Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/12/13
The NFL free agency window wasn’t open for but a few minutes and the Patriots were already hot on the trail for some wide receiver depth. With Wes Welker‘s future in New England still very much up in the air, the Patriots are apparently in hot pursuit of Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Cribbs. The Patriots are currently the front runners for the versatile playmaker, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Cribbs, 29, is a decent receiver with great speed and vision downfield. He made his initial debut as a kick return specialist and 2005 and has developed a reputation as a playmaker both in the return game and on the offensive side of the ball. He has eight kick returns for touchdowns and three punt returns in his eight-year career. After setting career highs in 2011 with 41 catches for 518 yards and four scores, Cribbs struggled mightily last season. In 2012, Cribbs was unable to assert himself on offense, catching just seven passes for 63 yards and not scoring a single touchdown. His versatility and abilities as a special teamer do make him an intriguing option, though, and Tom Brady would likely enjoy having a new weapon in his arsenal. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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