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Report: Vince Wilfork has asked for release from Patriots

03.13.14 at 2:32 pm ET
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Vince Wilfork has asked the Patriots to be released, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

The veteran defensive lineman, who has spent the last 10 seasons with the Patriots, is coming off an Achilles injury that left him on injured reserve for the bulk of the 2013 season. It’s believed that the 32-year-old Wilfork, a five-time Pro Bowler and former All-Pro, has been asked to take a pay cut — he was set to count $11.6 million against the cap in 2014.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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Stevan Ridley: Darrelle Revis ‘can lock down one side of the field for us’

03.13.14 at 1:37 pm ET
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Patriots running back Stevan Ridley was on NFL AM on the “NFL Network” Thursday morning, and talked about the departure of Aqib Talib, the acquisition of Darrelle Revis, as well as his own future.

On how much better cornerback Darrelle Revis makes the Patriots: “€œI think he does what [Aqib] Talib did for us. Talib is an awesome player and to let him go for the betterment of him and his family, he had a big offer on the table. He had to take it. But coach [Bill] Belichick always comes through, he always has a backup plan and to pick up Darrelle Revis, that was one of the only corners I heard about coming up as a kid and watching football. He’€™s been around a long time and he knows what he’€™s doing. I think he can lock down one side of the field for us and do everything that we need him to do as a player. So to come in on a one-year deal, he’€™s going to have to earn it but I think he’€™s done that year after year. We’€™re going to be OK.”

On if he expects a rematch of the AFC Championship Game between the Patriots and the Broncos with all of the free agent moves Denver has made so far: “€œI can’€™t get too far ahead of myself. It’€™s going to take some work to get there but of course Denver is making major moves; they’€™ve signed some big names and made some great additions to their team, with Talib first. But for us, we’€™re going to have to play to get there. Once we get there, we know what we’€™re matched up against. They had a spectacular defense at the end of the year last year and they didn’€™t make any mistakes by picking up a few free agents to add to their dominance that helped them get to the Super Bowl.”
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Read More: Bill Belichick, Darrelle Revis, LeGarrette Blount, Stevan Ridley

Free agent thoughts on Julian Edelman, Steve Smith, Brandon Browner, Jared Allen, Emmanuel Sanders

03.13.14 at 12:59 pm ET
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1. Julian Edelman‘s future could be tied to what happens with Steve Smith

The veteran Smith, who was just released Thursday morning, enters an interesting market, particularly as it relates to Edelman. There is some positional redundancy when you’re talking about Smith and Edelman, in that they are both primarily slot receivers who also have the positional versatility to line up outside. In addition, both are undersized, tough-as-nails competitors who have shown an ability to make really tough catches over the middle. The rest of their comparative resumes is a wash, at least as far as what they could draw financially: While Edelman had better numbers in 2013, is younger and has significant special teams value, Smith has shown a demonstrable ability to put up consistently good numbers over the course of a very good career, while Edelman played 16 games for the first time in 2013. (If we’re talking strictly about the length of the contract, Edelman is probably a slightly better long-term investment.) If the Ravens do go hard after Smith, that could likely take the Ravens out of the Edelman Sweepstakes. While Edelman has other options — multiple reports indicate that old friend Brian Hoyer is lobbying hard for Edelman to sign with the Browns, while the Bengals remain a possibility — the market is starting to thin out for his services. All of this doesn’t even take into account the fact that before he was released, he reportedly gave the Panthers a list of teams he’d viewed as potential trade partners: New England, Dallas, San Diego, Baltimore and Tampa Bay. When it comes to slot receivers, it’s a dynamic, fluid market at this point.

2. Brandon Browner is an intriguing possibility

According to our friend Mark Ockerbloom, the Patriots have a visit with Browner lined up for Thursday. The 29-year-old Browner, who has played the last three seasons with the Seahawks, is a 6-foot-4, 221-pound undrafted corner out of Oregon State who became a key part of the Seattle secondary over the last few years, picking off six passes in 2011. He still has to serve a four-game ban for violating the league rules on performance enhancers, but the Patriots have never been shy about going after guys like that in the past. Browner has a really intriguing skill set in that he’s a bigger corner who might be able to transition to strong safety in the New England defensive system. He played some safety when he first came into the league (before making a name for himself in the CFL), so that possibility does exist. Regardless, Browner has a visit scheduled with the Redskins for later Thursday.

3. Emmanuel Sanders and Jared Allen are still out there

Sanders, who was a potential target of the Patriots last year as a restricted free agent, figured to draw some interest this time around from New England. But to this point, the SMU product has been publicly linked to the Jags and Bucs and not the Patriots. The versatile, speedy Sanders also could be sitting down with the Dolphins in hopes of completing the Florida portion of his free agent tour. As for Allen, he appears to be one of the losers at this stage of free agency, as the defensive end saw the money that was initially earmarked for him in Denver go to Demarcus Ware. Something that could be holding up Allen’s situation is the idea that the 31-year-old could be transitioning into the next phase of his career, going from an every-down defensive end to a situational pass rusher. Of course, when that happens, you’re probably not going to get as much as you would if you were still an every-down defender. If he is able to make that move — instead of threatening to retire, as he’s already said — then the Patriots could possibly utilize him in much the same way that New England used Andre Carter in 2011 and 2013.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Brandon Browner, Emmanuel Sanders, Jared Allen

Darrelle Revis contract details starting to emerge

03.13.14 at 12:46 pm ET
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The contract information for Darrelle Revis has started to leak out, and here are the reported details.

