Dissecting lengthy 'to-do' list for Patriots


Bill Belichick and his staff should be ready for some sleepless nights in the days ahead. Like the NFL's other 31 clubs, there are a lot of things to do, and here is one view of the top things facing the Patriots in a piece now posted on ESPNBoston.com.

The top spot is getting draft picks under contract. Negotiations that sometimes last weeks/months will have to be completed in days.

"The team's nine draft choices, who already enter 2011 significantly behind those players already on the roster because of not having any offseason minicamps, are not yet under contract. In a normal year, rookies would have been signed as early as May. They can't afford to miss any practice time, so look for quick negotiations. Senior football adviser Floyd Reese will be busy."

Signing rookie free agents to increase the roster to 90 players, sorting out the status of Logan Mankins, assessing the market for left tackle Matt Light, and assessing the health of returning players are some of the biggies.