The Patriots and OLB John Simon are close to finalizing an extension before Simon would become an unrestricted free agent today. The deal was foreshadowed a few weeks ago when Simon told ESPN.com: "There's been some talks, and things look promising, I enjoyed my time playing for Bill [Belichick]. I think he's a great coach and I'd definitely love to play for him again." Simon was the team's third linebacker behind Dont'a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy, and proved to be a valuable edge player with versatility to adapt to the various schemes the team plays. He joined the team after rookie Ja'Whaun Bentley tore his biceps in a Week 3 loss at Detroit. In a reflection of how his role grew over time, the 6-foot-2, 260-pound Simon played 85 snaps over three playoff games.
11hBrett Okamoto and Jeff Wagenheim