The New England Patriots could be moving on from two notable veterans in the offseason.
According to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, the Patriots could have a couple of surprising cuts. Rosenthal proposes New England could move on from wide receiver and safety Patrick Chung.
Sanu’s $6.5 million base salary looked like a bargain when the Patriots traded for him, but his rough stretch since then could potentially put his roster spot in jeopardy. Chung, one of Bill Belichick’s favorite defenders, struggled to keep up in coverage last season.
How Sanu and Chung Fit Into Patriots’ Future Plans
Sanu was acquired prior to the trade deadline in the midst of the 2019 season. The Patriots gave up a third-round draft choice to the Atlanta Falcons for the veteran receiver. While he had high expectations, he clearly did not live up to them.
The 30-year-old Sanu produced just 26 receptions for 207 yards and a touchdown in eight games with the Patriots.
With that being said, Sanu has yet to go through a full offseason or training camp with New England. The fact that the Patriots gave up such a high draft choice for Sanu combined with the fact that the team is lacking in viable options in the receiving department may lead to his return.
As far as Chung is concerned, the 32-year-old has been a member of the Patriots for 10 of the last 11 seasons. Originally a second-round draft choice back in 2009, Chung was actually indicted on a charge of possession of cocaine back in August of last year. However, those charges were conditionally dismissed after the conclusion of the 2019 season.
With the exception of the 2013 season — Chung was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles that year — the veteran safety has served as a starter in the back end of New England’s defense since the 2010 season.
In 13 games and 12 starts for the Patriots last season, Chung had 51 tackles and three pass deflections. Chung has a $5.8 million cap hit in 2020. If the Patriots release him, there’s a dead cap of $3.9 million. In other words, New England wouldn’t be saving much and they would likely be cutting Chung moreso for performance purposes rather than salary cap purposes.
NFL Teams Concerned About Tom Brady’s ‘Sustainability’
Although Tom Brady won’t see any shortage of teams interested in his services for the 2020 season, there is a major concern around NFL front offices as he enters free agency. That concern is none other than Brady’s mounting injuries.
In an interview with Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, NFL Media’s Mike Giardi said Thursday that front office people are concerned about Brady’s “sustainability.”
I’ve been talking to a bunch of different people from around the league and front offices … And they’ve said, ‘Look, he’s still a good quarterback, capable of great moments.’ But the one thing that they all said to me, and I think this kind of sticks out — and maybe how they feel here in Foxboro — was ‘sustainability.’
Because he’s had a lot of issues over the last two years, physically. And no, he doesn’t miss games, but it’s impacted his performance … Usually, when you turn 43, those things don’t get easier — they get harder to deal with.
Brady had mounting injuries throughout the 2019 season, including most notably to his elbow and foot.
Although he did not miss any games last season, his injuries are clearly a concern for NFL teams as he enters his age-43 season.