Free agency started off with a bang this weekend. A number of teams were active bringing in players for interviews and signing new additions to their squads. Much to nobody's surprise, the Patriots were not one of those teams.
The Patriots plan over the years has been to lay low and wait for the free agency frenzy to die down before they enter into the fray. This year appears to be no different as the team came away from the first weekend signing nobody while losing two players of their own – with others possibly following them out the door shortly.
Receiver Andre' Davis, who caught nine passes in a limited role last year with the Patriots signed with AFC East rival Buffalo. Davis reportedly signed a one-year deal worth $1.3 million. His signing may be a prelude to the departure of Eric Moulds – a player the Patriots could be interested in if he's released.
The Redskins signed pretty much every player available this weekend. The team added receivers Brandon Lloyd and Antwaan Randle El, along with former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria to help bolster their offense. The Redskins also signed former Rams safety Adam Archuleta, as they have been by far the most aggressive team coming out of the gate in free agency.
Fauria played four years for the Patriots but was relegated to being the third tight behind Daniel Graham and Ben Watson this past year. He will be sorely missed in the locker room because of his great quotes and positive attitude but at 34-years old, the Patriots weren't about to get in a bidding war for a player who caught a career-low eight passes for 57 yards last season.
The most interesting news of the weekend surrounded David Givens. Cleveland Browns.com reported the team had signed Givens about 20 minutes before the start of free agency. The story ended up being a hoax but that wasn't the end of the receiver's roller coaster weekend.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported on Sunday that Givens canceled a trip to Houston because he re-signed with the Patriots. The story was even posted here at Patriots.com. However, Givens' agent Brad Blank refuted the story, saying Givens was on his way to Houston to meet with the Texans. Houston reportedly offered Givens $18.5 million over five years but the receiver is looking for a contract in the $25 million range. He also met with the Dolphins and will fly to Tennessee to talk with the Titans on Monday.
There's been no word as of Monday on the status of kicker Adam Vinatieri. Ryan Longwell signed with the Vikings for $2 million a year and Vinatieri is expected to receive a higher offer than that. Just how much higher has yet to be determined.
Tom Ashworth visited Tampa Bay this weekend and is also meeting with the Dolphins on Monday. He's expected to consider all of his options and make a decision on his future in the next few days.
As of right now, the Patriots are losing more players than they are bringing in but that won't be the case for much longer. Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli have a certain way they like to go about free agency and unless there's a player they're really targeting, they will sit back while teams spend enormous amounts of money early on in the process. It may not be exciting but it's the Patriots way and based on the team's recent success, it's hard to argue with how they do things around here.