4 big-name free agents for Patriots to avoid like the plague

The Patriots need to start a significant rebuild this offseason. Overpaying one of these four free agents would set New England back at a crucial time in their roster development.

Jan 21, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes the
Jan 21, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes the / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Patriots need a QB, but not Baker Mayfield

It was an open secret around the NFL that Mac Jones was not in New England's long-term plans. That opens up the possibility that the Patriots could be a landing spot for a veteran like Baker Mayfield in free agency. Mayfield deserves a lot of credit for reviving his career in Tampa Bay but that doesn't make him the right quarterback for the Patriots.

Instead, New England needs to keep their offseason plan at quarterback simple. They might not get their No. 1 choice with the third overall pick but they shouldn't budge from the idea of using that selection to land their signal-caller of the present and future.

Signing Mayfield would likely help the Patriots maximize their win total in 2024 but that shouldn't be the organization's top priority. They need to find a quarterback with the upside to be a top-10 option in the league. Mayfield doesn't have that kind of natural ability and he's already realized his full potential.

Some fans might want to see Mayfield inked to be a bridge option but that would just delay the team's rebuilding efforts. The Patriots have too many roster holes they should address in free agency to consider signing Mayfield to the sort of contract he's set to command. He's one of the best quarterback options in free agency but he doesn't fit New England's timeline. The Patriots need to commit to the rookie they land in Round 1 and live with the growing pains associated with his development.

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