- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Patriots' activity when it comes to signing veteran free agents from other teams might best be defined as as a quality over quantity approach.
Since free agency began March 11, the Patriots have added just four veteran free agents from other clubs -- cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, receiver Brandon LaFell and safety Patrick Chung.
ESPN Stats & Information helped us put those numbers in NFL context, pointing out that total ranks near the bottom of the NFL (when also factoring in trade acquisitions). New England is one of nine teams that added four or fewer veteran free agents since March 11, and of that group, only two didn't qualify for last year's playoffs.
Most veteran free agents added from other teams (including trades):
Bears -- 13
Raiders -- 12
Redskins -- 11
Buccaneers -- 10
Fewest veteran free agents added from other teams (including trades):
Saints -- 3
Packers -- 3
Rams -- 3
Seahawks -- 4
49ers -- 4
Patriots -- 4
Chiefs -- 4
Colts -- 4
Cowboys -- 4
QUICK-HIT THOUGHTS: If the Patriots didn't have tight end Aaron Hernandez's $7.5 million dead charge on their salary cap, perhaps they would have been a bit more active. At the same time, the numbers would immediately be skewed if two veterans who were in for visits, defensive end Will Smith and running back Michael Bush, signed with the club. One aspect to consider is that with the Patriots losing cornerback Aqib Talib (Broncos); running back LeGarrette Blount (Steelers); linebackers Brandon Spikes (Bills) and Dane Fletcher (Buccaneers); and tight end Matthew Mulligan (Bears) to other teams, it should help them in next year's compensatory free-agent formula. Smith and Bush wouldn't count toward the formula because they were cut by their teams, just as Revis and Chung don't count.