Patriots targeting Shane Vereen replacement?

Despite his heroic performance in the Super Bowl, all signs are pointing to Shane Vereen not returning to the New England Patriots. Several reporters and journalists have noticed that talks between the Patriots and Vereen have not yet taken place, and things remain quiet on both fronts.

In recent news, Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal has reported that the Patriots have reached out to former Washington Redskins RB Roy Helu with interest in him during the legal tampering period this weekend.

The 5'11", 215 lb, 26 year old running back offers an intriguing fit with the Patriots. The primary role that Helu was used in with the Redskins was as a receiving back. Last season, in 14 games, Helu ran 40 times for 216 yards, but caught 42 passes for 477 yards. While this would paint him in a limited role, it is worth noting that Helu holds a 4.4 yards per carry average over his career. If you take away his 2012 year (played 3 games due to injuries), he has averaged over 40 receptions a year.

While Helu seems like an ideal fit, the Patriots will have to outbid a few other teams. has pointed out that the Giants are in on Helu, and Jeff Howe believes there is one other team interested. Considering Demarco Murray, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, and other mid-level running backs on the market, his price may remain lower, especially with reports saying that Vereen has dropped his price tag down considerably since the legal tampering period has begun.

Once free agency starts, do not expect this to be a move that the Patriots will make right away. The Patriots wait until players understand the market, and then offer them a reasonable deal that they can handle. With the Revis decision still looming, there is no way to know what other moves the Patriots plan on making one way or another.

With James White still in the mix with the Patriots, and Dion Lewis also coming in, the Patriots have a few backs that can operate in the 3rd down/receiving back role, so the Patriots will also take that into account when offering a deal to Helu. Times are exciting in Patriots Nation, and these next few days will go a long way in determining the future of the New England Patriots.

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