Ian Rapoport notes that LB Pierre Woods would like to return to the Patriots in '10.
Linebacker Pierre Woods would like to return to the Patriots for a fifth season, and the team has the same wish. According to a source close to Woods, the restricted free agent is expected to receive a second-round tender, just like last season. The deal would pay him $1.759 million in 2010, up from $1.545 million in 2009.
If a team matched the offer, it would hand the Pats a second-round draft pick, which is not likely.
The Michigan product had a career-high 36 tackles this past season, while leading the Pats in special teams tackles. . . .
Pat Kirwan (NFL.com) In his live chat yesterday, Kirwan thinks the Patriots will push for Peppers.
I still think the Patriots are the team that had the most interest in him, and they struggled in the pass rush. Belichick has had great success with the hybrid players, like Willie McGinnest, who can play in both the three- and four-man fronts. The Redskins are notorius for spending money. But I think Peppers wants to play for a playoff contender, along with making a ton of money.
Christopher Price reports that according to the experts, this will be a good draft for the Patriots to get defensive.
"This is a very deep draft for defensive linemen, and Bill Belichick loves to invest high picks there. The Patriots desperately need depth and options on the line," said Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders.
"According to our stats, opponents finished third in the NFL in runs up the middle against the Pats and 28th in runs to the defensive right side. I think Vince Wilfork and Jarvis Green were asked to do too much, and they both had some injuries."
"I think adding to the defensive front seven makes a lot of sense for New England," said draft expert Wes Bunting of the National Football Post. "Defensive end and a pass-rushing outside linebacker are both needs for the Patriots."
- Mike Reiss feels it wouldn't surprise him if momentum builds for the Patriots and Wilfork to strike a deal before the Feb. 25th deadline.
- Albert Breer says Vince Wilfork isn't the only nose tackle around the league who is unhappy with the thought of being franchised. The dominoes are starting to fall with the 49ers expected to franchise Aubrayo Franklin.
- Mike Reiss focuses on WR Brandon Tate, saying his health and potential productivity are still unclear.
- Adam Kilgore looks at what Brandon Tate could mean to the Patriots.
Albert Breer notes the biggest questions remaining in New England may be on how the coaching staff's structure shakes out.
- Tom E. Curran breaks down the Patriots offseason gameplan: Assistant Coaches. Links are provided to Curran's additional eight parts of the breakdown series.
- Ian Rapoport reports former Patriot FB Patrick Pass is retiring. Instead, his attention is turned to a second career as a trainer of up-and-coming athletes.
- Mike Reiss notes Patriots guard Stephen Neal has one of the more unusual stories in terms of his rise to NFL player. He has been considering retirement.
- Jeff Howe thinks the Patriots must relearn to perfect the art of play-calling. Belichick should delegate the coordinating responsibilities to one person to eliminate any confusion.
- D.J. Bean takes a look at what draftniks around the web are saying about the Patriots and who they should pick. Some serious stud-window-shopping here.
- Mike Reiss analyzes Chris Steuber of Scout.com's two-round mock draft, which places a heavy emphasis on linebackers for the Patriots.
- Mike Reiss analyzes NFL Fanhouse's mock draft pick of DT Dan Williams (Tennessee) in the first round.
- Christopher Price notes the NFL has created a new web site to help fans and media understand the labor uncertainty that surrounds the league, NFLLabor.com.
- Adam Schefter (ESPN) shares his thoughts on what's to come for the New England Patriots and nose tackle Vince Wilfork, who wants a long-term contract. Schefter thinks the Patriots have to, and will, franchise him. (2.57 min. video)
- Darren Woodsen (ESPN) explains why Vince Wilfork should be upset if the New England Patriots place the franchise tag on the star nose tackle. Woodson notes part of the reason is because Wilfork would like to have the option of talking with the Miami Dolphins. (1.19 min. video)
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Scouts Inc. founder Gary Horton recently listed outside linebacker, receiver and defensive end as the primary areas the Patriots need to address.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) An early look at the free-agent situation in the AFC East.
- J. I. Halsell (Football Outsiders) Front office decisions: If you're a fan of roster building, there's no better time than right now.
- Chris Steuber (Scout.com) Two Round Mock Draft.
- Chris Burke (NFL Fanhouse) 2010 NFL Mock Draft 1.0. Pats pick DT Dan Williams (Tennessee) at number 22.
- Joe Concha (Fox Sports) Top ten ways to make the NFL even better.
- Jason La Canfora (NFL.com) Saints obvious choice for some very early 2010 rankings.
- Sporting News 2010 Power Poll.
- Andrew Brandt (Nat'l Football Post) What Roger Goodell's contract extension means.
- Mike Beacom (Pro Football Weekly) The other side of Steve Sabol.