A few Patriots notes to pass along today … happy St. Patrick's Day Patriots Nation.
- The Patriots did not reach a contract agreement with Adam Vinatieri by yesterday's 4 p.m. deadline to sign franchise players, but it doesn't necessarily change the future of the Pro Bowl kicker. Under the collective bargaining agreement, any team signing a "franchise player" to a contract between March 15 and July 15 will lose the right to use the tag on any other player during the life of that player's contract. That makes it very unlikely Vinatieri or any other franchise player is signed during the four-month period. But it's also unlikely another team would attempt to sign Vinatieri. Any team that signs Vinatieri to an offer sheet that the Patriots are unwilling to match would have to compensate them with first-round picks in each of the next two seasons. Under the franchise designation, Vinatieri is tied to the Patriots for $1.787 million in 2005, the average salary of the five highest-paid kickers.
- Former Patriot offensive lineman Adrian Klemm has landed in Green Bay, signing a two-year, $2.6 million contract with the Packers. The 27-year-old Klemm, a second-round pick in the 2000 draft, was the first pick of the New England front office under Bill Belichick. He battled injuries throughout his tenure with the Patriots, landing on the injured reserve in 2001, 2003 and 2004 while playing in 26 games over five seasons. Klemm, who was an unrestricted free agent, is expected to compete for a starting spot with the Packers after the loss of guards Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera.
- One player who could draw interest from the Patriots is inside linebacker Jay Foreman, who was released Monday by the Houston Texans. Foreman, who turned 29 after the season, finished second on the Texans with 93 total tackles in 2004 despite missing the last five games of the season with a sprained ankle. A three-year starter in the Texans' 3-4 defense, Foreman led Houston with a career-high 193 tackles in 2002 and finished with 180 in 2003. A six-year veteran, Foreman spent his first three seasons with Buffalo (1999-2001) before being traded to Houston.
- When the Patriots released the official coaching staff roster for the upcoming season, it was noted by many that no member of Belichick's staff would hold the title of offensive coordinator in 2005. With former coordinator Charlie Weis having left the staff to take the head coaching position at the University of Notre Dame, Belichick appears set to assume some of the coordinator responsibilities or divide them amongst the rest of the staff, a strategy he employed during his tenure as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Current Browns head coachRomeo Crennel, who spent the last four seasons in New England as the defensive coordinator, doesn't believe the omission will impact the Patriots. "I know coach Belichick," Crennel told the NFL Network. "He has a plan for everything that he does. He has capable coaches there working with him. I don't think that will pose them much of a problem. I think they'll go right along, put the pieces in place, and do what they have to do."
- The Patriots released an update roster today. Cornerback Duane Starks, who was acquired by trade with the Arizona Cardinals, will wear No. 23 in 2005, which was worn by both Shawn Mayer and Omare Lowe last season. Quarterback Chris Redman, signed last month, will wear No. 7. Wide receiver Jake Schifino (17), cornerback Ike Charlton (41) and tackle Jeff Roehl (62) were also issued numbers.
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