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It is that time of year again. Free agency is the quintessential time of year for fans and writers to speculate and formulate ideas for who they would want to see in their teams uniform. So what players do I want to see in a Patriots uniform next year? Well I have a fairly long list, some realistic, some unrealistic and some just completely unthinkable but just enjoy the list.

First off I will jump into the unrealistic possibilities of signing but are extremely fun to think about if they were on the Patriots.

1. Ndamukong Suh, DT: Just imagine it a younger, bigger, faster Vince Wilfork. A Defensive Tackle that can push the pocket and make the quarterback uncomfortable, while also being able to completely shut down the run. It would make that defense absolutely terrifying, but unfortunately it will never happen. He will draw far too big of a price tag and the Patriots will not be going after him.

2. Dez Bryant/Demaryius Thomas, WR: Pick your poison. They both lethal wide receivers that would make the Patriots offense so dynamic that it would be scary to think of. With one of these receivers providing a legitimate game breaking deep threat, just imagine the holes in the middle of the field that would be wide open for Gronkowski and Edelman. How do you stop it?

3. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE: The pass rusher from the New York Giants would be quiet the addition the Patriots front seven. Yes, I know that many Patriots fans are crazy about Chandler Jones, and they think he can be a game changing pass rusher, but I'm not believing it. I think it is time to start preparing to get an impact pass rusher, something this team has not had for awhile. Unfortunately for the Patriots it does not appear that the Giants will allow JPP to hit the open market, and are expected to use the franchise tag on him.

Now let's fall back down into realism, and take a look at some legitimate targets for the Patriots this offseason. While the bulk of the Patriots work may come from inside trying to retain players like Darrelle Revis, and Devin McCourty there are some players on the open market that they should and will take a look at.

1. Jordan Cameron, TE: A year ago Cameron would have been one of the most sought after free agents on the market. He is a matchup nightmare all over the field and can add such a perspective to an offense. With the concussion issues he went through last season, his stock significantly dropped. The Patriots could easily sign him to a 1-2 year deal that is essential a "prove it" deal filled with incentives. Gronkowski was phenomenal last year, but the Patriots managed to get by with essentially one tight end. Adding Cameron would give them great depth behind Gronkowski, as well as giving them some potential flexibility at the tight end position.

2. Runningbacks: There are a long list of free agent running backs that are extremely intriguing, so I will lump them all into this category. The first one is Reggie Bush. He would essentially play the same role as Shane Vereen did in the Patriots offense but could come at a cheaper price tag. The big concern with Bush is can he stay healthy? Everyone knows his playmaking ability and if he comes at the right price, Patriots fans would be more then welcome to see him in a Patriots uniform. Similar to Bush is Deangelo Williams, he would essentially add the same dimension that Reggie Bush would add but he brings a little bit more bulk and can run between the tackles. The next tier of running backs are more power backs that would bring back the Corey Dillon like running that the Patriots had during the dynasty run. Darren McFadden and Frank Gore are both highly physical runners and can add some nice depth to the backfield. A veteran runner with a proven track record can be just what the Patriots need to continue another title run.

3. Michael Crabtree, WR: A tough, physical receiver with a little bit of an attitude could be an interesting added dimension to the Patriots offense. He is only a season removed from having an excellent season and was a key part of the 49ers passing game. With San Fransisco having a down year Crabtree's stock is pretty low and he could be a potential target for New England.

4. Jacoby Jones, WR: Recently released by the Baltimore Ravens he could be a fairly cheap addition the Patriots offense. He is arguably the most dynamic special teams player in the league and can break a game open in the return game. On offense he can take the top off of the defense, but he brings versatility to the special teams and offense. Something that the Patriots value highly, especially at a cheap price.

5. Terrence Knighton & Nick Fairley, DT: Depending on the prices these two draw it could be interesting to see one of these two get brought in for meetings with the Patriots. Knighton will draw a bigger price than Fairley due to Fairley's recent injury woes, but Fairley can be just as effective as any DT in the league and is an interesting name to consider.

6. Brian Orakpo, OLB: The ultimate polarizing player. Some look at him as an elite linebacker that can play at a pro bowl level, while others look at him as an injury risk. He is not far removed from being a Pro-Bowl linebacker and I think that if he gets into the right scheme with his playtime limited a little he can still be an effective linebacker. Give him a 1 year deal and allow him to prove himself to you and the league, it works out extremely well for both parties.

7. Darnell Dockett, DT: At 34 years old, and coming off of a torn ACL his stock is at all time low for a disruptive defensive tackle. He is a very interesting name that was just recently released, and can add serious depth to an aging defensive tackle position, and free up the Patriots to use their draft picks at other positions.

Now these next few names are strictly food for thought, and are in most cases not legitimate thoughts for the New England Patriots.

1. Ray Rice, RB: Talk about value huh? Yes he is a low life, wife beating criminal that does not deserve a second chance, but he is also a pass-catching, pass blocking, bowling ball that can be an effective trick into the Patriots offense. The Patriots could get him for almost nothing because nobody is willing to touch the guy with a ten foot pole. He is a good player with great value, but in all likely hood the Patriots will not even talk to him.

2. Greg Hardy, DE: Yeah I know I'm 2 for 2 picking criminals, but they both are great values right now. Their stock is at all time low point and these are good players. At his age, his talent and his production level it is worth thinking about. He is a game changer on defense, and can elevate this defense to a completely different level.

3. Percy Harvin, WR: The ultimate locker room ruiner. A tremendous player that can open up an offense and add an entirely new wrinkle to their offense, but is he worth the headaches in the locker room? The Patriots have reportedly been high on Harvin ever since he entered the draft and it would not be out of the question to see the Patriots make a run at Harvin. Especially if his price tag is abnormally low.

Who do you think the Patriots should target in free agency?


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Andrew Ludwig 2/27/2015 06:05:00 PM Edit
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