Quick-hit thoughts around NFL, Pats

Quick-hit thoughts from around the NFL and the Patriots:

1. If I had to guess what the Patriots were proposing to Julius Peppers, it would be a short-term deal. My sense is that it would be like putting a low bid on a house; you know you’re not close to asking price but it can’t hurt trying.

2. I thought it was interesting that Colts president Bill Polian committed to be part of Saturday’s sports analytics conference at MIT knowing it was the second day of free agency. Guess Polian figured that the Colts are seldom active in free agency, and this year would be no different.

3. It’s a season without a salary cap, but it seems like not much has changed. Teams are still operating under budgets as if there was a cap. Maybe the cap isn’t a necessary tool to ensure competitive balance.

4. Wes Welker’s injury increased the Patriots’ need for a veteran receiver, and that’s why David Patten was brought in and now Josh Reed is visiting. At this point of his career, quarterback Tom Brady likes having a few more seasoned vets around. I think the Patriots would further help themselves by also considering Derrick Mason.

5. If the Seahawks sign receiver Brandon Marshall to an offer sheet, my sense is that the Broncos would quickly decide not to match it. They’d gladly take the first-round pick. A more likely scenario would be Seattle trying to work a trade with lesser compensation.

6. Arguably no team has taken more hits this offseason than the Cardinals.

7. If the Jaguars close the deal with free-agent defensive end Aaron Kampman, and Kampman fully recovers from his ACL injury, it would be huge. They had 14 sacks all of last season. From 2006-2008, Kampman himself had 37.

8. Julius Peppers’ presence will create some sizzle in Chicago, but I still think the Bears will be in third or fourth place in the NFC North in 2010.

9. This year’s free-agent class was one of the weakest in recent memory. It’s no wonder so many teams have remained on the sidelines.

10. Surprised that it’s two days into free agency and veteran Patriots running back Kevin Faulk is still on the open market.