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Patriots.com News Blitz - 3/11/2013

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Peter King of Sports Illustrated writes in his "Monday Morning QB" column that Wes Welker is "widely believed to be staying in New England." Welker, who is ranked No. 10 in King's 'Top 50 NFL Free Agents' list, recorded 118 receptions last season.

Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald reports that several teams showed interest in free agent Kyle Arrington over the weekend. Even so, Howe writes that there is still mutual interest between Arrington and the Patriots to remain together. "I started something four years ago in New England I think both sides would definitely love to see through," Arrington said last night. "I definitely want everything to work out, but I understand the business side of it. We'll see. We'll definitely work to get something done."

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com believes that re-signing free agent CB Aqib Talib is the Patriots' preference. This comes on the heels of a Yahoo! Sports report that New England is also in the mix for Miami cornerback Sean Smith. "I'm not sure the Patriots could pull it off financially, but the possibility of a Talib-Smith 1-2 punch at cornerback would go a long way toward quieting critics who have pointed out some of Belichick's struggles drafting at the position," adds Reiss. "Making such an investment would be authoritative and very much out of character for the Patriots, but pondering such a scenario is part of what makes free agency fun."

Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald reports that the Patriots are interested in re-signing veteran wide receiver Donte' Stallworth. "But that transaction, if it happens, would be on the back burner for a bit while teams take care of the bigger players early in free agency," notes Howe. Stallworth appeared in one game for the Patriots last season - recording one catch for a 63-yard touchdown - before being placed on injured reserve in December.

Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer reports that one NFL source still expects the Cleveland Browns to pursue a trade for Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett. "Another [source] said Patriots coach Bill Belichick won't part with him. The Boston Globe recently reported it would take at least a second-round pick to land Mallett, a former third-rounder."

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