Patriots free agents and perception

February, 27, 2014
2/27/14
3:00
PM ET
On Wednesday night, two media-based lists were passed along on top NFL free agents, from the perspective of viewing where Patriots players were placed.

Let's follow that up today, as Greg Bedard of TheMMQB.com has released the rest of his list (players 1-50) and the CBSSports.com tandem of Pete Prisco and Pat Kirwan has also unveiled theirs as well.

Bedard has cornerback Aqib Talib as the No. 17 overall free agent.

"An unquestioned passion for the game and shutdown ability, but he's never played 16 games and his off-field problems aren't that far removed," Bedard writes, before adding that Talib's best fit is back in New England. "Both sides are comfortable with him there, and other teams might be reluctant to give him a big deal."

Bedard has Talib as the third best corner on the market, behind Tennessee's Alterraun Verner (No. 9) and Miami's Brent Grimes (No. 15).

Meanwhile, the Prisco/Kirwan list has Talib at No. 19 and the fourth overall cornerback behind Verner, the Colts' Vontae Davis, and Grimes.

Other Patriots on the list include:

No. 31 -- Julian Edelman
No. 68 -- Brandon Spikes
No. 95 -- LeGarrette Blount
No. 132 -- Ryan Wendell

QUICK-HIT THOUGHTS: With some top cornerbacks all hitting the market at the same time, this could be a case where all it takes is for one domino to fall before the others fall into place. In that sense, when projecting Talib's potential return to New England, it almost can't be mentioned without factoring in Verner, Davis and Grimes because they all figure to be in the same general market.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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