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Hanson getting the boot?

Posted by Albert Breer  March 27, 2010 06:49 PM

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Going into March, the Patriots were set to have 10 free agents. Five re-signed (Tully Banta-Cain, Leigh Bodden, Kevin Faulk, Steve Neal, Vince Wilfork), two have departed (Jarvis Green, Benjamin Watson), and one had already announced his retirement (Junior Seau).

That leaves Derrick Burgess and Chris Hanson. The door remains open for Burgess' return, as the sides have kept in contact through this process. We'll see what happens there, but it's Hanson's situation that really intrigues me.

Not sure how much (if at all) his camp has been talking with New England of late, but the Patriots seem to be preparing to move on. Scout.com reported last week that Michigan punter Zoltan Mesko will work out for the Patriots in Ann Arbor in mid-April, and the National Football Post's Aaron Wilson passed along word that Virginia Tech punter Brent Bowden worked out for the Patriots yesterday.

Would New England spend a draft pick on a punter? Well, they haven't been afraid to invest in specialists in the past. They drafted kicker Stephen Gostkowski in the fourth round in 2006, return man/coverage guy Matthew Slater in the fifth round in 2008, and long snapper Jake Ingram in the sixth round in 2009.

As a point of reference, 11 punters have been drafted in the last five years, with Kansas City's Dustin Colquitt being the highest pick, having gone with a compensatory third-rounder (99th overall, one pick ahead of Nick Kaczur) in 2005.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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