Before the New England Patriots can win a championship or wonder where it will be playing home games the No. 1 priority is getting quarterback Drew Bledsoe under contract.
“We’ve got to sign him,” the Pats’ 31-year-old vice president Jonathan Kraft said of the team’s star quarterback. “He’s the franchise and we’ve got to get it done, the sooner the better.”
Kraft said that talks have already begun with Bledsoe’s California-based agent, Leigh Steinberg, because the former Washington State All-American has a voidable pact that allows him to become a restricted free agent after the 10th game this fall.
“We know it’s going to cost us a lot to sign him, but his agent has said he is willing to structure a deal in such a way that Drew can have a good supporting cast around him,” said Kraft. “Our understanding is that Drew wants to stay. So, hopefully, we’ll be able to work things out.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers moved quickly to replace Pro Bowl guard Duval Love, signing Tom Newberry of the Los Angeles Rams to a free-agent contract Thursday.
The length and terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Newberry, 32, was with the Rams for nine seasons. Last season, he started 14 of the 15 games he played. He played center and guard for the Rams and went to the Pro Bowl in 1988 and 1989.
Love signed last week with Arizona as a free agent after three years with the Steelers.
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