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Rebuilding The New England Patriots: Do The Patriots Move On From Bill Belichick, Draft A QB?

This detailed analysis of the New England Patriots' current situation considers the once-unthinkable prospect of moving on from legendary coach Bill Belichick. With a dismal 2-10 record under Belichick, the worst at this point in his tenure, the Patriots are facing a significant crossroads. This decline, highlighted by an NFL-worst five-game losing streak and historical low points, has brought the team to a critical juncture.


Rebuilding The New England Patriots: Do The Patriots Move On From Bill Belichick, Draft A QB?



Kraft's Crucial Decision: Belichick's Future and Legacy

As owner Robert Kraft contemplates the future of his signature franchise, he faces the daunting task of possibly replacing Belichick, who is just 17 victories shy of surpassing Don Shula’s record as the winningest coach in NFL history. This decision echoes past moments in NFL history where iconic coaches like Chuck Noll, Tom Landry, and Shula himself faced the end of their illustrious careers.


2024 Draft Strategy: Eyeing a Franchise Quarterback

The Patriots' struggle extends beyond coaching, with a significant focus on their performance in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, where they potentially hold the 2nd overall pick. This position opens the possibility of drafting a franchise quarterback, with top prospects like Caleb Williams or Drake Maye on the radar, addressing one of the team's most pressing needs.


Belichick's Legacy vs. Team Rebuild: A Historic Decision

In this context, Belichick's future, coupled with the team's draft strategy and significant cap space, forms the crux of the Patriots' potential rebuilding strategy. Whether Belichick stays to chase the record or Kraft opts for a fresh start, the decision will be a historic and possibly transformative one for the franchise.


Comprehensive Analysis of the Patriots' Current Situation

Below is an analysis of the Patriot's current situation. The analysis covers all aspects to be considered when rebuilding an NFL franchise, including stats overview, pending free agency ahead of the 2024 offseason, NFL Draft & free agency team needs, top player grades, and more.


New England Patriots Season Stats Overview

Patriots Year Over Year Offensive Points Per Game

  • 2022: The Patriots averaged 21.4 points per game.

  • 2023: The Patriots averaged 13.0 points per game.


New England Patriots Yards Per Game: 2022 vs. 2023

  • 2022 Performance:

  • Yards per Game: 314.6

  • 2023 Performance:

  • Yards per Game: 291.4


New England Patriots Opponents' Points Per Game: 2022 vs. 2023

  • 2022 Performance:

  • Opponents' Points per Game: 20.4

  • 2023 Performance:

  • Opponents' Points per Game: 20.9


New England Patriots Opponent Yards Per Game: 2022 vs. 2023

  • 2022 Performance:

  • Opponent Yards per Game: 322.0

  • 2023 Performance:

  • Opponent Yards per Game: 306.9


New England Patriots Projected Team Needs Analysis

QB, OT, WR, TE, CB, EDGE, DL


New England Patriots 2024 Salary Cap Space Analysis

  • Base Salary Cap (2024): $242,000,000

  • Team's Active Cap Spending (2024): $160,507,571

  • Dead Money (2024): $7,983,623


2024 Calculated Salary Cap

The calculated salary cap space for the New England Patriots in 2024 is approximately $73,508,806.


This figure aligns closely with the provided cap space of $75,321,858. The slight difference might be due to additional factors like carryover and adjustments not accounted for in the basic calculation.


2024 Effective Salary Cap Space

The effective cap space for the Patriots in 2024, which accounts for signing at least 51 players and the projected rookie class, is $61,769,140. This figure is lower than the basic cap space calculation, reflecting the costs of maintaining a full roster and incoming rookies.


Key Potential Free Agents for the Patriots in 2024

Hunter Henry (TE)

Type: UFA (Unrestricted Free Agent)

Age: 30

Snaps: 74.5%

Current APY: $12,500,000

Guarantees: $25,000,000


Trent Brown (RT)

Type: Void

Age: 31

Snaps: 68.0%

Current APY: $6,500,000


Kendrick Bourne (WR)

Type: UFA

Age: 29

Snaps: 48.0%

Current APY: $5,000,000


Mike Gesicki (TE)

Type: UFA

Age: 29

Snaps: 48.5%

Current APY: $4,500,000


Ezekiel Elliott (RB)

Type: UFA

Age: 29

Snaps: 38.4%

Current APY: $3,000,000


Kyle Dugger (S)

Type: UFA

Age: 28

Snaps: 97.1%

Current APY: $2,082,976


Michael Onwenu (LG)

Type: UFA

Age: 27

Snaps: 74.1%

Current APY: $874,367


Top Graded Patriots Players (PFF Grades)

Jahlani Tavai (LB)

PFF Grade: 87.8

Free Agent in 2024: No

Positional Strength: Strong in run defense and good coverage skills.


