3 Players Patriots Should Sign After the First Week of Free Agency

Sep 17, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) runs
Sep 17, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) runs / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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2. David Bakhtiari, OT

New England's left tackle position is quickly becoming a serious problem. Entering the offseason, Tyron Smith and Jonah Williams were both potential targets, but both have found new homes and are off the board.

The Patriots' offensive line was one of the biggest weaknesses on their 2023 squad and despite re-signing Mike Onwenu and several depth pieces, it is hard to make the argument that the unit is unequivocally better now than it was last season. New England signed tackle Chukwuma Okorafor from the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Okorafor projects as a depth tackle and the Patriots lack a true stud at left tackle, one of the most important positions in the sport.

The team will expectedly address the situation through the draft, but there is no guarantee that their draft pick will be ready Week 1. Maybe he will, maybe he won't. The first draft under Eliot Wolf leaves no guarantees. It will likely be Jacoby Brissett for a bridge year, but if the Patriots do ultimately put their rookie signal caller under center at some point in 2024, they can't have him exposed as a tackling dummy in the pocket.

Bakhtiari has been one of the league's best left tackles over the last decade, in which he has earned two first-team All-Pro and three second-team All-Pro nods, as well as three Pro Bowl selections. Despite his impressive resume, the 32-year-old has missed 38 games over the last three seasons due to injuries.

Bakhtiari's recent injury history is undoubtedly a concern, but he has connections to the new regime (Eliot Wolf was Green Bay's director of pro personnel when the team selected Bakhtiari) and provides a valuable presence at what will expectedly be a reasonable cap hit.