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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6. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Wide Receiver

The pressure on JuJu Smith-Schuster to have a great offseason is pretty intense. I mean, he's been getting clowned pretty hard over the last couple of years, but this might be the best (or worst):

The New England Patriots haven't had the greatest eye for talent at the wide receiver position in recent years, even when it comes to handing out free-agent contracts. Smith-Schuster was coming off of a pretty good year with the Kansas City Chiefs when he signed in New England, but the Patriots were seemingly the only team that felt he was worth the three-year, $25.5 million deal he received last offseason.

To say he didn't live up to that contract status would be an understatement. Despite the Patriots' QB woes, Smith-Schuster caught just 29 passes for 260 yards and one touchdown. Considering he was only 27 last year, it's a little understandable that the Patriots maybe felt like he could still live up to the potential he once showed as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers early on in his NFL career.

At this point, the Pats now have to decide if the juice is worth the squeeze here. If Smith-Schuster isn't getting open or making catches consistently, they just need to eat the dead money and be done with this situation. He's going to have to go out there and prove he's worthy of snaps over guys like rookie Ja'Lynn Polk and former second-round pick Tyquan Thornton.

The Patriots also landed Javon Baker in the fourth-round of the 2024 NFL Draft and he could be a really nice value for them. They signed KJ Osborn in free agency, and he can provide them with the type of production we saw from Smith-Schuster last year at a fraction of the cost (and none of the social media headache).

Smith-Schuster needs to have a monster training camp and preseason to stick around, or really for any other team to want to bring him in at this point.

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