Christopher Price updates us on the status of the Patriots' rookie contracts.
Dont’a Hightower: The only unsigned member of New England’s rookie class. The Alabama linebacker, taken with the 25th overall pick, is represented by Pat Dye, Jr., of SportsTrust Advisors. Hightower is one of 14 first-round picks who remain unsigned, a group that includes the top eight picks. (Per ESPN Boston, the deal is being held up because of fourth-year guarantees.)
Mike Reiss notes NFL Network put the Patriots under the spotlight as part of its 32 teams in 32 days series, with analysts Daryl Johnston and Jamie Dukes.
Have the Patriots fixed their defense?
Johnston: "They're on the road to fixing it. I like the draft choices. They got Chandler Jones, who is going to be a good pass-rusher off the edge. Dont'a Hightower. You can see the mindset, to trade up in the first round twice, when you've traded down in the previous four drafts. They're getting Ras-I Dowling back. Alfonzo Dennard, the Big 10 defensive player of the year, some people think he could be a potential steal of the draft. We'll have to wait and see, but you could tell, when you have a wide receiver [Julian Edelman] playing in your secondary, things are not good."
Dukes: "I guess the silver lining is that they finished 15th in scoring [defense]. So at the end of the day, if they can continue to finish middle of the pack as far as giving up points, with the offense they have ... And everything we're hearing is that [Brandon] Lloyd has been that piece we thought Chad Ochocinco or Johnson would be. So adding that piece and element to [Wes] Welker and Gronk, I think they have potential to be special offensively. And it really won't matter as much as where they are defensively."
- Andy Hart gives stock ratings to each player on the Patriots defensive line.
- Paul Perillo tackles the Ask PFW mailbag: More of Wes.
- PFW in Progress - The PFW crew catch us up on the latest Patriots news. (2 hour program)
- Mary Paoletti notes the Dont'a Hightower deal likely hinges on a fourth-year guarantee
- Mike Reiss discusses an ESPN Insider piece in which Aaron Schatz (Football Outsiders) puts together his annual list of top 25 hidden talents in the NFL. Ridley, Mallett and Cannon make the list.
- Jeff Howe reports LSU alums Stevan Ridley and Joseph Addai have been working out in the intense heat and humidity of Baton Rouge.
- Tom E. Curran looks at prospective Training Camp battles: Wide receivers and Linebackers.
- Greg A. Bedard posts a review of the Patriots outside linebackers heading into training camp.
- Ron Borges says Wes Welker took away his leverage by signing the franchise tender earlier this year. (2.43 min. video)
- Mike Reiss takes a look at some key dates ahead for the Patriots.
- Mike Rodak analyzes players on the roster bubble and where they may potentially fit in 2012: LB Bobby Carpenter.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly Patriots mailbag, with many readers stumped by the Welker standoff.
- NFL Total Access (NFL.com) Brandon Lloyd: 'Sense of urgency in New England'. (2.53 min. video)
- NFL Total Access (NFL.com) 32 in 32: New England Patriots. Have they fixed their defense? (2.03 min. video)
- Elliot Harrison (NFL.com) Top 20 games of 2011 - Game 4: Ravens at Patriots AFC Championship.
- Joel Corry (Nat'l Football Post) Four players who could land an even bigger deal than Drew Brees. Tom Brady is one of them.
- Photo Gallery (SI) When pro athletes were in Little League: Bill Belichick.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFL Referees Association holding conference call Wednesday, featuring Ed Hochuli.