The 2023 New England Patriots played their final game Sunday afternoon, losing to the New York Jets 17-3 at Gillette Stadium.

Expect the team to look markedly different in 2024.

Roster upgrades are needed after the 4-13 Patriots posted the franchise’s worst record since 1992 and finished last in the AFC East for the first time since 2000. New England will be armed with roughly $72 million in salary cap space — third-most in the NFL, per OverTheCap — to make those necessary improvements, plus the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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The Patriots also have 15 of their current players set to become unrestricted free agents when the new NFL league year opens in March. Eleven of those players started at least five games this season, and nine started eight or more. Two others were core special teamers, including longtime captain Matthew Slater, who likely played his final game on Sunday.

The full list, in alphabetical order:

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WR Kendrick Bourne
TE Pharaoh Brown
OT Trent Brown
DB Myles Bryant
ST Cody Davis
S Kyle Dugger
RB Ezekiel Elliott
TE Mike Gesicki
TE Hunter Henry
LB Anfernee Jennings
DB Jalen Mills
OL Mike Onwenu
ST Matthew Slater
LB Josh Uche
LB Mack Wilson

Onwenu and Trent Brown were the Patriots’ top-choice starters at right and left tackle, respectively. Dugger played nearly every defensive snap this season. Henry, Pharaoh Brown and Gesicki were the top three tight ends, with Henry serving as a team captain for the first time.

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Jennings and Wilson both became breakout stars for an injury-depleted Patriots defense. Uche’s sack numbers plummeted (down from 11 1/2 in 2022 to three this season), but posted strong pressure rates. Bryant, a versatile and underrated slot/safety, led all Patriots cornerbacks in snaps played. Mills was a depth safety who saw increased playing time as the season progressed.

Elliott was a productive No. 2 behind Rhamondre Stevenson and carried the load late after Stevenson suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 13. Bourne was the Patriots’ top wideout before going down with a torn ACL in Week 8.

The Patriots still can re-sign any of those players over the next two months, though convincing certain impending free agents to pass up an opportunity to test the market could be difficult. This will be the first offseason as UFAs for Dugger, Uche, Jennings and Bryant.

New England first must determine who will be in charge of assembling its roster for the 2024 campaign. Head coach Bill Belichick soon will meet with team owner Robert Kraft to discuss whether he will remain in his current role, remain with the team but give up personnel control, or leave to coach elsewhere next season.

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images