Patriots have 10 unrestricted free agents

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Patriots have 10 unrestricted free agents

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - There are more than 450 unrestricted free agents hitting the market at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. You can peruse the list here. Some are guys who've retired but their paperwork hasn't cleared (Favre, Brett). More players are being released (or informed they'll be released) as we type. That's a lot of players hitting the market all at once and both the players and their suitors are in a tough spot. Time is limited. Decisions need to be made without the same due diligence usually taken. The situation is rife for missteps by teams too anxious to work all the details through. For the players, they better be in shape with no lingering injuries. When they show up, they need to be good to go for a season that starts in about 45 days. The Patriots have just 10 UFAs and, the more I consider it, the more likely it is that the Patriots stand pat at pretty much all positions. Redo Logan Mankins' deal and get the franchise tag off him. Sign rookie Nate Solder to his 1.5 million deal and re-up Matt Light. Find a wideout. Done and done.
List of Patriots free agents are below, there are six categories of free agents -- info taken from the NFL:
1. Restricted Free Agents who received Qualifying Offers from their Old Clubs and are subject to the First RefusalCompensation system of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement:
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Compensation: 2nd round pick.
The Patriots have Right of First Refusal to Green-Ellis. Compensation is a 2nd round pick. In order to submit an Offer Sheet, the Patriots must have available the required choice, defined as its own or better choice in the applicable rounds, in the 2012 NFL Draft.2. Players with three or more accrued seasons who have been designated as Franchise players:Logan Mankins, GuardThe Patriots have a Right of First Refusal to Mankins and compensation of two No. 1 Draft Choices. In order to submit an Offer Sheet, a New Club must have available the required choices, defined as its own or better choices in the First Round in the 2012 and 2013 NFL Drafts.3. Players with three or more accrued seasons who have been designated as Transition Players:
None.
4. Players with four or more accrued seasons who negotiated Rights of First Refusal with their Old Clubs:None.5. Unrestricted Free Agents with four or more accrued seasons:
Kevin Faulk, RB
Shayne Graham, KMatt Light, TBrandon McGowan, DBSammy Morris, RBQuinn Ojinnaka, GJarrad Page, DBFred Taylor, RBGerard Warren, DETracy White, LBIn accordance with the signing periods stated above, the players in category No. 5 may be signed by any club in the League until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on Saturday, September 3, with no rights of any character held by the Patriots.6. Players with fewer than four accrued seasons who received no Qualifying Offer or no minimum tender from their Old Club:None.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.

Branch on reduced role vs. Saints: "Ask Bill"

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Branch on reduced role vs. Saints: "Ask Bill"

FOXBORO - If Alan Branch is worried about his spot with the Patriots, he isn’t acting that way. A notorious slow starter, Branch played just six snaps in Sunday’s win at New Orleans. And to hear him talk, it’s business as usual.

“It’s not like you can practice 3 technique on a store clerk,” said Branch late Wednesday afternoon. When informed that he probably could if he wanted, Branch smiled and noted “you’d probably get arrested for that.”

All kidding aside, it was stark to see Branch’s ample behind stapled to the bench. He earned a two-year contract this offseason, and his presence on the interior has been critical to the defense’s success. But after getting pushed around a bit too often in that opening night loss to the Chiefs, Branch spent a lot more time watching then playing. Did he know that he wasn’t a big part of the plan?

“That’s another question you gotta ask Bill, man” said Branch. “That’s not something I can talk about.”

Branch has - at times - come off as nonchalant about the game. Wins, losses, big plays, no plays, none of it seems to change his demeanor. Knowing that, I asked him if he was frustrated by his lack of playing time.

“I mean every player wants to be on the field so it is what it is,” he responded. 

Does he think that he’ll be more involved Sunday against the Texans?

“I don’t know what they plan to do with me,” he said. “i just need to go in there and keep my head to the grindstone and work.”

That may be Bill Belichick’s plan: sitting the player to motivate him. It would also seem to be potentially the last resort, and with someone who clearly marches to the beat of his own drum, it’s unclear how he’ll respond.

Patriots-Texans practice report: Gronk sits out; Gilmore limited

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Patriots-Texans practice report: Gronk sits out; Gilmore limited

Wednesday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Texans game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
RB Rex Burkhead (ribs)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle/concussion)
TE Rob Gronkowski (groin)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
WR Danny Amendola (concussion/knee)
WR Phillip Dorsett (knee)
CB Stephon Gilmore (groin)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
WR Chris Hogan (knee)
LB Elandon Roberts (thumb)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)
WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)
DT Vincent Valentine (knee)

HOUSTON TEXANS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
G Jeff Allen (ankle)
CB Kevin Johnson (knee)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
TE Stephen Anderson (concussion)
RB Alfred Blue (ankle)
WR Will Fuller V (shoulder)
CB Jonathan Joseph (shoulder)
G Xavier Su'a-Filo (knee)
DE J.J. Watt (finger)

FULL PARTICIPATION
CB Marcus Burley (knee)
T Chris Clark (wrist)
WR Bruce Ellington (concussion)
TE Ryan Griffin (concussion)