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News Blitz 2/21: Breaking down the roster

All of the day's Patriots news in one convenient place.

The start of the new league year is still several weeks away (March 14) but the Patriots and the other 31 NFL teams have been hard at work trying to analyze their rosters in an effort to prepare for 2018. is doing the same as they take a look at some positions where uncertainty exists on the Patriots roster. NBC Sports Boston takes a look at the wide receiver position and wonders what the Patriots will do with free agent Danny Amendola. Boston Sports Journal looks at how injuries impacted the defense, particularly at linebacker.

Boston Sports Journal looks at the start of the franchise tag period and some other issues surrounding the Patriots.

One player who is not set to become a free agent is Alan Branch, and the veteran said recently that he would like to play a 12th NFL season but wasn't sure where that would be. Two other free agents – Tampa running back Doug Martin and Houston linebacker Brian Cushing – won't like be joining the Patriots according to

Looking ahead to the draft, Marshall quarterback Chase Litton might make some sense for New England. says it's time for the Malcolm Butler benching story to go away. Meanwhile, Branch, appearing on WEEI Sports Radio, said he had no idea Butler would not be playing in the Super Bowl.

Finally, Pittsburgh tight end Jesse James, who's controversial lunge into the end zone caused his potential game-winning touchdown against the Patriots to be overturned in December, was relieved New England didn’t win the Super Bowl.

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