If fans are waiting for any news regarding potential Patriots free agency, it looks like you’ll have to wait until February to see what’s going to happen.
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald reported on Friday that head coach Bill Belichick has apparently put the team’s plans on hold until at least February while they sort through how they’re going to handle the future of quite a few of their players.
According to the report the Patriots head coach has told at least two of his players who are without contracts for 2010, that he will address their status in early February.
The team currently has nine unrestricted free agents:
NT Vince Wilfork
TE Benjamin Watson
CB Leigh Bodden
DE Jarvis Green
RB Kevin Faulk
G Stephen Neal
LB Gary Guyton
LB Pierre Woods
DE Derrick Burgess
And two restricted free agents:
K Stephen Gostkowski
G Logan Mankins
Both Mankins and Gostkowski, who were also named to the Pro Bowl, are expected to be restricted free agents in the event 2010 ends up to be an uncapped year.
We’ve heard from several players who have made it clear they’d like to return (Faulk and Green). Wilfork, has also said he wants to stay, but he’s a clear candidate for the franchise tag – which he’s already said he won’t be happy with in the event the team can’t reach a new deal with him and forces him to play under that designation.
For Bodden, it appears that winning isn’t going to take priority over money, with the defensive back telling Mike Reiss of ESPN that he’s looking for market value.
“There are two sides of the spectrum — football and business,” Bodden said. “For me, the taste of playoffs and winning, that’s something that will be a priority [in any decision]. But if presented something financially that you can’t pass up, that is also a consideration. We aren’t going to play this game forever, and you have to look out for your best interests on the financial side.”
With the coaches reportedly on a 10-day vacation that ends at the beginning of next week, it’s unlikely that we’ll hear anything more before then. However, with so may players having their futures up in the air, along with quite a few players seeing their final year of their contract coming up (including quarterback Tom Brady) it’s sure to be an interesting offseason.