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5 Free Agents The New England Patriots Should Re-Sign This Offseason

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5 Free Agents New England Patriots Should Re-Sign

New England Patriots
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots may still be playing meaningful football, but it’s never too early to start looking to the offseason and all the moves that are on the horizon for them. The Patriots have an interesting crop of pending free agents this year, including leading players at important positions.

The Patriots have been known for years now by their ruthless ability to shed players, major contributors and bit pieces alike, at just the right time. Sure, sometimes they might err on the side of caution and let someone go a year or two too early, but they aren’t going to give someone a long-term deal unless they know his best years are ahead of him, not behind him.

That being said, this group of future free agents is full of relatively young players who still have plenty of good football ahead of them. This offseason will be one that defines the Patriots for years to come. They will either lock up several key contributors, or they will let them go and move on to other options. We all know they won’t be afraid to do the latter if that is what they think will be best for the team.

New England is one of the best teams in the league year after year because they make the best personnel decisions in the NFL. They’re shrewd and sometimes to the point of hurting themselves, but no one is safe. I have no idea who will or who won’t be around next year, but I know it will be an interesting offseason waiting and watching to find out.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Aqib Talib

Aqib Talib
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Re-signing cornerback Aqib Talib would be a great luxury, but he will cost the Patriots. A cover guy with his skill set can get plenty of cash on the open market. The Pats should lock him up, as long as they can get him for a reasonable price.

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4. Dane Fletcher

Dane Fletcher
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

I love Dane Fletcher. There, I said it, and I feel much better admitting it. A tackling machine, Fletcher has always come through when New England has needed him. With middle linebacker Brandon Spikes likely leaving town after this season, the Patriots can use all the depth they can get at inside linebacker.

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3. Ryan Wendell

Ryan Wendell
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The offensive line is the thinnest position group on the team. Ryan Wendell has been disappointing at times for the Patriots, but they can’t afford to lose any lineman this offseason. He shouldn’t cost a lot, and hopefully won’t be anything but a backup next year, so the Pats would be wise to keep him on the roster.

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2. LeGarrette Blount

LeGarrette Blount
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Hands down the best surprise of the year in New England, running back LeGarrette Blount is now a legitimate contender for the No. 1 ball carrier spot. His powerful, downhill running is just what the Patriots have been missing the last few years. Lock him up and continue letting him share the ball with Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen.

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1. Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

As much as it hurts to say, Julian Edelman was by far the best receiver on the Patriots this season. He might not be anyone’s favorite, and nobody is ever confident with him at the top of the depth chart, but he’s proven he can get the job done. Unless some other team wants to way overpay him, sign him up and keep him in Foxboro for a few more years.