A quick look at the March 7, 2007 edition of Patriots Football Weekly.

(You’ll need a PFW Subscription to follow the links below.)

The cover is a shot of new Patriot linebacker Adalius Thomas in his Pro Bowl gear, with the word SPLASH! at the bottom.

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There is a lot of content from the draft combine in this issue, as well as Asante Samuel being franchised and the early days of free agency.

The paper leads off with Ask PFW and First Down

In Point/Counterpoint the issue is “The signing of Adalius Thomas eliminates linebacker as a pressing need.” Tom Casale says “yes,” the key word being “pressing.” He feels there is a bigger need in the secondary. Andy says “no,” and notes that Thomas, like the other linebacker starters for 2007 will be 30 or over by the opener. He thinks they still need to grab another young linebacker somewhere.

Andy Hart has a piece entitled Opening up the Combine door, which is an overview of the event, and notes that the NFL is considering opening up the Combine to fans next year.

Paul Perillo has an article on the Patriots using the franchise tag; Pats make the expected move with Samuel.

Tom Casale writes that Thomas leads Patriots free agent charge, reporting on the signing of Adalius Thomas. The staff was under a bit of a time crunch as the paper went to press the afternoon after the Thomas signing was announced.

Perillo notes that Dillon done, but only in New England. Corey Dillon caused a few confusing hours by saying he was leaning towards retirement, while his agent said Dillon just wanted to play somewhere else. Dillon was released by the Patriots on March 2.

Hart and Casale meld up their notes from the combine with the feature article Combing the Combine 2007. There are items on Eric Mangini talking about grabbing Patriots assistance Brian Daboll, Brady Quinn talking about talking with Tom Brady, Notre Dame players praising Charlie Weis, the importance of the 40 yard dash, Jeff Fisher talking about the heated game between the Titans and Patriots near the end of the season as well as a number of other notes.

You can read versions of many of these items without a subscription on the Draft News page of Patriots.com.

Rob McCartney from robscouting.com looks at a few sleeper prospects, such as Rutgers running back Brian Leonard, Illinois State wide receiver Laurent Robinson, Lane College receiver Jacoby Jones, Delaware tight end Ben Patrick, Whitworth College’s Michael Allan, Penn State linebacker Tim Shaw (compared to Mike Vrabel) and Tennessee cornerback Jonathan Wade, among others.

Tom Casale says that Outside linebacker is a tough fit for the Patriots, especially when finding candidates in the draft. Quentin Moses from Georgia, Jarvis Moss of Florida, LaMarr Woodley of Michigan, Anthony Spencer of Purdue, Victor Abiamiri of Notre Dame and Zak DeOssie from Brown are all mentioned in the article. Abiamiri and DeOssie both said the Patriots talked to them at the combine.

Howard Balzer of USA Today says Rex still appeals to Bears and Paul Domowitch from the Philadelphia Daily News writes that the Raiders are already on the clock for the draft, and putting quarterbacks Brady Quinn and JaMarcus Russell through the paces to decide which one should be the first overall pick.

This issue of Patriots Football Weekly is currently on newstands.

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