We may like the idea of Hakeen Nicks on a one year redemption deal. Jeremy Maclin already signed his "prove it" deal with the Eagles. It's likely Jermichael Finley is going to have to follow those two as he returns from a serious injury.
Add Raiders free agent Darren McFadden to the list.
A former fourth overall pick, the 6'1, 210 lbs back with 4.33 speed has never been active for more than 13 games in a single season.
He has topped 1000 yards from scrimmage just once in his career. He's surpassed 800 yards just twice.
He hasn't broken 3.4 yards per carry over the past two seasons.
I think he may be a perfect fit for New England.
The Patriots hope they can retain LeGarrette Blount, who finished the season on a very strong note, to keep their stable of Blount, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, and Brandon Bolden. But don't think for a minute that Belichick isn't looking around for a potential improvement.
Blount is a single dimensional back, as is Ridley, but both bring power and explosion to a position that the Patriots clearly value. Vereen is the biggest threat as a receiver and can provide some additional value as a blocker and in space. Bolden adds special teams value, while being possibly the most well rounded of all the backs.
So unless the former first round pick shows special teams value, there's not necessarily a spot for him on the roster.
That all changes if Blount walks.
McFadden is a do-everything back who specializes in a power-blocking offense. The Patriots line features a mixture of zone and power, which means that they could make some simple adjustments for McFadden's snaps. If healthy, McFadden can play the back-up of both Ridley and Vereen, while being a more explosive and quick version of Bolden. His role in a committee will reduce his hits and increase the chances that he'll be healthy for a full season.
He brings a similar power as Blount, and could likely be in a similar situation as Blount's 2013.
No one wants McFadden and it's fairly obvious why. He just can't stay healthy.
But unlike the risk associated with Amendola, the Patriots would only be offering a one year deal to McFadden, and it would likely be for "redemption" money. He wants to prove what he can do and he can use 2014 to project into a larger deal.
So what better place than New England? 2013 showed the renaissance of one former back that no one wanted. 2014 could be the sequel.