2. Cornerback Aqib Talib -- One of the league's better bump-and-run corners, 27-year-old Talib has experience covering No. 1 receivers and more often than not shuts them down. He's good enough to be left on an island. A worrisome off-field history will affect Talib's value, however, and he seems unlikely to command as high-dollar a contract as Sean Smith. If interest in Talib is lukewarm on the open market, the Patriots would love to have him back at a reasonable price.
Free Agent Forecast: Patriots on a four-year, $27.5 million contract.
7. Offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer -- 6-foot-8, 315-pound Vollmer is one of the NFL's leanest, most athletic offensive tackles and has developed into an elite pass blocker. He's also a critical piece in New England's power-zone running scheme. Durability is a concern, however, as Vollmer has a history of back woes and is currently recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. If Vollmer's market underwhelms due to his medicals, the Patriots will be waiting with open arms.
Free Agent Forecast: Patriots on a five-year, $30 million contract.
9. Wide receiver Wes Welker -- Welker will test the open market on Tuesday, but the most likely outcome is re-signing with New England at a team-friendly rate. Though video-game productive, Welker is a scheme-specific slot receiver and extension of the run game, as opposed to a flier who rips the top off of defenses. He's more valuable to the Patriots than anyone else.
Free Agent Forecast: Patriots on a three-year, $22 million contract.
reasonable or not.