For the second year in a row, the New England Patriots are losing some considerable talent through the free agency market. Heading into day three of the new league year, the club already saw five of its former players move elsewhere:
DT Malcom Brown: Signed by Saints (3-year, $15MM)
OT Trent Brown: Signed by Raiders (4-year, $66MM)
DE Trey Flowers: Signed by Lions (5-year, $90MM)
WR Cordarrelle Patterson: Signed by Bears (2-year, $10MM)
CB Eric Rowe: Signed by Dolphins (1-year, $3.5MM)
Naturally, the five losses will all be factored into the NFL’s compensatory draft picks formula and weighed against the players signed by the club. So far, the Patriots added six unrestricted free agents after going on a spending spree on Thursday afternoon. Of the six, three do not qualify for the formula: Bruce Ellington was released from his former club, the Detroit Lions, while Matt LaCosse and Maurice Harris both were restricted free agents that were not tendered.
This leaves the following three men as candidates to weigh into the Patriots’ compensatory haul for the 2020 draft:
RB Brandon Bolden: Signed to free agency contract (2-year, $TBD)
FS Terrence Brooks: Signed to free agency contract (2-year, $TBD)
DT Mike Pennel: Signed to free agency contract (2-year, $TBD)
While contract details for the trio have yet to be reported, NFL salary cap and compensation expert Nick Korte of OverTheCap.com projects that they could cancel any possible picks gained through the losses of Malcom Brown, Cordarrelle Patterson and Eric Rowe. Ultimately, this would leave the reigning world champions with two additional selections for next year — both of which coming in the highest possible round, though.
Korte’s cancellation chart therefore looks as follows at the moment:
Of course, the whole situation is fluid and any additional signing or loss — the Patriots still have nine qualifying unrestricted free agents unaccounted four — could alter the table as it stands right now. For the moment, however, New England’s 2020 draft board is shaped as follows... just don’t expect it to stay that way:
1st Round: Own selection
2nd Round: Own selection
3rd Round: Own selection; Compensatory pick (Flowers); Compensatory pick (Brown)
4th Round: Own selection
6th Round: Own selection
7th Round: Own selection; Eagles’ pick (Michael Bennett trade), Falcons’ pick (Jordan Richards trade)
The Atlanta Falcons’ pick from the Jordan Richards trade is conditional, and it is not yet known if the conditions have been met. Furthermore, the Patriots’ original fifth-rounder has gone to the Eagles as part of the Michael Bennett trade.