The New England Patriots are consolidating their group of captains entering the 2021 season.
The Patriots announced their five captains for 2021 on Wednesday ahead of the team's season opener against the Miami Dolphins. Here's the list:
- C David Andrews
- LB Dont'a Hightower
- S Devin McCourty
- WR Matthew Slater
- RB James White
Andrews, McCourty, Slater and White were all captains last season, while Hightower was a captain in 2019 before opting out of the 2020 season.
There are no surprises on this list: Slater and McCourty both enter their 11th seasons as Patriots captains and are the team's two longest-tenured players, while Andrews, Hightower and White all are multi-year captains.
New England had eight captains in 2020, with quarterback Cam Newton, cornerback Jason McCourty, defensive tackle Lawrence Guy and linebacker Ju'Whuan Bentley also earning the title. Newton and Jason McCourty are no longer with the team, while Guy and Bentley won't carry the captain distinction this season.
Rookie quarterback Mac Jones in theory could have been named a captain, as Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are captains for the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets, respectively. But it's not surprising that New England stuck with a veteran group of familiar faces to lead a team loaded with new offseason acquisitions.
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