Patriots Captain is Close to Losing His Starting Spot: Report

Getty New England Patriots Davon Godchaux Lawrence Guy

Multiple New England Patriots veterans could be in a danger of losing their starting jobs once the 2022 season is underway. We’ve heard rumblings about running back Damien Harris giving way to second-year back Rhamondre Stevenson.

Perhaps an even more likely switch could be in store on the defensive line where veteran run-stuffer Lawrence Guy might shortly give way to second-year stud Christian Barmore.

According to the Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard, it’s more of a matter of when rather than if Barmore will take Guy’s spot. Bedard ranked the DT/DE position group No. 5 on the Patriots’ roster.

“This is mostly about Barmore, who is closing in on being the full-time starter over Guy, who is on the decline,” Bedard summarized. “Barmore seems to have built on his rookie success. That doesn’t happen with every player.”

Christian Barmore Becoming a Starter is Inevitable

The 23-year-old former Alabama star played in all 17 games last season, starting twice. He registered 46 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 2 passes defended as a rookie. His numbers don’t jump off the page, but if you watched him play as a rookie, there was little question Barmore was approaching a level that might make him an elite player as early as this upcoming season.

While Guy has been steady throughout his five-year run with the Patriots, you’d have to believe a decline could be on the way, though he did post a 10 Approximate Value rating in 2021, according to Pro Football Reference. That was up 2 points from his 2020 total.

Even if Guy maintains his level of play from 2021, he may still be unable to hold off Barmore. The latter projects as a potential game-changing force on the defensive line. When a head coach gets a player with those abilities on his team, he has to find ways to get them on the field more often, and Guy is likely the player whose snaps would decline while Barmore gets more opportunities to make plays.

Is Lawrence Guy a Cut or Trade Candidate?

If Guy is ultimately headed for a demotion of sorts, he could wind up as a player teams call the Patriots about his availability. Guy is a great locker room presence, evidenced by the Patriots appointing him a team captain.

He’s also likely still got two years or so left as a factor against the run for another defense with a scheme fit. It wouldn’t be a shock to see him coveted by the Miami Dolphins, Las Vegas Raiders, or the Pittsburgh Steelers.

That said, the Patriots will want to maintain depth. However, they also have to continue to manage their salary cap situation while also trying to add draft assets when possible.

This dynamic could create a window for Guy to be traded, but it’s difficult to imagine New England releasing him–barring some sort of injury.

Patriots Notes and Quotes

The Patriots worked out a slew of kickers and a punter on Friday.

It would appear Nick Folk, and Jake Bailey’s jobs are safe, and Bill Belichick simply wants to have reinforcements ready if there is an injury or a concerning dip in production from one or both of his veteran special-teamers.

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