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New England Patriots Links 3/05/10 - Free Agency Begins the NFL's 'Final League Year'

<em>Sebastian Vollmer visits a Foxboro elementary school to share his experience of coming to the US from Germany to play football.</em>
Sebastian Vollmer visits a Foxboro elementary school to share his experience of coming to the US from Germany to play football.

Albert Breer updates the status of the Patriots free agent situation as of 2am this morning:

[The] Patriots have been talking contract with a slew of their unrestricted free agents over the last 24 hours. But one player has been more in demand than all the others, and that player is Leigh Bodden.

I'm told Bodden got strong, immediate interest right at midnight, and that the Patriots were negotiating with him to and through the deadline. Something still could get done. I couldn't nail down the teams, specifically, but our pal Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times did a nice job gathering that info, identifying Seattle, Houston and Pittsburgh as potential landing spots.

Outside of that, I'm pretty sure the door is still open with all their restricted free agents, although it has to be considered an upset that Kevin Faulk -- whose contract talks have been ongoing for a few weeks -- remains unsigned.

Mike Reiss offers a Patriots free agent snapshot.

Tully Banta-Cain -- This is a case where the team and player is a good match and the sides have been building momentum toward a deal.

Leigh Bodden -- The market will ultimately dictate the final outcome, but the eight-year veteran will continue to talk to the Patriots.

Derrick Burgess -- Veteran nickel rusher could return based on the uncertainty at the position, but it wouldn't be a big deal.

Kevin Faulk -- It's hard to imagine the veteran running back playing elsewhere, although he might want to see his market value before signing a deal.

Jarvis Green -- Defensive lineman plans to test the free-agent market and it looks like both sides are eyeing a fresh start.

Chris Hanson -- Patriots seem to be exploring other options at the position at this time.

Stephen Neal -- Starting right guard has gotten lost in the shuffle a bit. While his agent said he planned to test the market, Neal is happy in New England and that makes his return a strong possibility.

Benjamin Watson -- Tight end should draw interest around the league. The crop of free-agent tight ends is not strong.

Vince Wilfork -- The sides have been close to a deal and perhaps the start of the 2010 league year, without a salary cap, is what pushes them through the finish line.