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Examining the New England Patriots' Roster by Contract Lengths

Let's take a look at how much time each member of the Patriots has left on his current contract.

Still fresh as lettuce.
Still fresh as lettuce.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Yesterday, the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady agreed to a 2-year contract extension that will keep the face of the franchise in Foxboro until the 2019 season is over. While the details of the extension are not yet known, it will probably lower Brady's salaries for both 2016 and 2017 to help the team get as much monetary flexibility as is needed to extend some of its soon-to-be free agents.

That being said, let's take a look at when each contract of the players currently signed (either to date or to a future contract), will expire to find out who will stay in Foxboro for the foreseeable future and whose contracts are the next in line to be worked on.


The following players are signed through the 2016 season and are scheduled to enter free agency on the first day of the 2017 league year:

OT Chris Barker

RB Brandon Bolden

LB Jon Bostic

DT Alan Branch

CB Malcolm Butler

OT Marcus Cannon

WR DeAndre Carter

TE Scott Chandler

LB Jamie Collins

WR Aaron Dobson

LB Darius Fleming

LB Jonathan Freeny

FS Duron Harmon

WR Chris Harper

LB Dont'a Hightower

FB Joey Iosefa

DE Chandler Jones

DT Chris Jones

DT Ishmaa'ily Kitchen

WR Brandon LaFell

LB Eric Martin

CB Rashaan Melvin

OT Keavon Milton

DE Rob Ninkovich

CB Logan Ryan

DE Jabaal Sheard

LB Kevin Snyder

WR Matthew Slater

FS Chris Thompson

LB James Vaughters

DT Joe Vellano

SS Brock Vereen

OT Sebastian Vollmer

TE Michael Williams

As of today, 34 Patriots are scheduled to become free agents following the 2016 season. While cornerback Malcolm Butler will become "only" a restricted free agent, the rest of the key contributors listed above will enter unrestricted free agency. Among them are starters and core members of all three team units, who either need to replaced (possibly like offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer) or extended.

Above them all stand Dont'a HightowerJamie Collins and Chandler Jones. The three defenders are the core of New England's talented and young defense. A core, the team wants to keep intact as long as possible.


The following players are signed through the 2017 season and are scheduled to enter free agency on the first day of the 2018 league year:

WR Danny Amendola

OC David Andrews

SS Patrick Chung

DT Dominique Easley

WR Julian Edelman

RB Tyler Gaffney

QB Jimmy Garoppolo

OG Josh Kline

RB Dion Lewis

WR Keshawn Martin

OT Nate Solder

OC Bryan Stork

RB James White

If the Patriots' 2017 free agency class is mostly about defensive contributors, the 2018 version is about offense. The Patriots have some key members of the unit enter unrestricted free agency that year. A big question for the Patriots will therefore be whom to keep and whom to replace.

The most intriguing question might be the one about Jimmy Garoppolo: will the back-up quarterback return for another two years of sitting behind Tom Brady, or will he look elsewhere for money and playing time?


The following players are signed through the 2018 season and are scheduled to enter free agency on the first day of the 2019 league year:

P Ryan Allen

DT Malcom Brown

LS Joe Cardona

TE A.J. Derby

DE Trey Flowers

K Stephen Gostkowski

DE Geneo Grissom

OG Tre' Jackson

OG Shaq Mason

CB Darryl Roberts

SS Jordan Richards

New England's three specialists – kicker Stephen Gostkowski, punter Ryan Allen, long snapper Joe Cardona – will enter free agency in 2019, as they will join the 2015 draft class as the players whose contracts expire that year. It has to be seen who will be worthy of a contract extension by then but at least one player, defensive tackle Malcom Brown, looks like a keeper.


The following players are signed through the 2019 season and are scheduled to enter free agency on the first day of the 2020 league year:

QB Tom Brady

TE Rob Gronkowski

FS Devin McCourty

Three of the best players in the NFL are signed with the Patriots throughout the 2019 season. At that point, Tom Brady will be 42 years old, while Devin McCourty will be 32 and Rob Gronkowski will be 30. It will be interesting to see who will stay with the team after the 2019 season.