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Saints offseason vs. Patriots offseason

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter writes that the NFC champion New Orleans Saints have 29 players on their roster with contracts that expire after the season. The Saints have 18 restricted free agents and 11 unrestricted free agents.

After reading the piece, the thought came to mind to compare that to the New England Patriots' situation.

Assuming there will be a season without a salary cap, the Patriots have 12 players with expiring contracts -- nine unrestricted free agents and three restricted free agents.

The number would have been higher had the Patriots not extended the contracts of six different players during the 2009 season -- Sam Aiken, Rob Ninkovich, Nick Kaczur, Eric Alexander, Dan Connolly and Mark LeVoir.

The Patriots' work on those extensions seemed specifically aimed at preparing for the uncapped season. When comparing the situation to the Saints, in terms of sheer numbers, the Patriots seem well positioned.