It's still unclear where we'll see Devin McCourty play this season, but it could make all the difference in the draft.
McCourty won’t be in the war room, but the uncertainty as to how he’ll be used in 2012 will play a sizable role in how the Patriots approach this week’s NFL draft. If they decide to make McCourty a full-time corner again, New England will likely extend itself in an attempt to nab one of the three safeties who are rated at the top of the board in hopes of building depth at a spot where they were thin last year. And if they want to keep him at safety, that will likely mean they’ll turn their attention to other areas of need, like pass rusher or interior offensive lineman. ...
... So what does that mean for the New England secondary in 2012? McCourty’s versatility gives the Patriots another option when it comes to mixing and matching their defensive backs. Bill Belichick has always preached flexibility, and that’s certainly the case in the secondary -- McCourty and Sterling Moore have played both safety and corner, and Matt Slater and Julian Edelman have also worked as defensive backs.
Mike Rodak highlights CB Will Allen's meeting with the media Tuesday morning at Gillette.
Offseason program. "It's been great. The past week and a half, just the kind of workouts that these guys are doing, it's just impressive. It just reminds you of college, and what it's about as far as trying to get in shape to play at the level you need to play at this game. I think [head strength and conditioning] coach Herold [Nash] does an excellent job. He's been kicking my butt for the past week and half, so I'm excited about that." ...
Tom E. Curran says Andre Carter's future with the Patriots is murky, but he's still rehabbing vigorously and holding out hope.
"I could not have enjoyed that season any more than I did," said Carter, who'll be 33 on May 12. "I was working with guys who just love the game of football, the Patriots organization does things the right way, the city was awesome - people wanted to know the players whether they were stars or not. It was such an amazing experience I'd love to experience it again."
- Erik Scalavino reports Wes Welker isn't 100% sure whether he'll hold out of minicamps.
- Paul Perillo tackles the Ask PFW mailbag: Headed toward the draft.
- AP Report: Patriots have only 6 picks, but that could change.
- Patriots Today - Branch talks offseason, draft. (2.10 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Checking in with Fanene. (3.21 min. video)
- Player Interviews - Deion Branch (14.24 min.) and Will Allen (5.41 min.)
- PFW in Progress - The PFW crew gets you prepared for this week's NFL Draft. (2 hour program)
- Karen Guregian says the heat is on the Patriots to add a pass-rusher.
- Mike Reiss offers his view of the Patriots' top five need areas entering the 2012 NFL Draft:
- Christopher Price reports Bill Belichick still leans heavily on pals and ex-assistants in draft evaluation process.
- Ron Borges attacks Belichick's version of "value" signings, whether in the draft or in free agency.
- Tom E. Curran asserts the Patriots have changed the way teams draft.
- Jeff Howe reports Matt Light retires as the most successful left tackle in Patriots history.
- Mike Reiss offers a few interesting thoughts on the career of offensive lineman Matt Light.
- Mike Reiss reports Matt Light keeps his quarterback safe and his Patriots teammates laughing. (Reprint from Feb. 2nd)
- Christopher Price notes Wes Welker hints that his contract talks are on hold because of the Draft.
- Jeff Howe thinks Wes Welker has every right to be ticked over the lack of contract talks.
- Tom E. Curran says the Patriots are the ones holding out, not Welker. (3.27 min. video)
- Mike Reiss reports Willie McGinest took Wes Welker to task for his "diva attitude".
- Jeff Howe sees a lot of positives to having Tom Brady participating in the Patriots' voluntary workouts.
- Mike Rodak reports Deion Branch explored the market before he re-signed with the Patriots.
- Karen Guregian catches Deion Branch talking about Tom Brady, team-bonding, Wes Welker and more.
- Mark Farinella notes Will Allen sees himself as a versatile defensive back, and could be a candidate to play the slot corner in the Pats' specialty defenses.
- Karen Guregian writes ex-Dolphins CB Will Allen is glad he doesn't have to face Tom Brady anymore.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly Patriots mailbag: Some last-minute draft thoughts.
- Mike Reiss, one thing the Patriots could do to better finish games in 2012. (2.28 min. video) , Adam Schefter and share thoughts on
- Mark Farinella says it appears as if cornerback could be a priority position in the draft.
- Jeff Howe thinks Vinny Curry could be the Patriots' pass-rushing answer in the second round of the draft.
- Nick O'Malley looks at the top 10 low-profile New England college prospects.
- Mike Reiss gives us a snapshot look at the Patriots' personnel department.
- Don Banks (SI) 2012 Wes Welker watch list.
- James Walker (ESPN) Three possible Patriots.
- Dane Brugler (CBS Sports) Projecting the draft: New England Patriots.
- Peter King (SI) One minute drill: Patriots. (1.21 min. video)
- Paul Domowitch (Philadelphia Inquirer) Eagles' drafts stand up to Patriots'.
- Matt Bowen (Nat'l Football Post) NFL Draft: Would you trade up for Mark Barron?
- Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) NFL reminds teams not to leak picks before podium announcement.
- Mike Tierney (NY Times) A finishing school of tough love for draftees.
- Andrew Brandt (ESPN) Tales from the war room. Interesting.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB Tuesday edition: Saints' reaction to latest scandal an intriguing one; mail.
- Mark Maske (Washington Post) NFL won’t take action on Saints eavesdropping allegations until legal process is complete.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) New allegations against Saints must be investigated.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Goodell on Saints' bounties: Evidence is clear, players embraced it.
- Michael Silver (Yahoo! Sports) 2012 NFL Ultimate Mock Draft: Aaron Rodgers, Colts' Jim Irsay make sweet music.
- Adam Rank (NFL.com) Mandarich, Russell, Tebow (?) lead all-overhyped team.