Julian Edelman decided Tuesday to test the free agent market. (USA TODAY Images)
The Patriots weren’t able to lock down their top two free agents before the free agent market opened, with neither Aqib Talib nor Julian Edelman having agreed to new deals.
With day one in the books, as tends to be the case here in New England, there haven’t been any major signings just yet. However, here’s a quick run down of what happened on the first day of free agency as it relates to the Patriots:
1) Julian Edelman will test the market – According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Patriots reportedly offered Edelman a 3-year deal, and had asked the veteran receiver to give them an answer before the free agency period opened. Edelman instead turned it down, and decided to become a free agent, which Mike Giardi of CSNNE reported was because his agent didn’t feel Edelman received a fair market offer.
So far it appears that the Baltimore Ravens are among the first team potentially interested in his services, with Tom Curran of CSNNE reporting that Edelman is scheduled to visit with them.
It will be interesting now to see what type of money he’s offered, and there seems to be a possibility he could stay. Some reports say that he’s open to continuing to negotiate with New England, which is a different situation than the one they faced last year when they lost Wes Welker to the Broncos. This time around it appears the two sides parted amicably when the negotiations came to an end, and hopefully they’re not done talking just yet.
2) Aqib Talib not as close as had been thought? – Last night reports out of Washington saw Dianna Maria Russini reporting that while the Redskins wanted Talib, the Patriots were offering a better deal and that the veteran cornerback was close to an agreement.
Yet here we are, more than one day later and no deal yet between the two sides. To complicate matters Mike Giardi reports that so far there haven’t been any standing offers for Talib, which has people close to Talib surprised that he hasn’t been offered anything similar to guys like Brent Grimes and Sam Shields have received thus far. We’ll find out in the days to come just what type of a market there may be for him, but early indications seem to point to the fact it might not be as strong as he may have hoped.
UPDATE: Adam Schefter reports that Talib has joined Denver after agreeing to a 6-year $57-million deal that includes $26-million guaranteed.
3) LB Wesley Woodyard the first visitor to Foxboro – The Denver linebacker was the first reported player we heard about who is scheduled to visit Foxboro, with Brandon Krisztal out of the Mile-High City reporting that Woodyard’s first planned trip was to New England, although he had another visit planned after his meeting with the Patriots. Tough to say exactly how he would fit into the defense, but he’s an athletic player who would seemingly give them more speed on that side of the football. It’s early, but he appears to be someone to keep an eye on.
4) Dane Fletcher is Apparently Looking For a Starting Role – Jason LaCanfora reported on Tuesday that Fletcher was scheduled to visit Tampa Bay, which may spell the end of his days in New England. According to Nick Underhill of MassLive, Fletcher is looking for an opportunity to start, which considering the crowded group the team seems to have, he may feel he’s not going to get the opportunity with the Patriots.
5) Darrelle Revis not out of the mix yet, but seems unlikely – According to Adam Schefter, should the Buccaneers release Revis on Wednesday the Patriots are one of the teams who could be in the mix for his services, although Revis has gone as far as saying he’d love to return to the Jets. He wasn’t willing to take a pay cut to execute a trade with Tampa Bay and most reports say his philosophy surrounding his salary aren’t going to change. As a result, as nice as it might be to see him potentially end up in the Patriots secondary, it seems like quite a long shot.
UPDATE: With Talib joining the Broncos, the circumstances have now taken a dramatic turn since from a financial standpoint the Patriots could now potentially be in play for Revis. It should be interesting to see if New England switches gears and makes a run at him, or if they have a different backup plan in play following Talib’s departure.
6) No Call Yet for Andre Carter – Carter has made it clear he’d like to play for the Patriots, but according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, Carter hasn’t heard from the Patriots so far. It’s tough to say if that call will come or if the Patriots will instead move on as they try to improve their pass rush in the months ahead.
7) DeMarcus Ware looks like he’s headed to Denver – There were many who envisioned Ware in New England’s defense, but it appears that may be off the table. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Denver appears to be in the lead for his services at this point. There’s no deal done yet, but for any fan who was hoping to see him end up in a Patriots uniform, it doesn’t look promising.