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Hot topic: Need for a receiver

2/16/2011

Every offseason brings a new set of questions, or "top" storylines, for NFL teams. It's been one month since the Patriots' playoff loss to the Jets, and one of the themes that keeps rising to the forefront is what the Patriots might do at wide receiver.

The opinions are wide-ranging. In Tuesday's mailbag on ESPNBoston.com, it led off the discussion. Meanwhile, Michael Lombardi of NFL.com mentioned it in a column on Monday.

"The Patriots must find an outside wide receiver to help their inside passing game," Lombardi writes. "If they draft a wideout -- no matter how talented -- his ability to help them in 2011 will be limited due to a lack of understanding of the offense. The Patriots need a veteran player who can keep up with where their offense is right now. They need someone who can hit the ground running."

Would the Patriots consider re-signing Randy Moss? Could they explore a trade for someone like Carolina's Steve Smith? Or do they not view it as great a need?

The Patriots' offense was firing on all cylinders in the final eight games of the season, but the playoff loss to the Jets has altered the outlook for some.

That's part of what makes this a interesting topic to debate from all angles.

Receiver personnel

Deion Branch

Wes Welker

Brandon Tate

Julian Edelman

Taylor Price

Matthew Slater

Darnell Jenkins

Buddy Farnham