A day after making news about LB Dont'a Hightower, ESPN is doing it again, this time with backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo. According to the network, New England is not expected to trade Garoppolo this offseason. An unnamed source is cited as the basis of the report.
That could change, of course, if a QB-needy team offers the Patriots something too good to pass up. ESPN's report is by no means the end of this story, so, stay tuned.
Meanwhile, with nothing to add about Hightower or Garoppolo, what about CB Malcolm Butler, who's about to become an unrestricted free agent? Another ESPN blog post examines what the Patriots could and should do about Butler in the coming days.
"The sides got pretty far down the line on [a contract] extension last offseason," the author asserts, "so there's a foundation on which to build. Now that Butler has put together another solid season, it should strengthen his negotiating position. Now is a good time to spark [talks] back up again, as the Patriots have an abundance of salary-cap space."
Elsewhere, the Boston Herald provides five issues the Patriots should address this offseason and suggests they begin doing so this week at the NFL Scouting Combine. By the way, your best source this week for all Patriots-related Combine coverage is right here on patriots.com, with our team in Indianapolis giving you everything you need to know in written and video form.
Wondering about some of the big-name RBs who are available this offseason? So are several other media outlets. Here's the take on Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles from the MassLive blog, boston.com, and *Herald*.
Circling back to Hightower, The Providence Journal takes a top-to-bottom look at the Patriots’ linebacker situation heading into the offseason team-building period.
And a WEEI.com column suggests that patience is needed in the Hightower sweepstakes.