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Patriots.com News Blitz - 3/14/2012
ESPNBoston.com cites a report from ESPN.com writer John Clayton saying that the New England Patriots are in the process of finalizing an agreement to keep Pro Bowl special teamer Matthew Slater. Slater, 26, was one of the team's captains last season and lined up at safety and receiver while being an important special teams player. Reiss writes, "Slater was considered a contractual priority for the Patriots entering free agency, and the interest in his return was mutual."
Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com reports that the Patriots will re-sign linebacker Niko Koutouvides to a one-year deal. Koutouvides finished tied for fifth on the team with nine special teams tackles last season.
Shalise Manza Young of The Boston Globe cites a report from Yahoo! Sports that says two "unknown" teams are in the market for running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. "However, the Yahoo! report also said that Green-Ellis could get $3-4 million per year, and it is difficult to see New England giving the former undrafted rookie that much," writes Manza Young.
Nick Underhill of MassLive.com writes that Patriots' linebacker Brandon Spikes made it known via Twitter that he wants WR Mike Wallace catching passes for New England next season. Spikes tweeted, "I really hope we sign @Wallace17_daKid !!!!!! He's blazing fast !!!!! #GoDeep #PoWwWwW!"
Christopher Price of WEEI.com gives us five early Patriots-related thoughts after the first few hours of free agency. Included are his thoughts on DL Red Bryant, who was a hot topic for the Patriots yesterday before re-signing with the Seahawks on Tuesday evening. Price writes, "The talk about the defensive tackle possibly heading to New England hit a fever pitch Tuesday afternoon, but it was quickly squelched when the Seahawks locked up Bryant with one of the first big deals in free agency."
Jeff Howe of NESN.com looks at a few free-agents that the Patriots may be interested as "Day 2" of free agency begins. Included in Howe's list are WR Brandon Lloyd, C Jeff Saturday, DE John Abraham, DT Kendall Langford, LB London Fletcher, and S LaRon Landry.