How will Pats proceed with impending free agents?

Patriots Mailbag: How will Pats proceed with impending free agents? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2-6 New England Patriots are set to host the Washington Commanders this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. Before we turn the page to the Week 9 matchup, we’ve got your mailbag questions to answer.

Let’s jump in…

What purpose does Ty Montgomery serve on this team if the Patriots aren’t going to use him as a Receiving RB?

— Andrew Caraway (@Caraway6) October 31, 2023

It’s a good question, Andrew. He’s a core-four specialist for them. Period. He played 18 special-teams snaps last week in Miami. He’s played 126 kicking-game snaps in all this season. Offensively, he’s played 30 snaps. The Patriots, obviously, love their special-teamers. Even though Montgomery could be, in theory, a skill-position player offensively… that’s not how they see him.

Their lack of a true third-down back is mitigated some by the fact they have two big-bodied runners who can catch the ball in Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott. But it’s hard not to wonder whether Mac Jones’ quarterback rating of 56.8 under pressure this season (27th out of 36 qualifiers) might not be better if he had a more traditional quick-hit security blanket out of the backfield to throw to more often.

Do you actually think it was a good idea to not trade any players? Do you think it’s a good idea for the pats not to tank? What exactly are the patriots building?

— max (@fantasynerd44) October 31, 2023

I think, given what was available to the Patriots, it was the right move to remain quiet at the deadline. It’s a tough call. But I ever-so-slightly favor the dual benefit of keeping good players on expiring deals over trading them away for late-round picks.

What is that two-pronged benefit, exactly? No. 1, you buy more time to negotiate exclusively with a player. They should be making the most of that with guys like Trent Brown and Kyle Dugger. No. 2, even if you’re not building anything now, you are trying to remain…


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