Entering the 2021 offseason, the Patriots have as much money to spend as any year in recent memory. They’re currently projected to have just over $63 million in cap space, which is the third most in the NFL and $20 million more than the next closest team.
The Patriots being flush with cash doesn’t just mean they can be more aggressive in free agency, it could also allow them to bring back more of their internal free agents than they usually would.
They’re even in a position to use the franchise tag without a major financial burden. When Bill Belichick franchised Joe Thuney last year (his first use of the tag since 2015), it put the Patriots right up against the cap limit. This year, even the most expensive tag will leave them with top 10 cap space.
In terms of the Patriots’ pending free agents in 2021, it’s not a very strong year to project the franchise tag being used. While they have a large number of players with expiring contracts (27), few fit the mold of a player the team would typically tag.