The New England Patriots often are busiest after the first big wave of free agency, and on Thursday were looking in a number of different directions.

Of course there are losses: defensive tackle Malcom Brown is going to the Saints on a three-year, $15 million deal after starting 51 of 60 games for New England over the last four seasons.

As always, the Patriots are looking forward. Among the moves, and potential moves:

The Patriots signed safety Terrence Brooks – a core special teamer who spent the last two seasons with the New York Jets – to a two-year deal.

The 27-year-old was a third-round pick in 2014. Last season he led New York in special teams snaps while playing 69 snaps on defense.

The Patriots signed two wide receivers: Bruce Ellington and Maurice Harris.

Ellington caught 31 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown with Houston and Detroit in seven games last season, finishing the year on the injured reserve list with a hamstring injury. He’s appeared in 44 games with San Francisco, Houston and Detroit since 2014, catching 79 passes for 769 yards and five touchdowns.

Harris made 28 receptions for 304 yards with Washington last season, and had 40 catches for 432 yards and one TD in 28 games over three years with Washington.

The Patriots came to terms with tight end Matt LaCosse, who caught 24 passes for 250 yards and one touchdown with Denver last season. He has 27 receptions for 272 yards and the one TD in 22 games.

The Patriots agreed to a deal with defensive lineman Mike Pennel, a 332-pounder known as a run stuffer who has 102 tackles in 68 games over a career that dates to 2014, playing for Green Bay (2014-2016) and the New York Jets (2017-2018).

The Patriots are among a handful of teams looking at free agent Darius Philon, one of the top defensive tackles available. Philon, 25, started 13 of 16 games and finished with four sacks to go with 33 tackles and a forced fumble. At 6-foot-1, 300 pounds, Philon was a sixth-round pick in 2015.

GIANTS: New York agreed to terms with wide receiver Golden Tate, adding an accomplished veteran to try and fill the gaping hole left by Tuesday’s trade of Odell Beckham Jr.

The deal is a four-year, $37.5 million contract that includes $23 million fully guaranteed, per ESPN.

The Giants have been in contact with the representatives for Patriots free-agent wide receiver Chris Hogan, 31, a two-time Super Bowl champion, according to a league source.

• The Giants have an agreement in place on a one-year deal with outside linebacker Marcus Golden, per sources. He played under DC James Bettcher in Arizona and has 12.5 sacks in 2016. He’s looking to prove himself in his second season back from a torn ACL.

STEELERS: Donte Moncrief knows he won’t replace Antonio Brown, but will do what he can after reaching a two-year deal with Pittsburgh.

“(Brown) is one of the best if not the best ever,” said Moncrief, 25. “You can’t try to be what he was. You can only be what you are.”

A third-round pick by Indianapolis in 2014, Moncrief has 200 career receptions for 2,543 yards and 21 touchdowns. He joins receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Eli Rogers (re-signed to a two-year deal Thursday).

JETS: New York released running back Isaiah Crowell, an expected move after the team agreed to terms with Le’Veon Bell.

Crowell spent one season with the Jets after playing his first four in Cleveland. He broke the franchise record with 219 yards rushing on just 15 carries in New York’s win over Denver in Week 5.

The Jets had until Friday before $2 million of Crowell’s $4 million salary became guaranteed.

BEARS: Pro Bowl safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix agreed to a one-year deal. Clinton-Dix, 26, spent the final nine games with Washington last season after he was acquired in a trade with Green Bay.

49ERS: San Francisco is signing former Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett to a one-year, $3.6 million deal, a source told ESPN. Verrett suffered an Achilles tendon tear during a conditioning test a day before the start of Chargers training camp last year, forcing him to miss all of 2018.

SAINTS: New Orleans created more than $10 million in salary-cap space by restructuring quarterback Drew Brees’ contract – which has become almost an annual ritual for a team routinely slammed tight against the cap.

The team also planned a visit from free agent Jared Cook, possibly the top tight end left on the market.

CHIEFS: Tyrann Mathieu signed his contract with Kansas City and became the centerpiece of the offseason overhaul of its defense.