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Free Agent Preview: Specialists

From now through the beginning of the free agent signing period, will take a position-by-position look at the top players scheduled to hit the market on March 5, and a few who might be potential Patriots. Today's preview: specialists.

Biggest Names

Stephen Gostkowski (RFA), Sebastian Janikowski, Jay Feely

There are actually plenty of talented kickers available from the huge leg of Jankowski to the steady nature of Feely. Neil Rackers, Shayne Graham, and Jeff Reed are all unrestricted as well. Gostkowski, the former All-Pro, is the best of the bunch.

Sam Koch (RFA), Michael Koenen (RFA), Hunter Smith

There are some interesting names on the list but most of the talented ones are restricted. Koch showed a big leg in the playoffs against Indianapolis while Koenen has the versatility to fill in as a long-range field goal kicker as well. Smith is the best in terms of unrestricted options.

Possible Patriots

There no way the Patriots will allow the restricted free agent to escape. He'll get a high tender to make sure that doesn't happen.

Chris Hanson
It's tough to imagine the Patriots investing too many resources into a veteran punter. If Hanson does not return, then Belichick will likely turn to a younger player to fill the role – perhaps even taking a shot at drafting one.

Meanwhile, the Patriots appear to be set at long snapper after having drafted Jake Ingram a year ago. He quite nicely filled the considerable shoes of free agent departure Lonie Paxton. New England won't need to go shopping for another long snapper for quite some time.

The Full List

Name 2009 Team Position Status

Cundiff, Billy BLT K RFA5
Feely, Jay NYJ K UFA
Gostkowski, Stephen NE K RFA4
Graham, Shayne CIN K UFA
Janikowski, Sebastian OAK K UFA
Lloyd, Rhys CAR K RFA3
Mare, Olindo SEA K UFA
Rackers, Neil ARZ K UFA
Reed, Jeff PIT K UFA
Stover, Matt IND K UFA
Suisham, Shaun DAL K RFA4

Berger, Mitch DEN P UFA
Feagles, Jeff NYG P UFA
Hanson, Chris NE P UFA
Hentrich, Craig TEN P UFA
Koch, Sam BLT P RFA4
Koenen, Michael ATL P RFA5
Rocca, Saverio PHI P RFA3
Sepulveda, Daniel PIT P RFA3
Smith, Hunter WAS P UFA
Turk, Matt HST P UFA

Albright, Ethan WAS LS UFA
Amato, Ken TEN LS UFA
Condo, Jon OAK LS RFA3
Dearth, James NYJ LS UFA
Houser, Kevin SEA LS UFA
Kyle, Jason NO LS UFA
Massey, Chris SL LS UFA
Neill, Ryan SL LS RFA3
Pittman, Bryan HST LS UFA
Robinson, Jeff SEA LS UFA
Schneck, Mike ATL LS UFA
Zelenka, Joe ATL LS UFA

This concludes our Free Agent Preview series. Tomorrow, look for an all-new Debate Friday.

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