The Patriots are primed to make a number of tough decisions this offseason.
New England is set to see 19 players hit free agency when the new NFL year begins next month. Tom Brady, of course, headlines this list, and while the Patriots might not need to fork over $30 million to keep him around, they’ll obviously need to commit considerable cash to the star quarterback. Considering the franchise currently isn’t rich in salary-cap space, some finagling might need to take place in order to iron out the roster.
As such, a noteworthy release or two in Foxboro this offseason wouldn’t be utterly shocking, especially given Bill Belichick’s track record. In terms of players who could fall into this category, NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal pinpoints a veteran on both sides of the ball.
“(Mohamed) Sanu’s $6.5 million base salary looked like a bargain when the Patriots traded for him, but his rough stretch since then could potentially put his roster spot in jeopardy. (Patrick) Chung, one of Bill Belichick’s favorite defenders, struggled to keep up in coverage last season.”
In Sanu’s defense, joining Brady’s offense midway through the season is no easy task. The 30-year-old surely could benefit from spring practices and training camp with the Patriots, who already are in rough shape in pass-catching depth. As for Chung, who will turn 33 less than a month before the start of the season, a steep injury history also could force New England to take a hard look at his roster spot.
Regardless, we probably should expect the unexpected when it comes to Belichick and Co.