By: Ian Logue/
March 04, 2006

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It appears that David Givens won't be returning as a Patriot this season.

The Boston Herald reported on Saturday that with free agency set to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Monday morning, Givens will hit the open market and will likely sign with another team. Givens' agent, Brad Blank, told the newspapaer yesterday that he has had no contact with the organization since speaking to director of player personnel Scott Pioli following a playoff victory over the Jaguars on Jan. 7.

Blank also said that after talking with Pioli and hearing the reasoning behind the team's decision to let Givens walk, that he can't necessarily blame them.

"The Patriots have to make a business decision," Blank told the newspaper. "The indications and the vibe I'm getting are that they're not going to make an offer. If they give David a lot of money, it's going to impact the salary structure of the rest of their receivers, one in particular. Frankly, if I were the Patriots, I'd do the same thing. I can understand why they wouldn't want to upset that apple cart."

According to the Herald the receiver in question is Deion Branch, who is reportedly due just over $1 million in 2006 and could become a free agent next winter.

The Pats have reportedly never paid a receiver more than $2.5 million in a season (Troy Brown), and apparently that's just the value they place on the position.

One team that reportedly may be interested is the Cleveland Browns, with former Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel in need of receivers.

Blank also told the newspaper that even after Givens receives an offer, he's still going to contact the Patriots and see if they're willing to keep him.

"Even when David gets an offer, I'm going to call the Patriots and give them a chance to match it,” Blank said. "There's nothing wrong with our relationship. David loves New England. If it gets to the point where he goes somewhere else, it will be rough for him to leave, God knows, but there are no hard feelings. This is a business.”