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Patriots.com News Blitz - 3/8/2012

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**Shalise Manza Young** of The Boston Globe reports that Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski are in the running to be on the cover of Madden NFL '13.  Fans will get to choose the cover of the popular video game through a bracket style tournament via Facebook.  The winner from each team will then face the winner from the 31 other clubs in the tournament.  Voting is open now and will run through March 21.  **Vote Here!**

**Karen Guregian** of The Boston Herald lists the top five "dream" destinations for Peyton Manning.  Included in her list are the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, and San Francisco 49ers.  Guregian gives the best odds of landing Manning's services to the Miami Dolphins, and writes, "With Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long protecting his blind side and a residence in Miami Beach, Manning seems to be a perfect fit for the Dolphins, who have plenty of money to spend."

**Jeff Howe** of NESN.com reports that, according to a source, the Patriots have had talks with DE Mark Anderson about a new contract.  Although nothing appears imminent as of yet, the two sides still have plenty of time to work out a deal before Anderson hits free agency.  Howe writes that Anderson enjoyed his time in New England and would like to remain a Patriot. "However, with an intriguing crop of free-agent defensive ends -- headlined by Houston's Mario Williams -- and a fairly deep draft class, the Patriots' priorities could be elsewhere."

**Jeff Howe** also reports that Wes Welker is unlikely to hold out if a contract extension isn't reached immediately.  Welker, who was designated with the franchise tag on Monday, is guaranteed $9.4 million dollars next season.  However, the Patriots have said that it's a priority to turn that into a long term deal.  Writes Howe, "several people close to Welker believe if he's under contract, he'll honor it and won't hold out for a long-term deal."

**Tom E. Curran** of CSNNE.com writes that free-agent wide receiver Brandon Lloyd is 'very interested' in hearing the Patriots pitch to sign him this offseason. Lloyd has flourished under Patriots' offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in the past, and Curran fully expects the Patriots to make a play for his services when free agency begins March 13th.  Here is what Lloyd had to say to Curran about his level of interest in playing for New England: "Very interested. And like I said earlier, I admire Coach Bill (Belichick), I admire Tom Brady, I admire how they run things over there. For any receiver to be considered to come in and play on the New England Patriots is gonna be excited just because of the history of success."

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