While free agency is only part of the team-building process, taking into account fit, skill set and (likely) financial demands, here are a handful of names that jump off the page when you’re talking about potential free-agent targets for New England on the offensive side of the ball. Consider this the companion piece to the one we ran on Monday morning detailing a handful of defensive free-agent targets. The biggest difference here? The Patriots are more interested in re-signing their own offensive free agents like offensive tackle Nate Solder, running back Dion Lewis and wide receiver Danny Amendola than exploring the market. That’s why this list is a bit shorter than the one we had on the defensive side of the ball.
Jerick McKinnon: A running back who might be able to fill the void if New England loses Lewis and/or Rex Burkhead. He’s never had to be the man over the course of a full season, but the 25-year-old could be the sort of bit player that could fit nicely in New England. The 5-foot-9, 205-pounder has 1,918 rushing yards on 474 carries (4.0 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns, as well as 142 catches for 984 yards and five receiving touchdowns in his four seasons in the league, all with the Vikings.