The Patriots have a busy offseason ahead, but can ease their workload by taking care of some house keeping prior to March 13.

New England fully plans on spending (not burning) some cash in the coming weeks, and also has a three-step plan to carry out once we get to the 2024 NFL Draft. The Patriots might end up adjusting if they’re able to lock Kyle Dugger and Michael Onwenu down, however.

Dugger and Onwenu each are scheduled to hit the open market, and the Patriots would easily welcome them back with open arms. It’s not quite that simple, however. New England likely will have to pay market price to retain either, and though it could use the franchise tag, there are some drawbacks that come with that decision.

“That’s always an option, but at the same time with guys like that, you want those guys to be happy,” Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo said, per team-provided video. “You want them to be here for the long term, so that’s the plan.”

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The Patriots are about to enter a multi-year rebuild, so one season wouldn’t do them any good if we’re all being honest. It’s much more beneficial to lock either Onwenu or Dugger into a long-term deal to help grow under a new regime at One Patriot Place.

Mayo, for one, understands that.

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“If those guys stay — obviously they’ve been raised here, so if they stay they can help push the culture forward,” Mayo added. “They’ve been in the facility. It hasn’t really been about football, it’s been ‘How you doing?’

“Those guys are excited to go through the process, and I think it’s important for those guys to go through the process, but at the end of the day hopefully they come back to New England.”

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images