This week, the Patriots will join 31 other teams in Indianapolis for the annual NFL scouting combine, which will open Thursday morning at Lucas Oil Stadium.



The Patriots on Tuesday announced the signing of defensive lineman/linebacker Jason Vega, following reports last month that they had come to an agreement with the Canadian Football League veteran. The Patriots had to wait until Vega was released by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before making the signing official.

Vega, who stands 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, is a native of Brockton who played his college ball at Northeastern. The 25-year-old spent the past two seasons playing for the Blue Bombers, recording 66 tackles and 12 sacks.

Tagging season began Monday for the NFL, and for New England, it began a two-week period of relatively uncertain for the three players who are most likely to get hit with either the franchise tag or transition tag between now and March 4.



Wes Welker has been called a lot of things: slot receiver without peer, standup comic,



Rob Gronkowski has had an eventful offseason, but it appears he’s got some more sedate activity lined up for later this month when he’ll hit the red carpet at the Academy Awards. The Patriots tight end has been enlisted as a correspondent for the “Rich Eisen Podcast” on NFL.com. (Former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward did the honors last season.) The Oscars are set to take place on Feb. 24 in Los Angeles.

When it comes to gauging how well a team is positioned for the NFL postseason, late-season momentum is overrated. Health is not.



With the 2012 playoffs now in the books, we decided to update the quarterback rankings we put together near the end of the regular season.



We’ve already touched on the possibility of Ed Reed as a potential Patriot here, but when free agency begins, there are a handful of less-heralded players who could appeal to New England as well.



The Super Bowl featured two teams that were better than the Patriots this year, two teams that beat the Patriots during the regular season and one -- the eventual Super Bowl champion Ravens -- that handed New England its lunch in the AFC champions



Vikings running back Adrian Peterson won The Associated Press 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player Award Saturday night, edging Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for the honors.

Peterson, who returned from a serious knee injury at the end of the 2011 season to finish with 2,019 rushing yards, received 30 1/2 votes, beating Manning, who received the other 19 1/2 votes. The first running back since LaDanian Tomlinson to win the award, Peterson led the Vikings from a 3-13 mark to 10-6 and a wild-card playoff berth.