It has been a long wait, but free agency is finally here. Arguably the mot exciting time on the NFL calender will begin in a few hours, as the first pieces in the 2014 puzzle will fall.
There is always a ton of things going on at the beginning of free agency, with the top guys signing to new teams fairly quickly. Here is a quick preview as to what the Patriots may do in the coming hours:
It was reported last night that the Pats were close to a deal with Talib, and if that is the case, I would expect them to finalize it before he is allowed to hit the open market. My gut feeling is it will get done, although if it isn’t closed in time, he may end up elsewhere.
Both sides have been talking throughout the entire offseason, and according to Jeff Howe, New England recently became more aggressive in working out a deal. I still think that Edelman will hit the open market, and if a team comes along and give him a huge offer, don’t be surprised if he bolts.
Allen to the Patriots makes sense, and because of that, it probably won’t happen. Belichick generally doesn’t do what is “expected” of him, especially when it comes to big name free agents. But keep an eye out for Allen to New England rumors.
I have been hoping the Patriots go after Sanders ever since last offseason, and now it is nearly time for them to act on it. I believe he would explode in Tom Brady’s offense, and now that Aaron Dobson had surgery on his foot, New England must sign a few veteran wideouts to help out the young receiving corps.
If Tampa can’t trade him, they are expected to release Revis by Wednesday. It is an unlikely scenario, but Belichick may surprise everybody, and deal for this elite talent.
Verner has said that New England is an option, although if they re-sign Talib, Verner probably won’t end up in Foxboro. However Verner is a talented corner, and if needed, he would be a great value signing.
I don’t think the Patriots should target Sproles (remember that guy Vereen?), but many have said it would be a perfect match, so there may be a possibility of Sproles heading to Foxboro.
Byrd is much more of a free safety than a strong safety (which is what the Pats need), but he is a talented guy, and the combination of him and McCourty roaming the back end could be dangerous.
There were rumors over the weekend saying that Houston wanted Mallett, but they have died down, and I don’t think anything will happen with him. But stranger things have happened with Belichick as the head man.
Ward will want a lot of money, but I am salivating at the thought of him and McCourty paired up at safety. Ward is a hard hitting, physical player, which is exactly what the New England secondary needs.