Picked-up pieces on Patriots' trail

March, 18, 2014
Mar 18
5:00
AM ET
Some picked-up pieces along the Patriots' trail:

Who has had a better offseason -- Patriots or Broncos? In a video, NFL Network's crew of Heath Evans, Brian Baldinger and Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor debate the question. It's a clean sweep as all three pick the Patriots. Also, is the Patriots' dynasty of the 2000s the best ever?

Still no terms on Edelman's deal. Receiver Julian Edelman's deal with the Patriots hasn't been finalized, and thus, no concrete financial terms have been learned. The market for similar receivers has been in the $10-15 million range over three years, and that would be the educated guess on where Edelman might fall.

LaFell next to step into the spotlight? One day after cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner held conference calls with the media, receiver Brandon LaFell could be next in line today. Details to come. His signing was made official by the team on Monday.

Revis remains tight with Law. With Revis signing with the Patriots, it has brought his connection with former New England cornerback Ty Law to the forefront. "Ty has been a mentor through my whole life," Revis said Monday when asked about their Aliquippa, Pa., roots. "He’s a very close friend to my family. I talk to Ty all the time – about life and football. Ty’s always there in my corner to help me whether it’s football or life [and] I thank Ty for that."

Good value with Revis. Doug Farrar of SI.com lists the Patriots' contract with Revis as one of the best values of free agency.

Spikes' connection with Johnson. In his introductory conference call with Bills reporters Monday, linebacker Brandon Spikes was asked why Buffalo was a good fit for him. "Well, for one, I get to reunite with the great Pepper Johnson," he answered. "So I'm definitely happy about that. ... He's a great coach and a great inspiration to the game. He loves the game and is definitely what I want to be down the road."

Fletcher re-routed to Tampa. Former Patriots linebacker Dane Fletcher was en route to a free-agent visit with the Raiders when his agent left him a voicemail that a deal had been struck with the Buccaneers. Fletcher picked up the voice mail at his connection in Salt Lake City. As Fletcher leaves behind four years with the Patriots, one thought came to mind: The Patriots' strong coaching, and vision with Fletcher in his transition from defensive end to linebacker, warrants a mention. It's one example of how the Patriots' strong system benefits players in the early years of their careers and creates a foundation of success for them to build upon. I'm not sure that happens for Fletcher with the majority of other teams in the NFL.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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