Complete List of Patriots Set To Be Free Agents in 2021

It's going to be a very, very long offseason for Bill Belichick and company
Author:
Updated:
Original:

With the 2020 season now over for the New England Patriots, it's worth looking at which players on their team will be free agents this offseason. This year, there are a lot of current Patriots who will be free to do what they want when the free-agency period of the offseason begins. 

Here is the complete list of Patriots players that are slated to be free agents in 2021:

  • G Joe Thuney 
  • CB Jason McCourty 
  • RB James White
  • DL Lawrence Guy
  • DL Adam Butler 
  • C David Andrews
  • RB Rex Burkhead
  • G Jermaine Eluemunor
  • DE John Simon
  • QB Cam Newton
  • S Terrence Brooks
  • WR Damiere Byrd
  • S Cody Davis
  • OLB Shilique Calhoun
  • CB Justin Bethel
  • QB Brian Hoyer
  • WR Donte Moncrief
  • K Nick Folk
  • OLB Brandon Copeland
  • DT Carl Davis
  • G Marcus Martin
  • C James Ferentz
  • CB Dee Virgin (RFA)
  • DE Deatrich Wise
  • CB J.C. Jackson (RFA)
  • FB Jakob Johnson
  • WR Devin Smith 

If I'm New England, the players from this list that I absolutely want to retain in some form or fashion are as followed, but not necessarily in this order: J.C. Jackson, David Andrews, Adam Butler, Justin Bethel,  John Simon and James White. There are plenty of other players from the list you can make an argument for re-signing, but this is the group I'm sticking with for the time being (feel free to at me on Twitter). 

Jackson - a restricted free agent - could very well be the player that gets slapped with a first-round tender. Jackson is someone the Patriots surely want to retain, especially if they shop Stephon Gilmore during the offseason and find someone that is willing to trade for him. That makes the third-year cornerback priority No. 1 for New England this offseason in my eyes. 

With Guy at 31 years old and worthy of a short-term pay day, he has likely seen his last days as a Patriot. Because of that, New England needs to do what they can to retain Butler, who had a career year this season. Keeping Butler would retain one of the very few explosive pieces they have on the defensive line, especially in the interior.

Simon is a do-it-all type of defensive chess piece, which is why bringing him back at a low rate would be beneficial for a Patriots team that clearly had problems at linebacker this season. 

Having an elite special teams unit can help New England greatly during year two of the post-Tom Brady era, which is why re-signing Bethel seems like a wise use of cap space, especially if Matthew Slater decides to retire. 

White has been a pivotal part of the Patriots organization for the past decade, which is why keeping him on a roster that is getting much younger makes plenty of sense. His locker-room presence and pass-catching ability will be needed, especially if Rex Burkhead isn't re-signed, which would leave a serious void in the latter department in the backfield. 

With no trustworthy backup option at center, bringing back David Andrews at 29 years old is a no-brainer. If the Patriots want to have success moving forward, they need to be dominant in the trenches. That starts with Andrews. 

Again - who should be re-signed or set free is definitely up for debate. But we have a couple more months to discuss that.