FOXBORO — When it comes to the Patriots, no skill position offers more of a contrast in age than wide receiver.

According to multiple reports, the Patriots have sent Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins a letter that says if he doesn't agree to play for the tendered restricted free agent salary of $3.26 million the Patriots extended him by the June 15 deadline, they will exercise their right to drop his 2010 contract to 110 percent of his 2009 salary. That means that Mankins, who made $1.4 million in base salary last season, would be in line to make just over $1.5 million if he doesn't sign his tender offer by Tuesday's deadline.

A league source has confirmed the Patriots and fourth-round pick Aaron Hernandez have agreed on a four-year contract.

A tight end out of Florida who was taken with the 113th overall selection in the NFL draft, Hernandez is the fourth member of New England’s 2010 draft class to sign, joining offensive linemen Ted Larsen and Thomas Welch and wide receiver Taylor Price.

The news was first reported by the Boston Herald.

FOXBORO — Tully Banta-Cain has heard it.

FOXBORO — Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker made another appearance at organized team activities on Monday, and said he feels “good” as he continues to work his way back after a left knee injury he suffered in the regular-season finale against the Texans in Houston.

ALLSTON -- Amidst the stir caused by a recent report that the Patriots and Tom Brady are growing apart in contract negotiations, the free-agent-to-be spoke Friday night about his contract situation at a Best Buddies celebrity football game. 


The Patriots announced Friday afternoon that seventh-round pick Thomas Welch has signed. The third draft pick to ink a deal with New England, the offensive lineman out of Vanderbilt joins third-round selection Taylor Price (who signed May 18) and sixth-round draft choice Ted Larsen (who signed May 25).

According to a league source, the Patriots had Rod Owens in for a workout Thursday morning. Owens, a 6-foot-1, 186-pound wide receiver, led Florida State with 61 catches for 729 yards and three touchdowns last season. A 23-year-old, he was released late last month by St. Louis. For more Patriots news, check out our football blog, It Is What It Is.

When it comes to a new deal for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports! writes today “there’s a growing sense of disconnect” between the quarterback and the franchise.

Silver says, “three months before the start of the 2010 campaign, and less than two months before training camp, there have been no substantial talks between his agents (Don Yee and Steve Dubin) and the Pats’ front office, and there’s a growing sense of disconnect between the two camps.”

The discussion here over what Julian Edelman was able to do as a rookie was the inspiration for the latest edition for the Hot List — the best rookie season by a Patriot in the