Report: Patriots have interest in re-signing free agent Josh Uche

Report: Patriots have interest in re-signing free agent Josh Uche originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Josh Uche has been a productive player for the New England Patriots over the last four seasons, but his future with the franchise remains uncertain.

However, according to Mark Daniels of MassLive, the Patriots do have interest in re-signing the free agent edge rusher.

"According to a source, the Patriots have expressed their desire to retain Uche, but the team has yet to make an actual contract offer," Daniels wrote Monday.

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Uche was a second-round pick (60th overall) of the Patriots in the 2020 NFL Draft. His breakout came in 2022 when he set career highs with 23 solo tackles, 11.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 15 games. Uche's production declined in 2023 when he tallied eight solo tackles and three sacks in 15 games.

Pass rushers are very valuable in today's NFL, and Uche is still just 25 years old. His best days likely are still ahead of him.

The Patriots have a little more than $100 million in salary cap space -- the most of any team -- so they can afford to bring back Uche. But he isn't the only notable free agent the Patriots have to make a decision on.

Offensive tackle Mike Onwenu likely will receive a huge contract in free agency, whether it's from the Patriots or another team. Patriots tight end Hunter Henry and running back Ezekiel Elliott are set to hit the free-agent market, too.

The Patriots placed the transition tag on safety Kyle Dugger on Tuesday. It guarantees him at least a one-year deal worth $13.8 million. Dugger can still negotiate with the Pats and other teams on a long-term contract. The Patriots have the right to match any deal he reaches with a rival club.

The legal tampering period of free agency begins March 11. Players can start signing new contracts when the 2024 league year commences March 13.