Patriots' 3 Biggest Priorities to Start the Offseason

Dec 24, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; New England Patriots place kicker Chad Ryland (37) celebrates
Dec 24, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; New England Patriots place kicker Chad Ryland (37) celebrates / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Offensive Line

New England trotted out the most offensive line combinations of any team in the NFL in 2023. 11 different offensive lineman started for the Patriots, and the lack of stability in the trenches was another significant detriment to the offense's inability to drive the ball and put up points.

The Patriots spent $4.15 million guaranteed on 11-year veteran Riley Reiff this offseason, only for Reiff to miss 16 of the team's 17 games. Center David Andrews was the only offensive lineman to start all 17 games, and even Andrews' Week 18 post-game remarks carried undertones of mulling retirement.

There have even been suggestions that the Patriots could explore drafting Notre Dame tackle Joe Alt with the third overall pick.

Trent Brown is set to become a free agent and had a tumultuous and controversial season in New England, saying that with the rumors surrounding him, "It’s been tough to even go in the building every day." Brown also directly spoke about the possibility of returning next season, please note that Brown's comments came prior the departure of Bill Belichick on Jan. 11.

"'I’m not opposed to it,” said Brown, who added he doesn’t hold any grudges against head coach Bill Belichick. 'I think before that would take place, some things would need to be hashed out and understood.'"

Trent Brown

On the other side of the offensive line, Mike Onwenu could also be moving onto greener pastures. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported that "The Patriots essentially know Onwenu isn't coming back", as the 26-year-old is expected to be one of the most coveted offensive linemen on the free agent market and could be in line for a payday. The Michigan product should be top priority to re-sign, but the outlook isn't looking promising at this stage.

In the 2023 draft, New England selected three offensive linemen, so they are undoubtedly hoping that those three can continue to develop at an NFL level as well.