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Report: Patriots interested in tackle Winston

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New England Patriots Willie McGinest holds the AFC Championship trophy after the Pats beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-6 at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., Sunday January 12, 1997. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

With Sebastian Vollmer's future in New England in limbo as the right tackle remains an unsigned free agent, the Patriots are apparently looking into other options for the spot.

According to a tweet from ESPN's Adam Schefter, New England is among at least five teams – the Dolphins, Eagles, Chargers and Cowboys are the others – interested in former Chiefs tackleEric Winston. The 29-year-old veteran of seven previous NFL seasons is apparently in Miami today, where Schefter says "a deal could happen."

The 6-7, 302-pound Winston has started all 16 games in each of the last six seasons. He spent last fall in Kansas City after signing a four-year, $22 million deal a year ago in free agency following his first six seasons as a third-round pick in Houston. But he was released by the Chiefs this offseason after a regime change, some believing that the zone blocker didn't fit with Andy Reid's preferred style of line play that utilizes powerful man blockers.

Winston was best known last season for his outspoken support of K.C. starter and former Patriots backup Matt Cassel, after he believed the Arrowhead Stadium crowd cheered when the quarterback was injured.

As the market begins to settle at right tackle in the wake of Jake Long's signing, it will be interesting to see if Vollmer returns to New England on a more team-friendly contract than the former second-team All-Pro was probably looking for when free agency opened. His history of back injuries may be a factor in him not finding a deal early in free agency, but might also make him a more financially-feasible, short-term risk for the team that drafted him in the second round.

Do you think the Patriots should re-sign Vollmer or look for another veteran such as Winston? Let us know with a comment below!

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