The New England Patriots finished using eight of the 10 selections they owned in the 2021 NFL Draft and now have more space left on the free agent list.
The Patriots used three spades to trade and take the defensive fight with Alabama in the second round of the draft, but otherwise spent the peaks they had over the weekend with little movement. They have six places on the list for UDFA or free agents for veterans.
At 22:00 ET, zero UDFA signatures expired with the participation of the Patriots, which is at least unusual. Patriots usually fill the rest of their roster with rookie-free agents, and the moves run almost immediately through a variety of sources. The Patriots have achieved a lot of success with these additions over the years, hitting Randall Gay, Mike Wright, Brian Hoyer, Brandon Bolden, Malcolm Butler, David Andrews, Jonathan Jones, Adam Butler, JC Jackson, Sagittarius Olszewski, Jacob Jacques, Jacobi with many others.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichik even hinted that the Patriots would be involved in the process.
“We will just take the process of a free agency with the unprepared players as it comes, and we will see how that happens and we will just keep working on things,”
One potential reason for the Patriots’ lack of a signature: It’s a much smaller talent pool than usual. In 2021, there were only 657 players eligible for the draft. That’s less than 1,932 in 2020. Nearly half of the players matching the draft were taken on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, leaving an even smaller and weaker harvest of free agents for rookies. The Patriots also have fewer lists available than usual, as they swarmed into the free agency.
We will let you know here when – or if – the Patriots actually sign an unprepared free agent.