After this season, the #New England Patriots have 15 players who will hit the free agent market in six weeks. After Super Bowl LII, the Patriots’ front office, led by head coach #Bill Belichick and director for player personnel Nick Caserio, will buckle down to work and try to keep the championship roster intact as much as possible. The list includes left tackle Nate Solder, cornerbacks #Malcolm Butler and Johnson Bademosi, running backs Dion Lewis, Brandon Bolden and Rex Burkhead [VIDEO], wide receivers Matthew Slater and Danny Amendola, tackle Cameron Fleming and free safety Nate Ebner.

Also hitting the free agent market are right tackle LaAdrian Waddle and outside linebacker James Harrison, defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois, defensive end Geno Grissom and outside linebacker Marquis Flowers.

Among the 15, three were included in Pro Football Focus’ list of 25 free agents in 2018. Butler is sixth on PFF’s list while Solder and Lewis landed in the 13th and 21st spots, respectively.

Who the Patriots must keep

Among the fifteen free agents, Rich Hill of Patspulpit.com said the Patriots must do everything they can to retain Amendola, Solder, Jean-Francois and Bademosi. There is a possibility that Amendola will join offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in Indianapolis when he accepts the head coaching job with the Colts. McDaniels discovered Amendola during his one-year stint as offensive coordinator of the then-St. Louis Rams and lobbied Belichick to sign the wide receiver. The move paid dividends as Amendola became one of quarterback Tom Brady’s top targets. In the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Amendola caught two touchdown passes in the fourth period [VIDEO] to lift the Patriots to victory.

The Patriots can use Jean-Francois as a replacement for Alan Branch on the depth chart while Bademosi has plenty of value as a special teamer with a defensive upside. Bademosi can also step up in case Butler signs with another team, particularly the San Francisco 49ers. The Patriots could also retain other members, particularly Slater, Ebner, Bolden, and Grissom.

Who could New England sign?

The Patriots could also take a look at the market to replace players who will leave for other teams. Among them are tight end Anthony Fasano, defensive lineman Lamarr Houston, linebackers Koa Misi and Karlos Dansby, cornerback Tramon Williams and safety Nate Allen. Williams could fill the void in case Butler leaves while Houston will be a great addition to the Patriots’ defensive line.

The Patriots could also be interested in Branden Oliver, wide receivers Taylor Gabriel and Brice Butler, defensive lineman Cedric Thornton and linebacker Josh Bynes. Gabriel could replace Amendola if he joins the Colts while Oliver could become a solid rusher for the Patriots in place of Burkhead.