The Patriots did a good job with limited cap space in the first week of free agency retaining and acquiring free agents with the potential to compete with the incoming rookie class to fill out the roster for the 2019 season. This is where the roster stands as of 3/17/19: Quarterbacks (2) ***Two is my projected number of spots on the 53** 1. Tom Brady Unsigned Free agent- none 2. 3. Brian Hoyer 4. Danny Etling The backup QB position could be upgraded. I do not see this as a high priority as I think the Patriots value what Hoyer brings to the team and $1.5 of Hoyer’s 2019 salary is guaranteed. But, if the right QB is available in the draft who the coaches see as a Brady successor and suitable 2019 backup, I can envision this happening. Running backs (5) Unsigned free agents - Jeremy Hill UFA 1. Sony Michel 2. James White 3. Rex Burkhead 4. James Develin 5. Branden Bolden I would have liked the 5th back to be a better backup to Sony Michel than Rex Burkhead, but, with the contract Bolden got, it looks like he’s close to a lock to make the 53. Tight ends (4). Unsigned free agents-none 1. Rob Gronkowski 2. 3. Matt LaCosse 4. Jacob Hollister 5. Ryan Izzo 6. Stephen Anderson With a 1st or 2nd day draftee likely to be added to the mix, there will be a spirited competition in camp for the roster positions behind Gronk. If plans to draft one high fall through or Gronk should retire, that’s when you see whether Martellus Bennett is serious about a comeback. Offensive Lineman (8). Unsigned free agents- Ulrick John 1. Shaq Mason OG 2. Joe Thuney OG 3. David Andrews C 4. Marcus Cannon OT 5. Isaiah Wynn OT/OG 6. 7. 8. Brian Schwenke C/OG 9. Ted Karras OG/C 10. Cole Croston OT 11. James Ferentz C 12. Dan Skipper OT 13. Ryker Matthews OG 14. Jake Eldrenkamp OT There are two open spaces spaces on the 53 for a tackle good enough to challenge Wynn and Cannon and back up both. I think the 8th OL will be a developmental tackle. Wide receivers (5). Unsigned free agents - Chris Hogan 1. Julian Edelman 2. 3. Philip Dorsett 4. Bruce Ellington 5. 6. Maurice Harris 7. Josh Gordon RFA tendered 8. Damoun Patterson 9. Braxton Berrios This is easily the blank canvass position of the 2019 off season. Gordon was tendered using $2 million of much needed cap space so it appears the Patriots are serious about him returning. I’m glad Dorsett returned as I think he has the potential to be an effective 3rd receiver. Harris has some potential although I see him more as an outside guy for the Pats rather a slot as he played for the Redskins. Defensive Lineman (7) Unsigned free agents- Danny Shelton, Adrian Clayborn 1. Lawrence Guy DT 2. Micheal Bennett DE 3. Dietrich Wise DE 4. Mike Pennel DT 5. John Simon DE/LB 6. Adam Butler DT 8. Ufomba Kamalu DE 9. Keionta Davis DE 1o.Trent Harris DE 11. David Parry DT 12. Frank Herron DT Pennel was a good signing as it gives them the much needed anchor in the middle. I see them targeting a tackle rather than an end first in the draft. The Patriots might also be inclined to keep 8 DLinemen on the 53 Linebackers (5) Unsigned free agents- Albert McClellan, Ramon Humber 1. Dont’a Hightower. LB/Edge 2. Karl Van Noy. LB 3. Elandon Roberts MLB 4 Ja’whaun Bentley MLB 5. 6. Derek Rivers. Edge 7. Christian Sam. LB 8. Calvin Munson. LB For all the complaints about Patriot linebackers, this is a pretty good group that is asked to do a lot by the defensive coaches and sometimes are not up to the task. I’d love to see a LB fast and agile enough to cover RBs and TEs, so they don’t have to play so much nickel and dime alignments. Defensive backs (11) - Unsigned free agents- 1. Stephon Gilmore CB 2. Devin McCourty S 3. Patrick Chung. S 4. J.C. Jackson CB 5. Jason McCourty CB 6. Jonathan Jones RFA tendered 7. Duron Harmon S 8. Duke Dawson CB 9. Keion Crossen CB/ST 10. 11. Obj Melifonwu. S 12 A.J Howard. S Keeping the best position group intact has been the best development of the offseason so far. Special team specialists (6) - Unsigned free agents- Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Allen 1. Matthew Slater - Gunner/ Heads caller 2. K 3. Ryan Allen P 4. Joe Cardona. LS 5. Nate Ebner. ST 6. Brendan King. ST 7. Terrance Brooks ST How good can you feel being a free agent kicker when the only Head Coach you’ve had in your 13 year career has to be talked into trying a 41 yard FG indoors to go up by 10 points in the Super Bowl with less than 2 minutes to play?