Patriots Have Tons of Players Set to Be Free Agents in 2021

Getty Joe Thuney is one of 21 possible Patriots free agents in 2021.

After a busy offseason, the New England Patriots could be looking at even more transition in 2021. The list of players headed for free agency is staggering.

There is a lot of time between now and the 2021 offseason, but take a look at which players are scheduled to be free agents,

The List of Patriots 2021 Free Agents

In total, there are 21 Patriots headed for free agency after the upcoming season.

  • Joe Thuney
  • Dont’a Hightower
  • Mohammed Sanu
  • Jason McCourty
  • Lawrence Guy
  • James White
  • Rex Burkhead
  • David Andrews
  • Adam Butler
  • John Simon
  • Deatrich Wise
  • Jermaine Eluemunor
  • Justin Bethel
  • Branden Bolden
  • Terrence Brooks
  • Damiere Byrd
  • Shillique Calhoun
  • Matt LaCosse
  • Brian Hoyer
  • Derek Rivers
  • Marqise Lee

Of this list, at least half of them figure to play a prominent role in 2020. Thuney has been franchise tagged and will earn more than $14 million in 2020 on that deal.

The Patriots could tag him for the second year in a row after this season, but that almost never happens considering the tag mandates a team pays the player in the highest percentile of players at that position.

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The Players With the Most to Prove

Mohamed Sanu

GettyBALTIMORE, MARYLAND – NOVEMBER 03: Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu #14 of the New England Patriots scores a second quarter touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 3, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)

It’s not too harsh to say the Patriots were very disappointed with Sanu’s production in 2019. The 30-year-old who spent his first seven years in the NFL between the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons organizations had just 26 catches and a TD in eight games with the Patriots.

He did undergo ankle surgery earlier this season. However, he is expected to be ready to go for the 2020 season if he isn’t traded at some point before the campaign gets underway.

Marqise Lee

GettyJACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 27: Marqise Lee #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars smiles during the game against the New York Jets at TIAA Bank Field on October 27, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The Patriots took a low-risk shot at Lee who came out of USC highly touted in 2014. However, Lee’s best season came in 2016 when he had 63 catches for 851 yards and three TDs.

Injuries drastically limited him in 2019, and at 28 years old, Lee has a chance to make a statement that could lead to a bigger deal after this season.

Matt LaCosse

GettyFOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – DECEMBER 29: Matt LaCosse #83 of the New England Patriots looks on during the game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Dolphins defeat the Patriots 27-24. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

LaCosse is in a tough situation. The tight end position was largely seen as a mess coming into the draft and free agency. The Patriots drafted Devin Asiasi out of UCLA and Dalton Keene from Virginia Tech.

Both men figure to play a significant role in the passing game, and that has to leave LaCosse wondering where he fits–if at all.

Chances are, LaCosse could wind up released before the start of the season, and at the very least, not on the Patriots roster heading into the 2021 campaign.

Damiere Byrd

GettySEATTLE, WA – DECEMBER 22: Wide receiver Damiere Byrd #14 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 22, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The Patriots badly needed speed on offense, and they found it in spades with Byrd. He can fly and has the opportunity to make a splash as a downfield threat, a slot receiver and as a return man.

Byrd, like the other receivers, will likely look to establish a connection with the team’s new quarterbacks, but Byrd is auditioning for his next deal–with or without the Patriots.