4 Biggest Winners From Patriots Offseason Workouts

The New England Patriots are ready for the next stage of the offseason with the mandatory minicamp in the books. In the meantime, here are the four biggest winners from the team's offseason workouts thus far.
WR Ja'Lynn Polk is one Patriot whose been a winner this offseason.
WR Ja'Lynn Polk is one Patriot whose been a winner this offseason. / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Joey Slye, K

Patriots fans were left scratching their heads when the franchise used a fourth-round pick on Chad Ryland last spring. As good of a prospect as Ryland was, drafting a kicker should've been at the bottom of New England's priority list when you considered the various holes across the lineup.

While some players thrive on proving haters wrong, Ryland's doubters were proven right in 2023. The ex-Eastern Michigan/Maryland kicker struggled to make a difference on special teams, completing just 64.0% of field-goal attempts which included an abysmal 50.0% success rate from 40 yards or further.

Having a reliable kicker is crucial to NFL success, which is why the Patriots decided to give Ryland some competition this offseason in the form of Joey Slye. The veteran special teamer has five seasons of experience under his belt with an 82.3 FG% on his career, potentially providing New England with a clear-cut upgrade if the second-year kicker fails to prove himself.

Well, it didn't take long for the new face to outperform last year's starter. Syle has been perfect throughout the mandatory minicamp, nailing all eight of his field-goal attempts. Meanwhile, Ryland is just 5-for-8 in the kicking competition after missing one try from 37 yards out and two more from 47.

If Ryland can't turn things around once training camp begins, the starting kicker job will belong to Slye. The veteran leg has done everything right so far, leaving time to tell if he can put a nail in his second-year counterpart's coffin next month.