The New England Patriots are now just 53 players strong following Tuesday’s roster cut deadline. The day wasn’t without some controversy, however, as Bill Belichick and the coaching staff said goodbye to several players who fans assumed were locks ahead of the 2023 NFL season.
With just over a week before the Patriots collide with the Philadelphia Eagles, you have to assume Belichick & Co. have more moves on the way. Tuesday saw a plethora of cuts hit the open market, giving New England a variety of free-agent options that could help upgrade the roster before Week 1.
Keeping that in mind, check out these three recently cut free agents the Patriots must sign before the new campaign.
3 Patriots Free Agent Targets
1. Colt McCoy, QB
After Tuesday’s releases, the Patriots have an opening for a backup quarterback to play behind Mac Jones this fall.
Yes, Bailey Zappe and Malik Cunningham have been added to the practice squad. However, Boston Sports Journal‘s Mike Giardi reports that the Pats prefer a “veteran option” behind Jones.
After all, it’s important to have a QB2 that can step up at a moment’s notice if the starter goes down with an untimely injury. If New England wants to avoid such a catastrophic situation, Colt McCoy is the right guy for the job.
McCoy is regarded as one of the better backups out there and has more experience than most recently cut signal-callers, playing 56 games with 36 starts since 2010. He’s spent the last two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, going 164-of-231 (71.0%) for 1,520 passing yards and 4 touchdowns with as many interceptions.
On top of that, three of his four 2022 appearances saw him pass for 218+ yards, proving that his arm is still good enough for a backup role.
Belichick has made it clear that he loves having a veteran QB on the roster (see: Brian Hoyer), and McCoy fits that role to a T. Few available options are capable of filling that role, and he’s the best of them.