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Patriots.com News Blitz 3/24/05

With yesterday's news that Tedy Bruschi may sit out the 2005 season, it is clear the Patriots may need some help at the inside linebacker position. Kevin Mannix of The Boston Herald takes a look at the now rather thin free agent class of LBs, noting the team may be better off looking for help in the upcoming draft. Mannix provides background information on three top linebacker prospects: Florida's Channing Crowder, Georgia's Odell Thurman, and Barrett Ruud of Nebraska.

Mannix also has an article regarding Bruschi's new agent, Brad Blank. Bruschi, who represented himself in his last contract negotiations with the Patriots, hired Blank to advise him of his various legal rights in the wake of the stroke he suffered in February. Alan Greenbergof The Hartford Courant and Michael Parenteof The Woonsocket Call have more on Blank's hiring and the uncertainty surrounding Bruschi's immediate and long-term future.

At the NFL owners meetings in Hawaii, Ron Borges of The Boston Globe caught up with new Cleveland Browns head coach, and former Pats defensive coordinator, Romeo Crennel. Crennel inherited a Browns squad that struggled to a 4-12 mark last season. The team has made a few key signings thus far, including former Patriots guard Joe Andruzzi and Ravens cornerback Gary Baxter, but Crennel indicates the team has quite a ways to go. "I think we're starting from a pretty low point, you know, when you only win four games," Crennel said during a break in the final day of the NFL's annual meetings yesterday. "But I think there's some talent on this team."

Finally, The Providence Journal's NFL Notebook reports a lack of progress in revenue sharing talks. The resolution of revenue sharing will be key as the league looks to extend the labor agreement. "Five high-revenue teams -- Dallas, Washington, Houston, New England and Philadelphia -- contribute a lower percentage to the players' benefit package than the rest of the 32 teams," the Journal reports.

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