With the NFL's new league year and free agency just a week away, teams are taking care of some business.
That includes the closing of the window to utilize franchise and transition tags, neither of which were used by the Patriots, as well as dealing with various other contract issues.
The *Boston Globe *reports that in that regard the Patriots exercised an option for receiver Kenny Britt on Tuesday but chose to not do so with defensive tackle Alan Branch. The *Globe *notes that Steelers running back LeVeon Bell did get the franchise tag, the second-straight season he may play on the one-year tender.
The Globe also passes on word that linebackers coach Brian Flores is expected to get the playcalling duties on defense in 2018, though he will not get the title of defensive coordinator following Matt Patricia's departure to Detroit.
The Herald also writes about the Britt option being picked up by the Patriots.
ESPNBoston.com explains why it believes the Patriots could not have put the franchise tag on now-former backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. ESPNBoston.com declares that Britt's return shouldn't affect the status of soon-to-be-free agent receiver Danny Amendola. The site has its report on the Britt and Branch contract decisions.
WEEI.com writes that the Patriots don't need the next Tom Brady or Garoppolo, just a good young quarterback. WEEI.com also passes along the Patriots preparing to not have a defensive coordinator in a titular sense in 2018. WEEI.com says that Brady cold turn 60 before the team drafts the next Jimmy G.
NBCSports.com writes that running back Dion Lewis is a longshot to return to the team given what he'll be asking for in free agency, while it's also no certainty that left tackle Nate Sold will re-sign with the Patriots.
NFL.com's latest mock draft has New England landing Boston College outside linebacker Harold Landry in the first round.