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Resetting list of Patriots and their own free agents 04.09.14 at 1:04 pm ET
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Will Svitek

Will Svitek

With Matthew Mulligan agreeing to a deal with the Bears on Tuesday, here’s an updated look at the Patriots 2014 free agent class. If you’re scoring at home, of its 12 free agents, New England has retained four and lost five, while three remain on the market.

Long snapper Danny Aiken: Signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
Running back LeGarrette Blount: Signed a two-year deal with Pittsburgh.
Defensive end Andre Carter: Free agent, but has expressed an interest in returning.
Wide receiver Austin Collie: Free agent.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman: Signed a four-year contract to return to New England.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher: Signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan: Singed a one-year deal with Chicago.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes: Signed a one-year deal with Buffalo.
Offensive lineman Will Svitek: Free agent.
Cornerback Aqib Talib: Signed a six-year deal with Denver.
Center Ryan Wendell: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.

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Rob Ninkovich talks Vince Wilfork, Patrick Chung and rest of Patriots offseason moves 04.08.14 at 4:20 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Rob Ninkovich talked about the additions of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner on Tuesday morning, but also addressed a handful of other topics, including the return of Vince Wilfork, the loss of coach Pepper Johnson and some of the other offseason moves made to this point by the Patriots:

On the return of Vince Wilfork: I’€™m happy I’€™ll be able to look inside and see him next to me. I’€™m happy that he’€™s still my teammate, and we’€™ll be able to go out there and win some football games.

On the offseason return of Julian Edelman — who Ninkovich referred to as “my guy” — as well as some of the other moves: We’€™ve got some great receivers coming back, and with Tom (Brady), we can pretty much do anything. Offensively, we’€™re looking good. Defensively, just adding a couple pieces, and what we have so far, those guys are tremendous talents. As a defensive end, I’€™m happy to have two great talents that can shut down two receivers at the same time. That’€™s awesome. And we have a great safety. So again, defensively, we’€™ve improved, but we’€™ve got to put in the work. That starts now. That starts in the offseason, because you have the talent, but you’€™ve got to put in the work together to get to that ultimate goal. ‘€¦ We’€™re in this thing to win. Everything that we do is directed toward winning football games. The way things work around here is to give our team the best chance of winning, and with those guys, it gives us a better chance.

On the return of Pat Chung: Pat, obviously, went somewhere else and it didn’€™t work out. Coming back, he’€™s a good football player. He’€™s a good, competitive, talented football player who obviously is going to go out there and play hard. He has experience here, he knows what to expect, and it’€™s good to have him back.

On the offseason workouts to this point: Me and (Jerod) Mayo are in there. He’s a pretty explosive guy, so I try to keep up with (him). He’s looking good right now. I’ve been training with him for a long time, and it’s always good to have somebody to push you and make you better.

On losing Pepper Johnson: Pep obviously, he was a tremendous coach in terms of having that game-time experience. But again, the coaching staff that we have here, they’re pretty good. Having Bill involved with the defense all the time, that’s helpful. Any time I have a question or there’s something going on, I’ll go right to Bill and ask him, ‘€˜Hey we’€™re doing this, we’€™re doing that, give me the stuff that I need to know.’€™ I was with Pep for awhile, and wish him all the best in the future. But that’s part of the business. You always have to adjust to changes. There’s always people leaving — coaches leaving, coaches coming. And that’s the way of type game. You deal with it and the new coach that comes in, you get them up to speed on what we’re doing, and get ready to roll.

On motivation needed to get back to AFC title game: I’€™m very motivated. I need to get back to that game and we have to win it this time. Nobody thinks about the time and effort put in to get to a championship game, and the workouts, the offseason, minicamp, training camps, 16 games you have to get through just to get to the playoffs, and then, getting to that AFC Championship Game, it’s a long road. It’€™s a lot of work, and to get back there I have to do it all over again. I’€™m up for the challenge. I want to get back there.

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Julian Edelman: Tom Brady is ‘my dawg’ 03.20.14 at 4:15 pm ET
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Julian Edelman and Tom Brady have developed quite a bond. (AP)

Julian Edelman and Tom Brady have developed quite a bond. (AP)

Julian Edelman said Thursday the prospect of signing with another team in free agency — and leaving Tom Brady — was too difficult to even think about.

“It would be very tough to leave [Brady], because he’s my dawg,”€ Edelman said Thursday on a conference call with reporters.

Edelman and Brady have grown close over the years. Whether it’s the fact that they’re neighbors in the locker room, both California natives or relish the chance to needle each other at any turn (Brady dubbed Edelman “Minitron” last season), it’s clear the two have established a good-natured bond over the last five years.

On Thursday, Edelman said Brady was a key part of the process that ultimately led him back to New England.

“€œHe let it be known that he would love to have me back and part of the team,” said Edelman, who is coming off a career-best season where he caught 105 passes for 1,056 yards and five touchdowns. “Tom is also a good friend of mine. He’€™s one of the guys who helped me develop into a professional in this league. He also told me that I have to take care of myself and my family. He kind of mentored me. It was definitely a very tough decision that you have to deal with. He would have been right there behind if I would have left or if I would have stayed there.”

Edelman, who signed a four-year deal to return to the Patriots earlier this month, has some security for the first time in his professional career — the seventh-round pick out of Kent State said Thursday he felt like if he had a bad practice, he “could potentially get cut the next day.”

