New England Patriots

Patriots Talk Contract with Mark Anderson, Kamerion Wimbley Rumors Heat Up

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Mark Anderson #95 of the New England Patriots reacts after he recorded a sack against Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Giants won 21-17. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Aaron DodgeAnalyst IMarch 8, 2012

Jeff Howe of NESN.com passed along an interesting tidbit of news Thursday regarding the New England Patriots and Mark Anderson, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in just a matter of days. 

Source: The Patriots have had conversations with Mark Anderson's camp, but at this point, it's still unclear if he'll re-sign.

— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 8, 2012

So while it's not a huge update by way of content, Howe does pass along the key piece of information that the team is indeed interested in retaining Anderson's services, something that was difficult to gauge considering the sizable contract it's likely going to require to keep him. 

If Anderson, 28, is willing to take a two- to four-year deal from the team at no more than $5-6 million annually, there's decent argument for the possibility of reunion in 2012. 

Co-leader in sacks compiled in 2011, Anderson racked up 10 in limited snaps and is definitely a possibility to return, but the Oakland Raiders are reportedly preparing to release their own 28-year-old blitz specialist. 

ESPN.com's Bill Williamson says barring "a major change," he expects the Raiders to release Wimbley, owner of 42.5 career sacks. The former 13th overall selection of the 2006 NFL draft signed five-year, $48 million contract last year, which becomes fully guaranteed if he's on the roster by March 17 of this year, according to Rotoworld.com.

Williamson also passes along that Wimbley's agents haven't even been speaking to Raiders officials over the last several days. From a Patriots perspective, any contractual disputes of even a semi-public nature can be seen as a warning flag.

Wimbley was also reportedly dead-set against taking a pay cut, so he's more than likely on the lookout for a respectably large deal, one that could put him out of New England's financial reach.  

At this stage it probably remains unlikely for the Patriots to get involved. This is still a compelling turn of events though as yet another premier pass-rusher looks to be freely available as New England sits in the shadows with nearly $24 million in cap space and unknown motives.

 

Interested in reading more by this featured columnist? Check out more of Aaron Dodge's work on Bleacher Report.

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