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New England Patriots Links 2/21/12 - Brandon Spikes Having Surgery Today

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Surgery this am!!!! Y'all pray 4 me please ..... !

Paul Perillo takes a look at the list of Patriots' free agents and analyzes which ones are best-suited to return to Foxborough. Here are just the first few:

Mark Anderson 7th year, UFA : Anderson arrived during training camp and joined a crowded group of defensive linemen. He was considered a pass rush specialist who had a 50-50 shot of even making the roster. By year's end he was the team's most consistent defensive end. He proved to be solid getting after the passer, finishing with 10 sacks and adding two in the playoffs. But he also held up reasonably well against the run. If he's looking to ink a big-money deal he'll have to look elsewhere, but a short-term deal with little to no guaranteed money could have him back.

Deion Branch 11th year, UFA: Branch had his moments in 2011 and at other times he seemed to disappear. That's not all that unusual for a 32-year-old wide receiver. But given his age that inconsistency is likely to continue and the Patriots may be looking for more at this point. His rapport with Tom Brady makes him more attractive to New England than any other team, and his presence in the locker room is a plus. Despite those admirable traits, Branch will have to take far less money to return, and even that is an uncertainty.

Andre Carter 12th year, UFA: Carter was one of the Patriots best free agent additions in 2011 before being lost for the season to a torn quad in December. Before that he was the team's best defensive lineman, playing the run and pass with equal effectiveness. He tied with Anderson for the team lead with 10 sacks and was a constant presence in the opponent's backfield all season. He also added a dose of professionalism with his calm demeanor. But he thought his football career was over last summer and now he's a year older coming off surgery. Maybe a one-year deal for the veteran minimum (or slightly above) will be in the offing but chances are his stay will be a short one.

and more...