By: Ian Logue
With free agency now in full swing, aside from the Darrelle Revis acquisition, the Patriots started doing their normal due diligence which included some players at different positions on Wednesday, along with some player visits.
Broncos linebacker Lesley Woodyard was in town for a visit, and after leaving told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that the meeting “went great”, although he left without a contract. Also in town was Panthers free agent wideout Brandon LaFell, who was Carolina’s third leading receiver in 2013 with 49 catches for 627 yards and five touchdowns.
Field Yates of ESPN Boston reported that Cardinals linebacker Matt Shaughnessy also visited, with some believing Shaughnessy could be a nice fit for a defense that Bill Belichick is seemingly trying to add speed and depth at that position, at least judging by the type of players they’ve targeted so far.
As for other personnel moves, the Patriots released defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga along with offensive lineman Markus Zusevics. The team will reportedly be meeting with Rams offensive lineman Shelley Smith, and also recently met with former Cowboys center Phil Costa.
Meanwhile one player that the Patriots expressed interest in is now a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, with former Buccaneers linebacker Dakoda Watson revealing to reporters in Jacksonville that New England was among nine teams who were interested in his services.
Julian Edelman gaining interest – A report from Aaron Wilson from the Baltimore Sun on Wednesday indicated that Edelman is drawing heavy interest from several teams, and there appears to be a healthy market for the Patriots free agent receiver. What that means for his future here in New England remains to be seen, but it appears that he’ll at least have more options this time around that he didn’t have when he hit the open market last year.
Broncos take DeMarcus Ware off the Market – The Broncos made their second free agent splash on Wednesday when they snagged Ware and added him to their defense. Ware was on the wish list of quite a few fans who hoped he may land here, while Greg Bedard Tweeted that he felt Jared Allen might be a better fit for the Patriots in their defense.
Emmanuel Sanders Exploring His Options – One name that was thought to be on New England’s radar given their interest in him last offseason was Sanders, who was in Jacksonville Wednesday for a visit with the Jaguars. From there he’s headed to Tampa Bay, and is also reportedly going to be visiting with the Jets. Judging by the interest in LaFell and Avant, it looks like that’s a position that’s on New England’s radar this offseason.
In the meantime be sure and check out our Patriots free agent “Rumor Mill”, which is updated throughout each day with the latest player rumors, visits, and signings.