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James Starks, Benny Cunningham visit Patriots

Wild Card Round - Green Bay Packers v Washington Redskins

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 10: Running back James Starks #44 of the Green Bay Packers carries the ball against the Washington Redskins in the third quarter during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at FedExField on January 10, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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The Patriots running game faded out of sight down the stretch last season and the team visited with a pair of players Thursday who could help them avoid a similar fate next season.

Adam Caplan of ESPN reports that running back James Starks visited with the team on Thursday and multiple reports have Benny Cunningham meeting with the team as well. Starks is the more seasoned back after spending the last six seasons with the Packers and comes off a year that saw him run 148 times for 601 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught 43 passes, which gives him the versatility to fit in a variety of roles with New England.

Cunningham was tendered at the original-round level by the Rams as a restricted free agent, which gives L.A. a chance to match any offer without getting compensation in return since Cunningham was undrafted out of college. He’s also flashed ability as a receiver (45 catches in 2014) and returned kickoffs for the Rams.

Caplan adds that tight end Clay Harbor was also in for a visit. The six-year veteran spent three years with the Eagles before moving on to the Jaguars for three years and has 111 catches for 1,151 yards and eight touchdowns in his career. He’d back up Rob Gronkowski with the Patriots, who recently released Scott Chandler.