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Sunday, August 7, 2011
Moving parts with Patriots safeties

By Mike Reiss

One day after the Patriots' passing offense carved up the team's secondary in practice, and communication in the back end seemed to be an issue, there are some moving parts to monitor at the safety position.

First, it looks like veteran safety Brandon McGowan won't be around much longer. Word from Gillette is that, barring an unexpected change, he is being let go. He had re-joined the club July 31 and couldn't practice until Aug. 4.

On top of that, the Boston Globe's Greg A. Bedard and Shalise Manza Young tweeted today that the team is visiting with free-agent safety Dashon Goldson (49ers). That has been confirmed. ESPN NFC West reporter Mike Sando had a nice breakdown on Goldson's free-agent situation on Aug. 2.

The Patriots have Brandon Meriweather and Patrick Chung returning as their top safeties, with veteran James Sanders adding a steadying presence. But Sanders has been held out of practice, leaving second-year man Sergio Brown as the next player on the depth chart (with Josh Barrett also out with injury).

With veteran safety Jarrad Page signing in Philadelphia after spending the 2010 season in New England, the Patriots are a bit thinner than desired at this point. 

That currently has the safety position under the microscope.