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Patriots.com News Blitz - 3/2/2009

Now that the reality of QB Matt Casseland LB Mike Vrabel'sdeparture to Kansas City has started to sink in, the Patriots -- if not their fans -- have started to move on.

Today's *Boston Globe *is reporting that free-agent-to-be James Sandersis one no longer. The safety has apparently signed a three-year, $9 million deal to remain in New England.

"It gives him a chance to grow and become a playmaker," Sanders' agent, Steve Feldman, said in the story. "He stays in the same system with a championship team. They know him. He knows them. It was the right fit."

And the talk of Carolina's franchised defensive force Julius Pepperscoming to New England is picking up momentum. The Boston Herald makes a strong case for why the Pats might pursue Peppers in a trade.

Meanwhile, many are still debating the KC-New England trade over the weekend, in which the Patriots received the Chiefs' second-round pick in this year's draft for both Cassel and Vrabel.

*USA TODAY *offers an interesting reaction piece with comments from around the country and a chance for you to offer your opinion.

*The Chicago Tribune *is also talking about the Cassel trade.

And let's not forget, the Patriots signed valuable free agent running back Fred Tayloron the first day of free agency, as *The Providence Journal *points out.

Finally, if you still need your spirits lifted, check out the Patriot Ledger, which chronicles the Patriots Cheerleader auditions from this past weekend.

"I just want to do something for other people while I'm having fun doing my job," said one contestant.

"People don't just come to the games to watch the players; they come to watch the cheerleaders, and you can tell from all the apparel and calendars they buy that they are a huge icon in New England sports," said another.

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