2. Let Tavon Wilson, Tarell Brown walk
Good free agency decisions aren’t all about signings and re-signings. Sometimes, it’s smart to let some players sign elsewhere for less money. Thinking along those lines, the Patriots shouldn’t re-sign Tavon Wilson and Tarell Brown unless they accept very low-cost deals.
Before 2015, Wilson was considered a valuable special teams player for the Patriots, which helped to offset his shortcomings as a safety on settled defense. But with all the other strong special teamers the Patriots have, such as Brandon King and Jonathan Freeny (as well as fellow free agent Nate Ebner), Wilson may be structurally pushed out of a job in New England.
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As for Brown, he is certainly more valuable than Wilson, but by no means should the Patriots break the bank for the 31-year-old cornerback. Now that Logan Ryan is playing like a true No. 2 corner, the Patriots’ biggest need in the secondary is the No. 3 spot, which doesn’t fit Brown’s skill set as well. Unless Brown doesn’t mind coming back on a low-cost deal to serve as a depth fixture on the outside, the Patriots should let him go.
Guys like Casey Hayward and Brandon Boykin come to mind as good signings to fill the nickel role.
Next: 1. Above all else, think about 2017