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Old 02-11-2004, 06:57 AM   #3
Brad O.
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 792
Brad O. will become famous soon enough

The Pats seem an incredibly bad fit for Clarett.
I couldn't agree more, Dave. I'd put the chances that New England drafts him at about 0%.

Belichick's statement about Smith made it sound like he won't be back, which kind of surprised me. Kevin Faulk clearly can't handle things by himself, though, and Mike Cloud couldn't start for any team in the NFL, so the Pats will be looking for someone to replace Smith.

They're in a position to do so through the draft, but I wouldn't be surprised if Belichick feels more comfortable with someone more mature. I think the guy he's looking for has a proven record but isn't good enough to justify ego/attitude problems. That's always a risk with a first-round kid right out of college who's been the cock of the walk whenever he's stepped onto a football field. Garrison Hearst seems like a good fit to me, with a second- or third-round pick brought in to see if he can be a long-term solution down the road.

Otherwise, Duce Staley and New England could be a good partnership if Staley has fired the agent who advised him to hold out last year.

Other guys who might be released and who could intrigue the Patriots: Michael Pittman, Moe Williams, Travis Henry, Tyrone Wheatley, Charlie Garner, Ladell Betts.

If I had to guess, I'd say they draft someone, but I think Belichick will be very tempted to find someone through free agency, especially if a couple guys like Henry or Garner become available.
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