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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2. Trent Brown

This is a situation where both sides may need to swallow their pride, let bygones be bygones, and accept the other as their best option. Trent Brown's turbulent 2023 season with the Patriots was well documented, and when New England allowed his contract to void on Feb. 19, thus allowing Brown to become an unrestricted free agent, the assumption was that his second tenure with the Patriots was over.

Speaking to Dakota Randall of NESN in January, Brown addressed potentially returning to New England despite all of the noise surrounding him last season:

"Given all that’s happened, it’s hard to envision Brown re-signing with the Patriots. But he said he’s willing to return if the two sides have an honest discussion and restore trust.

'I’m not opposed to it,' said Brown, who added he doesn’t hold any grudges against head coach Bill Belichick. 'I think before that would take place, some things would need to be hashed out and understood.'"

Trent Brown to Dakota Randall of NESN

For the Patriots, they are currently looking like they might have to risk starting a rookie or offseason acquisition Chukwuma Okorafor at left tackle in Week 1, neither of which are overwhelmingly desirable. From Brown's perspective, it is definitely an interesting development that he is still available on the market, perhaps suggesting that his market hasn't materialized as he might have expected it to. Brown is scheduled to meet with the Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday.

With both sides still looking for a partner, it is beginning to sound more and more like those "things" should be "hashed out and understood". Eliot Wolf, Jerod Mayo, and the new braintrust should very much contemplate extending an olive branch to Brown by accepting that they are between a rock and a hard place at such a vital position right now.