Some good stories this morning, so let’s get to today’s Patriots headlines. 

Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski may be just three months removed from a quad injury that sidelined him for the season, but Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe reports that his rehabilitation is going well and that he expects to be ready to go by next season.

“I feel real good,’’ Gostkowski said during a visit to Children’s Hospital Boston. “From where I was, having surgery and on crutches for a couple weeks, you’re pretty down then, but you progress every day. [Doctors and trainers] reiterate to me that they see no problems moving forward, and you just have to trust them.’’

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com also has a piece on Gostkowski, who he points out is the only kicker under contract for New England heading into next season.  He also has an article on Gostkowski’s visit at the hospital, which the kids really ‘got a kick out of’.

While Gostkowski spent yesterday visiting the Children’s Hospital, Patriots center Dan Koppen visited Saint Agnes Elementary School in Arlington yesterday because of an award-winning essay composed by third-grader Christian Gomez.  There are a couple of photos from the event, and good for Koppen for being the guy to make the appearance yesterday as the kids appeared to really enjoy it.

NESN’s Jeff Howe is putting together this week’s mailbag, and fans can CLICK HERE to submit any questions they’d like to have answered by the NESN beat writer.

Howe also looks at a couple of potential free agents for the Patriots, including Nnamdi Asomugha and Eric Wright, who he writes may be the best fit for the Patriots.

Shalise Manza Young has her own “Ask Shalise” column for this week, where she answers quite a few questions, including “Will there be an NFL Draft?” 

ESPN is holding a chat later today with former Patriot Jarvis Green.  For any interested fans, here is the link if you’d like to participate.

Raiders owner Al Davis had said this offseason that they wanted to keep former Patriot Richard Seymour in the fold, and they’ve done so for at least the next two seasons.  The San Jose Mercury News reports that Oakland has given him a 2-year contract, which includes $22.5 million guaranteed.

Caroline Moreau of NESN.com has a column this morning on the current labor situation, and writes that the NFL Owners Do Not Need More Money, But NFL Fans Certainly Need Football.

WEEI.com has a look at draft prospect cornerback Brandon Harris from the University of Miami.

Some fans have discussed the possibility of the Patriots potentially taking a runningback in this year’s draft.  The Sporting News has an article on the fact that teams need to be patient when trying to find someone at this position, pointing out that it was ultimately undrafted free agent BenJarvus Green-Ellis who earned the starting role here in New England.

Michael Hurley of NESN has a picture of DJ Pauly D posing with Aaron Rodgers.   The Jersey Shore star is reportedly a Patriots fan, and like the rest of New England was rooting for the Packers to knock out the Steelers in this past Super Bowl.

Christopher Gasper has ‘five thoughts from the Fort’, and he points out that the language the Patriots used in their release announcing they had placed the franchise tag on guard Logan Mankins was nearly identical to the verbiage they used last year in tagging nose tackle Vince Wilfork.

“….Vince is a tremendous player for our team and remains a significant part of our future plans. It is because of Vince’s importance to this organization that we have assigned the franchise designation as we continue to work toward a long-term agreement. We are hopeful that Vince will remain a Patriot for many years to come.”

“Logan Mankins is a tremendous player…and he remains an important part of our future plans. Unfortunately, we have not been able to reach a long-term agreement, despite many attempts and proposals by both sides. That remains our objective in utilizing the franchise designation and we are hopeful that Logan will be a Patriot for many years to come.”

Obviously with Wilfork the Patriots ended up with the desired result, which ended up being a long-term agreement.  Hopefully the same happens with Mankins.

That’s it for this morning.  Hope everyone has a good day and we’ll have more later on.