Donte' Stallworth's agent got the message...the text message, that is...from his client. I want to be here. Let's get it done. I don't want to leave here without a contract.
That's one inside nugget that's revealed in a feature in this week's Sports Illustrated, which hits newsstands today. The story (also available on-line) focuses on New England's busy offseason. In particular, it documents why players like Stallworth and linebacker Adalius Thomas, who's quoted in the piece, are choosing to sign with the Pats for relatively lower contracts than they could get elsewhere.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, player personnel boss Scott Pioli, and head coach Bill Belichick are all quoted as well.
"Believe me, we've made a lot of calls the first day of free agency every year," Belichick revealed in the article. "This year was just different. We pursued guys we needed, and they wanted to come."
Patriots coaches were also seen working out New England-area college football stars this week at Boston College's Pro Day. Several players from small, medium, and large programs were there to impress pro football scouts.
The Boston Globe's* story mentions what Pats o-line coach Dante Scarnecchia was doing during the session, while the *Boston Herald* *quotes local players like Framingham wide receiver Tony Gonzalez of BC.
"I want to open some eyes," Gonzalez admitted. "I want to get into a camp and just play football."
FOX Sports, meanwhile, has an interesting new Mock Draft on its website, showing New England taking defensive players with both first-round picks.