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5 Overrated Free Agents The New England Patriots Should Avoid At All Costs

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5 Overrated Free Agents The New England Patriots Should Avoid At All Costs

New England Patriots 2014 NFL Free Agents
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The New England Patriots are entering the 2014 offseason in uncharted territory. For the first time in a long time they have to face the reality that their championship window is closing. It never seemed like it would just a few years ago, but now they have to seriously consider pulling out all the stops to try to squeeze one last title out of the Tom Brady era.

While they do need to be aggressive and try to win now, they can’t be foolish either. They still have to make sure that the players they bring in this offseason aren’t going to hold them back from getting that title. The history of the league, and even the Patriots, is riddled with teams overpaying for overrated free agents.

This year will be no different. Some team out there will give a guy a big deal only to wind up regretting it down the road. In fact, that’s likely to happen to more than one team. I know, I know, bad contracts happen, but free agents always come pricey and you just can’t afford to pay good money for someone who can’t produce on the field.

The Patriots will need to find a few good players in free agency this year. They even need to take more chances than they used to, but they can’t go over the top and just throw money at anyone on the market. They need to throw money at the right guys, and these five guys are overrated and must be avoided.

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. Brian Orakpo

Brian Orakpo New England Patriots
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Brian Orakpo is a guy who will get plenty of attention this offseason. He can get to the passer and make plays, but he can't stay healthy. That is the biggest red flag when it comes to free agents. The last thing the Patriots need is a Danny Amendola on the defensive side.

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4. Jared Allen

Jared Allen New England Patriots
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Jared Allen is an aging veteran who was dominant just a few years ago. It's easy to talk yourself into him just needing a change of scenery, but rarely is that the case. When the physical skills go, they go. And most likely whoever signs Allen will just get an older player who can't get it done anymore.

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3. Vontae Davis

Vontae Davis
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The secondary has always been a problem for the Patriots, but going out and signing a veteran corner is extremely expensive. Vontae Davis is likely to be available, but he is likely to cost a lot of money to bring to town. New England needs depth at corner, especially if they can't re-sign Aqib Talib, but any money they would spend on Davis could be used to keep him in a Pats uniform.

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2. T.J. Ward

T.J. Ward New England Patriots
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If the Cleveland Browns don't slap the franchise tag on T.J. Ward he'll be a sought after commodity on the open market. He can make plays but is an old-school type of safety who can struggle in the more wide-open game. Plus, that would be a super awkward moment between him and Rob Gronkowski in the locker room.

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1. B.J. Raji

B.J. Raji New England Patriots
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B.J. Raji is a bad contract just waiting to happen. The big bodied defensive lineman has seen his better days in the NFL already, but despite that fact someone will talk themselves into giving him a big deal with the hopes that he fixes their defense. That won't happen, and I would rather see the Patriots go after someone like Randy Starks for less money or take care of the defensive line in the draft.