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Patriots.com News Blitz - 5/16/2006

Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe reports that Ty Law's agent, Carl Poston confirmed that his client took a physical for the Patriots last week, but there have been no substantive talks between the two parties about a contract. Poston said that while a physical is an "indication of a level of interest," it does not mean an offer is impending. "I often have clients take physicals that lead to nothing," Poston said yesterday. Law also took a physical for the Titans last Thursday, and has been in regular contact with Chiefs coach Herman Edwards.

Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe and John Tomase of the Boston Herald report that yesterday, Doug Flutie announced his retirement from the Patriots, ending a career that despite a host of highs -- a Heisman Trophy, three Grey Cup championships, six Canadian Football League Most Outstanding Player awards -- fostered debate from critics who felt he couldn't do what he seemed to regularly do: win football games. Flutie (38-28 as a starter in the NFL) was an impressive 23-9 as a starter in home games and a remarkable 12-2 (including college) as a starter in Foxboro Stadium, including 5-0 there with the Patriots. "The amazing thing with my career has been, since Day 1, I always felt like I gained strength from the fans being behind me," Flutie said. "I always felt like the critics were out there, and they were in big numbers, and the jury was always out. And I said to this day, 'I'm going to announce my retirement and they'll say, "See, I told you he couldn't do it." '

The Boston Globe offers a special section which takes a retrospective look at Doug Flutie's career and offers links to photos and articles. The most interesting aspect of the retrospective are the links to the Boston Globe front pages from Oct. 24, 1984.

Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe offers commentary on Doug Flutie's retirement. No list of inner-sanctum Boston athletic greats would be complete without the name of Doug Flutie, who yesterday became the first such luminary to announce his retirement while quoting Lynyrd Skynyrd ''Lucky Man." I'd like to thank you for the times that you have been with me I hope it meant as much to you to share these memories There's a guiding light that always seems to shine on me If I did it again I'd be happy 'til the end. "That's exactly how I feel," said Flutie. "Every word of it."

Gerry Callahan of the Boston Herald offers commentary on Flutie's retirement. Callahan writes that Flutie's long, strange journey ended not far from where it began, and it ended perfectly with the first successful drop kick in the NFL since 1941. It was vintage Flutie, innovative, unusual and more fun than recess. No one had even attempted a drop kick in public since Burt Reynolds in "The Longest Yard," but the truth is just about everyone had tried at one time or another. In the yard, in the street, on the practice field, it was something you did when you were just playing football for kicks, and there lies the legacy of Flutie.

Jesse Noyes of the Boston Herald writes that Doug Flutie might be hanging up his jersey, but at least one local company is still banking on the football star. Boston-based Eastern Bank, which signed an endorsement deal with the Heisman Trophy winner three years ago, is still gearing its game plan around the quarterback. No longer having to contend with the New England Patriots' busy schedule, the bank is hoping to increase the number of public appearances with Flutie.

Tom Curran of the *Providence Journal * reports that Doug Flutie will go from the sideline to the broadcast booth for ESPN/ABC, where he'll analyze college football.

Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe writes that Doug Flutie's retirement has left an opening on the Patriots' depth chart behind Tom Brady. And while the team might sign a veteran free agent in the coming months, Flutie said yesterday that the future No. 2 might already be on the roster. He believes Matt Cassel is ready to step up. "I would feel very confident if he became the No. 2 this year," Flutie said of Cassel, a seventh-round draft choice in 2005. "He's bright and can grasp it all. He can do the things Tom does mentally. Not everyone can handle that end of it, and I think he can." Cassel (6 feet 4 inches, 222 pounds) played in two games in 2005, with his most extensive time coming in the season finale against the Dolphins. He was 11 of 20 for 168 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Tom Curran of the Providence Journal also writes that New England has more than $10 million in available cap space at this point. It would likely prefer to sign Ty Law to a deal near the veteran minimum but laced with incentives that would allow Law to be compensated in the manner to which he's become accustomed. For Law, a possible Hall of Famer, returning to the Patriots to close out a great career makes sense if it's his legacy he's interested in. He would be positioned to become one of the few corners in league history to win four Super Bowls if New England rises again, and he also could set the Pats' record for career interceptions (he's tied with Raymond Clayborn at 36). Curran also offers Patriots notes in which he reports that the Patriots signed two rookie free agents yesterday. The Patriots added Patrick Cobbs, a 5-foot-9, 205-pound running back from the University of North Texas and Jakari Wallace, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound wide receiver from the University of Minnesota.

Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes. Reiss also offers his latest Patriots mailbag.

Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.

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