The Patriots have already begun making wholesale changes this offseason, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be stopping any time soon.

New England’s essentially leaving no stone unturned.

It’s no secret how bad things got offensively last season, so it makes sense that Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo and head executive Eliot Wolf have already started implementing change on that side of the ball. They hired a brand new offensive coaching staff, and there’s no doubt roster changes will follow, as New England is in the market for just about every offensive positional designation this offseason. The duo also revamped a similarly disappointing special teams unit by hiring a new staff, with a change in they way they construct the roster firmly on the table.

It’s only on defense that New England retained some sort of continuity, though a change in defensive philosophy appears to be on the way under new defensive coordinator DeMarcus Covington.

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Covington made it clear he wants a “physical, aggressive” unit that “plays with good fundamentals and discipline, and really attack the ball and takes it away from the offense” following his promotion.

The Patriots will have every opportunity to mold themselves to a more aggressive play style, and it will be much easier if they’re able to get their hands on an under-the-radar free agent out of Carolina.

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Let’s talk about Frankie Luvu.

Luvu didn’t exactly enter the league as a highly-touted prospect, but he’s built up quite the reputation since signing with the Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2018. The 27-year-old worked his way off New York’s practice squad into an eventual starting role with the Panthers, before being named captain in 2023. He posted career-best numbers with Carolina last season, totaling 125 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 10.0 tackles for loss and double-digit quarterback hits.

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It’s not about the numbers, though, even though they’re pretty remarkable for a former practice squad player.

Luvu fits the mold of what Covington is looking for, serving as an off-ball linebacker who can make an impact on the edge in the run game and get home on blitzes. The Patriots primarily have used safeties in those roles in recent seasons, with Kyle Dugger and Adrian Phillips spending the majority of their time in the box prior to Mack Wilson’s breakout in 2023.

The problem? Phillips was released by New England, while Dugger and Wilson are headed for free agency. Ja’Whaun Bentley and Jahlani Tavai have each been exactly what the Patriots need them to be, but are limited in what they can do athletically.

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It’s hard to argue against the fact that a player like Luvu holds a ton of value to New England. He could help spell some of the production lost in a scenario that Dugger signs elsewhere, though in an ideal world, Dugger would re-sign and Luvu still comes in to help unlock another level to the Patriots defense.

It might seem weird to argue for the Patriots to sign defensive players, but they’re going to do that no matter how many offensive holes they have. This is an option that allows New England to maximize the value a player could have on a rather modest contract. It’s a classic Patriots tactic, we’ll just have to wait and see if they’re still doing that sort of thing.

Featured image via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images