The offers can be at one of four levels. The higher the level, the higher the compensation another team would have to award the Patriots for signing the player away (if the Patriots decided not to match the offer). The levels are broken down this way:
1) Original draft slot
2) Second-round draft choice
3) First-round draft choice
4) First-and-third-round draft choice
Tendering Gostkowski at the second-round level ($1.7 million) seems like the more likely course of action. It would be surprising if another team signed him to an offer sheet when the compensation would be a second-round pick.
Mankins is the team's best offensive lineman and my feeling is to eliminate any risk of possibly losing him.
On Woods, the danger of tendering him lower than a second-round pick is that he would essentially become an unrestricted free agent because he entered the league as a rookie free agent.
The Patriots have incredible flexibility entering the draft with four selections among the top 53 slots. They can go any direction they choose, but will Bill Belichick keep his picks or barter them? The Patriots have tweaks to make all over the place, particularly on defense. Fortunately for the organization, Belichick has a much better success rate when it comes to identifying defensive players early. Some of the Patriots biggest draft mistakes on Belichick's watch have been on offense. They found a keeper with left guard Logan Mankins, but didn't connect on such prospects as tight ends Daniel Graham and Benjamin Watson and receivers Chad Jackson and Bethel Johnson. Running back Laurence Maroney has been a contentious pick, too.
- Find out what the Patriots need to do in order to stay on top of the AFC East in 2010.
- Scott Barboza catches up with Patriots LB Jerod Mayo as he goes in front of the camera for a cause.
- Patriots.com has collected a wide-ranging sample of what the "experts" are predicting the Patriots will do in the first round come draft weekend.
- Free-agent preview: Quarterback.
- Rutgers Football Coaching Staff announced Bill Belichick will be the keynote speaker to the hundreds of coaches that attend its annual Football Coaches Clinic in April.
- annual Old Spice Wes Welker Football Camp, where he will be on site to direct the activities and provide instruction. Because... he's a man. has announced dates for his second
- The NFL has released the official 40-yard dash times of prospects who participated in the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine.
- The NFL announced that the 2011 Pro Bowl will be played a week before Super Bowl XLV and return to Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
- Albert Breer says tonight at midnight marks the end of the NFL as we know it.
- Ian Rapoport notes this is the last day to exclusively negotiate with unrestricted free agents, meaning Leigh Bodden, Tully Banta-Cain, Kevin Faulk, Ben Watson and Stephen Neal could hit the market.
- Mike Reiss knows a big portion of Pats' focus in free agency figures to be on re-signing their players, and tells fans to expect the unexpected.
- Albert Breer notes the Patriots approach to free agency will be under a lot of scrutiny. It's not about how much they spend, it's about how they spend it.
- Tom E. Curran reports the Pats might be quietly pursuing Bears' TE Greg Olsen, according to a report out of Chicago. The Bears say they are not actively shopping Olsen, but that could change if another club makes an overwhelming offer.
- Mike Reiss looks at Greg Olsen and analyzes an Olsen-to-the-Patriots scenario.
Albert Breer says the Patriots have an opportunity to move in and poach another Raider, CB Stanford Routt.
- Albert Breer lists a couple more restricted free agents for us to mull over: Panthers CB Richard Marshall and Broncos WR Brandon Marshall.
- Mike Reiss wonders who will fill the Richard Seymour void, assuming the Patriots lose Jarvis Green to free agency. Mike Wright and Ron Brace are the top in-house options, but the Draft might offer the best solution.
- Ian Rapoport talks with Jerod Mayo about why he permanently moved to Foxboro, five minutes from Gillette Stadium.
- Eric Ortiz says trading Randy Moss shouldn't even be a thought for the Patriots.
- Mike Reiss notes Steve Muench from Scouts Inc. thinks OLB Jerry Hughes (Texas Christian) could be a good fit for the Patriots if they go outside their prototype.
- Tom E. Curran offers his Patriots free agent outlook: QBs and Offensive line.
- Mike Reiss projects free agent possibilities for the Patriots: Quarterback.
- Christopher Price lists five free agent picks Bill Belichick would like to forget. Joey Galloway, Steve Martin, Donald Hayes, Adalius Thomas and Monty freaking Beisel.
- WEEI mocks the Draft, post-Combine. Pats pick DE/OLB Carlos Dunlap (Florida) at 22.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) AFC East: Free-agency primer.
- Mike Reiss notes the NFL Live crew talks about what the Pats need to address in the off-season. (2:25 min. video)
- Dan Parr (Pro Football Weekly) GMs, free-agents-to-be preparing for uncapped year.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) 20 questions about the uncapped year.
- Pat Kirwan (NFL.com) Top 50 players expected to be on the free-agent market.
- Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News) NFL free agents 101: Bearing a tough market. Here's a look at who is available and how the landscape has changed.
- Indy Star Colts QB Peyton Manning undergoes procedure on his neck.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Peyton Manning has neck surgery. In other words, Manning has had an injury that the Colts claim really isn't an injury, in order to prevent an accusation that they were covering up his injury.
- Phil Richards (Indy Star) Brackett faces decision today.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Could Jets lose Leon Washington too? The decision to place a 2nd-round tender on Washington didn't go over well with him.
- Peter Schrager (Fox Sports) NFL post-Combine Mock Draft: Version 3.0 - Another vote for the Pats choosing DE/LB Brandon Graham (Michigan) at 22.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) A look at Brad Butler's decision to retire at 26. Interesting article.
- Michael Lombardi (Nat'l Football Post) Did the Bears tamper with Peppers? Also, Cromartie and the Jets, and why the Eagles won't trade Vick.
- Adam Schefter (ESPN) Big names on trade block. (3:01 min. video)
- Nolan Nawrocki (Pro Football Weekly) With the 2010 Scouting Combine now closed, here is a look at 10 winners and 10 losers.
- Wes Bunting (Nat'l Football Post) Combine DBs: standouts and sliders.
- Jack Bechta (Nat'l Football Post) Turf wars at the combine.
- Paul Daugherty (SI) A novel overtime concept; two possessions, most points wins.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB Tuesday Edition: Bradford compares favorably to Ryan; 'FFF' success.
- Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) NFL, union making progress on rookie scale.