The New England Patriots came just one win away from making the NFL Playoffs this season.
This season was a roller coaster, and New England showed plenty of promise while revealing areas needing improvement. We will break down the Patriots’ past season, what their offseason looks like, and their potential 2024 Super Bowl odds on the upcoming Massachusetts sportsbooks.
New England Offseason Needs
First, New England will have around $50 million in 2023 cap space, ranking top five in the NFL.
Even though New England is not typically one to go after and overpay for players, it has the money, and to get back into Super Bowl contention, the Patriots might need to.
New England has to be able to protect Mac Jones. Going into a make-or-break year for New England’s quarterback, the Patriots need to give Jones a chance to make plays downfield, and to do that, he needs better protection.
With money available, the Patriots should prioritize potential offensive tackle free agents like Orlando Brown, Kaleb McGary, or Mike McGlinchey. All three are tackles who are in the top half of the league are their position and are under 30 with multiple good years left.
New England could also target an offensive tackle with the No. 14 pick in the NFL Draft.
Read more: Potential Masschusetts Sportsbook Welcome Bonuses
The reasoning for targeting a tackle in free agency is twofold.
New England needs a tackle and a wide receiver. The free agency class of tackles is reasonably deep, while there are no true receiver stars on the free agency market. Also, wide receivers can be found in the NFL Draft and immediately make an impact. Offensive tackles often take a little time to develop. There has been at least one 1,000-plus-yard rookie wide receiver in the past four seasons, with two 1,000-plus-yard rookie receivers this past season and the season prior.
Offseason Effect on Patriots Super Bowl Odds
How much New England improves as a team this offseason will undoubtedly affect its Super Bowl odds next season.
We will use this past season’s preseason Super Bowl odds as a basis. Before the start of this season, New England had +8000 odds to win the Super Bowl.
Also read: Biggest Boston Celtics Games to Bet on the Rest of the 2022-23 NBA Season
These are projections relating the Patriots’ potential offseason grade to what it would do to their Super Bowl Odds.
The projections are a wide range of where New England could end up. I think that is fair with a team in flux and having some significant needs. If New England hits it out of the park, with a successful offseason of free agency additions and NFL Draft wins, it is not unreasonable to think the Patriots could be in the top tier of NFL teams for next season’s Super Bowl odds.
In contrast, if New England has a bad offseason, it is easy to see it missing the playoffs again. It is a crucial offseason coming up for the Patriots, one that could determine the next five years of the franchise’s success.
Patriots Key Player 2023 Review
The Patriots’ franchise quarterback dealt with injuries and regression this past season after an excellent rookie campaign. Jones also dealt with the pressure of potentially losing his job, as rookie Bailey Zappe played really well in Jones’ absence. Jones’ quarterback rating dropped this season, and his touchdown-to-interception ratio was also worse.
It is not all on Jones, though. The Patriots must get rid of play-caller Matt Patricia or find another coach to call plays. New England should also be searching for an actual No. 1 wide receiver. Jakobi Meyers and Devante Parker could make a great 2/3 combo, but Jones needs a top-level, go-to guy.
Next season will be a big year for Jones, and his performance could factor into whether he is in New England’s long-term plans.
Looking ahead: How MA Sports Betting Tax Revenue Will Be Spent
The star running back just about put New England on his back and carried the team into the playoffs himself. With Damien Harris in and out of the lineup all season, Stevenson claimed the top running back spot. He did not disappoint, rushing for 1,040 yards while averaging 5 yards a carry. He had 421 receiving yards on 69 receptions, too.
The star pass-rusher had a big year, increasing his double-digit sack total (12.5) from 2021 to 15.5 this season. The Patriots have gotten a steal considering Judon is under contract for another two seasons. With both cap hits under $20 million, if Judon keeps putting up double-digit sacks, he will be well worth it.
The third-year player broke out in a big way, totaling 11.5 sacks. His first season with double-digit sacks made the Patriots’ pass rush one of the NFL’s best.
The rookie corner did about all you could hope for this season. With two interceptions, 39 tackles, and seven pass deflections, Jones appears ready to hold down a starting corner spot for years to come.
Updated New England Patriots Player Futures
Sportsbook Matthew Judon Defensive POY
Matthew Judon is a Defensive Player of the Year longshot. BetMGM gives him +15000 odds, behind Nick Bosa (-1100), Micah Parsons (+600), Myles Garett (+10000), Maxx Crosby (+10000), and Chris Jones (+10000).
Rookie cornerback Jonathan Jones has been in the conversation for Defensive Rookie of the Year, but he has faded lately, with Ahmad Gardner (BetMGM -1200) and Aidan Hutchinson (+800) as really the only two legitimate contenders.
Also read: Super Bowl Betting Guide for Massachusetts