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The New England Patriots are coming off their sixth Super Bowl victory in franchise history, but there are a bunch of players who won't be returning next season. New England already moved on from Trey Flowers, Rob Gronkowski and Duane Allen, and they might not be done yet.
New England should have a ton of competition in the AFC this season, so it may need to make some tweaks to the roster to free some additional space. With that said, let's break down three Patriots players who could get cut to generate more cap space this offseason.
3. Duron Harmon, S
Duron Harmon is a solid rotational safety, but the 28-year-old veteran ran into some off-field issues in late March. Chandler Jones was quickly shipped out of New England after a similar incident in 2016, and he was much more valuable at the time than Harmon is now. The Rutgers' product has an average salary of $4.25 million, which makes him a nice bargain. But if Bill Belichick's recent history of dealing with these sorts of incidents is any indication, Harmon could be a cap casualty this offseason.
2. Brian Hoyer, QB
With Tom Brady turning 42 years old this August, having a succession plan at quarterback in New England is probably more important than ever. As a result, New England is rumored to be drafting a quarterback at some point in the 2019 NFL Draft. If New England selects someone in the second round, like Duke's Daniel Jones or Northwestern's Clayton Thorson, it could be hard to justify carrying three well-compensated quarterbacks on the roster next year.
1. Rex Burkhead, RB
Rex Burkhead provided valuable depth at running back for the Patriots, but he often struggled with injuries. Burkhead is getting an average salary of $3.25 million, which is a lot to pay a rotational running back, especially one who isn't always available. Burkhead's versatility is valuable, but if the Patriots are convinced they can find depth at running back in the later rounds, don't be surprised if Burkhead is on his way out of New England soon.
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