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Patriots 2016 Free Agency Profile: Is the S Tavon Wilson experiment at an end?

Player: DB Tavon Wilson

September 1st, 2016 age: 26

How acquired: Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Why he should stay: If safety Nate Ebner signs elsewhere, Wilson makes plenty of sense to be the special teams safety for the next few seasons. Only Ebner and Matthew Slater have more special teams snaps than Wilson, who actually led the team in 2014.

Unlike Ebner, Wilson offers a ton of value on defense as a back-up. He can play dime. He can play goal line. He can play cornerback in a pinch. While he'll ultimately be behind rising-sophomore Jordan Richards in the depth chart, it's undeniable that Wilson is a versatile back-up.

And, possibly most importantly, Wilson will be cheap. While Ebner has picked up some value and recognition for his special teams work, Wilson is flying under the radar and could very well be available for the veteran's minimum.

Why he should leave: Sometimes a player just needs a change of scenery to get a shot. Wilson will be the 5th safety in the depth chart and would be a core special teams player in New England, but he could receive greater opportunities elsewhere in a safety-hungry league.

Money probably won't ever be a reason for Wilson to leave because there won't be many teams kicking down the door to sign him, but opportunity will definitely bear greater fruit down the road. Other teams can offer more opportunity than New England can in 2016.

Verdict: Wilson never seemed to get another shot on defense after he fell apart against the Seahawks as a rookie. He stepped up admirably as a cornerback against the Buffalo Bills this past season, but his versatility never seemed to allow him to remain on the game day roster.

Wilson is the type of player that is worth offering a veteran's minimum because he knows the system, he knows the program, and he'd be one injury away from contributing on the active roster. Wilson is a weekly candidate for the team's Practice Player of the Week award and he helps the team during the practice week.

While there will be some undrafted players that could serve a similar function, it wouldn't hurt to bring Wilson in for a camp to allow him to compete for a role.