The NFL holds its annual meeting starting Monday in Orlando, and here are five things that will be accomplished that will impact the Patriots:
Compensatory draft picks awarded. From a pure football standpoint in the short-term, this is probably the most significant development. The Patriots already have eight draft picks, four of which come in the top 53. They could receive four more when compensatory selections are handed out.
Prime-time exposure. It is commonplace for the NFL to announce a few prime-time games on kickoff weekend, and perhaps even the Thanksgiving slate. The Patriots are expected to visit the Lions on Thanksgiving. It's possible the team could learn its opening-week opponent as well, if it's in prime-time.
Bill Belichick holds court. The annual AFC coaches breakfast with media members is scheduled for early Tuesday morning. Bill Belichick's table figures to include a big crowd for the hour-long breakfast, as he could shed light on some of the more pressing issues facing the club.
Overtime change debated. Owners are expected to vote on a possible change to the league's overtime rules. The potential change would ensure that both teams have at least one possession in playoff games that go to overtime. In the past, Belichick has advocated a timed overtime period, so it will be interesting to hear his thoughts on this year's proposal.
Player safety in focus. One proposal from the league's competition committee will be voted upon. The proposal would give the receiver protection until he has an opportunity to defend himself from hits to the head by defenders launching upwards towards the head area. Because the Patriots favor a spread passing attack with three or more receivers, the passing of this rule would figure to help them.