Questions for the Patriots offseason

Tom Brady once said that he’ll play until he’s 40. The problem is, he’s inching closer and closer to that number without a fourth Super Bowl ring.

Three things to look at as the Patriots begin the long journey toward the 2012 season:

Shoring up the defense
The Patriots set numerous team records on the offensive side of things last season, but the defense didn’t have nearly the same success. You saw what happened when the offense stalled in the Super Bowl — the defense couldn’t hold the Giants. Ras-I Dowling hopefully will step in and immediately make an impact in the secondary, but the Patriots will need more than just that. Bringing in a veteran presence like they did with Andre Carter last season can only help things. Late-rounders and undrafted free agents can only do so much.

Welker — re-sign him?

New England’s favorite wide receiver hits the free agent market this season — that is if the Patriots don’t put the franchise tag on him. That would require the Patriots to spend $9.4 million on the slot receiver, and perhaps handcuff them going into the offseason. But honestly, he’s worth the cap hit. Welker wants a multi-year deal, and by all accounts the Patriots want him around. The franchise tag is the most likely option, but there’s still an outside chance the two sides agree to a deal for three to four years that will pay Welker around $7 million a year. Either way, he’ll be back.
 
Post-Super Bowl attitude

When the Patriots lost out on perfection after Super Bowl XLII, Tom Brady didn’t get a chance to redeem himself the following season. You remember how he went down with a torn ACL during Week 1 against Kansas City, and that was it. Still, the Patriots won 11 games that season, and you could say many of them had a chip on their shoulder for the way things ended the season prior. Now, the majority of players returning next season will have that feeling of “oh-so-close,” and it will be interesting to note which players improve the most because of it.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

Television

'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.