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Patriots.com News Blitz - 1/23/2013
Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com resets the Patriots roster and takes a look at the players who are set to become free agents in March. Notable players on the list include Kyle Arrington, Deion Branch, Patrick Chung, Julian Edelman, Aqib Talib, Sebastian Vollmer, Wes Welker and Danny Woodhead. Rodak notes that the "odds are against Chung returning" to the team in 2013.
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports that the Patriots have signed multiple players to futures contracts, including LB Jeff Tarpinian, DE Marcus Benard, FB James Develin and WR Jeremy Ebert. Benard suffered a motorcycle accident 15 months ago that left him with minor injuries, but has recorded 11.5 sacks in 25 career games. "A futures contract is essentially a chance for the player to participate in camp, and the Patriots have been busy locking up their practice squad players in the wake of their playoff defeat," writes Howe.
Jeff Howe also writes that ankle surgery could be a possibility for defensive end Chandler Jones after the injury limited him to goal-line duty in the AFC Championship game on Sunday. "Jones said he would meet with the medical staff (on Monday) to find out if he needed work done," reports Howe. The 6-foot-5 rookie recorded 45 tackles, 6 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles in 14 games this past season.
Ron Borges of the Boston Herald believes that the Patriots must re-sign impending free agent CB Aqib Talib. Acquired on November 1 from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a fourth-round draft pick, Talib recorded 19 tackles and an interception in 6 games with New England.
James Walker of ESPN.com writes that it would cost the Patriots $11.4 million to franchise soon-to-be free agent Wes Welker. "That is too expensive for a one-year rental and would eat up New England's salary cap," writes Walker. "It appears it's either a multi-year extension or bust for Welker and the Patriots, who both have about five weeks to make a decision before the Pro Bowl receiver hits the open market."