Several prominent free agents are now real targets for the Patriots

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Patriots have a lot of decisions to make this offseason regarding their roster, with the emphasis being the offense. There are many holes they'll need to fill, from quarterback to wide receiver and tight end.

But the lack of support in the backfield is being overlooked, as the only running backs on the roster for the 2024 season are Kevin Harris, JaMycal Hasty, and Rhamondre Stevenson, not exactly an iconic trio.

Because of that, it's almost guaranteed they will select a halfback at some point in the upcoming draft, which is very much needed. But before the draft arrives, plenty of top talent will be available in free agency, and there's no reason Jerod Mayo and Co. shouldn't (at least) make some calls to inquire about them.

Because the franchise tag window is open, there was some discussion about most being tagged before even testing the market. Since that hasn't happened yet, and multiple NFL insiders have reported it won't be, the latest news surrounding the top players at the position suggests nearly all of them will be working on new deals with their most recent team, if not heading to free agency.

That means the Patriots need to make some calls as soon as they can.

The likes of Saquon Barkley, Austin Ekeler, Derrick Henry, and Tony Pollard will not be tagged and will likely be available when free agency begins on March 13; other reporters have also said Josh Jacobs will be talking with the Raiders about an extension, creating another possible opportunity for New England to sneak in and steal him away too.

Because the franchise tag isn't super high and several teams have made it clear they don't value running backs, the Patriots have the means to get a high-caliber player without making a huge dent in their projected $82+ million cap space.

Adding a guy like Henry, for example, would be hard to pass up, despite his age and any concerns about paying running backs.

Could you really say no to one of the best to ever play the position?

A few of these players could really put their offense over the top and would be quite the way to kick off the first free agency of the new era.

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