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    5 Bold Predictions for 2024 New England Patriots Season

    With the 2024 New England Patriots season just a couple of months away, let's make some bold predictions for Jerod Mayo and Company.

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    It’s never too early for some hot takes, right?

    The New England Patriots will play real football games in just a couple of months. Expectations are low for the first post-Bill Belichick campaign, but if you squint hard enough, you can see a team that could surprise people. With that in mind, let’s make some bold predictions for the 2024 Patriots.

    5 Bold Predictions for 2024 Patriots Season

    The Patriots Will Have a Winning Record

    I have the Patriots going 9-8 in our season win-loss predictions, and I stand by that take — even though it could blow up in my face.

    New England has major questions at quarterback, receiver, left tackle, and head coach. Those issues could make the season dead on arrival, and if you say you feel good about any of them, you’re either guessing or lying.

    But hear me out.

    The Patriots have a very good defense, one that should give them the floor of last year’s team, which was in nearly every game despite receiving historically abysmal quarterback play. They also have a more responsible QB in Jacoby Brissett and a more talented — but still underwhelming — offense. And there simply is no way the offensive coaching will be worse in 2024 than it was the last two seasons.

    If New England receives even average QB play and the defense meets expectations, it stands to reason the Patriots could jump from four victories to six or seven.

    From there, I’m predicting the Patriots get lucky a couple of times and other AFC teams regress — because stuff happens in the NFL. And when the dust settles, New England will be 9-8 and in contention for a playoff spot.

    Ja’Lynn Polk Will Eclipse 1,000 Yards

    Ja’Lynn Polk might never develop into a No. 1 target. His ceiling might be that of a faster, more explosive Jakobi Meyers, who’s a very good player.

    The second-round rookie receiver looked great during spring practices. He was surehanded, ran great routes, and just carried himself like a pro. He also was taller and faster in person than as advertised.

    It’s easy to envision Polk earning a big role right away, partly because the Patriots might not have other viable options beyond DeMario Douglas. If Polk stays healthy, he could be a target hog and put up impressive numbers as a rookie.

    Drake Maye Won’t Start Any Games

    If I believe the Patriots will go 9-8, I don’t see how I can expect Drake Maye to be the starter.

    He’s not starting in Week 1 and leading the Patriots to nine wins. And he’s not taking over for Brissett after a bad first six weeks and leading New England to a dominant second half.

    MORE: Patriots’ Top 5 Position Battles to Watch Entering Training Camp

    Maye played well during the spring and he undeniably has franchise QB potential, but he has a long way to go in his development.

    Despite occasional unrest from fans, the Patriots will redshirt Maye for his rookie season before handing him the keys in 2025.

    Christian Gonzalez Will Be a First-Team All-Pro

    This is an aggressive take — but it’s not crazy.

    Christian Gonzalez looked that good as a rookie before suffering a season-ending labrum tear in October. His first three tests were against A.J. Brown, Tyreek Hill, and Garrett Wilson, and he passed all three with flying colors.

    Gonzalez still has a lot to prove, and his slender build remains a concern. But by the end of the season, there will be a conversation over whether the Patriots or Jets have the best cornerback in the AFC East.

    Matthew Judon Will Be Traded

    I’m not sure whether this trade will happen before training camp, during training camp, or after the season starts, but I think it’s going to happen (this is a prediction, not a report).

    Matthew Judon wants a new contract. He’s said all the right things, including promising not to allow the situation to affect his practice participation as it did last summer, but there might be drama behind the scenes. And it all could stem from the four-year, $92 million contract extension the Patriots gave defensive tackle Christian Barmore in April.

    “(Judon) went on (the radio) and basically said he wasn’t gonna do what he did last year,” Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard said last month during an episode of his Patriots podcast. “I have reason to believe that will not be true. I will say there are rumblings that there are a couple of big contract issues with the Patriots — and they stem from Christian Barmore’s deal.”

    Over the weekend, Judon said he doesn’t think the Patriots will give him a new deal. The comment, which was in response to a question from a fan on X (formerly Twitter), caused alarm among Patriots fans.

    Judon is set to count $10.2 million against the salary cap in 2024, but he isn’t guaranteed any money and is scheduled to hit free agency next spring. As arguably the team’s best defensive player, he’s justified in wanting a new contract.

    KEEP READING: 7 Free Agents the Patriots Should Consider Signing

    But the Patriots’ defense played well in 2023 after Judon suffered a season-ending biceps tear, and the group has young, intriguing depth at edge rusher. Does New England really need to pay an aging pass rusher (he’ll turn 32 in August) who’s coming off a major injury?

    There are arguments for and against it. Judon, who posted 32 sacks in his last 38 games, is one of the NFL’s best sack artists and a leader in the locker room. But the Patriots shouldn’t be in the business of paying for past performance, especially at positions of depth.

    Add it all up, and a trade makes the most sense.

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