6 Patriots Who Could Be Cut Prior to Training Camp

These 6 players might not be there when the New England Patriots training camp kicks off.
Oshane Ximines, New England Patriots
Oshane Ximines, New England Patriots / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
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1. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR

At this point, it's hard to see why JuJu Smith-Schuster remains on the roster. The second-round pick from USC began his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017 and was impressive as a rookie. Smith-Schuster hauled in 58 receptions for 917 yards (an average of 15.8 per catch) with seven touchdowns.

In year two, he was even better. Smith-Schuster caught 111 passes that year for 1,426 yards and had another seven touchdowns. It appeared he was on his way to becoming a superstar but then his production started to fluctuate.

Smith-Schuster missed four games in 2019 and finished with just 552 yards. He bounced back with 831 yards in 2020 but his yards per reception was down to just 8.6. That was the same in 2021 as he suited up for just five games.

Pittsburgh elected not to re-sign him in 2022 and he joined the Kansas City Chiefs. Playing on a one-year deal, Smith-Schuster recorded 78 catches for 933 yards and three touchdowns. It was enough to earn a three-year deal worth $33 million with New England. After one year, it appears the contract was a mistake.

The seventh-year wideout had just 29 receptions for 260 yards with one touchdown. While the Patriots offense as a whole was a mess, he didn't do much at all to prove he should be retained for the remainder of this deal. Sitting fourth on the roster with a cap hit of $10.28 million, Smith-Schuster would be tough to move on from due to a release resulting in nearly $10 million of dead money.

Having said that, they're not in cap trouble at all and releasing a high-priced player who underperformed could send a strong message to the locker room as Jerod Mayo builds his team.

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