In the lead-up to 2020 training camp, we're inspecting the Patriots roster position by position. Today, an examination of the safeties.
Locks: Devin McCourty; Adrian Phillips; Terrence Brooks; Kyle Dugger (rookie)
Bubble: Cody Davis
In the Mix: None
ANALYSIS: McCourty was already one of the team's most trusted leaders on and off the field, and that will only increase in 2020 as the Patriots enter a season filled with uncertainties in both areas. Chung, who recently reworked his contract, is another established vet who seems to get better with age, though he reportedly has decided to opt out of playing this year due to COVID-19. Otherwise, he'd have been a lock to make the team.
Even before he did so, however, the team brought in veteran free agent newcomer Adrian Phillips, an intriguing player entering his prime. Phillips can be seen as both a replacement for longtime playmaker Duron Harmon (traded to Detroit this offseason) and valuable insurance for Chung.
And, of course, Dugger is assured of a spot in the secondary by virtue of his top draft choice status. That could have made things crowded for the likes of Brooks, an occasional contributor in 2019, but since Chung's decision, Brooks likely stays. Veteran free agent Davis, meantime, might prove more of a special teams value, but with depth at the position now lower than before, he could see action on defense as well.