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News Blitz 2/28: The Patriots may be interested in D'Qwell Jackson

Posted Feb 28, 2014

In this edition of the News Blitz we ask whether D'Qwell Jackson would fit in with the Patriots and we take a look at a few tight end options the team may pursue in the draft.

Tom Curran of Comcast Sports Net says that D'Qwell Jackson would make sense for the Patriots. Curran believes the Patriots are going to be one of the teams who pursue Jackson and given the connection with Mike Lombardi, it would sense. He says that Jackson has good range and ball skills in coverage that could spell Jerod Mayo and Dont'a Hightower in certain scenarios.

The Republican's Nick Underhill also believes that the Patriots may be interested in Jackson and notes that Belichick has always spoke highly of the 30-year-old linebacker. Last year, Belichick called Jackson "one of the best pass coverage linebackers in the league" and that he's always breaking up throws in passing lanes. Jackson finished the 2013 season with 139 tackles, one sack, an inteception, and a forced fumble.

"If the Patriots were to acquire Jackson, he would likely serve as depth and provide insurance if Jamie Collins is not yet ready to take on a starting role," says Underhill.

With free agency quickly approaching, Ron Borges says that Edelman needs to cash in now. In this mornings edition of the Boston Herald, Borges writes that this is Edelman's last chance to make significant money in the NFL. As a 28-year-old receiver coming off the best season of his career, Edelman is at the height of his earning power. Borges believes that it's in Edelman's best interest to go to the highest bidder, even if that's not the New England Patriots.

In a recent post, the Boston Herald's Karen Guregian wrote that Michael Hoomanawanui hopes to remain a Patriot. Starting on March 11, Hoomanawanui will be a free agent. The 25-year-old tight end said that he would love to come back to New England next year, but that he just wants a chance to play somewhere.

Whether the Patriots resign Hooman or not, many expect the team to target a tight end in the draft. The Bleacher Report's James Christensen believes that the team should pursue another "Y" tight end (Gronkowski) rather than an "H" tight end (Hernandez). He lists Troy Niklas (Notre Dame), C.J. Fiedorowicz, (Iowa) and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Washington) as potential targets. Ultimately, Christensen believes that C.J. Fiedorowicz would be the best short-term option because he is the most polished of the three and can make an immediate impact.

"That said, if the Patriots are willing to be a bit more patient, Troy Niklas looks like the better long-term investment," believes Christensen. "If he can work on his route-running and continue to improve his agility, Niklas could be the Mark Bavaro that Bill Belichick has been looking for."

Bill Belichick was named the most indispensable coach in the NFL by Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar. He says that Belichick's ability to cycle through players, coaches, and front office talent while still remaining successful each year is what sets him apart. Also on Farrar's list of indispensable coaches is Pete Carroll, Sean Payton, Jim Harbaugh, and Marvin Lewis.

Belichick certainly has been the cornerstone for the Patriots success over the past twelve years and according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, Belichick will remain with the Patriots longer than Tom Brady. Yesterday on Comcast Sports Net, Breer told Gary Tanguay and Bob Ryan that he believes Brady will be the first to go.

"I think the reason Bill Belichick stays here is because he recognizes how tough it is to get the entire operation wired the way he wants it wired. I think Bill has seen it go sideways in other places," says Breer.

But unlike in past years, Belichick will now have to run the operation without one of his most trusted assistants. Longtime Patriots coach, Dante Scarnecchia retired a few weeks ago and will surely be missed in 2014. He recently spoke at th Patriots Hall of Fame and opened up about his time in New England. The Boston Herald's Karen Guregian wrote that Scarnecchia's Q&A session was "warm, engaging, funny, and informative."

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