The New England Patriots have lost some serious talent during this year’s free agency period, and next year’s also will see core members of the team hit the open market. Among 20 unrestricted free agents are starters or key rotational players such as interior offensive linemen Joe Thuney and David Andrews, defensive tackle Lawrence Guy, running back James White and cornerback Jason McCourty. Cam Newton, who is fighting for the starting quarterback spot this year, also is on the list.
Newton, who is no stranger to the free agency experience after remaining unsigned almost three months before the Patriots picked him up, is one of the highest profile players to enter free agency again next year — at least according to a list by NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal, who recently ranked the top 25 free agents-to-be. The new Patriots quarterback made the list, and so did left guard Cam Newton.
Newton is ranked 10th, with Thuney coming in at 14:
10. Cam Newton, New England Patriots
New England has the third-highest amount of cap space for 2021, per Over The Cap. If Newton balls out in Foxborough, the Pats should be able to keep him.
14. Joe Thuney, New England Patriots
It’s possible the Patriots could choose to keep Thuney with a new contract while letting go of his guard tag-team partner, Shaq Mason — at least if their diverging 2019 play repeats.
The Patriots, as noted in the Thuney excerpt, are expected to have considerable cap space available next offseason — something that could make them one of the more active players on the open market. Whether this means Newton and Thuney will be back remains to be seen. The team, however, will be in a much more comfortable financial situation in 2021 than it was in before the recent player opt-outs this year.