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Patriots 90-Man Roster Spotlight: Deatrich Wise Jr.

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Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, left, is sacked by New England Patriots defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. (91) during the first half of an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes )

The New England Patriots can have up to 90 players under contract during the offseason. Patriots Football Now will profile all 90 players (though there are currently 91 on the roster) over the upcoming months. Today’s featured player is defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr.

Deatrich Wise Jr.

The New England Patriots selected Wise in the fourth round (No. 131 overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft. He played his collegiately for the Arkansas Razorbacks. New England drafted only four players that year. Deatrich Wise Jr. was joined in the Patriots 2017 draft class by Derek Rivers (No. 83), Antonio Garcia (No. 85), and Conor McDermott (No. 211). Wise is the lone player remaining.

Wise made his presence felt in Foxboro as a rookie, recording 19 quarterback hits and 5.0 sacks. He had two sacks in his first career playoff game, a Divisional Round win against Tennessee. New England captured the AFC Championship by beating Jacksonville, before losing Super Bowl 52 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Wise played all 19 Patriots games, including the postseason.

Also Read – Questions and Concerns for Defensive Coordinator DeMarcus Covington

Deatrich Wise Jr. earned a Super Bowl ring in his second season. He was steady, with 4.5 sacks and 16 QB hits. Wise was inactive for the AFC Playoffs. He returned for the Super Bowl. Wise contributed five tackles to the Patriots’ dominating defensive performance to defeat the Rams.

New England has not enjoyed as much success since. They reached the playoffs in 2019 and 2021 but failed to win a playoff game in either season. Wise has been a constant on the Patriots defense through the ups and downs. He’s missed only four regular season games in seven seasons. In Wise’s 117 games for New England (including the postseason), he’s amassed 300 tackles, 85 quarterback hits, and 31.0 sacks.

Pro Football Focus gave Wise a 54.3 grade for his performance in 2023. It was a sharp decline from a career-best 74.9 in 2022. Wise dealt with a shoulder injury all season, which he played through. He’ll look to return to form in 2024.

Contract Status

Deatrich Wise Jr. is entering the final year of his contract with the Patriots. His cap hit is $7,641,158, with a potential dead money hit of $2.2 million.

Defensive End Group

The New England Patriots lack depth at defensive end. The position was not addressed in free agency or the NFL Draft. Aside from Wise, the unit features Keion White, 2023 practice squad player William Bradley-King, and undrafted free agents John Morgan III and Jotham Russell. Other players could see time at defensive end, including linebacker Oshane Ximines and defensive tackles Sam Roberts and Jeremiah Pharms Jr.

Outlook for Deatrich Wise Jr.

Deatrich Wise Jr. appears to be one of the few players locked into significant playing time in 2024. He was questionable for five games last season with a shoulder injury, though he only missed one. It is difficult to gauge how much the injury affected Wise’s 2023 performance, though he clearly was less than 100% for much of the season.

Wise posted solid numbers last season despite his poor grade from PFF. He played 57% of defensive snaps and finished with 54 tackles (both the second-highest of his career). He finished the season with 4.5 sacks.

Aside from his on-field production, Wise is also a leader. He was named team captain the past two seasons. Wise has been a leader away from the field as well. The Patriots honored wise with the 2022 Ron Burton Community Service Award.

The 2024 season marks the eighth NFL season for Deatrich Wise Jr. He will turn 30 later this summer and would like to help the New England Patriots return to how he began his NFL career: Winning. In the final year of his contract and soon to be on the “wrong side” of football, Wise has a lot at stake this season. But he has consistently proven to be durable, versatile, productive, and a great person to have on and around the team. With his positional coach DeMarcus Covington becoming New England’s defensive coordinator, it will be interesting to see if Wise is utilized any differently in the coming year.

Award-winning blogger, Dan's work has also been featured on Fox Sports, Boston Metro, Barstool Sports, MLB.com, and many other outlets.

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