New England Patriots defensive back Kyle Dugger is less than two weeks away from his first foray into free agency, as the legal tampering period begins on March 11.

Dugger might not make it that far, however.

The Patriots have placed “an offer on the table” for their defensive chess piece, according to Mark Daniels and Karen Guregian of MassLive.

It’s the first of such offers under New England’s new regime, as Jerod Mayo and Eliot Wolf are still finding their footing as the Patriots’ primary decision makers. Mayo and Wolf are both at the NFL Scouting Combine this week meeting with top prospects, but the offer to Dugger signals they’re still trying to take care of their guys.

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Mayo and Wolf each made it clear they wanted to retain Dugger and offensive lineman Mike Onwenu this offseason, though a competitive offer likely will do much more than a few nice words. Daniels and Guregian reported multiple teams are expected to have interest in the 27-year-old defender.

Dugger can accept the offer at any time, as New England remains the only team he can officially negotiate with until free agency opens on March 13. That gives the Patriots two weeks to meet his demands and lock down one of their most consistent players.

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