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Patriots.com News Blitz - 03/17/06

Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe writes that Adam Vinatieri is scheduled to visit Green Bay today. Of all the free agent happenings, Vinatieri's trip to Green Bay was of primary importance. The Packers entered free agency about $30 million under the salary cap and -- while they have used some of their space -- they still have the ability to potentially make a market-busting offer. The Packers are one of five teams in the market for a kicker, including the Patriots, Colts, Cowboys, and Falcons. Green Bay lost kicker Ryan Longwell to the Vikings in free agency, as he signed a five-year, $10 million contract with a $3 million signing bonus. The $2 million per year represents the higher end of deals for kickers, but such a contract likely wouldn't be enough to entice Vinatieri, who played on a one-year, $2.5 million package last season. Reiss also reports that the Patriots hosted ninth-year cornerback Deshea Townsend, and according to the NFL Network, had fifth-year receiver Reche Caldwell in for a visit.

John Tomase of the Boston Herald offers an update on wide receiver Troy Brown. Multiple sources close to Brown said the receiver has yet to hear from the Patriots and is miffed at a perceived lack of respect after 13 years of service to the organization. Those sources say he's prepared not to duplicate last offseason, when he spurned more money from the New Orleans Saints to return to the Pats. Brown is reported to have met with the New York Jets yesterday.

Tom Curran of the Providence Journal and Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant report that the Patriots released cornerback Tyrone Poole yesterday. The release of Poole saves the team $2 million in cap space, bringing the Patriots even further under the 2006 salary cap of $102 million.

Eric McHugh of the Patriots Ledger writes that losing Matt Chatham, Christian Fauria and Andre' Davis - to the Jets, Redskins and Bills, respectively - didn't send blood pressures soaring around here. But bidding farewell to a rising star such as Givens and a grand old man like McGinest on consecutive days is nasty 1-2 punch, even though you could argue that both of them (McGinest more than Givens) are now overpaid.

USA Today's "Inside Slant" takes a look at the loss of wide receiver David Givens to the Tennessee Titans. The Collective Bargaining Agreement extension certainly benefited the entire NFL, both owners and players, but one guy who saw immediate results was former New England wide receiver David Givens. One of the top free agents available, Givens signed a multi-year deal with Tennessee on Tuesday. The Patriots were thought to have a better chance to re-signed Givens with extra money under the salary cap thanks to the new labor deal, but the Titans made a hard push for him.

Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes. Reiss also offers his latest Patriots mailbag which discusses the departure of wide receiver David Givens and the future of linebacker Willie McGinest.

Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.

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