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New England Patriots Links 2/09/12 - Signing Wes Welker a Top Priority

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<em>Young, undrafted CB Sterling Moore has shown enough to be a keeper in 2012</em>.
Young, undrafted CB Sterling Moore has shown enough to be a keeper in 2012.

Ian Rapoport points out the Patriots have had three seasons of 10-or-more wins, two number one seeds and a Super Bowl appearance all while rebuilding the defense.

"I like that they’re winning games," said [former Patriots VP Scott] Pioli, when asked what he likes about how the Patriots have changed on defense. "They’re still in transition. They’re developing players. The toughest thing to do is to win games while developing players. They’re doing that. They’ve got a very young team, particularly on defense. They’ve got a number of other guys they’ve kinda plugged in. But the impressive part is they’re developing players and winning while it’s going on."

"They’re rebuilding on the fly now," Pioli said. "What I know Bill is thinking is not only rebuilding it for the now, but making sure it sustains."

Christopher Price puts signing Wes Welker at the top of his laundry list of things to address in the coming months.

The wide receiver is the No. 1 priority this offseason, and while the franchise tag remains a possibility (a cost of roughly $9 million), you would have to think that Welker’s camp would love to lock down a multiyear agreement, something in the three to four-year range. Many people around the league believe that unless some team offers him a ridiculous deal, Welker will ultimately return, as he is more valuable in the New England offense than anywhere else. Welker’s reps als understand how good he has it with the Patriots. (One important thing to remember -- Welker changed agents to David Dunn and Athletes First in 2009, a group that represents other Patriots like Aaron Hernandez and Zoltan Mesko, and historically has had a good working relationship with New England.)

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Paul Kenyon reports on the free-agent questions the Pats will have to tackle as the offseason gets under way.
  • Jeff Howe reviews the quarterback position for NE and thinks they could possibly trade Brian Hoyer for a second or third round draft pick.
  • Karen Guregian talks about the tough task ahead for Bill Belichick, of getting the team past the loss and avoiding that hangover.
  • Karen Guregian looks at what happened to the last 14 Super Bowl losers, and says the numbers show bouncing back won't be easy.
  • Ian Rapoport says the Patriots have rebuilt their entire defense since the 2010 season opener and looks at how it was done.
  • Greg A. Bedard writes about how the entire offense dropped the ball Sunday, and helpfully offers a rundown of some of the miscues.
  • Christopher Price re-sets the Patriots 2012 Draft board.
  • Jeff Howe thinks Wes Welker fits too perfectly with the Patriots to let that Super Bowl drop affect his contract situation.
  • Tim Britton says the Super Bowl drop hasn't changed Welker - he wants to stay.
  • Jeff Howe notes Kevin Faulk's inactive status for the Super Bowl was a tough decision for Bill Belichick.
  • Mike Reiss joined Outside the Lines to discuss the impact of the Patriots' Super Bowl loss and a positive take on the team's future. (2.46 min. video)
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Tom Brady aggravated an existing shoulder sprain in the 3rd qtr, but did not suffer a major injury; Brian Hoyer couldn't believe Brady went back in the game without treatment; Bill Belichick is slated to play in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am today.
  • CSNNE reports Patriots LB Dane Fletcher takes to Twitter to answer negative tweets from James Harrison and Ryan Clark of the Steelers.

NATIONAL NEWS