Three leftovers from the weekly Patriots chat on ESPNBoston.com:
From Steve (Milford, CT): Any word on signing Matt Light to a new deal before the CBA (most likely) expires tonight?
Steve, both sides have shown an interest in extending his deal and the initial thought was that it would likely be after the new CBA, but I'm not sure where things stand at this moment. For players at this stage of Light's career, you're generally looking at a short-term deal (2-3 years). I think Light has shown he can still play at a high level, and that's why I wouldn't be surprised if we end up seeing a three-year pact in the $21 million range.
From Juliette (Sacramento, Calif.): The Stroud signing puzzles me. It looks like the Patriots plan to replace Gerard Warren, who ended up starting multiple games last season, with another vet who will be only a part-timer. Any chance this signing is a result of the major holes opening up on the 0-line? Maybe Bill Belichick now has to focus his draft board on guards and tackles?
Juliette, I think Warren and Stroud are comparable players at this point of their careers. Warren was well-liked in the locker room and I would have thought that the team would have leaned toward him over Stroud at this point. It could have been money-based. Overall, I don't see the Stroud signing have a big impact on the team's draft approach. It provides them a bit more flexibility in the draft, but I still think we'll see them draft some defensive linemen.
From Al (Wellesley, Mass): Given the Patriots history of drafting players with injury questions or recent gaps in the their college playing time, which players in this years draft might fit that profile? Particularly players that might otherwise have been considered early rounders?
Al, two players immediately came to mind -- Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward and Pittsburgh outside linebacker Greg Romeus. Heyward's injury situation is a bit different as he played in 2010 but is recovering from Tommy John surgery on his elbow. So that creates a bit of a wrinkle in the scouting process, although I think Heyward will still be a first-round pick. Romeus appeared in just two games last season because of back and knee injuries. At 6-foot-5, 267 pounds, he has the physical make-up that I think will check out from a Patriots standpoint.