Welcome to the Patriot Way, New England Patriots news and information from around the web.
– Mike Reiss takes a look at the Patriots and their history (of hits and misses) with underclassmen and the draft. Interesting to consider when projecting players the Patriots may be targeting with so many underclassmen in this draft, particularly at positions of need.
– It has been speculated that either of the top two Patriots free agents, corner Aqib Talib or receiver Julian Edelman, could receive the franchise tag. Not everyone thinks that this is such a good idea. While I would love to have both players back, particularly Talib, the cap hit of such a move would cripple any upgrades the Patriots could make elsewhere until a longer deal would be signed.
– That being said, signing Talib is very important to the Patriots and what they do on defense.
– SI.com has an AFC East free agency primer, examining all the teams from the Patriots division and what moves they may take this offseason. At this point, I think there is almost no chance Brandon Spikes returns next season, much less the next few seasons, and I disagree with tight end Michael Hoomanawanui being gone. Unless there is a major upgrade to be had, I think Hoo-man is back next year.
– The continued development of defensive end Chandler Jones would go a long way in shoring up the Patriots defense. A consistent pass rushing threat from the outside is something this defense has been missing for many years, and at this point Jones looks like he can be that player.
– Gronk is still being Gronk.
– The NFL scouting combine is coming soon, and with it comes the chance for many fans to get their first glimpse at the players the Patriots may select. Always need to keep in mind that sometimes the best guys in shorts are not the best guys in pads (see Gholston, Vernon).