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Posted by Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff  February 5, 2010 02:39 PM

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...Who is going to be setting it next season for the Patriots at outside linebacker? The team could be due for a drastic makeover at a position that is vital to the operation of a 3-4 defense. Adalius Thomas seems to be talking his way out of town, and he could have company in the departures department.

Tully Banta-Cain and Derrick Burgess are unrestricted free agents. Pierre Woods is a restricted free agent. They could all be on other teams next season. The only player who got playing time at the position under contract for 2010 is Rob Ninkovich.

The Patriots have expressed interest in CFL sack artist Ricky Foley,  but that doesn't exactly inspire confidence for an enhanced pass rush in '10. Who knows maybe this is the season that Shawn Crable plays an NFL game? Or maybe we know exactly what the Patriots have to pursue in the draft and free agency.
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The word

Christopher L. Gasper riffs on the news


...That's what the Patriots have when it comes to picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. After all those years of stockpiling picks the way a survivalist does non-perishables the Patriots have just five picks in this year's draft, thanks to Band-aid trades for Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco and Aqib Talib. Five picks would be the fewest draft picks in franchise history. (Part of that is attributable to the trimming of the draft to just seven rounds in 1994). Further complicating matters is that two of the Patriots' greatest needs are at wide receiver and cornerback, positions where they have sustained draft droughts. With that in mind, I'm convinced the Patriots are going trade back out of the first round of a quanity-over-quality draft where you're just as likely to pick a Pro Bowl player in the second and third round as you are in the first round.

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