BOSTON After a long break, it’s back to work for the New England Patriots.
Now that players have agreed to a new labor deal, the NFL lockout comes to an end on Tuesday.
That’s when the Patriots can get to work signing players who aren’t already under contract — and prepare to open training camp just one day later, on Wednesday.
“Knowing [head coach] Bill Belichick and how he plans for all scenarios,” said ESPNBoston’s Mike Reiss, “I bet he has an action plan to have that roster filled at the maximum number of players, which will be 90. The Patriots currently have 65 under contract, so that means that over the next 24 to 48 hours they need to get working on signing about 20 to 25 more players, which is just unprecedented.”
Reiss, who spoke with WBUR’s All Things Considered host Sacha Pfeiffer on Monday, said the Patriots will face a “fast and furious” free agency period and will also try to resolve contract negotiations with the team’s best offensive lineman, Logan Mankins.
“I don’t think [Belichick’s] going to be able to go home,” Reiss quipped. “Twenty-four hours in a day isn’t going to be long enough.”