by JJ Cameron

As if fans in New England didn’t give themselves enough reasons to worry anyway, their two Super Bowl heroes find themselves in less than ideal shape these days.

First, the team chose not to place the franchise label on kicker Adam Vinatieri. He had been tagged for two consecutive years before this decision Another Adam Vinatieri Celebrationwas made and now the club will not be compensated if he signs elsewhere.

“It just didn’t feel like the right thing to do,” coach Bill Belichick said. “We considered all our options and decided not to tag anybody.”

The designation would’ve forced the Patriots to shell out $3 million this season for Vinatieri; certainly a great deal for a kicker, but is that truly too much for a city’s hero and one of the most clutch performers of all-time?

Meanwhile, New England joins other AFC East squads with quaterback questions. Granted, the Pats at least know who will be taking their starting snaps - some guy named Tom Brady - but he recently underwent hernia surgery. A full recovery is expected, however, and Brady should be one of the top three QBs taken in the 2006 fantasy draft.

Oh, New England also released Duane Starks.

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