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2018 NFL free agency tracker: Patriots rumors, news, signings, instant analysis

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

On March 14, the NFL's new league year will officially begin and with it the 2018 free agency period. The New England Patriots project to be rather busy given a) their lengthy list of players headed for the open market, and b) the fact that the team needs to improve a defense that gave up 41 points during Super Bowl LII. Expect the next few days to be busy as reports will start to come in.

Especially after the legal tampering window opens on Monday, March 12, things will start to heat up around the league. In order to not get lost, we have created this tracker to keep you up-to-date on all the latest developments, rumors and news.

Patriots unrestricted free agents

WR Danny Amendola: Profile | Status: Signed by Dolphins (2-year, $12MM)

CB Johnson Bademosi: Profile | Status: Signed by Texans (2-year, $6.25MM)

RB Brandon Bolden: Profile | Status: Re-signed (1-year, $880k)

RB Rex Burkhead: Profile | Status: Re-signed (3-year, $9.75MM)

CB Malcolm Butler: Profile | Status: Signed by Titans (5-year, $61MM)

SS Nate Ebner: Profile | Status: Re-signed (2-year, $5MM)

OT Cameron Fleming: Profile | Status: Signed by Cowboys (1-year, $2.5MM)

LB Marquis Flowers: Profile | Status: Re-signed (1-year, $2.55MM)

LB James Harrison: Profile | Status: n/a

DT Ricky Jean Francois: Profile | Status: n/a

RB Dion Lewis: Profile | Status: Signed by Titans (4-year, $23MM)

WR Matthew Slater: Profile | Status: Re-signed (2-year)

OT Nate Solder: Profile | Status: Signed by Giants (4-year, $62MM)

OT LaAdrian Waddle: Profile | Status: Re-signed (1-year)


Patriots acquisitions

DT Danny Shelton: via trade from Browns

CB Jason McCourty: via trade from Browns

DE Adrian Clayborn: Signed to free agency contract (2-year, $10MM)

RB Jeremy Hill: Signed to free agency contract (1-year, $1.5MM)

OT Matt Tobin: Signed to free agency contract (1-year, $815k)

WR Cordarrelle Patterson: via trade from Raiders

TE Troy Niklas: Signed to free agency contract (1-year, $940k)

OG Luke Bowanko: Signed to free agency contract (1-year, $835k)

WR Jordan Matthews: Signed to free agency contract (1-year, $1MM)


News and rumors

February 23

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: David Harris announces his retirement from the NFL. (link)

February 24

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots re-sign Brandon Bolden to a one-year, $880.000 contract. (link)

February 28

Rumor: Malcolm Butler is on the New York Jets' free agency radar. (link)

March 1

Danny Amendola wants to get re-signed by the Patriots. (link)

Nate Solder wants to continue playing but hasn't heard from the Patriots yet. (link)

March 3

The Patriots are interested in re-signing Dion Lewis but will face plenty of competition. (link)

March 6

The NFL sets its 2018 salary cap at $177.2 million. (link)

The Patriots won't pick up defensive tackle Alan Branch's 2018 contract option; he will become a free agent. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots release defensive end Caleb Kidder. (link)

March 7

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots release tight end Martellus Bennett. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots release return specialist Bernard Reedy. (link)

March 8

Aqib Talib wants to get released by the Denver Broncos to get a chance to re-sign with the Patriots. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots sign restricted free agent Brandon King to a two-year, $2.6 million contract. (link)

The Patriots are reportedly talking with Denver about a trade for Aqib Talib. (link)

Aqib Talib gets traded to the Los Angeles Rams, putting an end to any Patriots-based speculation. (link)

March 9

The Seattle Seahawks are expected to release cornerback Richard Sherman – and the Patriots are a potential suitor. (link)

Ricky Jean Francois releases a statement that he will move on from the Patriots. (link)

March 10

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots trade for Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Danny Shelton. (link)

Free agent cornerback Richard Sherman will not join the Patriots as he is signing with the San Francisco 49ers. (link)

March 11

The New York Giants release cornerback Dominique Rodger-Cromartie and he should be on the Patriots' free agency radar. (link)

March 12

The legal tampering window opens and teams can enter preliminary contract negotiations with other teams' soon-to-be free agents. (link)

The San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans are reportedly all interested in Dion Lewis. (link)

The Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints have expressed interest in Malcolm Butler. (link)

Multiple teams have serious interest in Marquis Flowers. (link)

