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As free agency approaches everything seems to be on hold with New England until the franchise decides what to do about Darrelle Revis's upcoming $20 million guaranteed salary for the 2015 season. If re-signed it could mean the end of smaller role players like Shane Vereen.

Vereen has emerged as a solid pass catching running back for New England and hauled in over 52 catches this past season. However he may be over valuing his worth to the organization that drafted him in the second round in 2011.

Recently the Boston Herald has claimed that Vereen is looking for around $5 million a year. Most likely this is a negotiating tactic, however it could also be a sign that Vereen is looking to get paid.

Looking back the Patriots have never invested heavily in the running back position money wise. In 2005 the Patriots re-signed Corey Dillon (who was on the wrong side of 30) to a contract extension that guaranteed him $10 million his first two years and could have totaled to $25 million had the Patriots not cut him in 2007. Other than that one particular instance the Patriots have signed other running backs for a lot less and also keep in mind that Dillon had just rushed for over 1,600 yards that season whereas Vereen ran for a mere 391 yards in 2014.

So with Vereen wanting New England to show him the money (yes I said it, deal with it) and New England having a history of not breaking the bank on backs it looks like there is a more than reasonable chance that Vereen will land somewhere else next season. The question is where? The following are the three likeliest spots Vereen could land.

1. Buffalo Bills: If the Patriots are your divisional opponent it makes sense that you take a bite out of them in free agency. The Bills do not have an optimal situation at running back with an aging Fred Jackson, an injury proned CJ Spiller about the hit the free market and Bryce Brown underwhelming. They could sure use a healthy back with good hands. The question is who would throwing Vereen the ball?

2. Detroit Lions: The Lions have an in between the tackles back in Joique Bell but Reggie Bush has had mixed success in the motor city. If Stafford had a reliable receiving back it would really open up plays for their stars Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson. The biggest issue is cap space, with their talented defensive lineman about to hit the market they may not have the money to sign Vereen.

3. Oakland Raiders: The Raiders have invested in Derek Carr who almost upset the Patriots in New England this past season. In my opinion their biggest problem has been a lack of talent with skill position players. Their backfield is terrible with an over the hill Maurice Jones Drew and an injury prone Darren McFadden. Lativius Murray showed some flash late in the season but it was a short spark due to a concussion injury against the Chiefs. Besides giving Carr a reliable wide receiver (like Randall Cobb?) they need to shore up the back field. Did I also mention they have the second most amount of cap room at the moment with over $38 million ready to spend?

If New England doesn't re-sign Vereen, where do you think he will land? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Benjamin Dawes 2/21/2015 02:09:00 PM Edit
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