FOXBORO — The Patriots announced Wednesday that they have signed linebacker Marques Murrell. Murrell originally signed with the Patriots on March 10, and played in the season-opener vs. Cincinnati before being released on Sept. 13. He had one special teams tackle against the Bengals. Murrell, 6-foot-2, 250 pounds, spent three NFL seasons (2007-09) with the New York Jets. For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

FOXBORO — Tight end Aaron Hernandez, linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, defensive lineman/outside linebacker Eric Moore and defensive lineman Mike Wright were not at start of Patriots practice Wednesday afternoon. In addition, Danny Woodhead, Dan Connolly and Dan Koppen were all wearing red noncontact jerseys. And there was a player working with the linebackers who was wearing No. 53 — we anticipate an official announcement on the move shortly. For more Patriots information, check out weei.com/patriots.

It’s been said countless times that a football team is a reflection of its coach. And the true genius of your New England Patriots during the reign of Belichick the Conqueror has been the ability to turn lousy opponents into great ones.



So much of the success of this year’s Patriots team has been a multigenerational effort, with rookies and second-year players meshing well with established veterans. It’s produced a 14-2 regular-season record and the top seed in the AFC playoff race.



The Patriots made a pair of moves on Tuesday, signing defensive lineman Atiyyah Ellison to the 53-man roster and adding defensive lineman Marlon Favorite to the practice squad.

This week's "Sports Illustrated" has Patriots' defensive lineman Vince Wilfork on the cover. According to the folks at SI, it is the 23rd time the Patriots have taken top billing on the cover of the weekly issue, tying the Minnesota Vikings for sixth most alltime among NFL teams. Wilfork is the first NFL defensive tackle to grace the cover on his own since Albert Haynesworth on the Nov. 11, 2008, issue. For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

According to Forbes Magazine, the Patriots are the NFL's most cost-effective team, boasting the third-lowest payroll in the league ($92.7 million), which led to having them pay just $6.6 million in payroll per win. According to Forbes, that was 58 percent more efficient than the league median cost per win. The report goes on to state that Falcons were the second-most cost-effective team, dishing out $7.4 million per win.

 

Just because the regular season is over doesn't mean the WEEI.com NFL Power Rankings have to end. Joe Zarbano brings us his rankings of the final 12 teams heading into the playoffs. To nobody's surprise, the Patriots come in at No. 1. Which team enters the postseason at the bottom of the list? Hint: It is coached by Pete Carroll. To see the complete list, click here.

 

With the regular season in the books and the postseason looming, it’s time to take a look back at each player on the roster and break down his performance. Here’s the WEEI.com regular-season report card:

QUARTERBACK



Patriots defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick has been placed on the reserve/suspended list by the team, according to multiple media outlets. Deaderick, a seventh-round draft pick out of Alabama, was active for 10 games this season, including four starts, and had 17 tackles and two sacks. The news was first reported by Mike Reiss of ESPN. For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.