A look at how the Patriots roster has changed — so far

The Patriots lost key cogs from both the offensive and defensive lines and appear to still need help at wide receiver.

Michael Bennett NFL
Michael Bennett is the biggest acquisition of the Patriots' offseason so far. –The Associated Press

It was an eventful first week of NFL free agency. The news surrounding the Patriots was more about who was leaving the defending Super Bowl champions, and not so much about making a big splash with signings of their own.

The Patriots lost key cogs from both the offensive and defensive lines, and other than a few a low-profile signings last week, appear to still need help at the wide receiver position. Their biggest addition came before free agency started when they looked to bolster the defense with a trade.

Here’s a look at how the roster has changed.

New acquisitions


■ Defensive end Michael Bennett will be joining the team via a trade with Philadelphia. The Patriots sent the Eagles fifth- and seventh-round picks in the 2020 draft for Bennett.

■ Wide receiver Bruce Ellington, 27, signed after having 31 catches in seven games last season split between the Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans. He’s a 5-foot-9-inch slot receiver who was drafted in the fourth round by the San Francisco 49ers in 2014 out of South Carolina. He has 79 receptions for 769 yards and five touchdowns in five seasons.

■ Wide receiver Maurice Harris, 26, signed on after catching 28 passes for 304 yards for the Redskins last season, but Washington chose not to tender him as a restricted free agent. He becomes one of the taller receivers on the Patriots roster at 6-3 and 200 pounds.

■ Tight end Matt LaCosse signed a two-year deal. The 6-6, 255-pounder caught 24 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown for the Denver Broncos last season.

■ Defensive lineman Mike Pennel signed a two-year deal. At 6-4 and 332 pounds, the former New York Jet provides a big interior presence.

■ Another former Jet, safety Terrence Brooks, signed a two-year deal. Brooks played mostly on special teams last season.

■ Running back Brandon Bolden is coming back to New England after a year in Miami. Bolden’s role was primarily on special teams.

Who’s returning


■ Defensive end John Simon re-signed with the team, according to his agency, Element Sports Group. Simon played 11 games in the 2018 regular season for the Patriots, tallying two sacks and 17 tackles.

■ Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett signed a one-year deal to return to the team. Dorsett finished the 2018 regular season with 32 receptions, 290 yards, and three touchdowns.

■ Cornerback Jason McCourty agreed to a two-year deal. McCourty finished with 68 tackles, one interception, and 10 passes defended during the regular season, then tacked on another 10 tackles and four pass defenses during the playoffs.

■ Special teams captain Matthew Slater had the option on his contract picked up.

Who’s leaving

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■ Offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills. In parts of four seasons with the Patriots, he was a spot starter, making seven starts over the last two seasons.

■ The Patriots released defensive end Adrian Clayborn, clearing $3.9 million from their 2019 salary cap. He played 30 percent of the team’s defensive snaps and finished the regular season with 2.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits, and a forced fumble.

■ Defensive lineman Trey Flowers signed with the Detroit Lions for five years and $90 million, with $40 million fully guaranteed over the first two years.

■ Offensive lineman Trent Brown signed a four-year $66 million deal with the Oakland Raiders. But it’s really a two-year deal with $36.25 million fully guaranteed, then two years and $29 million with no guarantees, according to the Globe’s Ben Volin.

■ Defensive tackle Malcom Brown signed a three-year, $15 million contract with the Saints. The Patriots drafted the 6-2, 320-pounder in the first round in 2015, but declined to pick up his fifth-year option last offseason.


■ Wide receiver/kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Chicago Bears.