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The ones who got away

Posted by Albert Breer  May 20, 2010 10:45 AM

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The Patriots kicked off the 2010 offseason with nine unrestricted free agents. Six of them are back.

Two of the remaining three (punter Chris Hanson is still on the market) are settling in with teams led by ex-Patriot assistants.

Strange as it might look, that's Benjamin Watson (82), pictured with fellow ex-New England tight end Alex Smith, in a Browns jersey. Watson talked about the transition with the club's official Web site.

"Coming into it, you just do whatever you can for the team," said Watson. "We’ve got some great coaches here, some great players that have been here already. Right now, my job is simply just to learn what to do, practice hard and contribute when that time comes.

"That’s definitely a positive," he added. "Knowing some of the coaches here and playing against some of the players here, there’s definitely some familiarity, but there’s always new people to meet."

Meanwhile, Jarvis Green is helping lead a defensive-line overhaul in Denver, something that veteran Pro Bowler Brian Dawkins said is bringing a "dog mentality" (that's as in "dogged", not "dogging it") to the team. And Green's also bringing his charitable nature out West with him.

Back here, Tully Banta-Cain, Leigh Bodden, Derrick Burgess, Kevin Faulk, Stephen Neal and Vince Wilfork return. We'll be catching up with them starting next week, at OTAs.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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