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Patriots CB Logan Ryan is the top target of a few teams in free agency

The Patriots will have to deal with a bidding war.

The New England Patriots are expected to let CB Logan Ryan test the market to field offers in free agency and set a price tag. It’s extremely possible that when Ryan brings back his long list of offers that the Patriots will just thank the cornerback for his time and wish him well with his new franchise.

Reports are surfacing that Ryan is the top cornerback target of a handful of teams and that could make it extremely difficult for the Patriots to offer a competitive contract.

Ryan is the top free agent target of the Cincinnati Bengals, according to Tony Pauline. The Bengals have invested multiple early draft picks on cornerbacks, including first round picks in 2014 and 2016 on Darqueze Dennard and William Jackson III to rebuild their secondary, and have their 2012 first round pick Dre Kirkpatrick entering free agency. Ryan would be asked to pull the entire Cincinnati secondary together.

The Detroit Lions, led by general manager and former Patriots exec Bob Quinn, are another team looking to pounce on Ryan. The Lions already poached former Patriots safety Tavon Wilson and turned him into a viable starter and are looking to add another cornerback to pair with Darius Slay, the 7th highest paid cornerback in the NFL.

A third team that could pursue Ryan is the Tennessee Titans under general manager and former Patriots exec Jon Robinson. ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky lists Ryan as the top free agent target for the Titans and Robinson has spoken at length about why he decided to draft Ryan back in 2013. The Titans have a huge need at cornerback opposite of Jason McCourty.

These three teams, along with a few others that haven’t tipped their hand about any interest in Ryan, will run up the price tag of the second- or third-best cornerback in free agency. The Patriots would love to have Ryan back in 2017, but there might be offers on the table too enticing for Ryan to ignore.