Patriots Free Agents 2012: Dan Koppen

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 29: Dan Koppen #67 of the New England Patriots wears a laundry cap as he participates in training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Over the next two weeks, we'll be looking at each Patriots free agent and projecting whether or not they will re-sign with the Patriots this offseason;

Dan Koppen

Age: 32

Position: Center

Status: Unrestricted Free Agent

2011 Stats: 1 game played; 1 start

Overview: It's pretty difficult to project what the Patriots will do with longtime center Dan Koppen. After having played and started all but one game since 2010, Koppen suffered a broken leg in the Patriots' season opener against the Dolphins and was lost for the season. Koppen has been the Patriots starting center since 2003, and it would be tough to see him go. But at this point, the Patriots can't be sentimental and need to make the correct football decision. All of this being said, while it is hard to know for sure, I'd like to think Koppen still has enough in the tank to be an effective starting center for another couple of years. Koppen's situation with the Patriots will probably come down to two things. First, what will his asking price be? Second, what will happen with the Patriots' other option at the position who is also a free agent, Dan Connolly? My guess would be that Koppen re-signs with the Patriots for another two years at $6 million - very similar to the deal that the Patriots struck with Stephen Neal in the 2010 offseason.

Prediction: Re-signs on 2 year, $6 million deal

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