Bill Belichick has long been incredibly shrewd with building the New England Patriots’ roster. Almost always refusing to pay up for big-name stars, Belichick favors home-grown talent and sifting for hidden gems among cheaper free agents.
That approach has its strengths and weaknesses, but one tough piece is that when you do find a gem they don’t remain inexpensive for long, needing a new, often much larger, contract to stay in town.
That leaves the Patriots with plenty of key contributors playing on expiring contracts most years, and this season is no exception.
Here are the key Patriots who are set to become free agents at the end of the 2023 season.
Patriots Upcoming Free Agents 2024
Trent Brown’s second stint in New England has already been longer than his one-year sojourn earlier in his career, and 2023 will mark only the second time in his career he’s been on the same team for three straight seasons (the first being his first three NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers from 2015 to 2017).
Brown has been a key cog in the Pats’ o-line over these last two years, and while he (like the rest of the line) had a down year in 2022, it’s a little early to write him off as being on the decline.
The 30-year-old is never going to develop into an All-Pro talent at this point, but a consistent, reliable starter at left tackle can go a long way to helping out a young and developing offense like we have in New England.
That also means the Pats won’t ever have to break the bank to keep Brown in Foxborough, which is of course a pretty a pretty appealing situation to be in when you consider just how expensive contracts can get for a left tackle.