The New England Patriots have plenty of cash to burn.

In fact, after releasing cornerback J.C. Jackson on Friday, the team has north of $103 million in cap space.

Even with that money to spend, pursuing Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Jack Conklin doesn’t seem to be the right fit when they should be focused on re-signing Mike Onwenu.

In 2022, Conklin signed a four-year $60 million contract extension with the Browns through the 2026 season. In the 2024 season, he will earn a base salary of $4.5 million and a signing bonus of $8.35 million, while carrying a cap hit of just over $12 million and a dead cap value of $29.688 million, according to

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The 29-year-old missed most of the 2021 season with a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. After starting 14 games in 2022, Conklin suffered a torn ACL in the first game of the 2023 season.

With Conklin returning from injury, it would make more sense for the Patriots to spend the money internally and re-sign Mike Onwenu.

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He is an elite player up front for New England and removing him from the offensive line would mean removing its best player. The 6-foot-3, 350-pound has starter-level experience at right tackle and both guard positions.

The 26-year-old Michigan product is ranked 25th overall and fourth among offensive lineman in PFF’s free agent rankings.

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Onwenu is two years younger than Conklin and retaining the former sixth-round draft pick would send a positive message under the new regime. Onwenu should be a priority signing over Conklin for the Patriots.

Featured image via Jeff Lange / USA TODAY Sports Images