3 Patriots Free Agents Who Could Still Re-Sign in New England

Dec 3, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson (29)
Dec 3, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson (29) / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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In Eliot Wolf's first offseason in charge in Foxborough, the organization has placed a clear and obvious emphasis on retaining players that have performed in a Patriots uniform. The majority of New England's notable offseason moves to date have been re-signings, providing some clear insight into the philosophy that Patriots fans can expect Wolf to employ going forward with the franchise.

On the offensive side of the ball, the team re-upped wideout Kendrick Bourne on a three-year deal worth up to $33 million. Tight end and captain Hunter Henry is back on a three-year contract with a base value of $27 million, and offensive lineman Michael Onwenu got paid with a three-year, $57 million deal.

On the defensive side of the ball, edge rusher Josh Uche is returning on a bargain one-year, $3 million deal and linebacker Anfernee Jennings inked a three-year, $12 million contract. The team also placed the seldom-used transition tag on standout safety Kyle Dugger to keep him under team control while both sides presumably work towards a long-term deal.

New head personnel executive Eliot Wolf has clearly placed a premium on re-signing productive players, but a few 2023 Patriots still remain on the open market. Here are three players still up for grabs that New England should give some thought to bringing back for 2024.

3. Ezekiel Elliott

For the second straight offseason, Elliott has gotten little to no traction in free agency. After a distinguished seven years with the Dallas Cowboys, the former fourth overall pick was one of the few consistent producers on offense for the 2023 Patriots. Elliott suited up for all 17 games and led the team in rushing attempts (184) and rushing yards (642) while adding three touchdowns. The 28-year-old was also a contributor in the passing games, actually leading the team in receptions (51) for 313 yards and two scores.

Elliott's workload was increased when primary back Rhamondre Stevenson went down with a season-ending injury and missed New England's final five games. Stevenson will be back in the fold in 2024 and the Patriots also brought in Antonio Gibson from the Washington Commanders. Even though Stevenson is expected to get the lion's share of carries, Gibson will likely be utilized primarily as a receiving back, which could leave the door open for Elliott. The remainder of the Patriots' running back group is relatively unimpressive: 2022 sixth-rounder Kevin Harris only has 34 carries in two seasons, while JaMycal Hasty and Ke'Shawn Vaughn didn't have a single carry for New England in 2023.

Elliott's one-year 2023 deal with the Patriots was a modest $3 million, and a hypothetical 2024 contract would likely sit around the same number. He proved that he still had something left in the tank last season, New England should give a reunion some thought.