There is never a slow day in the New England Patriots organization, and after winning their sixth Super Bowl this past season, the team will be aiming for another shot at hoisting the Lombardi. With a long list of players scheduled to become free agents, we are sure to see some familiar faces leave only to be replaced the next day. It’s a harsh business, but Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick treats it as such- one of the many reasons for his overwhelming success. With the free agency period mere weeks away, here are some players that we should definitely expect to see in a Patriots jersey next year.
DE Trey Flowers
One of the top available free agents this year, Flowers is anticipating a big payday. With the position being an essential need for any game-plan, and a weak group of pass-rushers behind him, the Patriots should pay up for Flowers. The former Arkansas Razorback has ties to defensive consultant Bret Bielema and was an integral part of the 2018 postseason campaign. While it is not the “Patriot Way” to splurge for players, Flowers could be a candidate for a large, team-friendly deal. Other teams will certainly try and poach the defensive end, but judging from his progression as a player, Flowers could be viewed as a future team leader who wants to stay with a winning franchise.
OT Trent Brown
The former San Francisco 49er was acquired with a fifth-round pick by the Pats last offseason for a third-round pick was stellar in his first season with the Patriots. Originally, he was thought of as an extra lineman who could contribute throughout the season and provide depth, but when first-round pick Isaiah Wynn went down with a torn Achilles in the preseason, Brown was immediately shoved into the starting left tackle spot. Wynn, who was scheduled to replace longtime left tackle Nate Solder, will return to action this season, but there has to be concern about his Achilles. Judging from how well Brown played, and the necessity to keep quarterback Tom Brady protected, the Pats could offer a short-term deal to keep Brown as insurance until Wynn is ready to step in as a starter.
P Ryan Allen
The left-footed punter has to be the most likely out of all of these players to re-sign with New England. Belichick absolutely loves him and views him as a weapon, and no other team is going to pay up in an attempt to steal a punter. Allen has spent his entire career with New England, and most likely will continue to as long as he performs at the elite level he has been for the last five years. Honestly, there isn’t much to explain here; it’s basically a guarantee he’ll be punting in Foxboro next year.
CB Jason McCourty
Not many people expected the 10-year veteran to contribute in the way that he did throughout the entire season. McCourty, the brother of safety Devin, was outstanding as he earned a top-10 cornerback grade from PFF, and made one of the biggest plays of the Super Bowl by breaking up a would-be Brandin Cooks touchdown. Based on his age and previous track record, the Patriots could retain him for cheap. The defensive back, who made his first postseason trip last season, should be more than happy to take a team-friendly deal to play with his brother on a winning franchise. While cornerback isn’t a huge need for the Patriots, McCourty was clearly a fit in the scheme. There were rumors about Devin retiring following the Super Bowl, but no news has surfaced since the Patriots’ victory. Odds are that the McCourty brothers will be suiting up at least one more year in New England.
K Stephen Gostkowski
The longest-tenured Patriot other than Tom Brady, Gostkowski has been a force for the Patriots during his 13 years with the team. He hasn’t made his plans about the future public, but he is 35 years old and could be ready to call it a career in the near future. Still, besides his seemingly inevitable Super Bowl flubs, the kicker has been consistent and should be back in Foxboro next year. Just like Allen, Belichick views Gostkowski as a unique asset and won’t mind paying up a little extra to maintain the status quo in the special teams department.