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By: Ian Logue/PatsFans.com
March 02, 2006

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As the Patriots head into their 3rd preseason game, Tom Brady is in Carolina and is likely hoping to see his first action tonight.

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Friday is the deadline for the New England Patriots to get a deal done with kicker Adam Vinatieri, and according to a quote by Vinatieri in the Orlando Sentinal on Thursday it almost sounds like the veteran has already come to grips with leaving the only team he's known during his time in the NFL.

Could this be the end of Belichick and Vinatieri's relationship here in New England?
When asked by the newspaper about his future in New England, he wouldn't get into details. However it almost sounded as though he was talking about his career in a Patriots uniform in the past tense.

"I really enjoyed my 10 years with the Patriots. It's been a great time and I have a lot of good memories in there," he told the newspaper. "The New England Patriots are bigger than I am. There have been other people who have been released, and others who have been brought in, and that team's been good no matter what."

Vinatieri also told the Sentinal that he is happy to be facing unrestricted free agency for the first time after being hit with the team's franchise tag twice. Had New England tagged him again this year he would have made $3.01 million next season.

Bill Belichick recently said that the team didn't frachise Vinatieri again this year because they didn't feel it "was the right thing to do.” He also admitted that should Vinatieri reach free agency they would cross that bridge when they finally came to it, and he's now one day away from that reality.

Fans may have a tough time speaking of Vinatieri in the past tense, however he already seems to be. Unfortunately that doesn't make his chances of staying in Foxboro sound very promising.


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