Here are three players who won’t be with the New England Patriots in 2021.
After the 2019 season, the New England Patriots faced perhaps the most turnover fans have seen over the last 20 years. Tom Brady, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Danny Shelton, Ted Karras, Phillip Dorsett, Stephen Gostkowski, Rob Gronkowski (again), and others all found new homes.
The 2020 edition of the Patriots is going to look much different, but fans need to brace for the same in 2021. The team has a number of impending free agents heading into this year and it’s hard to believe Bill Belichick will be spending big bucks (or spending at all) to keep some of these guys around.
It might be time for the organization to start planning ahead in order to find replacements for these players when they inevitably leave.
3. Rex Burkhead
Rex Burkhead just took a pay cut in the final year of his contract with the Patriots.
The writing is on the wall. Belichick goes through running backs with no regard, and it won’t be any different for Burkhead. Despite putting together one of his best seasons in 2019, he took a fairly large pay cut in July to remain with the team. He really had no choice, either.
The Pats could’ve just cut him and saved the money. After all, they have Sony Michel, James White, and Damien Harris, so replacing Burkhead won’t set the team back much at all. Burkhead also just turned 30, so that’s not exactly going to be a selling point in his free agency.
He’s done good work for the Patriots without a doubt — he scored the game-winning touchdown against the Chiefs in the AFC title game in 2018 — but Michel and Harris will still be under contract and you can bet Belichick is going to do all he can within his limits to keep White, who is also set to hit free agency, in New England.