Bill Belichick has a long history of being aggressive when it comes to improving his teams via avenues outside of the NFL draft. Rosevelt Colvin, Corey Dillon, Rodney Harrison, Randy Moss, Junior Seau and Wes Welker all were acquired either via free agency or trade and each of them had a major impact in keeping the New England Patriots in Super Bowl contention over the past decade.
At first glance, this offseason does not look to be one where the Patriots will make one of those moves, as their current roster situation could make them place a higher priority on keeping players such as Welker, Sebastian Vollmer, Danny Woodhead and Aqib Talib on the 2013 roster.
As important as those players are, the potential decline of Tom Brady and the fact that the distance between New England the rest of the AFC title contenders is likely diminishing means a return to the status quo won't be enough for the Patriots to earn a berth in Super Bowl XLVIII.
To do that, they need to find a way to sign Ed Reed.