With training camps kicking off in a few weeks, it’s easy to forget there are a handful of noteworthy players still available on the open market.
A number of veteran free agents have yet to find new homes amid a rather active NFL offseason, including Morris Claiborne, Jay Ajayi, Michael Crabtree and Muhammad Wilkerson. It remains to be seen where these top free agents will end up, but NFL analyst Gil Brandt believes one of the best of the bunch would be best served to take his talents to New England.
In a recent column for NFL.com, Brandt explained why veteran defensive lineman Allen Bailey would be a good fit with the Patriots.
“Bailey has made the rounds this offseason, reportedly visiting with the Panthers, Falcons, Seahawks and Patriots,” Brandt writes. “Bailey has been in Kansas City since the Chiefs picked him in the third round in 2011, and his last season with the team was his best, as he racked up six sacks, two forced fumbles and a touchdown. New England has a history of signing versatile defensive linemen on the cheap, and the 30-year-old Bailey fits the profile.”
New England hosted Bailey on a free-agent visit back on March 14 and reportedly engaged in contract talks with the 30-year-old shortly thereafter. Bailey certainly would help beef up the interior of the Patriots’ front line and would serve as quality depth following the departure of 2015 first-round pick Malcom Brown.
As Brandt notes, Bailey has generated quite a bit of interest on the open market, so the reason for his extended free agency is unclear. But if he’s healthy and willing to take a team-friendly deal, it wouldn’t hurt the Patriots to give him a look.
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