Now that the season is over, what do we do? There is a Sunday-sized void left in our hearts now. I personally like to fill it with Madden and junk food. Luckily, as Patriots fans, we also have the next few months to annoy people with our 5th Super Bowl win. But now that it is the offseason, that means there are offseason moves to be made. There is the combine, the draft, minicamp, and a whole slew of offseason teasers. But first up to be broken down for you, 2017 NFL free agency.

Well, not the whole NFL free agency. I am just a Patriots writer. As such, I will be breaking down the Patriots free agents in my trademark Quick Hits fashion. Putting ™ at the end of things is totally legally binding. Trust me, I see a lot of courtroom dramas.

Free agency begins officially on the 9th of March. Just so you know.

The Patriots have plenty of big names on the market so let’s start with those:

Malcolm Butler

Via @Mac_BZ/Twitter

 

Position: Cornerback

  • Butler is a restricted free agent, meaning the Patriots control his rights.
  • Butler probably will not leave the team.
  • However, he will get a significant raise.
  • Butler is the Patriots best cornerback.

Stays?: Yes

Dont’a Hightower

Hightower and teammates celebrating after Superbowl 49. Via @zeus30hightower/Twitter

Position: Linebacker

  • I’ll be very surprised if Hightower isn’t signed to an extension:
    • The Patriots are thin at linebacker.
    • Hightower is the center of the defense.
  • Darrelle Revis was let go in order to pay the young defensive talent on the Patriots.
    • Chandler Jones was traded to pay the young defensive talent on the Patriots.
    • Jamie Collins was traded because Bill was mad.
    • No excuse not to pay Hightower now.

Stays?: Yes

Logan Ryan

Ryan with the clutch pass defense in the end zone. Via @RealLoganRyan/Twitter

Position: Cornerback

  • Ryan is a solid cornerback.
  • Ryan is a good number 2 corner.
  • Better covering the slot.
  • Opens up great nicknames with Logan airport.
  • Unfortunately, a cornerback-needy team will over pay him.

Stays?: Not likely

Martellus Bennett

Bennett celebrating with teammates in the Patriots Superbowl 51 victory parade. Via @MartysaurusRex/Twitter

Position: Tight End

  • The hardest of the big names to read.
  • Good tight end; would be TE1 on any other team.
  • Great for run blocking.
  • However, did not have the best stats this year:
    • Partly due to lingering ankle injury
    • Partly due to other options in the passing game
  • Provides great insurance to the oft-injured Rob Gronkowski.
  • Seems like he cares a lot about the money.
  • But also seems to care a lot about the culture of New England, and life after football.

Stays?: Could go either way. Especially with tweets like this:

LeGarrette Blount

I wish someone looked at me the way Blount looks at the Minutemen. Via @LG_Blount/Twitter

Position: Running Back

  • Posted his best season in his career.
  • 299 carries, 1161 yards, 18 touchdowns.
  • However, do not let the stats fool you. Blount is only an average or maybe slightly above average.
  • Blount is also 30 years old, usually the age where running backs break down.
  • Luckily, Blount is on a cheap deal.
  • Also, likes playing in New England.

Stays?: Absolutely. On a cheap deal. However, expect Belichick to draft a power running back this year.

That does it for who I consider the big name free agents for the Patriots. Look out for part 2 for the rest of the smaller name players.

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Author Details
The name is Daniel Neira and I live in Massachusetts. In case you didn’t notice, I am a Patriots writer for The ArmChair All­-Americans. Boston sports fan, especially Patriots and Celtics. I’m an undercover Hispanic and if you saw me you would know what that means. My dog is better than yours and this totally not a dating bio. Umass lowell student and an aspiring superhero/ functioning adult.
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The name is Daniel Neira and I live in Massachusetts. In case you didn’t notice, I am a Patriots writer for The ArmChair All­-Americans. Boston sports fan, especially Patriots and Celtics. I’m an undercover Hispanic and if you saw me you would know what that means. My dog is better than yours and this totally not a dating bio. Umass lowell student and an aspiring superhero/ functioning adult.

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