Even though the Patriots may lose LeGarrette Blount this offseason, Christopher Price of WEEI.com notes that the team is still ahead of the game with its stable of running backs and the complementary skill-sets those backs possess. Although Price notes that Maurice Jones-Drew and Knowshon Moreno are still available, he believes that if the Pats want to replace Blount, they are more likely to do so with a big-bodied back in the middle rounds of the draft.
Now for some more Patriots notes:
- As far as the team’s need for a pass-rusher is concerned, although Andre Carter may want to come back to New England, it is unclear if the feeling is mutual. Given Carter’s age (he will turn 35 in May) and Jared Allen‘s price tag, both Price and Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald believe that Robert Ayers is a more realistic option to bolster the team’s pass rush and provide some support to the revamped secondary. Guregian notes that Shaun Phillips might also be a potential fit.
- Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com notes that there is a belief that, the longer Vince Wilfork remains under contract, the greater the possibility that the two sides will work something out. Wilfork, of course, requested his release from the team a little more than a week ago, but the Patriots have not obliged just yet. For his part, Reiss believes every option is still on the table as far as Wilfork is concerned, and he is intrigued to see what owner Robert Kraft has to say about the situation when he speaks with reporters at the NFL’s annual meeting in Orlando over the next several days.
- Considering the big-money deal that Jairus Byrd recently landed with New Orleans and Earl Thomas‘ impending free agency, Reiss believes the Patriots will approach Devin McCourty with a lucrative contract extension before he becomes a free agent at the end of the 2014 season.
- Reiss also expresses surprise that free agent guard Ryan Wendell, who started every game for New England in each of the past two seasons, has not garnered more interest on the open market.