Breaking down 2012 Patriots free agency

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Breaking down 2012 Patriots free agency

Longing for an orderly list of NFL free agent dealings? Pro Football Weekly, in its all-knowingness, did the dang thing.

The list is long -- organized by position -- so let's boil it down to Patriots players.

QUARTERBACK
Brian Hoyer - Restricted Free Agent, New England - Re-signed to a one-year, 1.927 million contract on March 23.

RUNNING BACK
Joseph Addai -- Cut by Indianapolis March 9 - Signed with New England May 5 to a one-year, 1.069 million deal.
Kevin Faulk -- Unrestricted Free Agent, NE -- ?
BenJarvus Green-Ellis - Unrestricted Free Agent, NE -- Signed by Cincinnati on March 21 for three years, 9 million.

FULLBACK
Tony Fiammetta - UFA, Dallas -- Signed by NE March 26 for one year, 615,000.
Spencer Larsen - UFA, Denver -- Signed by NE to a two-year, 1.7 million deal on March 22.

WIDE RECEIVER
Deion Branch - UFA, NE - Re-signed March 22 for one year, 1.325 million.
Jabar Gaffney - Cut by Washington May 1 - Signed by NE May 2 for two years, 2.3 million.
Brandon Lloyd - UFA, St. Louis - Signed by NE March 17 for three years, 12 million.
Matthew Slater - UFA, NE - Re-signed March 14 for three years, 5.4 million.
Donte' Stallworth - UFA, Washington - Signed by NE March 19 for one year, 875,000.
Tiquan Underwood - Cut by NE May 3 - Signed by Tampa Bay May 7, two years.
Wes Welker - Franchise Free Agent, NE - Tagged May 15 for one year, 9.515 million. (Deadline for multi-year extension: July 16.)

TIGHT END
Daniel Fells - UFA, Denver - Signed by NE for three years, 5.25 million on March 19.
OFFENSIVE GUARD
Robert Gallery - Cut by Seattle - Signed by NE

CENTER
Dan Connolly - UFA, NE - Re-signed for three years, 9.7 million on March 15.
Dan Koppen - UFA, NE - Re-signed April 13 for two years, 3.05 million.
Jamey Richard - UFA, Indianapolis - Signed by NE May 25 to an undisclosed deal.

DEFENSIVE END
Mark Anderson - UFA, NE - Signed by Buffalo March 21 to a four-year, 19.5 million deal.
Andre Carter - UFA, NE - ?
Shaun Ellis - UFA, NE - ?
Jonathan Fanene - UFA, Cincinnati - Signed by NE March 14 to a three-year, 12 million
Trevor Scott - UFA, Oakland - Signed by NE March 17 for one year, 1.15 million.
Gerard Warren - UFA, NE - Re-signed April 31 for one year, 925,000.

LINEBACKER
Bobby Carpenter - UFA, Detroit - Signed by NE April 5 to a one-year, 775,000 deal.
Gary Guyton - UFA, NE - Signed by Miami to a one-year, 765,000 deal on April 13.
Niko Koutouvides - UFA, NE - Re-signed March 13 for one year, 825,000.
Tracy White - UFA, NE - Re-signed for one year, 990,000 on March 14.

DEFENSIVE BACK
Will Allen - UFA, Miami - Signed by NE March 21 for one year, 1 million.
Marquice Cole - RFA, not tendered by Jets - Signed by NE March 19 to a one-year, 650,000 deal.
Nate Jones - UFA, NE - ?
Steve Gregory - UFA, San Diego - Signed by NE March 15 to a three-year, 7.05 million contract.
James Ihedigbo - UFA, NE - ?
Antwaun Molden - UFA, NE - Signed by Giants to undisclosed deal.

The current 90-man roster could change dramatically between now and August 31's final cuts, but one thing is for sure: there's been an influx of possible impact UFAs brought in this offseason.

New England has largely backed off top-tier free agents since the 2007 Adalius Thomas signing -- five years, 35 million with 20M guaranteed -- fizzled out.

Things have changed over just one season.

Consider this: 2011's regular season roster had 30 Patriots draft picks and just 13 players acquired as UFA. There are now 34 picks and 24 veteran free agents (including only signed players, so no Carter, Ellis, etc.).

Who sticks and who goes? It will all shake out over the coming weeks. New England certainly has more talent to choose from.

Is Tom Brady mentally ready to finish his career elsewhere?

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Is Tom Brady mentally ready to finish his career elsewhere?

The discussion on the future of Tom Brady is only going to intensify as the days, months or years tick off his career. Will that legendary career end as a member of the New England Patriots? Listen to the insightful discussion on this week's "Quick Slants The Podcast". Tom E. Curran says Tom Brady is mentally prepared to finish his career elsewhere.

Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry, and guest Mike Giardi have a spirited discussion about which quarterback should start against the Bills.

Curran and Bills columnist Tim Graham put Rex Ryan on the couch.

SUBSCRIBE Audioboom | iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher

Jamie Collins says he'll play quarterback for Patriots if they need him

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Jamie Collins says he'll play quarterback for Patriots if they need him

FOXBORO -- It's looking more and more like the Patriots will have options at quarterback Sunday against the Bills. Both Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett threw at practice on Wednesday, and it appears that at least one of them, if not both, will be available for the final game of Tom Brady's suspension. 

Patriots receiver Julian Edelman is the likely candidate to jump behind center should the team run into an emergency, but on Wednesday another player threw his hat into the ring. 

"Yeah, I'll play," said linebacker Jamie Collins. "Whatever it is. I don't care what the level is. I don't care what the level is. Whatever it is they need me to do, I'm doing it."

That would be some kind of show.

At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, and with remarkable closing speed, Collins would be an intimidating run-first signal-caller. He's listed at two inches shorter and five pounds heavier than Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, and his NFL Scouting Combine 40-yard dash time was only 0.05 seconds slower than Newton's. 

Just to take this pie-in-the-sky idea even further, Collins can throw, too. Or he could at one point in time. He played quarterback at Franklin County High in Meadville, Miss. before heading off to Southern Mississippi to play all over the Golden Eagles defense. As a high school senior, he cracked 1,000 yards both on the ground and through the air.

Asked if he saw himself back then as a future star in the NFL as a passer, Collins shook his head.

"Nah," he said. "I ain't even see myself as a quarterback in the NFL."

The Patriots would be just fine with Collins sticking at linebacker. He had one of the best games of his career against the Texans last week, racking up 14 tackles and picking off Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler. He also made the calls in the middle of the defense, which is a job that typically falls to Dont'a Hightower, but Collins took over with Hightower out with a knee injury.

"Jamie Collins, he's a beast, man," said safety Duron Harmon after the game. "I tell you what, I've seen a lot of football players play, and he's definitely one of my favorite players to just watch. You just get caught up sometimes seeing all the amazing stuff he does on the field, you just sit in awe. I'm so happy he's on my team, I'll tell you that."

And the team is happy he's at linebacker. But imagine him at quarterback?