5 Pending Free Agents Patriots Must Re-Sign This Offseason

When it comes to this year's pending free agents, the New England Patriots must do what it takes to re-sign these five players.

Ezekiel Elliott is one of five Patriots free agents who should be re-signed this offseason.
Ezekiel Elliott is one of five Patriots free agents who should be re-signed this offseason. / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Kyle Dugger, S

After Devin McCourty retired last offseason, the Patriots needed safety Kyle Dugger to step up in the veteran's absence.

Although his play was up and down at times, Dugger was solid for the most part in 2023. While he didn't record any Pick-6s this time around, he still tallied 71 solo tackles, seven defended passes, two interceptions, and 1.5 sacks. He also recorded an 82.7 passer rating when targeted (down from 95.2 in 2022) after allowing 478 receiving yards with one touchdown on 44 receptions across 64 targets.

Could Dugger have been better? Certainly. His 50.0 cover grade on Pro Football Focus ranks seventh-worst on the team, highlighting that there's room for improvement. At the same time, the Patriots can't afford to lose a key safety in back-to-back seasons.

Dugger is capable of being one of the better safeties in the AFC, so I'm all for giving him another chance in 2024. After all, the Patriots could do far worse than the former 2020 second-rounder.