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Poll: Starting running back for Patriots?

The New England Patriots are a pass-first team to set up the run. But the team still needs an effective rusher to take some of the pressure off quarterback Tom Brady and the passing game.

In our latest poll question in the AFC East, we ask who will be the starting running back for the reigning AFC champion Patriots? Keep in mind that 2011 starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis is an unrestricted free agent.

Will the Patriots re-sign Green-Ellis? He's rushed for 1,675 yards and 24 touchdowns the past two years and could be looking for a payday. Will New England spend enough to retain one of its biggest free agents?

What about 2011 draft picks Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen? If Green-Ellis doesn’t return, both will have larger roles in the offense next season. Ridley has shown more flashes and could be the early favorite.

Finally, will the underrated Danny Woodhead get a shot? Woodhead is more of a third-down back, but he seems to produce in most opportunities. Woodhead scored a touchdown in New England’s Super Bowl XLVI loss to the New York Giants.

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on New England's starting running back next season. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.