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2020 NFL free agency: Patriots will reportedly start talks with Devin McCourty, Phillip Dorsett at the combine

Related: Patriots shied away from using the franchise tag recently, and 2020 projects to be more of the same

Cleveland Browns v New England Patriots Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Despite free agency being only three weeks away, the New England Patriots have been quiet so far and have not had any substantial contract negotiations with their impending free agents. If reports out of Indianapolis are any indication, however, this could soon change: according to USA Today’s Henry McKenna, the Patriots are expected to meet with representatives for both safety Devin McCourty and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett this week.

New England is reportedly showing some interest in bringing both men back into the fold, despite the two having different levels of success during the 2019 season: while McCourty had one of the most productive campaigns of his career and was a cornerstone member of the NFL’s best secondary, Dorsett only played a minor role in the Patriots’ offense despite the passing attack struggling to consistently move the football down the field all year long.

Nevertheless, the team is apparently trying to get contract negotiations underway with both players. It remains to be seen whether or not they will be successful and potential deals agreed upon before the start of free agency on March 18, but the expectation is that at least one of them — Dorsett — will test the open market to maximize his value. McCourty, meanwhile, projects to be a popular player if he remains unsigned by mid-March.

Meanwhile, the Patriots have had only minimal contact with two other members of their free agency class: linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins, who are also on the list of New England’s 16 unrestricted-free-agents-to-be. As is the case with other players such as quarterback Tom Brady, however, this should not necessarily be seen as a negative sign. After all, teams are still waiting on the CBA to be resolved and a salary cap set for the 2020 season.