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New England Patriots

Impact moves: Rather than signing “sure-thing” free agents at a loftier price, the Patriots went the bargain-basement route. Guard Robert Gallery, wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez and Bobby Carpenter are former first-round picks signed to modest deals. The Patriots spent a little more to add wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (St. Louis) and defensive end Jonathan Fanene (Cincinnati).

Significant losses: Defensive end Mark Anderson, who had a 10-sack season in 2011, shuffled off to Buffalo. The Patriots continue to avoid making a significant financial investment in running backs by letting leading rusher BenJarvus Green-Ellis leave to Cincinnati.

Top draft need: Forced to play with a patchwork secondary for most of last season, the Patriots could use a youth infusion at cornerback and safety.

Analysis: Although some Patriots fans would love splashier signings — particularly a pass-rusher — New England’s 27-5 regular-season record and Super Bowl appearance over the past two seasons is proof that Bill Belichick knows what he’s doing.

Grade: B
- Alex Marvez (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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