Greg Bedard grades the Patriots on their 2011 seasons in today’s Boston Globe. In doing so, he sheds some light on the return prospects of a few big-name free agents.
Restricted free agent QB Brian Hoyer looks to be designated with a high tender, which the Patriots seem to think will not necessarily deter suitors. Given other QB availability in the market, the positional depth at this year’s draft, and lingering fears about a Kolb-like signing, there’s certainly reason to doubt the likelihood of a team willing to tender a first round pick for Hoyer.
The Patriots are also high on RB Stevan Ridley, which could make BenJarvus Green-Ellis expendable. Historically, HC Bill Belichick does little to protect his free agent RBs, so Green-Ellis will only be asked back at the right price.
DE Shaun Ellis had a down season for what he was paid, and despite his role as a team leader, he’ll be leaving via free agency or retirement