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2018 NFL free agency: Updates on the Patriots and the offensive tackle market

News on where the Patriots will fill the biggest hole on the roster

NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest loss for the Patriots is losing left tackle Nate Solder to the Giants in free agency. So far, there hasn’t been much news on the front of where the Patriots will go to fill that vacancy beyond simple rumors. The Patriots are interested in bringing back at least one of their backup tackles La’Adrian Waddle and Cameron Fleming in addition to being linked to former Jets, Raiders, and most recently the Ravens RT Austin Howard. At the same time, it also appears that the Patriots will be addressing the long term future at the position in the draft as well.

This is the current news in regards to the Patriots FA tackles:

4. Free-agent Patriots offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle was at Gillette Stadium on Friday, which is one indication that coach Bill Belichick still has an interest in his return. A visit like that usually means a few things: A deal might not be far off, and/or the club wanted to give him a physical so it has updated information as it works through the negotiating process. If Waddle is back with the Patriots in 2018, he’ll add another layer on the depth chart to arguably the biggest question facing the team: Who replaces Nate Solder as the starting left tackle? - Mike Reiss

Fleming is scheduled to visit the Dallas Cowboys over the next two days, Waddle was reportedly spotted at Gillette Stadium, and no news on Howard aside from preliminary interest. From Reiss’ suggestion, the Patriots may be putting together the final touches of a deal together with Waddle to return and give the team a possible veteran option at LT while grooming a draft pick behind him. The draft doesn’t have a lot of high end LT talent with only Kolton Miller, Brian O’Neill, Connor Williams, and Joseph Notebloom as potential guys with the athleticism to play that premium position.

[UPDATE, 03/19, 9:14 am ET] According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, LaAdrian Waddle is scheduled to meet with the Cowboys as well.