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Patriots Impact of Jared Allen Signing with the Bears

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The last marquee pass rusher is off the table and now the Patriots have to make due with what's left.

Jamie Squire

The Patriots have been out of this race for a while, but it's always interesting to see where a prospect lands. Defensive end Jared Allen has finally made his home in Chicago, even after Seattle was making a late push to make their defense laughably good. The deal is 4 years, $32 million for cap purposes, but is really a 3 year deal with $15.5 million guaranteed and a voidable fourth season, per Mike Garafolo.

So even though New England wasn't even in the running, it sets the table for the next wave of free agency: the rejects.

Bill Belichick loves himself some rejects.

These are the players who, for one reason or another, just weren't viewed as priority free agents.

It could be injury. It could be temperament. It could be age. It could just be a player sliding under the radar.

But for whatever reason, these players will be signing on the cheap with myriad things to prove.

Looking at the top veteran pass rushers still available, it's a fairly short list (and even shorter when we see the Patriots only have $4 million in cap space with Vince Wilfork hanging over the franchise).

Robert Ayers - Will be 29 early in September, former first round pick in Denver, potentially (albeit unfairly) comes with a "bust" tag, linked to the Cowboys and the Bengals.

Shaun Phillips - Will be 33 in May, already took a one-year deal in Denver last season, would be a clear improvement over Andre Carter, only linked to the Titans thus far.

Anthony Spencer - 30 years old, coming off microfracture surgery and won't be ready for camp, linked to the Redskins, the Giants, and the Rams.

For me, that's the list. If the Patriots can't get any of the above, they're better off going with a sophomore Michael Buchanan or drafting a promising defensive end in the draft.

Allen signing in Chicago doesn't really impact the Patriots decisions, but it does squeeze the market down to its final drops.