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.

Raiders creep past Patriots in race for top seed in AFC

Raiders creep past Patriots in race for top seed in AFC

The Patriots and Raiders and neck-and-neck as the race for home field in the AFC turns for home. And, with four games left, the Raiders are ahead by a nose. The tiebreakers between the 10-2 teams in play currently? Common games followed by strength of victory. 

The first tiebreaker – conference record – is a deadlock as both teams are 7-1 in the AFC (the Brady-less Patriots lost to the Bills back in Week 4.

After conference record, it's the teams record in common games. 

PATRIOTS 26, RAMS 10

So far in common games with the Texans and Bills, the Patriots have gone 2-1 and the Raiders have gone 2-0. The Patriots play the Ravens next week. Oakland beat them. The Patriots play Denver after that. Oakland beat them as well but have one more game against Denver in Week 17.

So if it comes down to common games the Patriots really need to win these next two games.

Or hope the Raiders stub their toe a time or two in their final four games which are at the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos with a home game against Indy in Week 16.

As for strength of victory, that too goes to Oakland at this point. The Raiders’ strength of victory is at .471. The Patriots’ is at .370.

But the tiebreaker that kicks in after conference record and before strength of victory – common games – is very much unresolved.The remaining picture as it stands right now? The Ravens are the No. 3 seed with a 7-5 record that leads the AFC North. The Texans’ 6-6 record is good enough to lead the AFC South. The 9-3 Chiefs are the top Wild Card. The 8-4 Broncos are the No. 6 seed.

The Patriots play the Ravens and Broncos over the next two weeks. Currently, the Dolphins (7-5) and Steelers (7-5) are on the outside looking in.

The Titans (6-6) will have a chance to get even with the Texans in Week 17 in head-to-head matchups but they host Denver and play at Kansas City the next two weeks so they have obstacles to clear before they get there.

AFC PLAYOFF RACE: Steelers end Giants' winning streak at 6 in 24-14 victory

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AFC PLAYOFF RACE: Steelers end Giants' winning streak at 6 in 24-14 victory

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Steelers ended the New York Giants' winning streak with a familiar formula.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 289 yards and two touchdowns, Le'Veon Bell rolled up 182 yards of total offense, and Pittsburgh's resurgent defense harassed Eli Manning into a flurry of mistakes in a dominant 24-14 win on Sunday.

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