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Patriots.com News Blitz - 2/8/2008

With the NFL's free agency period scheduled to begin three weeks from today, many are pondering the future of CB Asante Samuel. He'll likely be asking for the largest contract a cornerback has ever received, but he's not ruling out a return to New England.

"There's definitely always a chance I'll be back with the Patriots," Samuel said after practicing in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. "Free agency is what you work hard for, the financial security it brings. I look forward to it, but hopefully I remain a Patriot.

The Pats may need to go on a defensive spending spree, much like they did on offense last offseason, as a Providence Journal feature points out today.

With an aging linebacking corps and free agents in nearly every spot in the defensive backfield, New England's defense could look a lot different in '08.

"I haven't thought about the future. I am having too much fun," Patriots' linebacker Junior Seau, 39, said after the loss to New York Sunday.

Other Patriots LBs, like Mike Vrabel, who'll turn 33 during training camp, are also itching for a return.

"We played a lot of snaps," he told The Boston Globe. "But we got the guys we got out there. We weren't able to make the play at the end of the game, but I'd still go out there with that same crew and take our chances again."

QUICK HITS

Speculation continues to grow that WR Randy Moss will receive the Patriots' franchise tag.

Sports Illustrated's website, meantime, offers a commentary on what Bill Belichick could learn from Tom Coughlin.

And USA TODAY takes a gander at the top questions facing the Patriots this offseason.

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