!Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports that the Patriots and Cardinals never engaged in trade negotiations for WR Larry Fitzgerald last offseason. Earlier this week, a source told Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com that the Patriots were 'interested' in the star wideout.
"It's certainly conceivable the Patriots have had internal discussions about Fitzgerald, but any potential interest has remained in-house," writes Howe. "The Patriots have never entered any real negotiations with the Cardinals for Fitzgerald -- this year, last year, any year -- according to a source."
Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News tabs Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning as Sporting News' 2013 NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Patriots QB Tom Brady came in third place in the voting.
Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com shares his positional review of the Patriots defensive ends. He believes that adding depth will be an area of need this offseason.
"While the team has its rock-solid duo in Jones and Ninkovich as starters, depth remains an area of need," writes Yates. "A veteran with pass-rushing juice to play in a situation role -- similar to what Carter did this season -- would be a big boost."
Zuri Berry](http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/extrapoints/2014/01/rankingthepatriotsfree_agents.html)* of the *Boston Globe ranks the Patriots impending free agents, with Aqib Talib, LeGarrette Blount, and Ryan Wendell listed as the top three respectively.
"If the Patriots place the franchise tag on Talib, he would earn more than $10 million for 2014," writes Berry. "And his injury, which kept him out of action of the AFC title game, likely won't require surgery, according to Patriots coach Bill Belichick. It would be best to secure Talib long-term and continue to shore up the defense elsewhere."
Christopher Price of WEEI.com shares his "Free Agent Snapshot" of Ravens TE Dennis Pitta, and believes a Pitta-Gronk combo could be a tremendous duo.
"New England does have some options - in addition to Pitta, there are some other interesting names in free agency, including Jimmy Graham, Jermichael Finley and Scott Chandler," adds Price. "There are also a few high-level tight ends who could be around come draft weekend, including Jace Amaro, an elite pass catcher who apparently has speed to burn and great positional versatility. But if Pitta is available at a reasonable rate, the Patriots would be crazy to not at least kick the tires. The chance to add another 60-catch presence at tight end and weaken a conference rival might be too great a possibility for New England to pass up."