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LIVE: Patriots Catch-22, 10 AM - 12 PM Thu Jun 20 | 09:55 AM - 11:55 AM News Blitz - 2/21/2012

With free-agency nearly set to begin and the NFL Draft Combine looming, talk is heating up about which players the Patriots may add heading into the 2012 season. Learn more in this edition of the News Blitz.


Mike Reiss of writes about the possibility of free-agent wide receiver Brandon Lloyd joining the Patriots.  "I really admire Tom Brady," said Lloyd in an interview with PFT Live on Monday.  "I admire that organization and how they run things over there. I'd definitely be interested in hearing how I could possibly fit into that equation."

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald writes about the possibility of a long-term extension for Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.  According to the new collective bargaining agreement, Monday, February 20 marked the first day teams can designate their franchise player.  As one of football's most productive receivers, Rapoport debates whether the team should franchise Wes Welker, and what it would mean for the Patriots moving forward.

Jeff Howe of previews a talented free-agent running back class headlined by Ray Rice, Arian Foster and Matt Forte. Howe believes the best free-agent running back for New England may be Peyton Hillis of the Cleveland Browns.  "If Hillis can revert to the workmanlike role player who was an asset at Arkansas and then the Broncos and Browns, he'd be a terrific fit in the New England offense, particularly if the Patriots must replace Green-Ellis."

Christopher Price of gives his analysis of free-agent wide receiver Mike Wallace and why he might be a good fit with New England when free agency starts on March 13.  Wallace, who is a restriced free-agent, would require the Patriots to give up as much as a first round draft pick to acquire the 25-year-old wideout. Prior to the Patriots-Steelers game this past October, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick said of Wallace, "He's a big-play receiver. He's really fast. … Nobody is going to catch him, so you have to be careful about how much space he gets when he catches the ball."

Ryan Hadfield of writes about Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones and shares why he may be a potential first round draft target for the New England Patriots.  Although he was injury-plagued last season, Jones registered 39 tackles, 4.5 sacks, one forced fumble and an interception in seven games for the Orange. "(Jones) is viewed by many to be a hybrid defensive end who could play some outside linebacker," writes Hadfield. "His skill set is conducive to the 3-4 defensive scheme that the Patriots have used during much of Bill Belichick's tenure."

** reports that Brandon Spikes is undergoing surgery this morning after the Patriots' linebacker tweeted about his offseason procedure earlier today.  Spikes didn't say what he was being operated on, but he suffered a knee injury in November that caused him to miss seven games. 

Tom E. Curran of shared images of Tom Brady and Wes Welker as they vacationed together in Costa Rica. 

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