3 Patriots Who Won't Survive in New England Beyond This Season

Rex Burkhead, Julian Edelman, Gunner Olszewski
These New England Patriots might not survive the 2020 season | Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The New England Patriots lost a good chunk of their starters from the 2019 season, chief among them quarterback Tom Brady. As Bill Belichick prepares to turn the page on the Brady era, he attacked tight end and pass-rusher heavily in the 2020 NFL Draft, a sign that he is a full believer in the franchise's youth movement. Belichick might have to do some more remaking of the roster, and that reshaping could spell the end for these three veterans.

3. TE Matt LaCosse

Matt LaCosse
New England Patriots TE Matt LaCosse | Leon Halip/Getty Images

LaCosse might not even make it past training camp. One of the many tight ends who tried in vain to replace Rob Gronkowski, LaCosse features competition from two rookie tight ends. Former UCLA stud Devin Asiasi is a vastly superior receiver, while Virginia tech H-back Dalton Keene is a better blocker and is more versatile. LaCosse needs to fight for every snap of playing time in 2020.

2. EDGE Brandon Copeland

Brandon Copeland
New England Patriots pass rusher Brandon Copeland | Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

The Patriots signed the former Jets pass-rusher to a one-year deal, but he isn't guaranteed a starting spot after tallying 6.5 sacks in the last two years. The Patriots attacked edge-rusher harder than any other position in the 2020 NFL Draft, adding Michigan's Josh Uche and Alabama's Anfernee Jennings. If both of them win starting outside linebacker spots, Copeland is as good as gone.

1. RB Rex Burkhead

Rex Burkhead
New England Patriots RB Rex Burkhead | Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

Burkhead has been a solid rotational back for the Patriots over the last three seasons, but the RB might not see the field as much as he did in years prior. Not only will be stuck behind Sony Michel and James White once again, but 2019 third-rounder Damien Harris figures to have an expanded role, and undrafted free agent JJ Taylor might eat into Burkhead's snaps. Lacking that one special trait that the Patriots need to function, Burkhead's journey in New England might not last much longer.