6 Patriots on Thin Ice Following OTAs

These 6 players might not make the final cut with the New England Patriots
New England Patriots, Bailey Zappe
New England Patriots, Bailey Zappe / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 6

3. Deatrich Wise, Jr., Defensive End

In this situation, it's not a case where a player has done anything wrong. Instead, the team just has a succession plan in place and could save some money if they were to go in a different direction.

Deatrich Wise, Jr. has been with New England since they took him in Round 4 of the 2017 NFL Draft. The Arkansas product is an oversized defensive end at 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds, which makes him a perfect fit in their 3-4 scheme.

As the starting defensive end, Wise has been good against the run but also offers a pop in the passing game. He recorded a career-high in sacks during the 2022 campaign when he had 7.5. This past season, he put up 4.5 and now has 285 tackles and 29 sacks in his career. He also has Keion White behind him ready for a larger role.

White was the 46th overall pick last year out of Georgia Tech and stands 6-foot-5 and 290 pounds. As a rookie, he had 26 tackles and one sack but finished with a superior PFF grade (64.2) than Wise (54.3). He was especially stout against the run, earning a 67.8 grade which was better than Wise (49.7) and nose tackle Davon Godchaux (51.6).

If New England wanted to turn to White full-time, they could cut ties with their current starter and save $5.4 million while incurring a manageable hit of $2.2 million against the cap. New England isn't in bad shape against the cap, meaning they don't need to make moves to free up space, but they could still roll over more money into 2025 as they continue their rebuild.