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The New England Patriots have the most cap space in the NFL at around $101.7 million (per Over The Cap), a new head coach, along with many new assistant coaches and as they enter a new era, the changes and additions to the team will continue. The Patriots have the No. 3 overall pick and if they do not trade it away, taking a quarterback is widely expected. There are also talks of bringing in a veteran quarterback, with Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Baker Mayfield in those conversations.

New England's offense desperately needs a consistent quarterback, but the needs do not end there. The Patriots are also in need of solid pass-catchers.

Things are about to get interesting in the NFL, with free agency just a week away. According to The Athletic, the team's free agency goal is to add a star wide receiver. That is easier said than done.

They planned to lure in Bucs pending free agent Mike Evans, but the wide receiver was not interested, according to The Athletic's report. The lack of interest came even before Evans signed a two-year, $53 million deal keeping him in Tampa, the report reveals.

Last season, Evans had 1,255 receiving yards on 79 receptions, with a league-high 13 touchdowns in 17 games. For comparison, the Patriots leading receiver in yards was DeMario Douglas, who had 561 on 79 receptions, with no receiving touchdowns. Hunter Henry led the team in touchdowns with six. The Patriots offense, which scored 20 points or less in 12 games, could have used someone who has proven he can get in the end zone and make big plays when needed.

The report also states that another member of the Bucs the Patriots are interested in may feel the same way as Evans about making Gillette Stadium home. Mayfield, a pending free agent, is expected to entertain other teams, like the Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons or Minnesota Vikings, before he considers the Patriots.

The Patriots and Mayfield do have some common connections, but that does not seem like enough. Patriots executive and de facto general manager Eliot Wolf was the assistant general manager when the Cleveland Browns drafted Mayfield and Alex Van Pelt, the current Patriots offensive coordinator, was the OC in Cleveland with the QB for two seasons.

Wherever Mayfield goes, the quarterback could land a big pay check after a Pro Bowl season where he not only made the playoffs, but secured a postseason win, something that seemed unlikely most of the year.

Mayfield finished the season with 4,044 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 17 games. Patriots quarterback Mac Jones had 2,120 yards, 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 11 starts. Bailey Zappe, who started as a backup and ended up as QB1 following numerous poor performances from Jones, finished with 1,272 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions in 10 games played, six of those being starts.

It is not a shock that players may not prefer the Patriots, who are coming off a 4-13 season that came with its fare share of quarterback drama and communication issues. While having a first-year head coach in Jerod Mayo may excite some players, others may be hesitant to join a coach who has yet to prove himself.

Wolf remains confident in what the 2024 season will bring. 

"We're heading in the right direction," Wolf said, attempting to sell the team to perspective players. "It's a new era. We have leadership with Jerod Mayo that is going to be tremendous."

As we have seen in the past, a solid draft can turn a team around, but the Patriots have often not fared well in the April event. The No. 3 pick certainly helps, but will not guarantee a capable starting QB for next year. 

Top prospect Jayden Daniels is one quarterback who did express interest in New England.

"It would be dope," Daniels said. "Obviously, growing up and seeing what Tom Brady did there, six Super Bowls, that's tough to live up to, but it would be dope to come in there and see the success they had and help them get back on that track."

With Evans out as an option, they will have to use the draft and free agency to look elsewhere to find receivers for their next QB to throw to, whether that ends up being Daniels, Mayfield or someone else.