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The New England Patriots entered free agency with the second-most cap space in the entire NFL, $80.98 million, trailing only the Washington Commanders, entering the league's legal tampering period Monday ahead of the official start of free agency on Wednesday.

They utilized some of that financial flexibility to retain their most versatile lineman, Mike Onwenu, on a three-year, $57 million contract that includes $38 million guaranteed, per NFL Media. His deal also comes with a $22.5 million signing bonus.

Owenu played 77.1% of his offensive snaps at right tackle in 2023 per Pro Football Focus while also filling in at right guard, playing 22.9% of his offensive snaps inside last season. He played mostly guard in college at Michigan, but injuries over the years at right tackle caused the Patriots to utilize him more on the outside.

However, Owenu will likely move back inside in 2024 after New England signed former Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor to a one-year, $4 million contract earlier in the day Monday. He allowed only three sacks as well as 21 quarterback pressures in 15 games played in 2023. 

The Patriots could still make plenty more moves to retool their offensive line ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft in which they have the third overall pick. Left tackle Trent Brown is a free agent leaving an important vacancy to fill.