Shortly after he signed with the Jets Thursday, veteran safety Ed Reed acknowledged he heard from the Patriots and Dolphins during his brief stint as a free agent.

“I don’t think either one of them wanted me in their conference,” Reed told reporters.

FOXBORO — Veteran safety Steve Gregory was the only absence, while six players — including tight end Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm/hamstring) and cornerback Aqib Talib (hip) — were among those listed as limited in the wake of the padded practice the team held Thursday.

Veteran safety Ed Reed, who was released by the Texans on Tuesday, passed through waivers unclaimed on Wednesday, which means he’s now an unrestricted free agent and available to any NFL team that would want him.

It doesn’t have the breathless “will-he-or-won’t-he” drama of Gronk Watch that occupied the first six weeks of the regular season, but the return of running back Shane Vereen -- and the impact he can have on the



Asked about the possibility of the Patriots having interest in the recently released Ed Reed, Bill Belichick said Wednesday, “I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment on players that aren’t on our team.”

The veteran safety, who was released on Tuesday by the Texans, has long been a favorite of Beichick — the Patriots coach has praised Reed several times over the years when he was with the Ravens.

FOXBORO -- Say what you will about the 2013 Patriots -- they certainly haven’t been boring.



On NFL Network’s “Total Access” on Tuesday, analysts — and former Patriots — Willie McGinest and Heath Evans weighed in on Ed Reed‘s situation. Both believe that the veteran defensive back, who was released Tuesday by the Texans, would be a good fit in New England.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has received some criticism for his appearances at bars and nightclubs in the past. After the latest video of him at a bar surfaced Tuesday, he might want to reconsider his schedule.

Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito drama surrounding the Dolphins, as well as the performance of Tom Brady this season.

FOXBORO — Steve Gregory was the only player missing from the start of Patriots practice on Tuesday morning. The veteran safety, who suffered a thumb injury in the Week 9 win over the Steelers, is expected to be on the shelf for a few weeks.

The team was in sweats and shells on a chilly Foxboro morning at it started preparations for Monday’s game against the Panthers in Carolina.

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