6 Patriots on the Chopping Block After 2024 Minicamp

Which Patriots players could be on the chopping block?
New England Patriots
New England Patriots / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Austin Hooper, Tight End

The New England Patriots may have some of the worst offensive skill talent out of any team in the NFL. There's a chance the young players on the roster could end up developing and being better than expected, but if you look at every group of wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends around the league, there are few teams who look worse than the Patriots on paper.

The addition of someone like Austin Hooper seemed to boost that situation, at least on paper. Hooper has been a Pro Bowl player twice in his NFL career, but that feels like a lifetime ago as he's become much more of a secondary player at the tight end position since leaving the Atlanta Falcons.

For the Patriots right now, it's veteran Hunter Henry atop the depth chart at tight end and he is one of the better pass-catching tight end options in the entire NFL when healthy. Hooper isn't going to be stealing snaps from Henry, but why is Hooper potentially on the proverbial chopping block?

Well, seventh-round rookie Jaheim Bell has been having a strong offseason program for the Patriots, and could potentially utilize training camp and preseason games to force his way into the rotation quicker than anticipated.

Bell has got some serious skills when it comes to his playmaking ability both at the catch point and after the catch. Those traits are really going to stand out when contrasted with someone like Austin Hooper, whose playmaking ability is not far off of an extra offensive lineman in the passing game. Hooper is going to have to prove himself tremendously as a blocker to prove he was worth the contract the Patriots gave him, which was north of $3 million.