Nov 18, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib (31) on the field in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Free Agency: Greg Bedard Ranks The Top 50 2014 Free Agents


Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (88) reacts on the field before playing the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A couple of days ago, Greg Bedard of ‘MMQB’ released a list ranking the top 100 free agents this year, up to 51. Today, Bedard finished it off, counting down the top 50 free agents of 2014.

He has one Patriot listed, as Aqib Talib checks in at number 17 on his list. Here is what Bedard had to say on the cornerback:

An unquestioned passion for the game and shutdown ability, but he’s never played 16 games and his off-field problems aren’t that far removed. Best fit: Patriots. Both sides are comfortable with him there, and other teams might be reluctant to give him a big deal.

Re-signing Talib should be the Patriots number one priority this offseason, simply because he makes their secondary one of the best in football. As Bedard mentions, Talib can completely shutdown one side of the field, and while he has gotten injured at untimely moments over the last couple of years, his talent is worth a long term deal.

Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders checks in at number 31 on Bedard’s list, and surprisingly enough, he lists the Jets as the best fit for Sanders.

Caught 67 passes for 740 yards and six touchdowns as a restricted free agent after Patriots made a run. Has inside-outside versatility and is very good with the ball in his hand. Best fit:Jets. They could help themselves and keep him away from New England.

I am a huge fan of Sanders, and after Talib, he is the guy I want to see New England go after most this offseason. He is versatile, talented, and more importantly, he has that explosive skill-set that has been missing in Foxboro ever since Randy Moss left. Having a guy that can take the top off of a defense may be what has been limiting the Pats offense in the playoffs these last few years, and Sanders could be the solution to that problem.

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Tags: Aqib Talib Emmanuel Sanders New England Patriots NFL Free Agency