The Patriots will play preseason games at Philadelphia and Detroit, and home against Tampa Bay and the New York Giants, it was announced Thursday afternoon.

While three of the official dates have yet to be announced, New England will host the Buccaneers on a nationally televised game on Fox on August 16 at 8 p.m., which is classified by the league as a Week Two matchup.

The Patriots have $10,299,937 in cap room as of Wednesday, according to NFLPA documents.

Talk about a strange combination.

Free agent Julian Edelman is visiting with the Giants this week, according to Mike Garofalo of USA Today. Edelman, a seventh-round pick of the Patriots in 2009, has spent the last four seasons with New England. The former collegiate quarterback, who caught 37 passes as a rookie, has 69 catches for 714 yards and four touchdowns over his career with the Patriots. In addition, the 5-foot-10, 200-pounder has shown special teams value, having returned three punts for touchdowns in four seasons.

Wes Welker said Wednesday morning that contract talks between his reps and the Patriots never got personal and indicated that in the end, “everything worked out really well for everybody.”

The former Patriots wide receiver who signed a free agent deal with the Broncos last month after six seasons in New England, told ESPN Radio that the whole thing was just about business.

The departure of Wes Welker (and possibly Brandon Lloyd, Julian Edelman and Deion Branch



Former Patriots coach Chuck Fairbanks, who guided the team from 1973 to 1978, passed away Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz., after battling brain cancer. He was 79.

The sixth coach in franchise history, Fairbanks spent six seasons leading the Patriots, and finished with a 46-40 mark, as well as two trips to the postseason.

The Patriots have been quite adept at finding players who might have operated out of pre-draft spotlight because they didn’t get an invite to the combine: Wes Welker, Julian Edelman,



One of the reasons Tom Brady and Wes Welker were able to build the sort of bond that led to Welker’s dominance over the last six years was the fact they spent a ton of time together in the offseason — outside of the offseason workout programs — working together on the quarterback-receiver relationship. The two spent plenty of time engaged in offseason throwing sessions in Southern California, working together to help understand exactly what the other one needed.

According to ESPNBoston.com, Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty underwent shoulder surgery this offseason but is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. The report did not specify on which shoulder McCourty underwent the procedure, which was characterized as “routine.”