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The NFL off-season is upon us, and the Patriots have some decisions to make. The Pats have 12 unrestricted free agents (list below, per ESPN Boston).

Danny Aiken, LS

Akeem Ayers, DE/LB

Alan Branch, DT

Jonathan Casillas, LB

Patrick Chung, S

Dan Connolly, G

Stephen Gostkowski, K

Steve Maneri, TE

Devin McCourty, S

Stevan Ridley, RB

Shane Vereen, RB

Chris White, LB

So, who gets the franchise tag? I would say Devin McCourty, Shane Vereen and Stephen Gostowski are all prime suspects. Out of the 12 players, I would say those 3 are the guys they have to try and keep around. You could make a case for Stevan Ridley possibly getting tagged. I think the Pats will only choose to keep one around, though, and there's only one clear choice for me at least, which would be Shane Vereen. Ridley's solid when he's on his game, but between his injuries last season and his butterfingers in seasons past, I would rather keep Vereen around.

As for Devin McCourty, I think he's a must-keep - he was a pretty big part of the Patriots much-improved secondary, so if they tag anyone, he'll be on the top of the list. Lastly, there's Stephen Gostowski. He's one of the best kickers in the game, and I think the Patriots will want to keep this guy around.

I could be wrong, but I think McCourty, Vereen and Gostowski are the 3 main suspects for the franchise if they can't reach an agreement before the deadline.

Unknown 2/19/2015 10:34:00 PM Edit

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