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4 Patriots Who Started But Won’t Finish Their Careers in New England

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The New England Patriots have had many talented players and fan-favorites who started their career on the outskirts of Boston that finished in other jerseys with some of those names being Curtis Martin, Richard Seymour, Deion Branch, Willie McGinest, and Ty Law.

While the moves are greeted with the common “In Bill we Trust” mantra, some fans may have been sad to have seen their favorite player leave and will no longer see them in their favorite team’s colors.

Here are the current Patriot players who started with the team but we project they will not be with the team.

James White

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Photo Credit: Winslow Townson/Associated Press

The former Wisconsin Badger is headed into a contract year and could already be starting on another team if circumstances were different.

White is one of the Patriots leading receivers with 51 receptions and is one of the best receiving backs in the NFL. However with a pick and choose game coming in free agency when it comes to running back, White could quite possibly be the odd man out in New England.

Malcolm Butler

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Photo Credit: weei.com

The rags to riches story of the Western Alabama is one that has tugged at the heartstrings of many in Patriots nation. His rise to stardom will forever live in infamy in the form of his Super Bowl XLIX interception. Since then he has been a face of the Patriots franchise.

But this year will unfortunately be his last. Butler and the Patriots have been back and forth on a possible extension and there are clear issues with the price point. With the signing of Stephon Gilmore and development of Jonathan Jones going well, the Patriots will more than likely part ways with the big contract they will have to pay the All-Pro.

Dont’a Hightower

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Photo Credit: weei.com

One of the first round draft choices in 2012 made by the team, Hightower became the new leader of the defense calling the plays, earning two Super Bowl rings and a fat contract extension worth $65 million over the next four years.

However, the Patriots don’t like to spend money on damaged goods. Hightower throughout his career has an alarming amount of playing time only playing a 16 game season once.

In his first year under the new contract, Hightower once again suffered a season-ending injury.

General manager Bill Belichick and Director of player personnel Nick Caserio don’t like to pay anyone who doesn’t play and will most likely be doing his laundry somewhere else by the time it’s all set and done.

Rob Gronkowski

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Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig/ USA Today Sports

Rob Gronkowski is the greatest tight end in Patriots history and arguably one of the best in NFL history. Despite this, he is severely underpaid and headed for the big money years of his contract. Gronkowski is due $8 million in 2018 and $9 million in 2019.

To prevent this, the Patriots have a potential out in his deal after this year and based on how the Patriots are stingy with giving out big money especially to players who aren’t durable makes things seem bleak for the tight end’s future in Foxboro.

Gronkowski will more than likely find himself elsewhere via trade or walking in search for a new deal.

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