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Poole visits; Quiet on Gadsden front

With the opening of free agency on Friday, the Patriots had a number of players in for visits over the last few days, although no signings were made.

With the opening of free agency on Friday, the Patriots had a number of players in for visits over the last few days, although no signings were made. The organization showed its open interest in fullback Richie Anderson and cornerback Corey Fuller, while cornerback Tyrone Poole arrived in the area last night and will be at Gillette Stadium today.

According to numerous published reports Anderson will be mulling an offer from the Patriots while in Dallas today to visit with the Cowboys and his former head coach, Bill Parcells.

Poole, 31, spent last season with the Broncos after previous career experience with the Colts and Panthers. According to his agent, Hadley Englehard, the 5-8, 188-pound, seven-year veteran has received good interest early in free agency. Poole already visited the Kansas City Chiefs and will return to the Atlanta area after today's visit, before meeting with the his former team, the Broncos, later this week. At this point, both player and agent are just planning to let the free agency process unfold.

"We are going to just see how things unfold in terms of comfort, philosophy and money and then just go from there," Englehard said early Monday.

And while the Patriots were pursuing Anderson at fullback, it appears the team is prepared to move on without free agent fullback Marc Edwards. Edwards told the Providence Journal over the weekend that he had received a call from Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, essentially cutting his ties with the team.

"Bill called me [Friday] night and told me they were moving on," Edwards said. "I said, 'Have at it.' That's part of [free agency]."

Early interest in Gadsden is light

According to his agent, Michael Todd, the Patriots have shown little interest in Oronde Gadsden early in the free agency period. Todd said that he had sent the team a booklet and packet about is client late last week and that the team had received it, but other than that the two sides have had no other contact. Three teams have contacted Todd about the former Dolphins wide receiver who missed 10 games last season with a left wrist injury.

Gadsden was cleared to start catching passes on March 1 and is expected be fully cleared to participate in all drills by April 1. Todd said that he had heard "rumblings of interest" from the Patriots in the past, but understood that right now there is "loose" interest for a lot of teams in a lot of players this early in the process. The 6-2, 215-pound Gadsden caught just 16 passes for 228 yards in six games in 2002. In his four seasons prior to last year, the receiver averaged 52 catches for 744 yards and five touchdowns with the Dolphins.


Donald Hayes, cut earlier in the offseason by the Patriots, had a visit with the Dolphins. … New Hampshire native, University of Massachusetts alum and former Patriot Kole Ayi was tendered a contract by the St. Louis Rams. … A potential Edwards replacement at fullback, Lorenzo Neal, was taken off the market when he signed with the San Diego Chargers. … The Redskins have been the busiest team so far in free agency. Washington has made a number of moves including a trade for former Rams running back Trung Canidate and signing former Jets guard Randy Thomas and kicker John Hall as well as former Bills and Bucs quarterback Rob Johnson. … Just a reminder, Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will be reading to a group of third grade students tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Community School in Cumberland, R.I. as part of the "Read Across America" program.

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