Kris Jenkins, Vernon Gholston, Damien Woody and Jason Taylor
OLB/DE Vernon Gholston shouldn't come as a surprise because he's one of the biggest draft busts of the past decade. Right tackle Damien Woody, a former Patriot, is also on the decline, but he should get some looks because he's still a serviceable lineman.
Two players from this transaction interest me: Jason Taylor and Kris Jenkins.
Jenkins is an interesting player. He is, by no means, unable to play, but injuries have taken him off the field for the past two seasons and his price tag is too high for the Jets to hold onto. He is a monstrous nose tackle who will "only" be 32 at the start of next season- which means that he's prime for a one to two year rental period. I'm sure he will be offered a large deal from some other franchise, but he would be able to come and contribute on the Patriots as a nose tackle as Vince Wilfork could be moved to the edge.
Taylor was an option for the Patriots before he decided to go with the Jets. He shouldn't command too high of a contract deal and should be a serviceable depth player at outside linebacker for at least another season. He recorded 5 sacks last season out of the reserve role, which would have put him tied for second on the Patriots. He's able to drop back into coverage and he remains a solid role model for the younger players. All he wants is to win a ring and he might believe that the Patriots could give him a chance at a ring and retirement.
Do I think the Patriots should sign any of these players? Not really since three of them are being released because they're old. However, they could be solid players to help bridge the transition between young and experience and they can be role models in the locker room because, unlike a couple of their teammates, Jenkins, Taylor, and Woody are class acts. It will be interesting to see where these players turn up this off-season.