Free agency doesn't officially open until 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, but the NFL's negotiation window leading up to the open market has been an active one.
In terms of the Patriots, various reports have linked the team to interest in former Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, former Dolphins receiver Rishard Matthews and former Jets running back Bilal Powell.
According to the Boston Herald, there is "mutual interest" between New England and Sanu. Sanu is a 6-2, 210-pound veteran of four seasons out of Bill Belichick's favorite prospect program, Rutgers. He has 152 career catches for 1,793 yards with 11 touchdowns. His best season came in 2013, when he had 56 receptions for 790 yards and five touchdowns.
The Herald notes that the price for Sanu could surpass a seemingly steep $5 million per season.
CSNNE.com reports that the Patriots have reached out to Matthews in the so-called legalized tampering period. The 6-0, 217-pound Matthews is also a veteran of four seasons, having caught 107 passes for 1,396 yards with eight touchdowns, though he missed a total of 15 games over four years. He's coming off a season in which he started all 11 games he played in Miami, notching career highs with 43 catches for 662 yards and four scores.
The New York Daily News and CSNNE.com both note that the Patriots have shown interest in Powell. The running back is a veteran of five versatile seasons with New York, having showcased the ability to run the ball and catch it out of the backfield in a sort of committee role. The 5-10, 204-pounder caught a career-high 47 passes last season, while he had a career-best 176 carries for 697 yards back in 2013.
These reports are just the start of what will be an interesting day in New England and throughout the NFL as the new league year and true free agency begins later this afternoon.