Patriots notebook

Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson out 2-3 months

Aaron Dobson had 37 catches for 519 yards and four touchdowns last season, but the foot injury in Week 12 derailed his rookie season.

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Aaron Dobson had 37 catches for 519 yards and four touchdowns last season, but the foot injury in Week 12 derailed his rookie season.

Tom Brady may not have one of his key young receivers during this spring’s offseason workouts.

Aaron Dobson will miss 2-3 months after undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture in his foot, a league source said Monday night.


Dobson, the Patriots’ second-round pick in 2013, could miss valuable practice time with Brady and his teammates during organized team activities and minicamp, which begin in late April and conclude in mid-June.

Dobson had 37 catches for 519 yards and four touchdowns last season, but the foot injury in Week 12 derailed his rookie season.

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He missed four games overall, and had just four catches for 50 yards over the Patriots’ final eight games, including playoffs.

Working on Edelman

The Patriots continued to negotiate with receiver Julian Edelman Monday and may still spend big money on cornerback Aqib Talib with free agency set to begin Tuesday at 4 p.m. But they also knocked some housecleaning items off their list while monitoring the transactions list and negotiating with agents.

They agreed to a two-year contract with blocking tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, a league source confirmed.


Hoomanawanui, entering his fifth NFL season, had 12 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown last season but played an unexpectedly large role — 58 percent of snaps for the year — because of the release of Aaron Hernandez and injuries to Rob Gronkowski.

Hoomanawanui, 25, is set to sign Tuesday, according to a league source, but terms of the deal have not been released. He played last season at a minimum $630,000 salary plus incentives.

Seven released

The Patriots also released seven players from the injury list and practice squad — running back Sam McGuffie, receiver T.J. Moe, linebacker Taylor Reed, defensive lineman Cory Grissom, running back Quentin Hines, offensive lineman Elvis Fisher, and offensive lineman Brice Schwab.

The moves put the Patriots’ offseason roster at 60 players.

The offseason maximum is 90, but only the top 51 players count against the salary cap.

As of Monday night, the Patriots were approximately $15 million under their adjusted salary cap of $137.1 million.

Among the Patriots’ other free agents are linebacker Brandon Spikes, who is likely to sign elsewhere, center Ryan Wendell, and running back LeGarrette Blount.

Extended plans?

The Patriots still likely have a few in-house moves left to free up some salary cap space. Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, safety Devin McCourty, and kicker Stephen Gostkowski are entering the last year of their contracts and the Patriots could lower their 2014 salary cap numbers by signing them to contract extensions — in Wilfork’s case, he may have to agree to an extension and a pay cut to avoid being cut.

The Patriots also can create $8.8 million in cap space by releasing several veterans: Isaac Sopoaga ($2.5 million in savings), Adrian Wilson ($1.2 million), Dan Connolly ($3 million), and Tommy Kelly ($2.1 million).

Ben Volin can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin.
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