Here's a look at our five favorite potential fits. If the Pats add one or two of these guys, you can almost pencil them in to another Super Bowl.
Joe CamporealeUSA TODAY Sports
CB Jason McCourty
The Titans surprisingly released their longest-tenured player on Thursday, and attention immediately turned to the Pats. McCourty's twin brother Devin is a standout safety for New England — they played together at Rutgers and even share the same Twitter account — and the Pats have been making over their secondary this offeseason, with the departure of Logan Ryan and the addition of top free-agent target Stephon Gilmore. Plus, the Patriots have had trade talks about restricted free agent Malcolm Butler and reportedly have targeted a couple other star corners (more on them to come).
Reuniting the McCourty twins would be a popular and relatively inexpensive move by the Pats. Jason McCourty had 69 tackles, broke up 12 passes and picked off a pair last season. He made 90 starts in eight seasons in Tennessee, including each of his past 81 games.
CB Richard Sherman
In another surprise, the Seahawks' shutdown corner has been shopped this offseason, and the Pats reportedly have been interested in the event Butler isn't brought back. Just imagine the Pats pairing Pro Bowlers in Sherman and Gilmore in their secondary next season.
Seattle's asking price reportedly is high — a first-round pick and a player or a middle-rounds pick— and the Pats already traded their 2017 first-rounder to the Saints for Brandin Cooks. But if Sherman still is available as the draft nears, the Pats could pull off another steal — they certainly have the hot hand this offseason, and the cap space to afford his $13 million salary.
Revis was an All-Pro selection in 2014, when he helped the Pats win a Super Bowl in his only season in New England. Released by the Jets earlier this offseason, the aging veteran could be a perfect fit for one last hurrah. Owner Robert Kraft says he "would love" to have Revis return, and the Jets could end up paying most of his salary — New York will pay Revis $6 million next season, minus any amount he signs with another team for. So the Pats could sign him and be on the hook for only a fraction of his salary.
"He’s a perfect fit in that quarters scheme Belichick runs, and they have the kind of safeties who can help him out, too," an NFL personnel man told CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora last month. "We’re convinced he’s going back to New England. It just makes too much sense.”
RB LeGarrette Blount
Blount had a career year with the Pats last season, rushing for 1,161 yards and an NFL-high 18 TDs and also leading the league in red-zone carries, and they reportedly have made him an offer. Blount has had his biggest success in New England, winning two Super Bowls, and reportedly wants to return. So re-signing seems like the best move, especially since other teams haven't made a better offer. The Patriots signed Rex Burkhead to a one-year, $3.15 million contract last month, so they have insurance — and likely will have to pay that much or more to bring back Blount. So far, they're not budging from their offer.
RB Adrian Peterson
Peterson is the biggest name left on the market after the Minnesota Vikings finally parted ways with their longtime star. And with Marshawn Lynch reportedly headed to the Raiders, the Pats may be the best landing spot left for the future Hall of Famer. They met with him this month, but he'll almost certainly have to lower his asking price if he wants to join the defending champs. Then again, flirting with AP may just be a way to coax Blount into signing.
Peterson is just one season removed from rushing for 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns. And the Pats ran the ball 482 times last year, third-most in the NFL. Seventy-seven percent of those attempts came from under center, so it wouldn't be hard to plug in Peterson instead of Blount.
The other benefit for AP: He wouldn't have to be The Man and carry the offense. And that could help prolong his career and add to his legacy.
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.AP