It's been six weeks since the Patriots' almost-perfect 2007 season came to an end at Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona.
Since then, the team has been laying the foundation for its 2008 season. And while, to this point, the offseason hasn't been quite as active for New England as it was a year ago, there has still been plenty of movement and many changes to the Patriots roster. Here's a look at what the Pats have done since early February.
Feb. 5 – G Dan Connolly, WR C. J. Jones, OL Jimmy Martin, and CB Tim Mixon sign future contracts
Connolly, Jones and Mixon all ended the season as members of the Patriots practice squad. None saw action on the active roster. Martin, 25, was originally drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Virginia Tech. Released by San Diego that summer, he was on and off the Minnesota Vikings practice squad throughout the 2006 season. He was out of football during the 2007 season.
Feb. 12 – LB T.J. Slaughter signed
Slaughter, 30, is a veteran of seven NFL seasons, having played in 78 career games with 32 starts. Originally selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third round of the 2000 NFL Draft, the 6-1, 233-pound linebacker has played for Jacksonville (2000-03), Green Bay (2003), Baltimore (2003-04), New Orleans (2005) and San Francisco (2006). He spent the 2007 season out of football.
Feb. 21 – Dom Capers named special assistant/secondary; Nick Caserio named Director of Player Personnel; Bill O'Brien named wide receivers coach
Capers has coached football for 36 years, 22 in the NFL, including stints as head coach of the then-expansion Carolina Panthers (1995-98) and Houston Texans (2001-05). He was also defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Miami Dolphins. "I have known Dom for a long time and respect him tremendously as a coach, particularly defensively," head coach Bill Belichick noted in the announcement. "To add a coach of his caliber is an outstanding opportunity for us. I look forward to getting to work with Dom and Dean [Pees] immediately."
Both Caserio and O'Brien received promotions. Caserio moves back to the personnel department, where he began his Patriots career, after serving last season as the team's receivers coach. O'Brien was a Pats coaching assistant in 2007.
Feb. 26 – LBs Rosevelt Colvin and Oscar Lua released
The 30-year-old Colvin spent five seasons in New England, his first having been cut short by a hip injury in Week 2. Over his Patriots career, Colvin played in 61 games with 39 starts and recorded 203 tackles (136 solo), including 26.5 sacks, one interception, eight passes defensed, six forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries. In 2007, he started 10 of the season's first 11 games and totaled 28 tackles, four sacks and an interception before being placed on the reserve/injured list with a foot injury.
Lua, 23, was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of the University of Southern California. He was placed on the reserve/injured list on Sept. 1, 2007 with a knee injury and missed his rookie season.
Feb. 29 – LB Tedy Bruschi, LS Lonie Paxton, and WR Kelley Washington re-signed; TE Kyle Brady released
Bruschi returns to the Patriots for his 13th NFL season, all in New England. Paxton, also a career Patriot, will be back for his 9th pro season. The 28-year-old Washington will be back after his first season in New England saw him play predominantly on special teams.
Brady, a 13-year NFL veteran, played just one season for the Patriots.
Mar. 3 – WR Randy Moss re-signed; Free agent WR Sam Aiken signed
After a record-setting 2007 season in New England, Moss inked a long-term deal to remain a Patriot. Moss caught 98 passes for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns last season. His 23 touchdown receptions set an all-time single-season NFL record, surpassing Jerry Rice's old mark of 22, set in 1987.
Aiken, formerly of the Buffalo Bills, has played in 64 career games with two starts over five NFL seasons, all with Buffalo. He had starred on the Bills' special teams units in his career there.
Mar. 4 – CB Jason Webster signed
With the losses of Asante Samuel and Randall Gay via free agency, the team added a player at a position needing reinforcement. "Jason is an experienced veteran who will add good depth to our secondary," Belichick declared. Webster, 30, is a veteran of eight NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers (2000-03), Atlanta Falcons (2004-06) and Buffalo Bills (2007).
Mar. 5 – WR Jabar Gaffney re-signed
With only WR Donté Stallworth defecting to the Cleveland Browns, the return of Gaffney keeps New England's high-powered pass-catching corps intact. "Jabar is a good fit for our offense," Belichick observed. "He has been a versatile and dependable player who steps up in whatever role is asked of him."
Mar. 6 – CB Lewis Sanders, S Tank Williams signed
Continuing to add depth in the secondary, New England brought in a pair of NFL veterans. The 29-year-old Sanders has played for Cleveland (2000-2004), Houston (2005-06), and Atlanta (2007). He has played in 87 career games with 25 starts. Williams, 27, began his career with Tennessee (2002-05) before moving on to Minnesota the past two seasons.
Mar. 11 – S Ray Ventrone re-signed
Ventrone spent most of the 2007 season on New England's practice squad. He was activated for the Indianapolis game in November 4, the regular season finale against the Giants, and Super Bowl XLII. The 24-year-old made his first career special teams tackle in the Super Bowl.
Mar. 14 – DL Mike Wright re-signed
Wright has spent his entire career with the Patriots (2005-present). He played in nine games with one start for the Patriots last season and recorded 12 tackles (9 solo), before being placed on the reserve/injured list with a foot injury on December 13.