Patriots To Re-Sign OL Michael Onwenu

Michael Onwenu will be back with the Patriots after all. New England has re-signed their versatile offensive lineman, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

It’s a three-year, $57MM deal for Onwenu, including $38MM in guaranteed money. The lineman also earned a $22.5MM signing bonus from the Patriots.

The organization made it clear that they wanted to retain Onwenu, although the team’s lack of free agent spending in recent years led to some doubts about the player’s future in New England. The lineman also made some headlines when he informed NFL teams that he was operating without an agent, a hint that he was simply preparing to sign with the highest bidder.

Ultimately, the Patriots stepped up and retained their lineman. Onwenu has spent his entire career in New England. The former sixth-round pick found himself in and out of the starting lineup in 2021, but he started all 32 of his appearances over the past two years. Listed as a tackle in 2023, Pro Football Focus ranked Onwenu 29th among 81 qualifiers this past season. The lineman ranked top-10 at his position in each of his first three seasons in the league.

The player engaged in negotiations with the then-Bill Belichick-led front office last offseason. However, those talks stalled, making the lineman an impending free agent. Having played both guard and tackle throughout his career, Onwenu’s versatility was expected to make him a popular name in free agency. The lineman ranked as the tenth-best free agent in our top-50 free agent rankings.

Onwenu will continue to be a reliable presence in New England, even with an uncertain offensive future. Mac Jones will no longer be under center, and there’s a good chance the Patriots snag a rookie quarterback with the third-overall pick in the draft. The team’s low-cost 2023 RT plan (Riley Reiff) lasted all of 45 snaps, and with Trent Brown all but certain to leave, it was important for the organization to retain some continuity on the OL.

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