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Patriots.com News Blitz - 7/9/2007

One week from today, we'll have a better idea.

By 4 p.m. Eastern next Monday, July 16, at the latest, we'll know whether or not Asante Samuel and the New England Patriots have agreed on a new contract for the franchised-tagged cornerback.

That means this week could be an active one on the Gillette Stadium phonelines.

"The clock is ticking and we're hoping we can get back to the drawing board, if you will, but nothing's happened yet," agent Jay Bianco told The Providence Journal in a story that ran over the weekend. Bianco, along with partner Alonzo Shavers, represents Samuel.

"There's been phone messages to see if we can open dialogue."

Samuel's fellow corner, Ellis Hobbs, recently let loose on some dialogue of his own. Every so often, Hobbs updates his journal on NFLPlayers.com. Here's how he starts off his latest entry:

"During the offseason, I've just been working out and training in New England. Vacation time is over now. It's go time. Where I really get it in real hard is in the Texas heat and weather. I'm going to train in kind of two-a-day sessions where I work out in the morning and evening for the week coming up and after that I work out strictly four days a week in preparation for camp."

Hobbs goes on to talk about this offseason's Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and mini camps, the impression his newest teammates left, and what it will take to make the Pats a better team this season.

Whether Hobbs is alongside Samuel or not, USA TODAY thinks New England is still the team to beat in the NFL this year. Their complete list of all 32 teams is out today, with two other AFC teams close behind the Pats at the top.

Patriots tickets are as good as gold to many fans...if they can get them. Who sells Pats tickets and for how much has been a central issue lately. As often ends up being the case, it seems the matter may now be settled in a court of law.

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