Patriots Free Agency Reset: Will New England Bring Back Pass Rusher?

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Nineteen New England Patriots players are set to hit free agency when the NFL league year opens March 18. As that date approaches, we’re taking a closer look at each one.

Up next: outside linebacker Shilique Calhoun.

2019 STATS: nine tackles, four QB hits, 12 hurries, forced fumble

LIKELIHOOD OF RETURN: Good.

ANALYSIS: The Patriots signed Calhoun to a one-year, $720,000 contract last offseason. It would be surprising if the 2016 third-round pick had a bigger market this offseason.

Calhoun finished 18th among Patriots defenders in snaps last season but had limited production. He was one of 21 Patriots defenders to play at least 100 snaps last season. He primarily was used as a pass rusher but finished last among Patriots front-seven defenders in Pro Football Focus’ pass-rush productivity metric with just 16 pressures on 186 pass-rush snaps.

Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins also are free agents this offseason and, like Calhoun, spent time as edge defenders last season. If the Patriots can’t retain Van Noy or Collins, then they could likely re-sign Calhoun at a low salary to compete for a role in training camp.

Calhoun is a useful special teams player. He finished fifth on the Patriots with 237 special teams snaps. The Patriots have limited salary cap room this offseason and can use all of the low-cost veteran players they can find. That’s why it’s likely Calhoun will be back in 2020.

Previously: Adam Butler | Jermaine Eluemunor | Marshall Newhouse | James Ferentz | Phillip Dorsett

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