The #New England Patriots have several members who will be turning free agent, including key players like running back #Dion Lewis, wide receiver #Danny Amendola, and special teamer Matthew Slater. The three are garnering much interest in the free-agent market, especially Lewis, who led the Patriots running game last season. Amendola has been one of Tom Brady’s most reliable targets in the past five years, but he’s not expected to return for a sixth season with the Patriots as he is set to sign with the Miami Dolphins once NFL free agency begins on Wednesday, per Dan Hellie of NFL Media. While Hellie did not mention the terms of Amendola’s deal with the Dolphins, the contract is expected to be an upgrade from what the wideout received from the Patriots last season.

After four outstanding seasons with the then-St. Louis Rams, Amendola signed a five-year deal, with the Patriots in 2013, worth $28.5 million. However, Amendola agreed to pay cuts in each of the past three offseasons to stay with the Patriots. This time, Amendola opted to sign a contract reflective [VIDEO] of his past performance in the past seasons [VIDEO] instead of accepting another low-end contract from the Patriots. The 32-year-old Amendola caught 61 passes for 659 yards and two touchdowns during the regular season and had 26 catches for 348 yards and two touchdowns in the postseason to help carry the Patriots to Super Bowl LII. If he signs with the Dolphins, Amendola is expected to replace Jarvis Landry as the team’s slot receiver. Landry was recently traded by the Dolphins to the Cleveland Browns last week.

Despite Amendola’s departure, the Patriots are still deep at wideout with Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Kenny Britt and Phillip Dorsett on the roster.

Patriots to keep Slater

According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the Patriots are optimistic to reach a new deal with Slater, considered one of the best special teams players in the NFL. Slater has made it to the Pro Bowl in each of the last seven seasons, matching Steve Tasker’s record for consecutive selections by a special teamer. Slater was also selected first-team All-Pro in four of the last seven seasons.As one of the most respected players and leaders in the Patriots’ locker room and on the field, Slater has been a team captain since 2011. Recently, the Patriots signed linebacker Brandon King, a member of their special teams, to a two-year, $2.6 million deal.

8 teams interested in Lewis

According to Pro Football Talk, eight teams are interested in acquiring Lewis’ services, including the Patriots. Other interested teams are the Dolphins, New York Jets, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, and the San Francisco 49ers. The Patriots want to keep Lewis but the running back wants a huge deal that they cannot afford. [VIDEO]