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NFL free agency update: Ed Reed a possibility for 49ers

03.12.13 at 10:58 am ET
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Safety Ed Reed might join former Ravens teammate Anquan Boldin with the 49ers, according to (crediting a league source). Reed just hired David Dunn of Athletes First to be his new agent, and Dunn also represents 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke.

The 49ers could lose safety Dashon Goldson, leaving them a hole that Reed could fill.

Meanwhile, Boldin, speaking from Africa where he’s on a charity mission, told ESPN that he was surprised to be traded to the 49ers, reportedly for a sixth-round draft pick.

“It was an initial shock because I had no clue that I was going to be traded,” Boldin said, adding: “It is also a good thing. … When I look at the organization and what they’re about … and as a football team, the talent that they have … I think it’s good, a good place for me to be.”

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NFL free agency update: Broncos appear set to create opening for Dwight Freeney by cutting Elvis Dumervil

03.12.13 at 9:01 am ET
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Linebacker Dwight Freeney already is on record as saying his former Colts teammate, Peyton Manning, has been recruiting Freeney to join him in Denver and shift back to defensive end.

Broncos management appears to be on the same page, as reports indicate the team will release defensive end Elvis Dumervil by Saturday, before his $12 million base salary becomes guaranteed for 2013. That would create room for Freeney, who has spent his entire 11-year career with the Colts but was told last month he would not be retained.

Freeney, 33, is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection who holds the Colts’ career and single-season records for sacks and forced fumbles. He is tied for 21st in NFL history with 107.5 sacks. A native of Connecticut, Freeney played at Syracuse and was the 11th overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft.

Dumervil, 29, is a three-time Pro Bowler who has played all seven of his seasons in Denver, recording 63.5 sacks. He signed a six-year, $61.5 million contract extension in July 1020 but then missed the entire 2010 season with a torn pectoral muscle. He was selected in the fourth round of the 2006 draft out of Louisville.

Read More: 2013 NFL free agency, dwight freeney, Elvis Dumervil,

Report: WR Anquan Boldin dealt to Niners

03.11.13 at 4:28 pm ET
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In a move that peripherally affects the Patriots, the Ravens dealt wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the Niners on Monday afternoon for a sixth-round pick this year, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. Boldin, who was reportedly asked to take a pay cut or be released, played the last three seasons with the Ravens, catching 186 passes for 2,645 yards and 14 touchdowns in that time. However, he had a terrific 2012 postseason ‘€” he had 22 catches in the playoffs, including five receptions for 60 yards and two touchdowns in the AFC title game and six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

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Robert Kraft: ‘We want Wes’

03.11.13 at 3:33 pm ET
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With free agency set to open Tuesday at 4 p.m., Patriots owner Robert Kraft talked Monday regarding wide receiver Wes Welker, telling the New York Post, “We want Wes. We really do.”

Kraft was in New York City Monday for the NFL’s announcement of a “head health initiative.”

According to Darren Rovell, Kraft also added, ‘€œI love Wes Welker. I hope he remains a Patriot for life. Just like Tom Brady.’€

Welker, who is set to hit the open market on Tuesday, has caught at least 100 passes in five of the last six seasons with the Patriots. However, the 31-year-old receiver, who played under the franchise tag in 2012, has yet to secure a contract for 2013.

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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: SMU DE Margus Hunt

03.11.13 at 2:15 pm ET
By   |   Comments will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that might be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2013 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.


Position: Defensive end

School: SMU

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 277 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-C-USA first team, 20011, 2010, 2009 All-C-USA honorable mention, owns NCAA career record for field goals blocked (17)

What he brings: Hunt, a native of Estonia, stands out immediately for his size and kick-blocking ability. He’s described as quick and agile for his size, and has the strength to knock opposing players around when he reaches them. His height allows him to interfere with quarterbacks’ vision even when he can’t reach them. On the negative side, Hunt went to SMU to be part of the track team and only began playing football in 2009, and that rawness shows in his game at times. At 25, he’s also older than most draft prospects. While Hunt is physically gifted, he will need a better knowledge of the game and an improved ability to track receivers and ball-carriers to be truly successful at the NFL level.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 1 or 2

Notes: Inexperience and inconsistency are two of the most common knocks on Hunt, but the fact that he’s set both the world record in the discus throw (in the junior Olympics in Beijing in 2006) and an NCAA record for field goals blocked shows his athletic upside. He looks like a high-risk, high-reward option for whatever team takes a chance on him. A strong performance at the scouting combine has his stock rising.

