RUMOR: The Patriots have the opportunity to re-sign Todd Sauerbrun
Buzz: In a little known section on NFL.com there is a listing that appears for free agents whose old team still has the right of first refusal should they sign a contract with another team. Sauerbrun's name is on the list, meaning the Patriots could match any contract he signed if they so choose. The buzz is that New England may opt to match any offer Sauerbrun gets on the open market because they liked his performance in 2006, and may not want to wait to find out if Josh Miller will be back.
Reality: "Not happening," said a league insider with knowledge of the situation. The Patriots wanted Sauerbrun back early on in free agency, but now they've decided to go a different direction. Although they pushed hard to re-sign the former Bronco and Panther, it didn't work out. "Miller is the guy," the source said. The Denver Broncos are the front runner to sign the free agent.
Impact: Sauerbrun had a solid playoffs for the Patriots after getting off to a shaky start during the regular season. Re-signing him would be a good move to shore up the Patriots' special teams, but Josh Miller was no slouch before his injury. The Patriots are expected to have Miller assume the starting role at punter while they groom his replacement on the practice squad. Both Tom Malone (USC) and Danny Baugher (Arizona) are part of the team's reserve roster, and will likely get an opportunity to compete for a roster spot in training camp.
|New England Patriots Ellis Hobbs (27) fumbles the football as he is hit by Denver Broncos kicker Todd Sauerbrun on a kickoff return during the second quarter in Denver on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006. The Broncos recovered the ball. (AP Photo/Bill Ross)|
For more rumors and updates, check out the Insider Lounge message board where insiders update you on news from around the league. A few current rumors being tracked are Corey Dillon to Baltimore, Dan Graham to Oakland, Adalius Thomas to the Patriots and many more.