The Patriots are projected to have roughly $30MM in cap space this offseason but, as ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss notes, they also have a litany of key free agents to consider. That list, of course, starts with superstar Tom Brady, who is planning to explore free agency for the first time in his career. It’s hard to imagine Brady leaving New England, but the Pats are notoriously opposed to sinking too many dollars into any one player. With countless suitors out there with more cash to burn than the Patriots, Reiss pegs his odds of returning at just 80%.
While you ponder the unthinkable, here’s more on the Pats:
- Among the free agents with less than 50% odds of returning, in Reiss’ estimation: linebacker Jamie Collins, wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, special teams ace Nate Ebner, linebacker/fullback Elandon Roberts, outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy, and left guard Joe Thuney. Thuney isn’t the biggest name on the list, but he might land the biggest pay day of them all as a four-year starter who has never missed a game. Thuney also just turned 27 in November, which means that other clubs will be eager to sign him through his prime years. Given their history, the Patriots seem unlikely to match exorbitant offers for him.
- Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels missed out on the Browns head coaching gig and Ben Volin of the Boston Globe (on Twitter) sees that as a promising sign for Brady’s return. Regardless, Brady is still expected to test the waters in March.
- Earlier this week, New Hampshire prosecutors dropped their charges against Patriots safety Patrick Chung. Chung was arrested in 2019 when police found cocaine in his house.