Mar 14, 2024 - News

Patriots make moves in NFL free agency

Football players run

New addition running back Antonio Gibson highlights an active week for the Patriots. Photo: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

As the Patriots embark on a new era following Bill Belichick's departure, the team began reshaping its roster this week with the start of free agency.

Why it matters: Free agency is the moment when teams plug holes on their rosters with veterans ahead of April's rookie draft.

State of play: The Pats and new head coach Jerod Mayo hold the No. 3 pick in the draft and many expect they'll pick up a quarterback to be the new face of the franchise.

  • Landing a top pick made their 2021 1st-round pick, QB Mac Jones, expendable. He's heading to the Jaguars in a trade.

What they're saying: "Mayo has the chance to get a quarterback he can believe in," Boston Globe columnist Tara Sullivan writes.

The big picture: Mayo faces the challenge of replacing a legend while also rebuilding a team that finished 4-13 last season, last in its division.

  • An instant return to Super Bowl form is unlikely, but fans will look for a more competitive season and flashes of stardom from their rookie QB, if the Pats draft one.

Here are some of the moves the Pats made this week:

Out: Wide receiver DeVante Parker, who got picked up by the Eagles.

In: The Pats' first big splash was Antonio Gibson, a versatile 25-year-old running back formerly with the Commanders.

  • Veteran tight end Austin Hooper, most recently a Raider, will replace Gesicki.
  • Quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who was drafted by New England in 2016 before stints with the Colts, Dolphins, Browns and Commanders.

Staying put: Some key contributors, including wide receiver Jalen Reagor and offensive lineman Mike Onwenu.

Swung and missed: The Patriots reportedly had interest in one of free agency's biggest names, wide receiver Calvin Ridley, but lost out to the Titans.

What's next: The three-day draft starts April 25.

  • If the Pats take a quarterback, top candidates include Heisman trophy winner Jayden Daniels from LSU and the University of North Carolina's Drake Maye.
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