The Patriots were relatively quiet in the infant hours of the NFL’s free agency period, which began at 4 p.m. Tuesday, but there is certainly a sense that a signing storm could be brewing in Foxboro.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Wes Welker is going to test the market and that it “may take a little time” for him to find a landing spot. Earlier in the day the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that Welker was still waiting on his first formal contract offer from the Patriots.
Welker could have several suitors in the coming days including the Texans, Broncos, Colts, Dolphins and Cowboys.
WEEI.com reported that it is unlikely that the Patriots will target Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz as they would have to give up a first round pick to New York.
New England did see a player leave the franchise as the Colts nabbed offensive guard Donald Thomas. Thomas joined the Pats in 2011 and was a valuable back-up, particularly last season when Logan Mankins and Dan Connolly went down with injuries.
Tampa Bay and Cleveland inquired about trading with the Pats for backup quarterback Ryan Mallett, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
The Patriots did take care of one in-house issue yesterday as they tendered an offer to restricted free agent tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, according to ESPN. Hoomanawanui helped the Pats’ depth at the tight end position last season when starter Rob Gronkowski went down with an arm injury and he seems to be in the Patriots plans going forward.
UPDATED: Safety Patrick Chung signed with the Philadelphia Eagles Tuesday night. Chung was part of the Pats young nucleus for the past few season but seemed to fall out of favor with the Pats coaching staff during the last few months of his tenure in New England. Chung played just two snaps in the AFC Championship Game against Baltimore.