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Patriots.com News Blitz - 04/05/06

Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe writes that cornerback Eric Warfield knows there are a few clouds hovering over him -- three DUIs -- and admits there is only one person to blame for that. Himself. "Explaining that situation, you would think after one or two, a guy would have learned his lesson. It's taken me three, for whatever reason, and that's just something I have to deal with now," Warfield said yesterday at Gillette Stadium, where he's taking part in the team's offseason program. Warfield's contract with the Patriots is a two-year, $1.51 million package, according to NFL Players Association documents. There is no signing bonus, but a $31,000 workout bonus in 2006, and a $56,000 workout bonus in 2007.

John Tomase of the Boston Herald and Tom Curran of the Providence Journal writes that cornerback Eric Warfield, the newest edition to a Patriots secondary that struggled for much of last season, spoke candidly yesterday on how he has put his life in perspective and is reinforced by twice weekly visits to Alcoholics Anonymous, where he's reminded of a road he hopes never again to travel. The 30-year-old cornerback seeks a fresh start after eight seasons with the Chiefs, but he's not about to forget where he came from or the struggles he hopes make him a better man. "It's there and it's hard to get rid of," Warfield said yesterday. "I'm trying to take this one day at a time. I've done well and I want to keep it that way."

Leading up to the NFL Draft, the Providence Journal's Tom Curran will profile a player at a "need" position for the Patriots each day. New England has 10 picks in the draft, six in the first four rounds. Their first-round pick is the 21st overall. Today Curran profiles Michigan wide receiver Jason Avant.

Chris Kennedy ofThe Republican reports that quarterback Doug Flutie was the guest speaker at the Go FIT Breakfast of Champions fundraiser yesterday at Bay Path College. After the event, he said he was still unsure whether his playing days were over, but that if he returned, it would only be to the Patriots.

Dan Pires of the *Standard Times * reports that the Patriots announced the signing of safety Mel Mitchell. Mitchell, 27, was an unrestricted free agent who had spent his entire four-year career with the New Orleans Saints. The 6-foot-1, 222-pound defensive back and special teams standout has recorded 64 career special teams tackles in 43 career NFL games. He has also four defensive tackles (3 solo), two forced fumbles on special teams, one fumble recovery on special teams, one blocked punt and one recovery of a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown.

USA Today's "Inside Slant" writes that as the month of March came to a close, ending what is generally the most active free agent period of the NFL offseason, Patriots fans were left wondering what the three-time Super Bowl champions were doing to restock a dwindling roster. While teams like the Browns, Redskins and a whole slew of others were wheeling and dealing their way through the veteran retooling process, New England signed just one unrestricted free agent, wide receiver Reche Caldwell.

Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes. Reiss also offers his latest Patriots mailbag.

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

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