Patriots' Free Agency Class Earns Surprising Grade

Dec 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry (85) lines
Dec 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry (85) lines / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots fans may feel let down by the lack of big splashes during this free agency period, but one outlet is feeling optimistic about Eliot Wolf's first roster construction in charge.

Per Pro Football Focus, the Patriots are In a five-way tie for the second-best free agency class in the AFC, grading out the offseason at a B+.

In their assessment, PFF noted New England's re-signings of Michael Onwenu, Hunter Henry, and Kendrick Bourne to support the Patriots' grade. PFF does acknowledge that the Patriots do need to go "big-game hunting", a largely unanimous feeling across the fanbase. Unfortunately, there are little to no players still on the market that fit that bill.

Fans have largely felt let down and regarded the team's offseason as underwhelming, especially after the franchise entered free agency with a league-leading total of over $100 million in cap space. New head coach Jerod Mayo further fueled optimism by vowing to "burn some cash",before later walking back that comment.

To the Patriots' credit, they have done an admirable job of retaining the talent that they already had in the building, a core tenet of the "Packer Way" that Wolf is seeking to emulate in Foxborough. Wolf spent 14 years with Green Bay, and his father, Ron, was the Packers' general manager for 10 seasons and is enshrined in Canton as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

A reunion with quarterback Jacoby Brissett and the signings of running back Antonio Gibson and receiver K.J. Osborn highlight the list of players that have been brought in from outside organizations. New England swung big on wideout Calvin Ridley, but he eventually took his talents to the Tennessee Titans.

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