**James Walker** of ESPN.com takes a look at the Patriots' receiving corps following the recent releases of Anthony Gonzalez and Chad Ochocinco. With the group becoming less crowded as of late, Walker lists Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney as locks to be the top three receivers. He also notes that Deion Branch and Matthew Slater are on "solid footing" to make the squad. "Branch is a veteran who knows the system well and continues to produce. A starter in 2011, Branch is a good receiver to have around for depth and knowledge," writes Walker. "Slater is New England's best special-teams player and a captain. Slater might not help much on offense, but he's one of the NFL's best in the third phase of the game. That's enough for him to stick." Julian Edelman, Donte' Stallworth and Jeremy Ebert are players listed as still having "work to do" at this point in the offseason.
**Greg A. Bedard** of The Boston Globe gives his observations from the final day of OTA media access. Of note, Bedard writes that Brandon Lloyd continues to be very impressive and did nice work in the endzone with a couple of touchdowns during Thursday's practice. "He just has terrific body control. Really think the sky's the limit for him in this offense," writes Bedard. "Of course, not having any TEs around makes Brady look at the WRs more. Those reps certainly can't hurt."
**Jeff Howe** of The Boston Herald reports that DE Andre Carter has been at Gillette Stadium working with team doctors. Carter, an unrestricted free-agent, is ahead of schedule in his rehab -- although it's too early for him to return to the practice field, according to Howe. At this point, there is no news on a new contract for the veteran pass rusher. "The Patriots released defensive end Markell Carter (on Thursday), though I wouldn't make any connection between his release and Andre Carter's presence at the facility," writes Howe. "After all, the Patriots cut two other players today and would have had ample roster space to sign Andre Carter if needed."
**Zuri Berry** of The Boston Globe writes that RBs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen have split time between the first and second team offenses during OTAs. "This will be a running back by committee situation and Ridley and Vereen will lead the way, which is why the health of each player will be more important than ever in determining touches," writes Berry. "The talented Addai will certainly push for his share of the pie, but with his history of health issues, one has to wonder how vigorously he can compete."