New England Patriots: 5 unrestricted free agents team must re-sign in 2021

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New England Patriots

New England Patriots Adam Butler. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Here are five New England Patriots unrestricted free agents the team must re-sign.

After finishing the 2020 NFL season with a 7-9 record and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots will have a lot of work to do in the offseason and it starts with free agency.

As important as the 2021 NFL Draft will be, free agency will make or break this offseason for Belichick, especially with the amount of cap space he has to work with.

With 22 unrestricted free agents, the process of bringing more talent and upgrading some key positions start with which players currently on the team is worth bringing back both in terms of locker room chemistry and on-the-field performance.

With some key names on that unrestricted free agent list, here are five players the team must re-sign for 2021.

Adam Butler gives the New England Patriots depth on the defensive line

One of the areas of need for the New England Patriots going into the offseason is the interior defensive line.

With veteran defensive lineman Lawrence Guy also testing the free agent market, Belichick must bring back a couple of players currently on the team for depth.  That’s where Adam Butler comes in.

Originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Vanderbilt, the fourth-year defensive lineman was one of the bright spots on defense in 2020.  With 18 total tackles and 4 sacks, Butler is an underrated force who still has the room to grow.

At just 26 years old, his youth and productivity this season should earn him interest around the league so Belichick will have to be willing to pay Butler to keep some familiarity on a group that could see a major facelift this offseason.

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