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Patriots.com News Blitz - 3/7/2012

Discussion about the impact of Peyton Manning's release from the Colts, Randy Moss, and much more in this edition of the Patriots.com News Blitz.

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**Mike Reiss** of ESPNBoston.com writes about speculations on where free-agent quarterback Peyton Manning will end up -- and if the Patriots will see him in the AFC East.  According to Reiss, two teams in the AFC East are in the mix: the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins.  While the Jets are considering making a run at Manning, others think that Miami would be a perfect fit for the veteran QB.

**Tony Massarotti** of The Boston Globe discusses how the departure of Peyton Manning from the Colts will impact the once historic rivalary between Indianapolis and New England.  Massoratti argues that if Manning does decide to join an NFC team, it will dramatically shift the balance of power in the NFL.  He writes, "For the Patriots, now more than ever, the time is now. For Peyton Manning, the same is true. And so as Manning and the Colts formally cut ties today in what is absolutely the end of an era, the impact is being felt throughout the National Football League."

**Arielle Aronson** of WEEI.com takes a look at potential Patriots draft pick Andre Branch.  The defensive end out of Clemson brings athleticism to the table and has the potential to be an impact pass rusher in the NFL.  Writes Aronson, "Branch is considered to be a good option for teams that want to convert a player to linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, which is an area of weakness for the Patriots."  If interested, the Patriots would likely target Branch with one of their two first round draft picks.  

**Luke Hughes** of NESN.com discusses the report that former Patriots WR Randy Moss "lit up" his workout for the Saints on Tuesday.  According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Moss "looked like the old Randy."  Hughes writes that if Moss continues to get good reviews from his workouts, the Patriots could at the very least take a look at a reunion. 

**CSNNE.com** reports that if Texans' All-Pro DE Mario Williams is on your Patriots free-agent wish list, you may end up dissappointed.   Citing a quote from NFL Network's Mike Lombardi during a recent appearance on WEEI, "Mario is making so much money and I think New England is going to be cognizant of Vince Wilfork's $8 million a year.  I think that's one thing that the Patriots have done a great job of -- they don't bring anybody in the locker room that makes more than some of their own players and they don't cause that dissention amongst their own team."

**Bill Williamson** of ESPN.com gives us a Vincent Jackson free-agent primer.  Williamson writes that while the Chargers are still not out of the running to retain his services, Jackson's contract will likely be in the five year, $50-million plus range.  He also lists New England as one of the favorites to land the talented wideout, along with Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, and Buffalo.  "I wouldn't be shocked if Jackson is signed within the first 24 hours of free agency. There will be a race for his services. Don't expect Jackson to conduct a tour of the league. If you hear Jackson is going on a visit, it will likely mean a deal is imminent."

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