Roughly 90 minutes into the NFL Free Agency period, and a lot has happened. What has happened? How does it affect the Patriots? Let me tell you:
The one thing that has happened that most effects the Patriots is that Leigh Bodden's phone has apparently begun ringing off the hook. Calls have reportedly come in from Houston, Seattle, and Pittsburgh, along with New England. He was believed to be looking for something in the neighborhood of $5-8 million per season in his next contract, and with so much interest so quickly one would imagine he's going to get that.
Many speculated that Julius Peppers might make news in a similar fashion to DT Albert Haynesworth in last year's free agency period, signing an early morning deal with Chicago worth a boat load of money. Dunta Robinson, however may be the first free agent signing as it's being reported that he may ink a contract within the next hour or so. He's expressed interest in playing for his hometown team the Falcons, and it looks like they're going to make that happen for him.
The Bears are apparently happy with three big name free agents coming to town tomorrow. As I reported earlier, they've got RB Chester Taylor and TE Brandon Manumaleuna visiting along with Peppers tomorrow.
This takes New England almost officially out of the running for DE Julius Peppers (which is great because I'm sick of hearing people speculating about him on the Patriots).
DE Kyle Vandenbosch is likely headed to Detroit still, where he'll rejoin former defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
Miami is still considered the front runner for Karlos Dansby.
Lito Sheppard is still out there (just saying Patriots front office, just saying).
The Patriots are reportedly expressing interest in former Ravens receiver Derrick Mason, who is 36 years old now and in my memory has only played for Baltimore. Despite the fact that until Joe Flacco arrived, the Ravens have almost never had a decent QB, Mason has had a stellar career. with over 11,000 receiving yards in 13 NFL seasons. One would think he'd make a solid addition to add depth to a hurting group of receivers—but then again I thought that about Galloway last year as well.