Shalise Manza Young examines the leadership issue and if it has been properly addressed.
Moves were made to change that this year, starting with the re-signing of Wilfork. Of course, as one of the best at a currently in-demand position, holding onto Wilfork was a smart football move. But it was also a good locker room move - players pay attention to how franchises treat their players, especially core players, and in pro sports, good treatment more often than not comes in the form of dollars. More than that, however, Wilfork wants to be a leader and he can fully embrace that role now that he knows he'll be in New England for the foreseeable future - which is exactly what he wanted all along.
As quarterback, Brady is naturally a leader, though he admitted that he didn't do a great job last year in that role. However, just as Wilfork's contract helped in a variety of ways, getting Brady's contract done could do even more for locker room morale because if one of the greatest winners ever can't get paid properly by New England, would anyone?
Aside from contracts, New England has also made other moves to improve things. Free agent signees Damione Lewis, Alge Crumpler and Torry Holt are all considered to be great locker room additions, and more than half of the team's 12 draft picks served as team captains for their respective college programs.
With 24 draft picks over the last two years, the desire of those players to not only welcome coaching but embrace words of advice from veteran teammates will go a long way toward restoring the Patriot Way - perhaps in a new incarnation, but with the main tenets still in place.
Josh Alper (NFL Fanhouse) Summer Scramble 2010: AFC East players to watch.
New England Patriots -- Wes Welker We know that Randy Moss is starting at one spot, but after that it is one question mark after another for the Patriots at wideout as we get closer to training camp. The biggest of those question marks is the condition of Wes Welker's knee. He returned to OTAs in June, albeit in limited fashion, and his status for the start of the season is up in the air at this point.
When Welker missed time last season, the Patriots slotted Julian Edelman into his spot. Edelman did well for a rookie converted from playing quarterback in college, but anyone who saw the Patriots' playoff loss to Baltimore or their Week 2 loss to the Jets knows that the Pats were missing something when Edelman took over for No. 83. That would explain why the Pats brought Torry Holt into the fold this offseason. Holt has seen and done everything during his long career and his lost steps won't mean as much with Moss on the other side. If Welker has to spend the first six weeks on the physically-unable-to-perform list, Holt's savvy might give him an edge on New England's possibly vacant starting spot.
- Offensive Tackle position battle. (3.46 min. video) Today -
- Ian Rapoport discovers Randy Moss and Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo teamed up for "Feed the Children" charity event.
- Christopher Price reports Patriots safety Bret Lockett joined Tom Brady and Wes Welker at their UCLA workouts.
- Jeff Howe notes it's a new year and a clean slate for a healthy Tom Brady who looks sharp and is no longer hindered by injuries.
- Christopher Price reports Mike Lombardi sees Wes Welker ahead of schedule on rehab.
- Jeff Howe sees Laurence Maroney aiming for a breakout season in 2010.
- Mike Reiss lists the best places to watch the Patriots around the country and beyond.
Mark Farinella reports the Hall at Patriot Place will open its "Cheers Through the Years" exhibit on July 8th, including the unveiling of the new Patriots Cheerleader uniforms.
- The Herald Dispatch (Huntington, WV) Randy Moss, O.J. Mayo to assist charity for local families.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Big Question: Top AFC East moves.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) The Colts may have found a new Super Bowl scapegoat.
- Mark Schlereth (ESPN) Teams ranked 32-25 in ESPN's Ultimate NFL Rankings. One AFC East team makes the list. (2.35 min. video)
- Andrew Brandt (Nat'l Football Post) Why NFL Free Agency doesn't work.
- Dave Goldberg (NFL Fanhouse) Summer lockout could be only thing to save 2011 NFL season.
- Matt Bowen (Nat'l Football Post) Is the 'lockdown corner' a luxury item?
- Randy Cross (Nat'l Football Post) Post-4th of July notes: JaMarcus Russell, holiday weekend and my football DNA.
- Matt Sohn (Pro Football Weekly) AFC East Training Camp previews - From 2009. Check out the predictions from this time last year.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Commish gave [V.P. of officiating Mike] Pereira blessing to point out mistakes.