Polian, Patriots & free-agent tiers

On the eve of free agency, ESPN NFL analyst and longtime personnel executive Bill Polian has released his list of the best available free agents.

The list follows the format he's used in previous editions of the piece, as Polian breaks down his players into three tiers: Players worth starting-caliber money (A), players he would only sign if the value made sense (B), and players he would sign on low-value, short-term deals (C). He also includes a "special veterans" designation for a small pool of free agents.

Two Patriots crack Polian's top tier: Wide receiver Wes Welker and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer. On Vollmer, Polian notes there are injury concerns relating to his back and knee.

A pair of Patriots defensive backs, cornerback Aqib Talib and safety Patrick Chung, are among the tier B players, with Chung also having an injury flag attached to his name. Polian believes that Talib is a tier A talent, but his off-field behavior moves him down to tier B.

Running back Danny Woodhead also makes Polian's list among the tier B players, and he believes that he should draw interest from teams because of his dependability as both a runner and a receiver.

NFL free agency official kicks off on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. EST.

To see Polian's full list of his best available free agents, CLICK HERE.