Here are this morning’s top stories:

BOSTON HERALD:

Safety with snarl among Patriots’ needs - Jeff Howe – Howe looks at the Patriots’ safety spot and writes that it would¬†be more of a luxury than a necessity for the Patriots to upgrade the physicality element at their safety position.

Patriots not likely to participate in tag – Karen Guregian – Guregian writes that the window opens today for teams to designate players for the franchise tag, and she feels that the Patriots may not exercise that option.

ESPN BOSTON:

Franchise/transition tags: Patriots – Mike Reiss – Reiss also ponders the use of the franchise tag, and feels it will be a long shot that New England will use it.

Draft & free agency: Linebacker – Mike Reiss – Reiss continues his look at each position and focuses on the linebacker spot for the Patriots, and offers up some thoughts on what New England may do there this offseason.

Draft & free agency: Quarterback -Mike Reiss - Reiss does the same thing with the quarterback position, and believes with Ryan Mallett heading into the final year of his contract, he expects the Patriots to add at least one more QB to their roster.

WEEI:

NFL Mock Draft, Take 1: Texans need a QB, but they can’t pass on Jadeveon Clowney¬†- Christopher Price¬†- Price has his first mock draft, and feels that Clowney is too good for the Texans to ignore.

BLEACHER REPORT:

Complete Patriots Combine Preview – James Christensen – Our friend from NEPatriotsDraft.com has a great read over at Bleacher Report looking at the top players to watch heading into the NFL combine.

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL:

Pats defensive line will need some help – Paul Kenyan – Kenyon writes that if all the defensive linemen currently on the Patriots roster return ready to play in September, the team would be in great shape. ¬†However, he believes the odds of that happening aren’t good.

MASSLIVE:

NFL free agency 2014: Emmanuel Sanders not expected to return to Pittsburgh Steelers – Nick Underhill – Underhill has an entry this morning talking about free agency and writes that Sanders’ days in Pittsburgh may be over.

New England Patriots rookie review: LB Jamie Collins – Nick Underhill – Underhill also has a good read on Collins, which includes a great photo at the top of the article.

NEPATRIOTSDRAFT.COM:

2014 NFL Draft Close-Up: Notre Dame Offensive Tackle Zack Martin РOliver Thomas - Thomas has a great read on Martin, who he feels could be a good fit here in New England.

CSNBALTIMORE:

Why didn’t McDaniels want Browns job? - Ray Frager – Frager wonders why Josh McDaniels decided not to take the job of head coach for the Browns in Cleveland in this entry.

THE MAINE CAMPUS:

Potential 2014 first round draft picks for Patriots – Cody Lachance – Lachance has a piece in the student newspaper for the University of Maine, and ponders some potential selections for New England in this entry.