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Shane Vereen expected to land with New York Giants

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The Patriots were able to keep Devin McCourty in the fold, but the pilfering of the Super Bowl champions is about to begin.

Positional breakdowns

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Patriots running back Shane Vereen is expected to join the New York Giants. This was a priority for the Giants, who wanted a third-down back to pair with thumpers Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams.

It's a significant loss for the Patriots. They might not have won the Super Bowl if not for Vereen's 12 catches against the Seattle Seahawks. Vereen had successfully replaced Patriots legend Kevin Faulk as the go-to third-down back since getting taking in the second round of the 2011 draft. He had 99 catches over the last two regular seasons and a career high 838 yards from scrimmage this season.

The Patriots don't usually believe in paying big money to running backs, with Corey Dillon being a notable exception. They have won Super Bowls with Antowain Smith and LeGarrette Blount leading the way. Still, this is a position of transition in New England. They will surely be looking to free agency and the draft for depth with Blount the top returning back. Stevan Ridley, coming off a torn ACL, is also a free agent.

The Giants, meanwhile, have been trying to get back to a run-first approach for years. Jennings, Vereen and Williams are a versatile group. While Vereen doesn't run well between the tackles, that's not what his role will be under Tom Coughlin. It adds another intriguing offensive piece for a group that quietly improved last season.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast analyzes early free agency news, including Ndamukong Suh to Miami, Devin McCourty's new deal and much more. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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