Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com delivers his 2012 positional review on the Patriots' running backs. Of note in his "2013 Personnel Preview," Yates believes the team may be open to bringing back impending free-agent Danny Woodhead. "Woodhead would seem to be on the team's radar for a return, but could be lured elsewhere in free agency."
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com shares his "Quick-hit thoughts" and wonders whether the Patriots will bring in competition for kicker Stephen Gostkowski during training camp this summer. Gostkowski, who has the team's fourth highest base-salary for 2013 behind Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork, and Logan Mankins, converted 29 of his 35 field goal attempts last season. "Still, for a team as economically conscious as the Patriots are, I'll be interested to see if they bring a young kicker (think Robbie Gould in 2005) to camp in an insurance policy/competition type setup," writes Reiss.
Greg A. Bedard of the* Boston Globe* reports that the Patriots have agreed to terms with DE Jason Vega of the Canadian Football League. Vega, a Brockton, Mass native and former Northeastern standout, draws comparisons to Rob Ninkovich according to one CFL executive. The 6-4, 255 pound lineman recorded 12 sacks in two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald writes that Patriots restricted free agent LB Dane Fletcher (ACL surgery) believes he will be recovered in time to participate in a full offseason. Fletcher tore his ACL in the preseason opener last year and will be eight months removed from surgery when OTAs open in April. "I'm happy with how far I've come this year, even though it's not on the field," explained the 26-year-old linebacker. "Hopefully that pertains to next year, whether it's here or wherever it may be."
Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe takes a look at the total number of snaps played by each Patriots player during the 2012 season. The results showed that the Patriots "iron man" was defensive back Devin McCourty. "Though Wendell and Solder missed a total of 9 of the 1237 offensive snaps, McCourty was the team's iron man - he played in 98 percent of the total defensive snaps (1073 of 1096) and also played in 52 percent of the special teams snaps (256 of 495 - give or take one or two; couldn't find the exact number)."