Tom E. Curran offers his knee-jerk reactions to Day 1 of free agency.
1. The Patriots traditionally tread lightly at the start of free agency. Last season was an exception. But the compressed offseason was a big reason for that as New England grabbed Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth. When the Patriots signed Rosevelt Colvin and Rodney Harrison back in 2003, both were brought aboard nearly a week after free agency opened. Adalius Thomas? He was signed the day after free agency opened. Clearly, the Patriots tend to let the water settle a bit in most cases.
3. Suffice to say this Tuesday didn't make it any easier on the Patriots when it comes to getting Wes Welker a new contract by July 15. Vincent Jackson got a five-year, $55.5M deal from the Bucs with $36M coming to him in the first three years. Pierre Garcon got five years and $42.5 million with $20.5 guaranteed. Marques Colston got five years and $40 million. Former Niners wideout Josh Morgan got a five-year deal that could convert to a two-year, $12 million deal. In other words, players who haven't been as productive as Welker are getting $8 million per with $20M or more guaranteed. It makes the ballpark figure of four years, $32 million with $20M guaranteed for Welker seem that much more reasonable a request. It could make him seek even more.
4. Brandon Lloyd, meanwhile, has gone to radio silence. Given the fact the Patriots like to do their business verrrry quietly - and that's a request they make of players they're speaking with - the less you hear from and about Lloyd, the more likely he is to be in talks with New England. And what will he and agent Tom Condon agree to becomes clouded as well, with similar players getting $8 million per season.
5. Given the number of wideouts the Redskins have signed or gone after - Garcon, Morgan and Eddie Royal - it would seem that Jabar Gaffney is going to be on the outside looking in down in Washington. An effort by the Patriots to bring back "Jab", one of Tom Brady's preferred targets, seems quite likely.
8. As they look around their division, the Patriots can't feel awful about what they see happening at this week. Brandon Marshall got dealt out of Miami. He only lit the Patriots up for 13 catches and 282 yards in two meeting in 2011. The Jets' aborted run at Peyton Manning wound up in a "sorry about that" extension for Mark Sanchez that led to "Sanchise" talking about how his new deal reminded everyone he was a team leader. And the Bills are about to pour their money into Mario Williams - a helluva player but the massive contract he'll sign is going to put strain on the whole team.
- Erik Scalavino recaps the first half-day of free agency, noting the Pats reportedly re-signed Matthew Slater and Niko Koutouvides.
- Andy Hart's Ask PFW: Free agency forecast.
- Patriots Today - Winners of contest show gratitude. (1.44 min. video)
- PFW In Progress - The PFW crew discusses who the Patriots may target in free agency and what to expect. (2 hour program)
- Ian Rapoport tells us the Patriots spent the first day of free agency biding their time and just taking care of internal housekeeping.
- Greg A. Bedard posts some thoughts on the early stages of free agency, after the initial rush.
- Greg A. Bedard offers a road map of how he expects the Patriots to approach free agency.
- Christopher Price shares five early thoughts on free agency (so far) and the Patriots.
- Shalise Manza Young reports on day one of the new league year, including where the Patriots stand with their own free agents.
- Chris Gasper offers his own five free NFL free agency thoughts, including whether Mike Wallace is worth pursuing, and whether BenJarvus Green-Ellis is worth keeping.
- Jeff Howe speculates that Brandon Lloyd could highlight the Patriots' second day of free agency.
- Mike Reiss responds to fans who have expressed disappointment in the Pats' seeming inaction yesterday.
- Jeff Howe thinks Mario Williams signing with the Bills could be treacherous for the Patriots, and 19 other NFL thoughts.
- Ian Rapoport reports the Patriots re-signed LB Niko Koutouvides.
- ESPNBoston reports the Patriots are in the process of finalizing an agreement to keep Pro Bowl special teamer Matthew Slater.
- Mike Reiss notes Wes Welker could be a beneficiary of free-agent receivers' big contracts.
- Michael Holley would much rather see the Patriots trade for Mike Wallace than sign Brandon Lloyd, for lots of reasons.
- Tom E. Curran believes that Patriots backup Brian Hoyer could be an attractive piece for a team in need of a quarterback.
- Mike Reiss shares some free agent buzz he picked up along the trail Tuesday.
- Ian Rapoport gives us a brief rundown of some of the action around the league from the opening day of free agency.
- Ian Rapoport notes WR Brandon Lloyd is visiting the 49ers today.
- CSNNE reports the Broncos and Jets are interested in Brandon Meriweather.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag: As free agency begins, the Pats' strategy is anyone's guess.
- Michael Felger tells the Pats to forget the do-your-job type, they need a playmaker on defense. (1.24 min. video)
- Greg Luca (Palm Beach Post) Ex-Florida Gators WR Deonte Thompson attracts attention of New England Patriots scout.
- Bucky Gleason (Buffalo News) Belichick's cold, calculating ways pay off.
- Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) Wideouts, patient teams biggest winners on first day of free agency.
- Clifton Brown (Sporting News) All out for wideouts: Teams target top receivers as free agency opens.
- Barry Wilner, AP (Buffalo News) Wide receivers cash in on opening day of free agency.
- Matt Bowen (Nat'l Football Post) Notes from Day 1 of NFL Free Agency.
- James Walker (ESPN) AFC East free-agency mailbag.
- Brian Billick (Fox Sports) Signing expensive FAs covers up flaws.
- Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News) 2012 NFL free agency: Bears, Bucs make early splashes; Bills all in on Mario Williams.
- Updates (SI) 2012 Free Agent Tracker: AFC and NFC by team.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Chan Gailey: Bills are confident we can win the AFC East.
- Scott Brown (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) Steelers offer contracts to 6 restricted free agents. Steelers offered Mike Wallace a one-year, $2.742 million contract.
- Phil Richards (Indy Star) Colts WR Reggie Wayne agrees to 3-year deal after Garcon leaves for D.C.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB Tuesday Edition: Flynn wants to prove small body of work as starter is no fluke; mail.
- Jason La Canfora (NFL.com) Salary cap numbers for all 32 NFL teams.
- David Steele (Sporting News) Snyder, Jones apparently missed NFL's doublespeak memo.