The interest for Nate Solder is reportedly “off the charts” with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans appearing to be the most active teams (alongside the Patriots). The Patriots will aggressively try to keep him, though. (link)

The Texans have reportedly reached out to Malcolm Butler. (link)

The Cleveland Browns are reportedly also considering entering the Nate Solder sweepstakes (link), while the asking price might be too steep for the Broncos. (link)

The Detroit Lions are interested in Malcolm Butler. (link)

LaAdrian Waddle will test free agency. (link)

March 13

The Cleveland Browns, owners of around $84 million in salary cap space, are reportedly making a big run at Nate Solder. (link)

Former Patriots running back Danny Woodhead has been released by the Baltimore Ravens. (link)

Malcolm Butler should get a deal of more than $10 million per year. (link)

The Patriots and James Harrison have discussed a possible return by the veteran. (link)

There is plenty of optimism the Patriots and Matthew Slater will reach a deal. Because, of course there is. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: Danny Amendola is expected to sign with the Dolphins. (link)

Nate Solder is not planning on taking any free agency visits. (link)

The New York Giants have entered the Nate Solder sweepstakes. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: Malcolm Butler will sign with the Tennessee Titans. (link)

The Patriots are reportedly among the teams expected to make a push for former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: Dion Lewis will leave the Patriots and sign with the Titans. (link)

The Patriots have expressed interest in Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Patrick Robinson and Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: Nate Ebner will return on a two-year contract. (link)

March 14

Marquis Flowers has taken a number of calls and could price himself out of New England's range. (link)

There is reportedly not a lot of optimism Nate Solder returns. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: Nate Solder will sign with the New York Giants. (link)

The Patriots are reportedly in the running for Washington linebacker Trent Murphy. (link)

New England is reportedly in the mix for Falcons pass rusher Adrian Clayborn. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots have re-signed running back Rex Burkhead. (link)

The Patriots will reportedly be “in the mix” for defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh's services. (link)

March 15

New England hosts tight end Asante Cleveland and linebacker Jonathan Casillas on free agency visits. (link)

The Patriots are very much in play to bring back offensive tackles LaAdrian Waddle and Cameron Fleming. (link)

The Patriots have contacted running back Danny Woodhead. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: New England acquired cornerback Jason McCourty via trade. (link)

Free agency pass rusher Adrian Clayborn will visit the Patriots. (link)

Ricky Jean Francois will visit the Detroit Lions. (link)

Tight end Eric Ebron could potentially also visit New England after other scheduled meetings. (link)

March 16

Running back Jeremy Hill will visit the Patriots. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: Johnson Bademosi signs a two-year contract with the Houston Texans. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots sign ex-Falcons defensive edge Adrian Clayborn, who is coming off a 9.5 sack season. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots sign former Bengals running back Jeremy Hill. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots sign former Seahawks offensive tackle Matt Tobin. (link)

March 17

Matthew Slater is visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers. (link)

March 18

Cameron Fleming is visiting the Dallas Cowboys. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: New England trades for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. (link)

Running back Jeremy Hill was signed to a low-risk deal by the Patriots: A one-year contract with a total value of $1.5 million and a mere $150,000 in guarantees. (link)

March 19

Offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle is visiting the Cowboys. (link)

The Patriots are among the teams interested in free agent wide receiver and special teamer Marcus Easley. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: New England releases linebacker Shea McClellin with a failed physical designation. (link)

March 20

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots re-sign special teams ace Matthew Slater. (link)

March 21

Ex-Patriots defensive tackle Alan Branch visits the Lions. (link)

The Lions are close to signing Ricky Jean Francois. (link)

March 22

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots re-sign Marquis Flowers to a one-year deal. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots re-sign LaAdrian Waddle to a one-year deal. (link)

March 24

The Cowboys are expected to sign Cameron Fleming. (link)

March 26

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Cowboys officially sign Cameron Fleming. (link)

April 2

The Patriots host tight end Troy Niklas and wide receiver Jordan Matthews on free agency visits. (link)

April 3

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots trade wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams. (link)

April 4

The Patriots inquired about bringing back James Harrison. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots sign ex-Cardinals tight end Troy Niklas. (link)

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots sign ex-Ravens offensive lineman Luke Bowanko. (link)

April 5

PATRIOTS TRANSACTION: The Patriots sign ex-Eagles and Bills wide receiver Jordan Matthews. (link)


Patriots salary cap space

$13,926,158 (per patscap)