4 Patriots Fighting For Their Jobs After Free Agency

These four Patriots have difficult roads ahead to starting roles.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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Chad Ryland, K

The New England Patriots made the head-scratching decision to use a fourth-round pick to draft a kicker in the 2023 NFL Draft. Targeting a specific kicker and being this aggressive to acquire him better work out, otherwise it could make the decision-makers look silly.

That is exactly what the Chad Ryland selection did.

The Patriots moved on from Nick Folk, who proceeded to have one of the greatest kicking seasons of all-time with the Tennesee Titans, going 29-for-30 in field goals, to draft Chad Ryland.

The Maryland product, on the other hand, made 16 of 25 field goal attempts, the lowest in the NFL among qualified placekickers. He hit a miserable 7/14 in field goals over 40 yards.

The Patriots probably will not make the same mistake they did last season and draft another kicker. But they absolutely need to sign one in free agency, at least to compete with Ryland in training camp.