Patriots Rumors: Godchaux, QBs, Gonzalez

The Patriots have a number of players on multi-year contracts who are heading into contract-years in 2024. One such player is veteran defensive tackle Davon Godchaux, who came to New England back in 2021. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Godchaux didn’t practice at all during last week’s mandatory minicamp amid desires for a new contract.

Godchaux’s initial deal in New England was a two-year, $15MM contract that he earned in free agency following the expiration of his rookie deal with the Dolphins. The following offseason, the Patriots helped Godchaux avoid a contract year, extending him on another two-year deal, this one worth $20.8MM.

Entering the final year of his current deal, Godchaux is set to earn a base salary of $7.15MM. He’ll have the opportunity to earn an additional $150K via workout bonus and an extra $58,823 in per game active roster bonuses (for a potential season total of $1MM). Additionally, Godchaux is set to represent an $11.8MM cap hit in 2024, the third-largest figure on the team’s roster.

If the Patriots are interested in retaining Godchaux past his age-30 season, it could behoove them to work with the veteran to reach a new deal in order to lessen his cap impact this season. That’s a big “if,” though. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Godchaux had the worst season of his career in 2023, grading out as the 102nd-best player at his position out of 130 graded interior defenders. He’s also now six years removed from his best season, in which he was the 39th-best interior defender.

New head coach Jerod Mayo told reporters that Godchaux is only one of a “bunch of guys” who want to “redo contracts.” Other players who are entering contract years who may be a part of that group include Matt Judon, Deatrich Wise, Jonathan Jones, Jabrill Peppers, Jahlani Tavai, Rhamondre Stevenson, Daniel Ekuale, and Raekwon McMillan.

Here are a couple of other rumors coming out of New England:

  • In one of our recent breakdowns of the Patriots’ quarterback situation, we mentioned that the intention of the team was to narrow the field of competition down to three guys by the end of spring. Jeff Howe of The Athletic partially echoed that sentiment, stating that, “ideally, the Patriots hope to enter the meat of training camp with three quarterbacks.” With No. 3 overall pick Drake Maye and veteran Jacoby Brissett likely cemented on the roster in either the QB1 or QB2 roles, that gives Bailey Zappe and rookie sixth-round pick Joe Milton quite a bit more time to earn the QB3 job. In an emergency situation, Zappe has experience starting from a backup role, but Milton has the potential to serve as a more versatile scout team quarterback at practices with more years on his current contract. Regardless, the deadline to wrap up their battle for the third-string role has been potentially extended to training camp.
  • The Patriots’ first-round selection from last year, Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez, saw his rookie season come to a terribly early end as he suffered a torn labrum that would sideline him after only four games. After undergoing shoulder surgery last season, Gonzalez was finally back on the field at the team’s minicamp. He claims to be “feeling good” coming off of a long recovery period, according to Reiss.
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