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Patriots.com News Blitz - 2/20/2013
Adam Schefter of ESPN.com senses that the Patriots believe in the ability of Ryan Mallett more than other teams around the NFL, meaning that they are likely disinterested with any potential trade offers. "New England has watched him in practice and really been impressed," writes Schefter. "Even Brian Daboll, who left Kansas City and joined the Patriots in the postseason, recognized that Mallett could have won the starting job with the Chiefs -- and with other NFL franchises."
Christopher Price of WEEI.com doesn't believe the Patriots will use the franchise tag on impending free agent cornerback Aqib Talib. "One NFL insider told us that when it comes to an NFL career, the first contract is where you make your name, the second contract is where you make your money, and the third contract is where you make your legacy," writes Price. "With that in mind, expect Talib to try to cash in somewhere else."
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com doesn't see Dwight Freeney as a realistic option for the Patriots in free agency. "I just don't see it as realistic because another team is probably going to step up and offer him more, both in salary and opportunity," writes Reiss regarding the veteran edge rusher. "Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich are a solid one, two punch at defensive end in the team's 4-3 scheme from this perspective, and there is also some youth in the pipeline with Justin Francis and Jake Bequette. So while a team would never turn down the chance to add another edge rusher like Freeney, I'm not sure the need is great enough for the Patriots to get into a potential bidding war."
Chris Wesseling of NFL.com writes that Patriots WR Brandon Lloyd could be a 'potential surprise' player on the roster bubble. "After failing to fulfill expectations as the left-sideline "X" receiver in New England, Lloyd is due a $3 million option bonus on top of his $1.9 million base salary," adds Wesseling. The veteran wideout caught 74 passes last season for 911 yards and 4 touchdowns.