The New England Patriots are currently in the middle of one of the busiest free agency periods in recent memory. Whether it is signing high-priced outside free agents, making blockbuster deals, or re-signing key players from last year, New England has done it all. Add a little contract drama with restricted free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler and you have the recipe for an offseason that does not appear to get boring.
But not everything Patriots-related is like that. Of the team's original 13 unrestricted free agents, eight have found new homes (four in Foxboro, four somewhere else) leaving five still unsigned:
RB LeGarrette Blount
RB Brandon Bolden
WR Michael Floyd
DE Chris Long
TE Greg Scruggs
Neither of those five players has generated any reported buzz on the open market so far. However, all have more or less been replaced by Patriots.
Free agent acquisition Rex Burkhead, for example, has the skillset and experience to replace Brandon Bolden as a rotational offensive and core special teams piece. He also has received a contract that might allude to him being a replacement for Blount as the early down running back.
New England has also acquired potential replacements for the rest of its remaining free agents. Wideout Brandin Cooks, defensive edge Kony Ealy and tight ends Michael Williams and Dwayne Allen are all projected take over for members of the 2016 Patriots.
Of course, New England could still opt to bring four of the five players above - all but Chris Long, who has already made his intention to leave the team public - back into the fold. However, neither of them seemingly has been prioritized by the club and would only serve as a glorified camp body from the current perspective.
Whether other teams view them differently remains to be seen. With top prospects having already left the market, maybe the interest in Blount, Bolden, Floyd, Long and Scruggs will finally pick up now, though.