With the NFL owners meetings behind us, we’ve come to something of a natural juncture within the NFL offseason schedule.
Most of the major free-agent activity has come and passed, though there is still a collection of talent available.
The New England Patriots have been busy already this offseason, but certainly might not be done.
One of the orders of business the Patriots will continue to monitor is their own free agents.
Below is a snapshot of those still available to sign, with a quick-hit thought.
RB LeGarrette Blount: Blount is reportedly visiting the Steelers today, marking his most legitimate interest from another team that we’ve heard of. The running back market has been soft this offseason, and a return to New England would still make sense in our eyes.
DE Andre Carter: The veteran provided experience as a midseason signing, though his ability to impact the game on the field has regressed. He indicated last year that if he weren’t to return to the Patriots, he’d retire.
WR Austin Collie: Dependable in a small role last season, Collie is the type of player the Patriots can be patient on. After re-signing Julian Edelman and adding Brandon LaFell in free agency, there is not a huge need to re-sign Collie with Josh Boyce and Aaron Dobson expected to develop in Year 2.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan: Tight end remains an area to address for the Patriots, but Mulligan is another player who there is no need to rush on. He’s replaceable through a late-round draft choice or other veteran option.
Offensive tackle Will Svitek: Svitek offers versatility to play both tackle spots and guard, though a balky ankle slowed him down the stretch last season. With Marcus Cannon on the roster, the Patriots have their swing tackle. Svitek has a place in this league as a reserve.
Center Ryan Wendell: Perhaps the most intriguing name still on this list. If Wendell had been a free agent after the 2012 season, the narrative might be different. But a difficult 2013 has decreased his market. At a low-money contract, bringing him back is a wise investment.