On a day when evidence documents related to Aaron Hernandez's murder case were finally made public, here are a couple of notes on players who are still Patriots and will actually be playing football this year.
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston said Tuesday he believes wide receiver Julian Edelman will start the season as the team's No. 2 wide receiver if he is healthy. Edelman was held out of most organized team activities after suffering a setback in his rehab for a broken right foot. He caught 21 passes in nine games last season.
"Naturally, losing part of the offseason as he rehabs his foot wasn't ideal, but I think one of the main things he has going for him is a trust built up with Tom Brady and a knowledge of the offense," Reiss wrote about Edelman. "If he's healthy on the opening day of camp, I think he'll quickly elevate to close to the top of the depth chart."
Elsewhere on ESPNBoston.com, Mike Rodak considers that running back Brandon Bolden has a 60 percent chance of making the final roster. Bolden posted a 100-yard game against the Bills in Week 4 last season. However, a four-game suspension followed soon after that, and his playing time for the rest of the season was reduced.
Rodak says Bolden won't make the roster if he can't beat out LeGarrette Blount for the third-string job, and even if he does, he might end up on the Physically Unable to Perform list in training camp because of a undisclosed foot injury.
Bolden should be able to win any camp battle against Blount, but he has to get healthy first. If he makes the team, Bolden isn't someone to consider any draft; just file him away for possible future reference.
The opinion that Edelman could be in the starting lineup in Week 1 is really interesting, because I think the most common thought is Aaron Dobson will get that spot. And maybe he still will, but Edelman should be remembered in drafts. He looked to be on his way to a small breakout last season before injuries got the best of him. Health is always an issue with him, but if he stays healthy, he could be a very valuable mid-to-late-round pick.