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Patriots.com News Blitz - 7/19/2012

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Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe reports that the Patriots came to terms on Wednesday night with linebacker Dont'a Hightower on his rookie contract. Wednesday marked the final day before Patriots rookies report to Foxborough for training camp. Young writes that "while there was no official announcement, Hightower confirmed the agreement, tweeting, 'Guess the cats out of the bag… Want to [thank] everyone who has helped me reach my dream." Hightower is the last Patriots draft pick to sign with the club.

Steve Wyche of NFL.com reports that the Patriots will meet with free-agent tight end Visanthe Shiancoe on Thursday, according to an inside source. "Shiancoe, 32, met with the Seattle Seahawks in March, but he reportedly turned down a one-year, $1.2 million contract offer," writes Wyche. The Patriots currently have five tight ends on their roster, headlined by Pro Bowler Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Shiancoe had 36 receptions for 409 yards and three touchdowns last season for the Vikings.

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com writes that defensive lineman Gerard Warren is hoping to prove his worth to the Patriots yet again after being re-signed by the club midway through last season. Reiss writes that Warren may find himself on the bubble amidst a crowded defensive line group, but he has proven himself a valuable backup in the past and could do so again this season. "This year, Warren is back on another modest one-year deal ($925,000 base salary, $50,000 signing bonus), hoping to once again prove to be one of the club's value performers," writes Reiss.

Mike Cole of NESN.com reports that receiver Brandon Lloyd is excited about working with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels this season. "His coaching style definitely resonates with me," Lloyd tells Cole. "He gets a good response out of the way he coaches." McDaniels was Lloyd's head coach in Denver when the receiver had an All-Pro season, catching a career-high 77 passes for a league-leading 1,448 receiving yards. "We had a very successful OTA and minicamp process," adds Lloyd. "We're looking forward to all of the work we're gonna have to do in training camp to be successful this season."

Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com believes that rookie cornerback Alfonzo Dennard could be left out of the mix when the club cuts its roster to 53. Rodak writes that the Patriots will probably carry five cornerbacks to start the season, with four of those slots likely held by Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Ras-I Dowling, and Sterling Moore. "The fifth cornerback will need to make an impact on special teams," writes Rodak. "While Dennard may show promise on defense, he may still lose out to potentially superior special teams players such as Marquice Cole or Malcolm Williams."

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