Pharaoh Brown (TE)

PFF Grade: 85.1

Free Agent in 2024: Yes

Positional Strength: Exceptional receiving and blocking capabilities.


Jabrill Peppers (S)

PFF Grade: 84.9

Free Agent in 2024: No

Positional Strength: Versatile safety, strong in run support and coverage.


Mack Wilson Sr. (LB)

PFF Grade: 82.0

Free Agent in 2024: No

Positional Strength: Versatile linebacker with ability to cover and support in run defense.


Alex Austin (CB)

PFF Grade: 82.4

Free Agent in 2024: No

Positional Strength: Excellent in coverage, good ball skills.


Christian Gonzalez (CB)

PFF Grade: 80.8

Free Agent in 2024: No

Positional Strength: Good speed, agility in coverage, and potential in man-to-man defense.


Trent Brown (T)

PFF Grade: 81.0

Free Agent in 2024: Yes (Void)

Positional Strength: Dominant in pass protection and run blocking.


Jonathan Jones (CB)

PFF Grade: 75.0

Free Agent in 2024: No

Positional Strength: Strong in coverage, especially in slot defense.


David Andrews (C)

PFF Grade: 74.6

Free Agent in 2024: No

Positional Strength: Reliable in pass protection, strong leadership and communication skills.


Christian Barmore (DI)

PFF Grade: 74.5

Free Agent in 2024: No

Positional Strength: Effective interior pass rusher, strong against the run.


Rhamondre Stevenson (HB)

PFF Grade: 71.3

Free Agent in 2024: No

Positional Strength: Powerful runner, good in pass protection, and capable receiver.


Matthew Judon (ED)

PFF Grade: 70.2

Free Agent in 2024: No

Positional Strength: Excellent edge rusher, strong in setting the edge against the run.


Ezekiel Elliott (HB)

PFF Grade: 69.3

Free Agent in 2024: Yes (UFA)

Positional Strength: Strong, consistent runner with good vision and receiving ability.


Conor McDermott (T)

PFF Grade: 69.7

Free Agent in 2024: No

Positional Strength: Solid in both run blocking and pass protection.


Cole Strange (G)

PFF Grade: 65.3

Free Agent in 2024: No

Positional Strength: Shows potential in pass protection and run blocking.


Hunter Henry (TE)

PFF Grade: 65.1

Free Agent in 2024: Yes (UFA)

Positional Strength: Reliable target in passing game, solid blocker.


2023 Season Overview

  • Record: 3-10

  • Division: AFC East

Scoring

  • Points Scored: 169 (Ranked 31st)

  • Points Allowed: 272 (Tied for 16th)

PFF Team Grades

  • Overall: 29th

  • Offense: 28th

  • Defense: Tied for 19th

  • Special Teams: Tied for 24th


Final Analysis

Overall Performance:

Ranked 29th overall, the team is performing poorly compared to the rest of the league. This low ranking indicates significant issues across the board.


Offensive Struggles:

With an offense ranked 28th, the team has been ineffective in scoring. The low points scored (169, 31st in the league) further highlight this issue. This could be due to various problems, including quarterback performance, offensive line issues, or ineffective play-calling.


Defensive Performance:

The defense is ranked tied for 19th, below average but not as poor as the offense. The points allowed (272, tied for 16th) suggest that the defense is performing at a mediocre level, being relatively better at preventing scores than the league average.


Special Teams:

The special teams unit, tied for 24th, is also underperforming. This could impact the team's field position and overall game management, contributing to the poor record.


Record and Divisional Context:

With a 3-10 record in the competitive AFC East, the team is likely struggling against strong divisional opponents. This record indicates that they are not competitive this season.


Conclusion Rebuilding The New England Patriots

The team's overall poor performance in the 2023 season can be attributed to significant offensive shortcomings, a below-average defense, and underperforming special teams. To improve, the team needs to address these areas, potentially looking at coaching strategies, player personnel changes, or adjustments in their game plan. The end of the season might also bring about considerations for draft strategies, trades, or free agency moves to bolster weak areas.

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