Patriots Josh Uche leaves money on table to return to New England

The Patriots finally re-sign top-three-round pick.

The New England Patriots are keeping Josh Uche in Foxborough for the 2024 season, and it seems he’s helping the team out by doing so as they retain another standout player in NFL free agency.

Uche and the Patriots have agreed to a one-year deal worth $3 million but that has a maximum value of $8 million, the Monday Morning Quarterback’s Albert Breer reported Tuesday. As Uche’s contract is relatively small, the edge rusher had “much more on the table” with another offer, but it turned it down to remain in New England, NFL Media’s Mike Garofolo reported.

With the deal, Uche becomes the first player the Patriots selected within the first three rounds of the draft to re-sign since 2013 third-round pick Duron Harmon re-signed with the team in 2017. The Patriots drafted Uche in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft after selecting Kyle Dugger earlier in that round. Dugger received the transition tag from the Patriots last week, but he hasn’t signed it yet as he could still ink a deal with another team.

Josh Uche will look to have a bounce-back year with Patriots

Uche showed some promise over his first two seasons in the league but recorded just four sacks in that time. He eventually had a breakout season in 2022, recording 11.5 sacks as he and Matthew Judon formed one of the league’s best pass-rushing duos.

However, Uche didn’t have the best contract year in 2023. With Judon missing all but four games, Uche recorded just three sacks and 15 total tackles in 2023 as New England struggled to generate pressure along the edges.

Still, there should be some promise with Uche moving forward. The 25-year-old has the fifth-best pass-rush win rate over the last few seasons, according to Boston Sports Journal’s Mike Giardi.

Uche has mostly played on passing downs over his career in New England. As Judon is returning from a biceps injury in 2024, the Patriots will hope their pass rush duo has a similar season to the one they did in 2022 under first-year coach Jerod Mayo.

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About the Author

Conor Roche is a sports journalist that has covered Boston sports for a few years and has worked on the Patriots beat since the 2022 season.

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