Christopher Price of WEEI.com tweeted on Monday that he believes Sebastian Vollmer will be a Patriot next season -- either through the franchise tag or a new long-term deal. Price also thinks that the Patriots will let Aqib Talib walk, while he's still unsure about what will happen with Wes Welker.
Ron Borges of The Boston Herald reports on the status of Wes Welker. "The Patriots are simply not going to put an $11.4 million franchise tag on Welker, someone with intimate knowledge of the team's thinking said," writes Borges. "Nor is he going to get an offer better than the one he turned down in 2011." February 18 marked the first day that NFL teams can assign the franchise tag to one of their free agents. You can read more about this topic in the PFW Blog.
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com reports that Jake Ballard's recovery from knee surgery is coming along nicely, and that the tight end has not encountered any setbacks in his rehab. Reiss believes that the news is "putting him closer to competing for a spot on the Patriots' crowded tight end depth chart in 2013." Ballard was claimed by the Patriots last June after he was waived by the New York Giants.
Zach Berman of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes that the Eagles could have interest in Patriots free agent safety Patrick Chung. The Eagles could view Chung as an upgrade over current starter Kurt Coleman.
Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Cleveland Browns continue to have little interest in pursuing Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett. "They might have a chance at Alex Smith, but will have plenty of competition for his services. I still hear that Patriots backup Ryan Mallett won't be an option."