The *Boston Herald *reports head coach Bill Belichick "told at least two of his players without contracts for 2010 that he will address their status in early February," according to sources. There are nine unrestricted free agents on the team, including NT Vince Wilfork,CBLeigh Bodden,TEBenjamin Watson,DLJarvis Green andRBKevin Faulk. KStephen Gostkowskiand G Logan Mankinswill be restricted free agents if there's an uncapped 2010 season.
The inside linebacker position is discussed by ESPN Boston. Jerod Mayo, Gary Guyton, Junior Seau, Eric Alexander,andTyrone McKenziehighlight the group though not all saw playing time this past season. McKenzie, A third-round draft choice, tore his ACL in rookie minicamp and would have been third on the depth chart according to the story. Mayo led the team in tackles for the second year in a row. He recorded 113 this year despite missing three games with a knee injury suffered in Week 1 against the Bills. Guyton had 93 tackles and saw the second-most snaps by a defender behind S Brandon Meriweather. Alexander played mostly on special teams while Seau is retiring from the NFL.
Who's a possible second-round pick for the Patriots? Steve Muench of ESPN's Scouts Inc. believes Virginia Tech DE Jason Worilds could fit in. According to Muench , "He [Worilds] won't stay at defensive end. He's listed as 262 pounds but I don't think he'll weigh in close to that. He looks much lighter on film so he's going to move to outside linebacker and I think he's the perfect fit for a 3-4 team like the Patriots." However, Muench added that injury problems plagued Worilds in 2008 including his shoulder "popping in and out of the socket during games."
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According to Extra Points from the Boston Globe, the Patriots need help in the pass rush. Clemson DE/OLB Ricky Sapp is a name to keep and eye on and *ESPN's *Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both agree he's a good fit. Click here to read Kiper's and McShay's comments on Sapp.
Texas DE/OLB Sergio Kindle is another name that could be on the radar though the Patriots might have to trade up for him.