On the surface, the deal appears to be a two-year, $32 million contract. Multiple reports indicate that Revis has a $10 million signing bonus for 2014, as well as a $1.5 million base salary and a series of per game bonuses that — if he plays most or all of the season — should put him at $12 million.

Pro Football Talk reports that the Patriots have until April 1, 2015, to pick up the option on the second year of the deal. If New England does that, it would be a $12 million roster bonus. That would be in addition to a $7.5 million base salary, as well as a series of those same per-game bonuses that would put the eventual price tag in the $20 million range for 2015.

One positive is that the Patriots can get some cap relief in 2014 by spreading the original signing bonus out over the two years, which likely will mean that Revis will count for just $6.5 million against the cap this year, that according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network. The flip side to that is that as it stands right now, the bill for 2015 could be sizable, particularly if New England doesn’t pick up the option — the dead money could be as much as a reported $5 million.

In short, it appears to be a very good deal for the Patriots for 2014, as they’ll get one of the best corners in the league on incredibly short money when compared to the other top-level corners who were on the market this year — the cap hit is $7 million. But it likely will necessitate both sides revisiting the deal at the end of the 2014 season.

Read More: Darrelle Revis,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Florida State DT Timmy Jernigan

03.13.14 at 10:57 am ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 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.

TIMMY JERNIGAN

Position: Defensive tackle

School: Florida State

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 299 pounds

Achievements: 2013 first-team All-American, 2013 second-team All-ACC

What he brings: While Jernigan isn’t a huge defensive tackle, he is disruptive and causes havoc in the middle. His biggest strength is his use of hands, using a variety of moves on opposing lineman. Jernigan can get to the passer quickly, seemingly turning it on passing downs. Analysts note that he is an average athlete, a little undersized, who needs to get better conditioned and needs to get better technically.

Where the Patriots could get him: Jernigan is expected to go in the middle of the first round, so the Patriots likely would need to trade up to get him.

Notes: The 21-year-old recorded 4.5 sacks and 63 tackles in 2013 and 1.5 sacks and 45 tackles in 2012. During his three years with Florida, Jernigan played in 39 games, serving as a backup to current Buccaneers defensive tackle Everett Dawkins in 2011 and 2012. Bjorn Werner, Jernigan’€™s teammate in 2012, was drafted in the first round by the Colts last year.

Related articles:

Campus Union: Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan to enter 2014 NFL draft

Chicago Sun Times: Combine Q&A: Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan highlights his versatility

Video: Here’s a look at Jernigan’€™s career highlights with Florida State.

Read More: 2014 NFL Draft, 2014 Potential Patriots, Timmy Jernigan,

Darrelle Revis’ business manager confirms deal with Patriots

03.13.14 at 10:22 am ET
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A day after warning that reports of Darrelle Revis agreeing to a deal with the Patriots were premature, Revis’ business manager confirmed the move.

John Geiger tweeted Thursday morning: Now it’s Official. @Revis24 has agreed to terms with the New England Patriots!

<blockquote lang=”en”><p>Now it's Official. <a href=”https://twitter.com/Revis24″>@Revis24</a> has agreed to terms with the New England Patriots !</p>&mdash; John Geiger (@JohnGeiger_) <a href=”https://twitter.com/JohnGeiger_/statuses/444108275311992832″>March 13, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Revis reportedly will make $12 million on the one-year deal, less than the $16 million he was scheduled to make with the Buccaneers before they released him Wednesday after one season in Tampa Bay. Revis spent his first six NFL seasons with the Jets.

Read More: 2014 nfl free, Darrelle Revis,

Matt Light on D&C: ‘I didn’t honestly know if [Darrelle] Revis would be that guy’ for the Patriots

03.13.14 at 10:13 am ET
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Former Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday to discuss New England’€™s acquisition of cornerback Darrelle Revis. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

ESPN’€™s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday night that the Patriots and Revis agreed to a one-year, $12 million contract.

“I did figure they’€™re going to find somebody in the free agency market, or they’€™re going to find somebody out there that’€™s got some experience,” Light said. “I didn’t honestly know if Revis would be that guy.

“I didn’€™t think Revis would say to himself, ‘€˜Hey, I’€™m going to take a little bit of a hit and go play for a guy that I’€™ve butted heads with in the past.’€™ But ultimately, though, you do look at Revis as a guy who is in that point in his career where he said, ‘I want to go win it and I want a legit shot at winning it, and I know that Bill Belichick is that guy.’ He can definitely give that opportunity to him.”

During his one season in Tampa Bay, Revis had 50 tackles with two interceptions and 11 passes defended.

“When you’€™re running with a guy like Darrelle Revis … [he’€™s] got a little bit of an edge to him,” Light said. “He can go out there and make plays, but not just make plays, but almost intimidate the other team. It’€™s only going to give a little bit of swagger to the rest of the guys that are back there with him.

“So much of that stuff is proven out throughout the week in practice, so a guy like Darrelle Revis is sitting there, he’€™s conversing with some of these young guys and they’€™re going over some strategy and he’€™s hearing some stuff from Bill that he maybe hasn’t tried before and he’€™s adding a few more tools to the box and all of those things will add up to hopefully a very confident team when they take the field.”

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Read More: Aqib Talib, Dante Scarnecchia, Darrelle Revis, Tom Brady
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