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Thursday, January 29, 2009
Name the player: Add anyone to Patriots' roster


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

The New England Patriots have a marvelous track record when it comes to locating talent.

While it might be unfair to the rest of the AFC East to let the Patriots cherry-pick any player they want, we can't exclude them from our endeavor.

As explained in the previous post, I'm posing this question for each AFC East club:

If money, contracts and salary-cap restraints were no object, and you could choose any player in the NFL to add to your team, whom would you acquire?

The Patriots went 11-5, but that wasn't good enough to return to the playoffs. They have weaknesses.

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten would represent the offensive weapon Benjamin Watson hasn't become. New York Giants guard Chris Snee would help even up a line that has Pro Bowlers on the left side.

But maybe defense is the way to go. Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison fits the mold of overachievers and former castoffs the Patriots always seem to maximize. Or what about placing Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason next to Jerod Mayo?

The most effective injection, however, might be in the secondary. Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu would replace an aging Rodney Harrison and create all sorts of new defensive possibilities.

Cornerback has been a need since Asante Samuel split. The Patriots might consider Nnamdi Asomugha of the Oakland Raiders or Cortland Finnegan of the Tennessee Titans. Then again, they could swipe one of the New York Jets' best players in Darrelle Revis.

Those are some thoughts to get you started. Please share your thoughts below or drop a line in my AFC East mailbag. I will gather the responses and make a selection Monday based on what you have to say.