The Patriots season came to an end at the hands of the Ravens on Sunday night. Now with the offseason looming on the horizon, Bill Belichick and his staff have huge decisions to make in regards to their roster heading into 2013.
Cornerback Aqib Talib is set to become an unrestricted free agent. He made an early exit in the AFC Championship with a thigh injury, and the Patriots secondary suffered without him. Belichick, though, isn't ready to reveal any information on Talib's potential with the team for the future.
"Nothing will happen today, tomorrow or the next day, so that's not really the time to talk about that," said Belichick in his Monday morning press conference. "That's for a later point in time when we can make an evaluation for the entire football team."
At 27 years old, Talib is in the prime of his career, and many critics around Boston believe bringing him back should be a top priority. His rookie contract with the Buccaneers was priced at $14 million for five years, but his asking price is certainly up now after seeing what the Ravens did against a secondary without him.
Belichick wants to look at the grand scheme of things, though.
As much as you want to go case by case with each guy, there is some of that no question, but at the same time, you have to look at the entire team before you say, 'We want to keep this guy' or 'We don't want to keep this guy.' I don't think that's the way you put together an entire football team. You have to see the big picture and how it all fits together.
Looking at the big picture on defense, Talib is an important asset.
Wes Welker presents another huge decision for New England to make. If the Patriots choose to franchise him again, it will cost $11.4 million. He wants a multi-year contract, but he hasn't received one yet after several campaigns of 100+ receptions.
Sebastian Vollmer and Patrick Chung are both looking for new deals. Both have dealt with injuries in their careers. Vollmer, though, appears as the more likely candidate to stay after an impressive 2012 at right tackle.
Danny Woodhead, Kyle Arrington and Julian Edelman are all set to become free agents as well. While the Patriots will take their time to recover from the loss, they'll soon have to decide who is worth keeping around, according to the big picture of course.