Ian Rapoport reports the Patriots are in a holding pattern with many, if not all, of their free agents.
Coach Bill Belichick told at least two of his players without contracts for 2010 that he will address their status in early February, sources said. Barring an unexpected turn of events, the belief is the rest of them also received that message.
The team has nine unrestricted free agents, including nose tackle Vince Wilfork, cornerback Leigh Bodden, tight end Benjamin Watson, defensive end Jarvis Green and running back Kevin Faulk. Guard Logan Mankins and kicker Stephen Gostkowski, both Pro Bowlers, will be restricted free agents if, as expected, there is an uncapped year.
Players such as Bodden, Green and Faulk have said they would like to return to the Pats. Wilfork, who huddled this week with his camp to create a plan for the offseason, may be hit with a franchise tag. It’s a designation he does not want.
DJ Gallo (ESPN) Pro Bowl roster changes and replacements could lead to the best game in the event's history.
Your 2010 AFC Pro Bowl quarterbacks depth chart used to look like this: Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady. Wow. Stacked. So stacked that Ben Roethlisberger -- 100.5 passer rating, 4,328 yards, two Super Bowl rings -- was only an alternate. Then Brady backed out. Rivers, too. And Peyton Manning very likely will have other things to prepare for that week. So that cleared a spot for Roethlisberger … but he turned it down to rest his injured shoulder. Your current AFC Pro Bowl quarterbacks depth chart? Matt Schaub, Vince Young and … er, umm … TBD. That's just one position on one of the teams.
Twelve roster changes have been made so far, and 24 Pro Bowlers will be in action on Sunday with the Jets, Vikings, Colts and Saints. The winners won't go to the Pro Bowl, and most of the losers won't want to play. Many more roster spots will come open to lesser players. You know what this all means? Greatest. Pro Bowl. EVER! No one wants to see legitimate NFL stars going through the motions, trying not to get hurt. That's why the ratings stink every year. We want the Woe Bowl, not the Pro Bowl.
Do you realize we are just a few more roster openings away from getting to see JaMarcus Russell try to throw the ball? Behind the Buffalo Bills offensive line? To Braylon Edwards? I can't wait. Every play will hold the potential for unimaginable hilarity. We are so close. Let's make this game as bad as possible. I want it to be crazy bad. I want to see Norv Turner coach against Wade Phillips. I want to see Nate Kaeding kick. Wait, what? Really? Those guys are already in the Pro Bowl? Oh, yes. Yes, yes, yes. Appointment television next Sunday night on ESPN.
- John Cockrell's Friday Out-Takes: Curbed enthusiasm.
- Erik Scalavino Position Snapshot: Defensive line.
- Adam Kilgore answers the question, "Are these Jets like those Pats?" and looks at both squads, broken down into five major categories: quarterback, coach, offense, defense, and how they arrived.
- Daniel Kobialka says the Patriots defense does not measure up to that of the Jets or the Colts.
- Tom Caron thinks Patriots fans should be rooting for Jets in Indy on Sunday.
- Christopher Price presents a snapshot of where the team stands at Wide Receiver: Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Sam Aiken, Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater, Isaiah Stanback, Brandon Tate.
- Christopher Price presents a snapshot of where the team stands at Tight End: Benjamin Watson, Chris Baker.
- Mike Reiss offers a 2009 positional review of where the Patriots stand at inside linebacker: Jerod Mayo, Gary Guyton, Junior Seau, Eric Alexander, Tyrone McKenzie
- Albert Breer looks at how each of the four QBs playing this week have fared in the fourth quarter this year, and where each ranked league-wide there, with Tom Brady thrown into the mix.
- Jeff Howe takes a look at each of the final four teams and their ties to both the Patriots and the New England area.
- Adam Kilgore reviews past Drafts and notes the trouble the Patriots have had identifying and evaluating running backs.
- Ian Rapoport notes ex-Pats QB Kevin O'Connell says he couldn't be happier being where he is now, with the Jets.
- Glen Farley reports New Englanders have to pick their poison, with Jets-Colts for a Super Bowl berth.
- Karen Guregian looks at Peyton Manning's comments that his decision to stay in college his senior year had nothing to do with stiffing the Jets.
- Adam Kilgore hands out his own Patriots awards for 2009: Best Special Teams Player goes to Kyle Arrington.
- Mike Reiss offers the transcript of this week's online chat. Terrific insight here as usual.
- WEEI is feeling the Draft: Tackles.
- Mike Reiss reports Steve Muench of Scouts Inc.highlights a possible second-round Draft target as the Patriots have three second-round picks – Virginia Tech defensive end Jason Worild.
- Jerry Thornton says ever since the David Tyree catch, Boston sports fans basically have been stumbling through life like Martha Coakley supporters. Dazed, befuddled and wondering how it all went so bad, so fast.
- Albert Breer notes ex-Patriot Dave Thomas found his niche in New Orleans.
Adam Kilgore reports that out of the four teams remaining, three of them have defenses run by disciples of Buddy Ryan.
- Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) AFC title game: Can Jets get to Manning?
- Charles Robinson (Yahoo! Sports) Can Brees, Favre be stopped?
- Mike Chappell (Indy Star) Winning the Super Bowl requires an elite QB.
- Bob Kravitz (Indy Star) Jets' victory was a G-I-F-T, gift, gift, gift.
- Paul Kuharsky and Tim Graham (ESPN) Double coverage: Jets-Colts.
- Jim Trotter (SI) AFC Championship game breakdown.
- Clifton Brown (Sporting News) Burning questions for all four remaining teams.
- Don Banks (SI) Why Rex Ryan's Jets look familiar to Buddy Ryan.
- Jason Whitlock (Fox Sports) You may hate Favre now, but you'll miss him.
- Michael Lombardi (Nat'l Football Post) Saints have too much offense: Brees vs. Vikings secondary is a mismatch.
- NFL Network's Playbook picks lean towards a Jets-Saints Super Bowl.