Take One

Half Mag / Half Zine

Tom Brady was not the only player whose departure from New England precipitated the Patriots’ first losing season in two decades. The Patriots also had more players opt out of the 2020 season than any other team in the league.

The good news is, that means the Patriots are getting some key players back.

Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower, safety Patrick Chung, and offensive tackle Marcus Cannon all plan to return to the Patriots for the 2021 season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. All are healthy and ready to get back to work.

In addition to getting back their opt-outs, the Patriots are also near the top of the league in available salary cap space. So they should be able to add some more key players in free agency.

There are plenty of reasons to think the Patriots could be better in 2021 than they were in 2020. As long as they can find a quarterback.