“It’€™s good to have a little security and knowing that a team believes in you enough to pay you that kind of stuff, and a little security on how many years I’€™ll be here,”€ Edelman said. “I’€™ve really never been in that situation. I’€™ve always felt like if I had a bad practice, I could potentially get cut the next day.

“€œIt’€™s good to be back with this franchise.”

Here are some of the rest of the highlights of his Q&A
Read the rest of this entry »

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Resetting latest on Patriots and their own free agents at 3:53 pm ET
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LeGarrette Blount

LeGarrette Blount

Just over one week into free agency, here’s a status update on each of New England’s free agents:

Long snapper Danny Aiken: Signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
Running back LeGarrette Blount: No updates.
Defensive end Andre Carter: Carter has left the door open for a possible return — he expanded on his feelings in a recent interview with ESPN — but he remains in limbo, at least at this point.
Wide receiver Austin Collie: No updates.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman: Signed a four-year deal to return to New England.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher: Signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan: No updates at this time, but a league source has expressed to WEEI.com some optimism the Maine product could return to the Patriots in 2014.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes: Signed a one-year deal with Buffalo.
Offensive lineman Will Svitek: No updates, but like Mulligan, league sources expressed a belief that the Patriots would welcome him back at a fair market rate.
Cornerback Aqib Talib: Signed a six-year deal with Denver.
Center Ryan Wendell: No updates.

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Patriots make Julian Edelman signing official 03.18.14 at 4:21 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Tuesday they have re-signed wide receiver Julian Edelman. Here’s a portion of the press release issued by the team:

Edelman, 27, is a veteran of five NFL seasons with New England after joining the team as a seventh-round draft choice (232nd overall) out of Kent State in 2009. The 5-foot-10, 198-pounder has played in 64 NFL games with 24 starts and has 174 receptions for 1,770 yards and 10 touchdowns; 14 rushing attempts for 83 yards; 26 kickoff returns for 563 yards and 107 punt returns for 1,317 yards with three returned for touchdowns. His 12.3 career punt return average is tied for the fourth-highest in NFL history. Edelman has played in seven postseason games with three starts in his career and has 25 receptions for 248 yards and three touchdowns; two rushing attempts for 10 yards; three kickoff returns for 73 yards and 12 punt returns for 141 yards.

Last season, Edelman played in all 16 regular-season games with 11 starts and led the team with career highs in receptions (105), receiving yards (1,056) and touchdowns (6). He also returned 35 punts for 374 yards for a 10.7-yard average. Edelman also played in both playoff contests with one start in the AFC Championship Game and led the team with 16 receptions for 173 yards and one touchdown and returned five punts for 36 yards.

A quarterback in college, Edelman was converted to a returner and a wide receiver as a rookie with New England in 2009.

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Julian Edelman on WAAF: ‘It’s a good day to be back’ with Patriots at 1:20 pm ET
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Wide receiver Julian Edelman, who agreed to a new four-year deal with the Patriots over the weekend, told WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show that he’s happy to be returning to New England after dipping his toes in the waters of free agency. To hear the interview, go to the WAAF audio page.

“It’s a good day,” Edelman said from his California home. “It’s a good day to be back. It’s awesome that I get to be there for another four years.”

Added Edelman: “It’s a great situation how everything worked out. I can’t wait to get started and get back into town and jump on the horse, because we got knocked off last year, and get back to work.”

A native of the San Francisco area, Edelman had a visit with the 49ers last week, but he said his heart was with the Patriots.

“It wasn’t that tough [to decide], to tell you the truth,” Edelman said. “You go on these visits and these trips and everything and you see these wonderful organizations. I got to go home and see the Niners, and I grew up a huge Niners fan, but being in New England for the last five years, that’s just home. That’s just home for me right now. Just the way, the mentality, the team, how everything’s done, the scheme, the players, the locker room, the fans — it’s something that I couldn’t leave. I’m really glad that we were able to work something out and bring me back.”

With the Patriots, Edelman reunites with fellow Northern California product Tom Brady.

“When you get to come to work and play with one of the best, it makes it a lot easier,” Edelman said. “Especially with the kind of player and person Brady — along with a lot of other guys on the team. The teammates were definitely a huge part of that. Having the year that we had last year, we got so close and we overcame adversity and all that stuff. Hopefully we’re going to build on that and do even better.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

On the acquisition of Darrelle Revis: “He’s the best in the league. There’s usually like two or three types of corners in the National Football League. You have guys that are long, lanky, that are good at the line of scrimmage, quicker than fast, long speed, good transition. When he’s healthy he seems to have all that. He’s always very tough to compete against. It’s great to have him join the team.”

On Vince Wilfork reportedly asking to be released rather than rework his contract: “I can’t speak on that. Personally, that’s not my job on this team to make those kinds of decisions and that stuff. Obviously Vince is a great player. He’s a good friend of mine. Of course you want a guy like that around. But I don’t know what’s going on between them.”

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Preliminary contract information for Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell at 12:48 pm ET
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Here are some contract numbers for both Brandon LaFell and Julian Edelman:

According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, Edelman received a four-year deal with $17 million in base salary. In addition, there are roughly $2 million in incentives and $8 million guaranteed.

Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that LaFell’s deal with New England is a base salary of $9 million over three years, with $3 million guaranteed. In addition, his cap hits over the three years of the deal are $2 million (2014), $3.2 million (2015) and $3.8 million (2016).

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