Quick-hit thoughts around NFL & Pats

February, 28, 2010
2/28/10
7:00
AM ET
INDIANAPOLIS – Quick-hit thoughts around the NFL and the Patriots:

1. Patriots senior adviser Floyd Reese was here in Indianapolis for the combine. As the point man for contract negotiations, one would assume he met face-to-face with Vince Wilfork’s representatives as contract talks continue.

2. As he enters his second season as Broncos head coach, Josh McDaniels said one of his goals is to limit the amount of distractions that filled his first year. How the Brandon Marshall situation unfolds will set the tone one way or the other.

3. Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli seems more comfortable entering his second season on the job, and I think one reason is that he has more people around him from his Patriots past, such as offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.

4. Things can change fast, but my sense is that there are no deals imminent with Patriots free agents at this point (not including Wilfork). A player like cornerback Leigh Bodden will probably be enticed to test the market, although I’d expect the Patriots to maintain a dialogue with his representatives.

5. I think more people will leave the combine thinking that Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is a more likely possibility for the Rams at No. 1 than when they arrived.

6. With the Jets restricted in their ability to sign free agents whose contracts expire based on their deep advancement into the playoffs, it raises the likelihood they will be looking closer at another avenue to acquire players -- those cut from other teams. Surely, they’re watching the Patriots’ dealings with Adalius Thomas as Rex Ryan would presumably like to add another former Raven that he coached.

7. Although the restricted free agent class is as deep as ever, most coaches and general managers at the combine suggested that teams will be more likely to hold on to their picks in a strong draft.

8. It didn’t get a lot of play nationally, but the Cardinals' contract extension with head coach Ken Whisenhunt was a reminder that these aren’t the same old Cardinals. They picked the right coach in 2007 and made sure they’ll keep him, creating important stability.

9. Looking back to the 2008 offseason, it seems fair to say that the Chargers kept the wrong running back when they chose LaDainian Tomlinson over Michael Turner. Now, they’re left with no running back.

10. Veteran receiver David Patten made the first move this offseason, calling the Patriots in hopes of setting up a tryout. That aggressive move landed him a one-year deal.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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