Only one Patriots player made ESPN's 2023 ranking of top 50 NFL free agents

Only one Patriots player made ESPN's ranking of top 50 NFL free agents originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2023 NFL offseason has begun for every team except the two Super Bowl LVII participants -- the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.

The other 30 teams have moved on to the important tasks ahead, which include free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft.

Free agency is up first in March, and there are a bunch of quality players who could hit the open market.

ESPN released its annual ranking of the top 50 unrestricted NFL free agents on Monday. Some of the most notable names include quarterbacks Lamar Jackson (No. 1 overall) and Tom Brady (No. 7), as well as running backs Saquon Barkley (No. 8) and Josh Jacobs (No. 17). The Eagles defense has three players ranked in the top 14, including defensive tackle Javon Hargrave (No. 3), cornerback James Bradberry (No. 13) and safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson (No. 14).

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The New England Patriots have quite a few players able to hit free agency this offseason, but only one of them made ESPN's ranking.

Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers came in at No. 21 overall. He's one of just three wideouts on the list, joining JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Kansas City Chiefs (No. 27) and DJ Chark of the Detroit Lions (No. 36).

The group of free agent wide receivers is pretty weak, which could actually benefit from Meyers.

The 26-year-old wideout has spent his whole career in New England. He led all Patriots wide receivers with 67 receptions for 804 yards and six touchdowns last season. He has developed a strong chemistry with starting quarterback Mac Jones and he's the team's most reliable pass-catcher.

Wide receiver is a roster need for the Patriots even with Meyers in the fold. So, if he were to leave, that need would become even greater.

That said, the Patriots will have enough money to re-sign Meyers. They are projected to have just over $34 million in salary cap space, which is the sixth-most of any team.