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The Patriots are now the worst team, on paper, in the AFC East

Mike Florio and Chris Simms outline why the Patriots must prioritize their secondary and offensive line in the 2023 NFL Draft, as well as look at why the team historically has struggled to draft and develop.

It was inevitable, but no one expected it to happen so soon.

With Aaron Rodgers joining the New York Jets, the New England Patriots are now the worst team, on paper, in the AFC East.

That doesn’t mean the Pats are doomed to land in the basement. Last year, the Jets finished fourth with a 7-10 record. The Patriots came in third, at 8-9.

This year, however, the Dolphins seem to be better. The Bills are still the Bills. And the Jets are going all in with Rodgers. The Patriots will have a hard time keeping pace.

It helps to have Bill Belichick, obviously. And the configuration of games could potentially help the slow-starting Patriots. But the team that ruled the AFC East is now competing not for the top but the bottom. The arrival of Rodgers makes that even more clear.