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Quick Kicks: Koppen reportedly returning to Patriots

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Schefter broke the news via his Twitter account late Friday morning. Per CSNNE's Mary Paoletti, Koppen's deal is for two years. A later report by NFL Network's Albert Breer indicated the pact was valued at nearly $6 million.

Koppen, a staple under center since being drafted out of Boston College in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft, missed virtually the entire 2011 season when he injured his left ankle in the season opener at Miami. He entered 2012 as an unrestricted free agent, and reportedly had visited the Tennessee Titans recently.

It appeared that Koppen had become expendable after backup Dan Connolly filled in admirably for most of the remainder of last season. Connolly, also a free agent this offseason, re-upped with New England as well last month, so it seemed like Koppen's days as a Patriots were numbered. Not so, apparently.

By retaining Koppen's services, New England maintains consistency for QB Tom Brady under center while allowing the versatile Connolly to provide valuable backup insurance, or compete for a starting guard position if Pro Bowl veteran Brian Waters decides to retire. Connolly, an undrafted player, has developed into a capable starter at both center and guard in his five seasons in Foxborough, but is probably better suited as a role-playing backup when needed.

UPDATE … As of Friday night, it seemed like the Patriots had lost free agent LB Gary Guyton, who took to Twitter to announce that he signed with AFC East rival Miami.

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