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Patriots.com News Blitz - 3/26/2012
Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com writes that, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco has agreed to restructure his contract. "Ochocinco's base salary for 2012 will be reduced from $3 million to $1 million, likely meaning that Ochocinco has taken a pay cut to stay with New England," writes Rodak. He also notes that Ochocinco will likely be competing for a roster spot during training camp this summer, with Brandon Lloyd, Donte' Stallworth, and Anthony Gonzalez joining the team this offseason.
Greg A. Bedard of The Boston Globe reports that the Patriots are close to signing FB Tony Fiammetta, according to a league source. Fiammetta, 25, played with the Cowboys last season and would give the Patriots three fullbacks on their roster. Bedard writes, "Apparently, new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is aiming to run a little bit more of a two-back offense, which was largely non-existent under Bill O'Brien outside of short yardage." Fiammetta played an importnat role for the Cowboys last season before missing three games with an inner-ear infection that caused balance issues.
Ian R. Rapoport of The Boston Herald believes this could be the week that Wes Welker and the Patriots agree on a long-term deal. Rapoport reports that Welker's agent is working hard in Palm Beach at the NFL Annual Meetings, and that the issue will come up since most of the Patriots personnel people are in town as well. "Wes is, he's another special guy, sorta like BenJarvus (Green-Ellis)," said Patriots owner Robert Kraft. I'm happy he's part of our team this year, and I hope he'll be part of of our team long-term. He represents everything we love."
CSNNE.com writes about Tom Brady's newly-restructured contract and wonders where the money will go, according to SI's Peter King. "I don't see them using it on one player," says King appearing on NBC's Sports Talk. "I don't see them going crazy at anybody left in free agency, I see them sprinkling that money dust all over the roster."
Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com wonders if the Patriots should look at bringing back Asante Samuel. According to a report, the Eagles are interested in moving Samuel's $9.5 million salary before the draft. Curran writes, "He's 31 and whoever trades for him is either going to need the cap room to assume that salary, or they'll need to get him to shave that figure down."