We're still in the early stages of the offseason, and nothing big appears to be imminent. So, let's make some bold predictions for the New England Patriots' offseason.

Following an 8-9 2022 season that featured more exciting drama than the product on the field showed, the 2023 offseason will be a big one for the Patriots. They're currently projected to have some of the most salary cap space in the NFL entering the offseason and will hold the No. 14 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Here are four bold predictions for this offseason.

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Patriots let Jakobi Meyers walk

Entering free agency, there might not be a wide receiver on the open market better than Jakobi Meyers. In fact, there might not be many better players than Meyers who will be free agents this offseason. Meyers is ranked as the top available free agent receiver and the seventh-best overall player set to hit free agency this offseason by Pro Football Focus.

So, with Meyers being the Patriots' best player at a position they're already weak at and with plenty of cap space this offseason, it's a no-doubter that he returns to New England, right?


Meyers is projected to get a four-year, $64 million contract with $40 million guaranteed by PFF. That's certainly a rich number for someone who isn't viewed as one of the game's top receivers, but he could be worthy of it considering he has been a safety valve who has expanded his game a bit over the last couple of seasons to become a bit more of a downfield threat.

However, the Patriots have never really valued slot receivers like Meyers too much in the past. The richest contracts Julian Edelman signed during his Patriots tenure were a four-year deal worth $17 million and a two-year deal worth $15 million. Wes Welker's lone contract with the Patriots was a five-year deal worth $18 million. After franchise tagging him in 2012, the Patriots let Welker walk to the Denver Broncos for a two-year deal worth a measly $12 million in 2013.

So, yeah, there isn't much precedent of the Patriots re-signing Meyers-type receivers at big money. Meyers will likely command and get big money. That's the recipe for Patriots fans to prepare to say goodbye to Meyers.

They draft a quarterback in the first four rounds in the draft

New England likely isn't going to replace Mac Jones this season, but that doesn't mean it can't add to its quarterback room even after drafting Bailey Zappe in the fourth round of last year's draft.

Bill O'Brien comes back to Foxborough and might want his own young quarterback to work with, too. Brian Hoyer, who O'Brien coached during his first stint in New England and in Houston, is already on the roster and will likely be there through training camp. But he was done for the season following his Week 4 concussion.

The Patriots also have a bit of a track record of selecting quarterbacks in the first few rounds of the draft every so often. They took Jarrett Stidham in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. They selected Jacoby Brissett in the third round of the 2016 draft. Jimmy Garoppolo was taken in the second round of the 2014 draft. They even selected Ryan Mallett in the third round of the 2011 draft and Kevin O'Connell in the third round of the 2008 draft.

Maybe picking quarterbacks early (relatively speaking in the case of Zappe) in the last two drafts could keep them from picking one early in 2023. But the quarterback position seems to be getting more important with each passing year, and the Philadelphia Eagles selected their current quarterback to be their backup in 2020.

The point is, there's no such thing as having enough quarterbacks on your roster — especially when you still have a question mark at the position.

They won't select an offensive tackle with their first pick

Many of us would agree that offensive tackle is the Patriots' biggest need entering this offseason.

I don't think they'll address that need in the draft, though.

The Patriots' veteran presence at offensive tackle isn't great. Trent Brown was OK at best at left tackle last season but is better suited to play right tackle. They reportedly agreed to a deal to re-sign Conor McDermott over the week, but he should be a depth piece at best. Isaiah Wynn will hit free agency after a mightily disappointing 2022 season.

Adding an unproven young player to that group isn't the best idea.

That's why the Patriots will ultimately make the move to sign (or possibly trade) for a veteran offensive tackle instead, even if it might be a “weaker” pool at the position in free agency. They could splurge on Orlando Brown Jr. Or maybe they sign Mike McGlinchey or Jawaan Taylor and keep Brown at left tackle.

While it's not a great free-agent class at offensive tackle, it's not a great draft class at the position either. Northwestern's Peter Skoronski is widely viewed as the best offensive tackle in the class, yet some draft experts have questioned if he'll end up playing guard in the long haul.

What this draft class has, though, is talent at defensive back, which the Patriots need. Their lack of a true stud corner on the boundary showed in their late-season matchups against some of the game's top receivers. Illinois' Devon Witherspoon or Oregon's Christian Gonzalez could be available when they're on the clock with the No. 14 overall pick.

Alabama safety Brian Branch could be available there, too, as the Patriots don't have a clear Devin McCourty successor if he retires or not this offseason.

There are also some receivers who might be climbing their way up the draft boards. But the Patriots might have a different player in mind to help fill that need.

They make a trade for a big-name receiver

A lot of people might look at this last prediction and think, “No way! Bill Belichick would never trade for a star receiver.”

Well, he has in the past. He traded for Wes Welker (giving up a second-round pick) and Randy Moss in the same offseason! He also traded a first-round pick for Brandin Cooks in 2017, too.

This also has been already an unprecedented offseason for the Patriots. Owner Robert Kraft essentially apologized to season ticket holders the day after the regular season ended. A few days after that, the team announced that they were conducting a search for an offensive coordinator.

It's no secret that the Patriots lack star talent at the receiver position. Heck, they've even admitted as much.

The only issue with this prediction is that it's hard to tell if there will be many star receivers available to pick up in a trade. Last offseason, Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill and A.J. Brown were all moved for at least a first-round pick.

At the moment, there doesn't appear to be a receiver on any of those players' level who will become available. But there might be some who are close to it, such as DeAndre Hopkins. Maybe Tee Higgins gets moved if extension talks with the Cincinnati Bengals go south. Ditto with Jerry Jeudy and the Denver Broncos, who might look to get some of the picks they've given up for Russell Wilson and Sean Payton.

No matter who becomes available, expect the Patriots to be involved — because they know they need to get better at the position.