Patriots Malcolm Butler and Nelson Aghlor may be cut
The New England Patriots may have traded N’Keal Harry, but the organization still has some moves they will have to make before the 2022 season begins.
Training camp is just over a week away meaning coaches will see how capable their players are as they prepare to take regular pre-season cuts and comply with the salary cap.
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WEEI’s Andy Hart has done the hard work of trying to come up with unexpected cuts that can be made by the Patriots and two standout players have already been mentioned.
Who was the first player Hart mentioned?
It will likely come as a shock to Patriots fans, but Hart mentions Malcolm Butler as a surprise candidate.
Hart said: “The veteran full-back was out of football a year ago. “Now, he has returned and made his mark as a turning point, where his unique career began in New England. Butler seems to be in very good form. He looks very competitive in the spring. But he is still a 32-year-old full-back who retired a year ago. That leaves enough uncertainty to put the former Super Bowl hero on the list. Butler will leave $750,000 in cap money if cut to Spotrac. “
Butler certainly fits the bill surprisingly well. After losing JC Jackson, Butler seems to be considered New England’s number one spot. While he’s nearing retirement, the Patriots will likely rely on Butler heavily this upcoming season (if he’s on the roster).
Who else did Hart mention?
Another option Hart mentioned as a surprise cut candidate is Nelson Agholor.
“Financially, the Agholor cut is really hard to swallow as it will leave a $10 million cap on one of last year’s big money free agency signings,” Hart wrote. “With that $9 million salary, New England would probably like to try to find some way to trade to ease the burden, but that can be difficult. Agholor was a big disappointment in 2021. There is hope that he can move into more roles in 2022 and that could increase his output. Still, it’s not hard to think that the Patriots’ receiver depth chart could fully populate DeVante Parker, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, Tyquan Thornton and possibly Nixon, making Agholor an expensive man without have many roles. However, finances probably keep veterans in the mix. “
Agholor struggled during his debut season with New England. The wide receiver has only 37 receptions for 473 yards and three touchdowns.
Agholor is in the final year of a two-year, $22 million contract. His production last season made that deal look like a big payoff.
If both of these players are cut, Patriots fans will most likely be surprised by the decision and will scratch their heads. These moves would also be quite expensive, and the decision to cut Butler would leave a secondary hole.
With Bill Belichick at the helm, an unexpected cut wouldn’t come as a surprise but if Butler or Agholor get the ax, fans will be surprised.
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https://heavy.com/sports/new-england-patriots/malcolm-butler-nelson-agholor-named-possible-surprise-cuts/ Patriots Malcolm Butler and Nelson Aghlor may be cut