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Patriots getting to know each other

The New England Patriots would be well served to pass out name tags to players attending the offseason workouts. As the team continues to rebuild under Head Coach Bill Belichick, familiar faces are getting fewer and farther between.

New England currently has 64 players under contract. An amazing 44 of those players, or 68.7 percent, have been with the team for just one season or less. There are 11 guys who have never donned a Patriots uniform and 15 more who have been on a game-day roster six times or less.

Belichick has slowly but surely shaped his team into a younger unit. The average experience per player on the roster is 3.4 years. The seven players brought in this offseason have an average of 5.5 years of experience under their belts, while the seven players jettisoned averaged nearly seven seasons in the league. That number jumps to 8.6 years per player when linebackers Marc Megna (1 year) and Olrick Johnson (2 years) are taken out of the equation.

At the same time, only 15 players have been with the team for more than two seasons. Five others are heading into just their third year in New England.

Quarterback Drew Bledsoe and wide receiver Troy Brown have the longest tenures with the team at nine years, followed by defensive end Willie McGinest and offensive lineman Max Lane at eight years apiece. Cornerback Ty Law and linebacker Ted Johnson have both been with the team for seven seasons.

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