As we close in on the start of free agency, it appears the Patriots are trying to make sure their top two players don’t get a chance to test the market.

According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the Patriots have ramped up negotiations with wide receiver Julian Edelman in an attempt to prevent him from hitting the open market.  Howe reports that Edelman has reportedly received enough interest elsewhere to land a new contract in the event the two sides can’t close a deal before free agency begins on Tuesday.

Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston reports that Edelman was spotted out in California working out with Tom Brady on Monday, with Brady likely hoping that Edelman will still be catching passes from him during the 2014 season.

Meanwhile things seem to be heating up with cornerback Aqib Talib, who seems to be closing on a deal to stay in New England.  Dianna Marie Russini from NBC’s channel 4 in Washington reports that while the Redskins want Talib, the Patriots are reportedly offering a better deal and reported that New England is very close to getting a deal done to keep him.

A couple of additional notes:

The Patriots released wide receiver T.J. Moe, which came as a disappointment to his agent who said the wideout had worked hard to recover since his Achilles injury… Free agent cornerback Alrerraun Verner of the Titans said on Monday that the Patriots are a possibility for him, with Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty reportedly lobbying for him to come to New England… Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports reported on Monday that the Patriots will reportedly re-sign tight end Michael Hoomanwanui… Jeff Howe also reports that wide receiver Aaron Dobson had surgery today to repair the stress fracture in his foot, and the early recovery timetable for Dobson is estimated at 2-3 months.