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Jan 20, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; New England Patriots offensive guard Joe Thuney (62) gets ready before the snap against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots have a lot of work to do in the 2021 offseason. One big task is to figure out their own internal free agents. And they have so, so many of those.

Granted, not all free agents are equally important. But there are a few key players who could be headed out the door, unless the Patriots give them a significant raise on a new contract. It’s likely at least one important piece of the past few seasons will end up departing via unrestricted free agency.

So some of the questions facing Bill Belichick are about replacing crucial positions that he’s about to lose from the 2020 team. And at the same time, he needs to improve the overall roster on both offense and defense for 2021 after a 7-9 season. Losing key internal pieces certainly won’t make it any easier.

So expect at least a couple of the names below to stay with the Patriots in 2021. But expect others to have to be replaced, whether internally or elsewhere. Here are the most important internal free agents to know about.

2021 Patriots’ Most Important Internal Free Agents

MORE: 11 free agents to watch for the Patriots defense

Ty Anderson and I talked a lot about the Patriots’ offseason and what to do in free agency as part of a recent episode of the SideLines podcast. You can listen below, starting at 47:39.

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.

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