In his blog, Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe breaks down various Patriots areas of need heading into free agency and the draft. He also notes that former Patriots safety Raymond Ventrone, who was waived by the team last week, has signed a free-agent contract with the New York Jets.
Reiss also offers a piece on the Patriots decision to franchise Asante Samuel, a move that will pay the cornerback a $7.79 million salary in the one-year deal. The decision to franchise Samuel likely means tight end Daniel Graham will test the open market when free agency begins March 2.
Shalise Manza Young of *The Providence Journal * reports that the Patriots filled the void created when wide receivers coach Brian Daboll departed for the New York Jets by promoting director of pro personnel Nick Caserio to that role. "I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with our receivers," Caserio said in a statement. "I have tremendous respect for our staff and players and am eager to join them in a coaching role."
John Tomase of the Boston Herald and [Mike Reiss](http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2007/02/20/positionchangeinfoxborough/?rssid=Boston.com / Sports / Football / New England Patriots) of the Boston Globe also offer reports on Casserio's promotion to wide receivers coach.
The Patriots Insider asks the question "Will They Return?" The Patriots face this scenario in a number of aging players who have been key contributors in recent years. For a variety of specific reasons, wide receiver Troy Brown, linebacker Tedy Bruschi, linebacker Junior Seau, safety Rodney Harrison, running back Corey Dillon and punter Josh Miller can no longer simply be penciled into the starting lineup for fall 2007 action. Find out what their likely status is in this piece.
NFL.com's Adam Schefter writes that Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who hinted at retirement after New England lost to Indianapolis in the AFC championship game, has decided to return for the 2007 season, an NFL source said.