INDIANAPOLIS -- The game has changed.





When the NFL combine gets underway this week in Indianapolis, the Patriots be able to pare down most of this list to the guys they’ll really be keeping an eye on — linebackers and defensive backs.



Adam “Pacman” Jones, who was recently cut loose by Dallas, is the NFL’s most notorious third rail.



Alex Speier and Christopher Price throw down to determine whether the Patriots should trade or keep newly franchised quarterback Matt Cassel in 2009.



What a week in sports!



KIRK MINIHANE

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Dear Coach Belichick:


KERRY BYRNE

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The franchise tag for Matt Cassel can come as early as Thursday. An ensuing trade can come as early as Feb. 28.



MICHAEL FELGER

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In New England, you know your days are numbered if they slap you with the franchise tag.

On four occasions in the Bill Belichick era, the Patriots have used the franchise tag.