The New England Patriots got mixed results out of Josh Uche the last four seasons.

Uche developed into a solid, but inconsistent, edge rusher and can test the free-agent market for the first time in his career next week. But the Patriots might not be ready to see Uche take his talents elsewhere.

MassLive’s Mark Daniels reported Monday the Patriots are interested in retaining Uche’s services but “the team has yet to make an actual contract offer.”

The 25-year-old Uche, who could command some strong attention in free agency given his skill set, seemed open to the idea of returning to the Patriots when speaking with MassLive this season.

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“Yeah, I’m familiar with the guys. They’re familiar with me. I’m familiar with the coaches. I’m familiar with the system, the terminology, the area, I have family up here,” Uche told MassLive. “It’s like, who doesn’t want to be comfortable? I get it that it can be an uncomfortable environment, but if you’re able to be comfortable within it then you’re able to make a home. Definitely — anybody that wants me, I want to be there. That’s what it comes down to.”

Uche complemented star pass rusher Matthew Judon in New England’s defense. After tallying just four sacks combined through his first two seasons, Uche exploded in 2022 by recording a career-high 11.5 sacks.

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But with Judon injured for the majority of this past season and defenses able to focus on Uche, the 2020 second-round pick out of Michigan saw a dramatic decrease in production. Uche registered just three sacks and 15 tackles.

Hurting Uche’s case to return to the Patriots in his inability to become a three-down player. Uche is still just a situational pass rusher, having played no more than 38% of the team’s defensive snaps in a single season.

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That might make the Patriots want to move on from Uche. According to Spotrac, Uche could get a two-year deal worth around $16 million on the open market. It would constitute a big raise for Uche, who had a base salary of $1.3 million in 2023.

Uche reportedly has a close relationship with new head coach Jerod Mayo, which could factor into Uche staying longer with New England.

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