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New England Patriots

New England Patriots Have 26 Players Headed to 2025 Free Agency



New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson (38) runs against the Dallas Cowboys during an NFL Football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

The New England Patriots have added to their roster over the past week through the NFL Draft. They have also made a pair of moves that affect their offseason priorities for 2025. By extending Christian Bamore and releasing Conor McDermott on Monday, New England reduced the number of players due to hit NFL free agency in 2025 by two. However, the team still has 26 players set to become unrestricted free agents after the season. The Patriots would be wise to continue trying to reduce that number. Extending key players, as they did with Barmore, should be a top priority.

A look at those set to become UFAs next March, by position.

Quarterbacks (1)

Jacoby Brissett

Brissett will battle for the starting role in 2024. However, his value also comes from mentoring rookie quarterbacks Drake Maye and Joe Milton III. Brissett’s contract doesn’t need to be addressed at this point, though it would be beneficial to have him stick around longer if things work out in 2024.

Running Backs (3)

Rhamondre Stevenson, JaMychal Hasty, Ke’Shawn Vaughn

Stevenson is the Patriots starting running back. There was a lot of movement in this year’s free agent market at the position. New England added Antonio Gibson in free agency, though it was not addressed further in the draft. Stevenson getting an extension could give the position clarity beyond 2024. Hasty and Vaughn are among a group that will be battling out for roster spots as the third back.

Wide Receivers (2)

K.J. Osborn, Jalen Reagor

Both players were signed during free agency this time around. Osborn came from Minnesota, while Reagor returns from last season’s squad. New England has seven wide receivers under contract for 2025 and two exclusive rights free agents. Obviously, not everyone from that group will be around when the roster is trimmed to 53.

Tight End (1)

Austin Hooper

The Patriots added depth in the draft with the selection of Jaheim Bell. They also brought in Jacob Warren as one of their 10 undrafted free agents. Hunter Henry is locked up for the next three seasons. But Hooper is a UFA and La’Michael Pettway is an ERFA next year. New England needs to add to their tight ends group.

Offensive Tackles (2)

Chukwuma Okorafor, Calvin Anderson

These two are top of the pecking order to be the New England Patriots starting left tackle in 2024. There is still a chance the Patriots will add a free agent (Charles Leno Jr.) capable of stepping in immediately, but the unit is pretty crowded at the moment, even after the release of Conor McDermott. Fortunately for New England, their right tackle is locked up for a while in Mike Onwenu.

Interior Offensive Line (3)

David Andrews, Nick Leverett, Michael Jordan

David Andrews is the longtime starting center, team captain, and one of New England’s two longest-tenured players. There is the possibility of retirement for Andrews before long, as he enters his tenth NFL season in 2024. Leverett and Jordan both signed this offseason. The Patriots have some depth at guard, especially after using a Round 4 selection on Layden Robinson in the draft, making this a less urgent situation.

Defensive Line (4)

Davon Godchaux, Armon Watts, Daniel Ekuale, Trysten Hill

Four defensive linemen could head to free agency in 2025. Armon Watts was recently signed to a one-year deal. Eduale will look to return from a season-ending injury in 2023. Davon Godchaux has a large cap hit but has been a productive player. Renegotiating his deal to add extra time should be on the table. Extending Christian Barmore was an offseason priority that the Patriots are happy they can check off their list.

Linebackers (4)

Matthew Judon, Jahlani Tavai, Joshua Uche, Raekwon McMillan

Judon, Tavai, and Uche all hitting free agency next year will cost the New England Patriots dearly if they want to retain all three. Judon is the lone Pro Bowl player on the Patriots over the past two seasons. Tavai won the Tom Brady Award as team MVP in 2023. Uche is gambling on himself to have a big bounceback season and cash in next offseason. Rumors exist of New England working on an extension for Judon. New England ignoring Tavai, a valuable asset, would be bad business.

Cornerbacks (3)

Jonathan Jones, Shaun Wade, Marco Wilson

Christian Gonzalez is locked in as New England’s top corner for the foreseeable future, assuming he stays healthy. These three should all be given ample opportunity to earn snaps in 2024. Jonathan Jones has been a steady performer for the Patriots for several years. He is productive and is a great veteran presence on the team. It is hard to imagine New England not attempting to retain his services, barring a dramatic drop in performance. Wade and Wilson could both significantly increase their value with a big year. There is not necessarily much for the Patriots to do here at this point (short of adding another veteran or prospect in the draft) but it will be important for them to maintain some depth. Injuries and other issues (Jack Jones, J.C. Jackson) decimated their cornerback depth last season.

Safeties (2)

Jabrill Peppers, Jaylinn Hawkins

Kyle Dugger and the Patriots agreeing to a multi-year contract brought some clarity to this unit. Jabrill Peppers is a popular and productive player whose contract expires after this coming season. Jaylinn Hawkins signed a one-year deal in free agency, putting him back on the market next year. With Marte Mapu and Joshuah Bledsoe (ERFA) the only other safeties under team control beyond this season, working on an extension for Peppers would be wise for New England.

Five Priorities

The New England Patriots either extending or releasing all 26 scheduled unrestricted free agents is not realistic. Certain players warrant an extension based on their production and value to the team. New England working on deals for Rhamondre Stevenson, Davon Godchaux, Matthew Judon, Jahlani Tavai, and Jabrill Peppers before the 2024 season begins would be wise.