6 Patriots on the Chopping Block After Alex Van Pelt Hiring

With Alex Van Pelt now in charge of the offense, these 6 New England Patriots are on the chopping block

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2. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Wide Receiver

When Bill Belichick was interviewing with the Atlanta Falcons, it was reported he still wanted full control of all roster decisions. While it's hard to argue that he hasn't been successful when it comes to roster decisions, there are glaring weaknesses — especially when it comes to adding wide receivers.

Throughout his tenure, Belichick whiffed on one wide receiver after another. He was bailed out by players such as Wes Welker and Julian Edelman — but outside of Randy Moss for a spell, it was tough sledding. That continued into his final years with the franchise.

We already looked at DeVante Parker but that one is nothing compared to JuJu Smith-Schuster. Following an up-and-down tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Smith-Schuster landed a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2022. He turned that into a Super Bowl ring and then a multi-year deal with New England.

Signed to be their No. 1 wideout, Smith-Schuster managed just 29 receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown. He averaged only 9.0 yards per catch and his numbers were inflated by a 90-yard outing in his last game.

In the end, the Falcons realized they didn't want Belichick to make all the decisions, and the Smith-Schuster contract — and Belichick's inability to get the most out of him — had to weigh heavily in that decision. Now, the next decision will be whether or not Van Pelt can fix the former Steelers wideout or if it's time to cut the losses and move on.