Thurman
Money Invested: $23.806M | Percentage of Cap: 12% | Need Level: HIGH
Overview: The Patriots’ multiple front means plenty of rotational players and more valuable pass rushers are always needed.
LINEBACKER: Dont’a Hightower/Ja’Whaun Bentley/Brandon King | Depth: Terez Hall
Money Invested: $15.158M | Percentage of Cap: 7.6% | Need Level: HIGH
Overview: Kyle Van Noy was lost in free agency, so the Patriots will need someone to step up into that role or look for a player in the draft.
CORNERBACK: Stephon Gilmore/Jason McCourty/Jonathan Jones | Depth: JC Jackson/Justin Bethel/Joejuan Williams/Lenzy Pipkins/D’Angelo Ross
Money Invested: $35.811M | Percentage of Cap: 18.1% | Need Level: LOW
Overview: Stephon Gilmore is the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year and the depth here has paid dividends for the Pats.
SAFETY: Devin McCourty/Patrick Chung | Depth: Adrian Phillips/Terrence Brooks/Cody Davis/Obi Melifonwu/Malik Gant/Adarius Pickett
Money Invested: $19.039M | Percentage of Cap: 9.6% | Need Level: LOW
Overview: The dup of McCourty/Chung returns for yet another year. They have been steady and depth was added behind them in free agency.
KICKER: None | Money Invested: $0M | Percentage of Cap: 0% | Need Level: URGENT
PUNTER: Jake Bailey | Money Invested: $0.747M | Percentage of Cap: 0.4% | Need Level: MEDIUM
LONG SNAPPER: Joe Cardona | Money Invested: $1.080M | Percentage of Cap: 0.5% | Need Level: LOW
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