New England Patriots Rundown: E.J. Manuel, jersey numbers


Today’s New England Patriots has news and quick-hit talk on the new jersey numbers, the Buffalo Bills, and a pair of free agent defensive ends that the Patriots could still have interest in.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

1. According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, new New England Patriots strong safety Adrian Wilson has indeed taken the No. 24 from slot cornerback Kyle Arrington, who will now wear the No. 25. Big offseason signing Danny Amendola will don the No. 80 for the Pats, in case anybody was wondering.

2. From Luke Hughes of NESN in a piece on Patriots star linebacker Jerod Mayo, “Mayo wouldn’t describe himself as anything more than just a blue collar player, and that hardworking style may be the perfect solution to the Patriots’ recent defensive woes.”

3. Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak said that the team “continues to talk” to top available defensive end John Abraham, who is still being linked to the New England Patriots. The Titans recently brought Abraham in for a visit, and it seemed like both sides were going somewhere. Although neither side has signed, there is still interest. Mike Loyko reported that the Patriots are the front-runners for John Abraham, but I can’t help but think that the Titans are in the driver’s seat. I wonder if Abraham’s asking price is still scaring away teams, because that was the reason why the Miami Dolphins balked. I also think it’s the reason why the Patriots didn’t sign him, and I have a feeling the Pats won’t sign him, unless if he does significantly drop his demands.

4. Doug Marrone consented that rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel needs to work on his mechanics and footwork, and it is pretty obvious that Manuel’s technique is lacking. Manuel has a great arm and the kind of athleticism that was the reason why he got drafted in the first round, but he is also inconsistent and a project player overall. Adam Schefter continues to reiterate that the Buffalo Bills will start Manuel, and I think they will. But they won’t be afraid to throw in Kevin Kolb if Manuel struggles enough, but I think they will allow the growing pains to happen as Manuel develops. He has a lot of upside, but Marrone’s acknowledgement of Manuel’s shortcomings come as no surprise. I wonder, though, if the Bills will value Kolb higher as a result.

5. Ian Rapoport delivered another really interesting nugget to us, and that is that fellow veteran free agent defensive end Dwight Freeney will take visits next week. Rapoport adds that the interest in Freeney will “heat up”, and that four or five teams are currently interested, so this is something to keep a close eye on. Do you guys think the Patriots are one of those handful of teams with interest? The Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans, and Detroit Lions are three teams, per Rapoport, that have interest in Freeney, who is 33 years old and is, unlike Abraham, willing to be a situational pass rusher. Freeney knows that this is what is best for his longevity and productivity in this league as a whole, while Abraham knows he is healthy and has more time left in the tank. Abraham wants to be a full-time DE, and I doubt the Patriots would want to give into that demand either.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.