And now, the combine's underground activity is under way.

The Patriots are set to meet with Aqib Talib here in Indianapolis as the two sides work toward a contract, according to a source. Talib is set to hit free agency March 11, but the Patriots have exclusive signing power until then.

Talib might be the top cornerback on the open market, so the Patriots might prefer to lock him up before it gets to that point. Last year, he re-signed a one-year contract that was ultimately worth $5.5 million, though it's unclear what his value might be this offseason. Once again, it's considered a buyer's market for cornerbacks, as Alterraun Verner, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Charles Tillman, Vontae Davis and Brent Grimes are also set to become available.

The combine is typically the starting point for many negotiations between teams and agents as both sides converge upon Lucas Oil Stadium for a variety of meetings and scouting purposes. And with free agency less than three weeks away, it's a good time for teams and players to assess the upcoming market.

So far, things have been quiet with the Patriots, but they're ready to meet with one of their priority free agents.