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News Blitz 1/22: Looking at the key offseason decisions

Posted Jan 22, 2014

The Patriots.com News Blitz gets you up-to-date on the latest team news from local and national media.

Nick Underhill of MassLive.com gives his free agent profile on Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount. While he split carries with Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, and Brandon Bolden, the powerful back amassed 772 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns over the course of the regular season.

"If the team isn't comfortable with Ridley being the chief running back moving forward, Blount could be an enticing alternative," writes Underhill. "And while it may mean nothing, Belichick was never shy when it came time to laud Blount this season."

CSNNE.com writes about a report from Nick Underhill that Patriots CB Aqib Talib did not suffer any structural damage to his knee after leaving the AFC Championship game with injury.

"A source told MassLive.com that Talib was "just banged up" after Wes Welker's illegal hit on Talib that knocked him out of the game for good early in the second quarter."

Jeff Pini of Boston.com asks his readers which Patriots free agents they would sign back to the team and which they would not resign.

In writing about free agent WR Julian Edelman, Pini writes the following:

"Edelman ended the regular season with 105 catches for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns, career highs in all categories. In the two playoff games, Edelman hauled in 16 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown. He is seen by many as this year’s Wes Welker, and the Patriots would be wise to go the other route this time around and lock up Brady’s favorite target."

Jerry Spar of WEEI.com writes that Tom Brady is out of this year's Pro Bowl and will be replaced by Chiefs QB Alex Smith.

"Brady was one of four Patriots selected for the game, joining cornerback Aqib Talib (out with a knee injury), offensive lineman Logan Mankins and special teams captain Matthew Slater," adds Spar.

Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski has also been added to the Pro Bowl team in recent days.

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald dissects the Patriots roster based on each position. He believes the key offseason decision at wide receiver is whether or not to resign WR Julian Edelman.

"And if the Pats pay Edelman, it might take them out of the running for the wishlist group of free agents (Eric Decker, Jeremy Maclin) and trade targets (Larry Fitzgerald, Vincent Jackson), considering the investment already made in the 2013 rookies," writes Howe.

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