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News Blitz 4/24: Tom Brady expected to return

It hasn't exactly been a typical offseason for the Patriots and that has included Tom Brady. Brady first hinted at possible problems back when he released the final installment of his series "Tom vs. Time" and indicated his desire to spend more time with his family with some cryptic words that seemed to contradict his earlier sentiments.

Then last week ESPN.com had a story indicated that while most around the quarterback believe he will return in 2018, he had yet to communicate that fact to the team.

That situation was cleared up yesterday … sort of.

ESPN.com chatted with Brady's agent Don Yee, who said he expects Brady will return.

The drama that has surrounded Rob Gronkowski since the end of the Super Bowl when a story about his possible retirement began to gain steam also has yet to diminish, and the Patriots may be forced to deal with it during the upcoming draft.

Gronkowski is currently in the fold but hasn't been present for the start of offseason workouts, and over the weekend he didn't sound like a player who was getting ready to take part in the action anytime soon. Therefore, ESPN.com believes tight end could be an area the Patriots target in the draft later in the week.

While ESPN.com doesn't believe it is a huge need, it also takes a look at the crop of cornerbacks available.

The Boston Globe looks at Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and the rest of the linebackers available. They also focus on defensive tackle Maurice Hurst out of Michigan, son of former Patriots cornerback of the same name. The Globe tries to identify which teams might be willing to trade down with the Patriots later this week.

Boston.com offers a compilation of Patriots picks in various mock drafts.

If the Patriots are looking for an heir to Brady, the Boston Herald says the team has many options. Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta could be a good fit.

NBC Sports Boston continues to look for prototypical Patriots in the draft, focusing on Ohio State's Sam Hubbard and Wake Forest's Duke Ejiofor.

MassLive.com looks at the 20 worst draft picks in the Belichick era.

According to multiple reports, the Patriots signed veteran journeyman offensive lineman Ulrick John.

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