Patriots Shed Significant Players to Free Agency in 2018
2018 has seen New England lose up to four top players to free agency. The season will be very different for coach Belichick and the rest of the team. With a totally revamped roster, what will the impact be? The head coach is steering and embracing the significant changes. This is Belichick's 19th season of guiding the team's operations of football. The high flying players who are bidding the team farewell include Nate Solder, Danny Amendola, Malcom Butler and Dion Lewis. These changes are similar to the 2015 off-season where up to 5 top players also signed with other teams. These players played a pivotal role in winning the previous Super Bowl and they include Wilfork, Vereen, Ayers, Browner and Revis.
Another year that saw a fairly important exodus of players was 2004. That year, the Patriots lost a nose tackle, running back, center guard and a defensive end. Despite the departures, the team pushed hard to win the 2004 Super Bowl. This notwithstanding the lose at the AFC battle in Denver. Despite the exit of polished talents, history teaches us that New England cannot be underrated and still remains a top contender in the AFC. However, it goes without saying that it will take diligence for New England players to win Super Bowl.

Below is an analysis of the incoming players, outgoing players and also the draft pick standings;

Players Acquired through Trades
Danny Shelton - Defensive tackle
Jason McCourty - Cornerback
Cordarrelle Patterson - Wide receiver
All the above players are notably coming from teams that have had a change of guard at the top. In this case, these players can only have a higher value in their new home. Their salary level is also the same as before; averaging $2 million to $3 million.

Reset for the Sraft Picks
First round - 31
Second round - 43
Second round - 63
Third round - 95
Fourth round - 136
Sixth round - 210
Seventh round - 219
New England will be compensated with two 2019 third round picks in the draft. This is the projection and it might go a long way in helping recover from the Cleveland trade. This is the trade conducted in exchange for Shelton and a 2018 fifth round pick.

Players Heading to Free Agency
As stated earlier, there is a host of players who are leaving the team and they include;
Danny Amendola - Wide receiver
Johnson Bademosi - Conerback
Malcolm Butler - Conerback
Dion Lewis - Running back
Nate Solder - Left tackle
The above list could grow because there are several other players who are on the market still.

Free Agent Signings
Adrian Clayborn - Defensive end
Jeremy Hill - Running back
Matt Tobin - Offensive tackle
The Patriots initially had an eye for Trent Murphy who is a great defensive end. However, Murphy got a better deal in Buffalo signing a contract worth $21 million for three years. It is worth noting that Tobin and Hill both signed a one-year deal.

Players who have been Re-signed
Brandon Bolden - Running back
Rex Burkhead - Running back
Van Noy - Linebacker
James White - Running back
Nate Ebner - Safety
Brandon King - Safety

Last year, the above players signed deals that extended their contracts. Otherwise, they would be in the list of free agents headed out.


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