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Thursday, August 16, 2012
Updating Patriots’ competition at receiver

By James Walker

The New England Patriots have strengthened one of their thinnest positions from a year ago: wide receiver.

But with that comes some decisions to make in training camp. New England has nine solid players at the position and will only keep the top six or seven.

Our friend and colleague Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com provided an in-depth update  of where each Patriots wide receiver stands as training camp nears its conclusion.

Here is our take:
The Patriots' receiver race will come down to how many they want at the position. If it's six receivers, New England most likely will choose between veterans Branch and Stallworth. Branch brings leadership and dependability, but he's been injured much of training camp. Stallworth has the deep speed New England wants to add to its offense this year.

If it's seven players, both Branch and Stallworth are safe, and Ebert and Holley won't make the 53-man roster. That's where it stands for now. But the Patriots have shown recent interest in Plaxico Burress, which would shake things up a little.