Related articles: ESPN: SMU’s Margus Hunt aims to impress at NFL scouting combine

Yahoo! Sports: SMU DE Margus Hunt wrecks Fresno State’s offense in Hawaii Bowl upset 2013 Senior Bowl Interviews: Margus Hunt

Video: Here’s a package of Hunt highlights from 2012.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, 2013 Potential Patriots, Margus Hunt,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Iowa CB Micah Hyde

03.11.13 at 9:43 am ET
By   |   Comments will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that might be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2013 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots make a selection.


Position: Cornerback/safety

School: Iowa

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 190 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Big Ten first team (coaches, media), 2012 Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year, 2012 Team MVP, 2011 All-Big Ten second team (media), 2011 All-Big Ten honorable mention (coaches), 2010 All-Big Ten honorable mention (media)

What he brings: Hyde’s height, vertical and hand strength enable him to bat down jump balls and deflect passes. His length helps him avoid stiff-arms from ball-carriers, and his upper-body strength helps him rip off blocks. Hyde is an aggressive run defender and is solid at wrapping up receivers after the catch.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 3 or later

Notes: Hyde was arrested after an alcohol-related incident in Iowa City in October, and he pleaded guilty to interference with official acts. He was removed as team captain for the transgression. … Hyde finished his senior season with 78 tackles, 14 pass breakups, one interception, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. … Micah’s brother Marcus was a safety at Michigan State from 2006-10.

Related articles: Hawk Central: Why Micah Hyde can play in the NFL

Hawk Central: Hyde is named Big 10 top defensive player

Black Heart Gold Pants: Internet reaction to Hyde’s award

Video: Here’s a highlight package of Hyde.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, 2013 Potential Patriots, Micah Hyde,

Reports: Patriots express interest in Sean Smith, Josh Cribbs

03.09.13 at 6:16 pm ET
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The latest free agent scuttlebutt involving the Patriots includes New England showing an interest in cornerback Sean Smith, as well as return man and receiver Josh Cribbs.

‘€¢ Multiple outlets are reporting the Patriots are one of several teams who are interested in Smith, a 25-year-old defensive back who played the last four seasons with the Dolphins. The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder has five career interceptions, including two each in the last two seasons. Jason Cole of Yahoo! reports that New England is one of three teams in the mix for Smith, a group that includes the Bucs and Cardinals.

‘€¢ A report from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer indicates that New England was one of several teams already expressing interest in Cribbs. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Cribbs has value as a multidimensional offensive threat and on special teams — he had 41 catches, 518 yards in 2011, both career highs, as well as 753 rushing yards and an average of 5.9 yards per carry. In addition, last season, he returned 38 punts for 457 yards and 43 kickoffs for 1,178 yards (27.4 yards per return). That certainly would deliver a boost to the New England return game, which averaged 21.2 yards on kickoff returns in 2012, placing it in the bottom half of the NFL. According to the Plain-Dealer, along with the Patriots, the Giants, 49ers, Cardinals and Cowboys also have shown interest in Cribbs.

‘€¢ One other point that’s worth reiterating: James Harrison — who was released by the Steelers on Saturday and has taken plenty of shots at the Patriots over the years, was asked by ESPN if he was open to the idea of playing in New England. He answered: “Of course it would be nice to play with Tom Brady. I mean, who wouldn’t want to?” When it comes to the idea of Harrison in New England, it likely would be as a situational pass-rusher and (probably) not an every-down player. However, the Patriots are always looking for depth along their defensive front, and while he doesn’t have the body type that New England usually covets at that spot (think of the longer and leaner types like Willie McGinest and Chandler Jones, who measure in the 6-foot-5 vicinity as opposed to the 6-foot, 242-pound Harrison), he certainly would be an intriguing addition to the Patriots defense if he has anything left in the tank.

Read More: James Harrison, Josh Cribbs, Sean Smith,
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