While most of the names associated with the Patriots in the early days of free agency have been of the complementary variety, the latest one has a higher profile.
According to the Providence Journal, the Patriots are "showing interest" in veteran defensive end Chris Long, who was released by St. Louis earlier this offseason.
The 30-year-old Long had just three sacks last season despite playing on one of the game's most potent defensive fronts. But his track record is solid as he enjoyed a productive stretch from 2010-13 when he recorded 41.5 sacks.
As one of the bigger names on the market, Long has drawn attention from several teams but he could add some talent to the edge, where the Patriots have three players – Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich and Jabaal Sheard – all entering the final year of their contracts.