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Thursday, January 24, 2013
Woodhead's Pats future in focus

By Mike Reiss

Patriots running back Danny Woodhead was a guest on ESPN.com’s “Football Today” podcast with Ross Tucker, with producer Jay Soderberg chipping in on the interview.

The interview with Woodhead begins at the 23-minute mark, and is tied to some promotional work that Woodhead is doing with Hood and its sportsmanship/scholarship program.

Woodhead hasn’t decided if he’ll watch the Super Bowl, as the Patriots’ loss in the AFC Championship Game is “still a little fresh.” At the same time, he was reflective on the 2012 season.

“I felt like it was an unbelievable team to be a part of -- a bunch of great guys, great coaches, a great organization,” he said. “It wasn’t fun to end up losing at the end of the year, but only one team is happy at the end of the year and that’s the Super Bowl champs. That’s part of the NFL, part of the game.”

Woodhead is one of the Patriots’ notable free agents this offseason, but he said he hasn’t given his future much thought at this time.

“With the game being so fresh, that’s more so what I thought about. I haven’t even taken anything into consideration,” he said.

Woodhead played 34 percent of the offensive snaps for the Patriots this season, behind only Stevan Ridley (45 percent) at running back. He didn’t miss a game and was one of the club’s most reliable and consistent players in a change-of-pace “passing back” type of role.

But one question for 2013 is if the Patriots see Shane Vereen filling more of that role, or maybe even Jeff Demps. Stevan Ridley (third year) and Brandon Bolden (second year) are also under contract at the position.

The answer is likely to come down to cost, as it often does. The Patriots would presumably like to have Woodhead back, but with their other options in house, they will likely set a price they are willing to pay and not move too far from it. That could open the door for another team to swoop in and make Woodhead an offer he can’t refuse.

YOUR TURN: How would you approach Woodhead’s free-agent status if you were the Patriots? Share thoughts in the comments section of this blog entry.