Patriots running back Danny Woodhead is scheduled to hit the open market for the start of free agency for the first time in his career, but he claimed yesterday he hasn't put a lot of thought into the process just yet.

Woodhead was undrafted in 2008 and got released by the Jets in 2010, so he has been a free agent before, but never like this. The pint-sized sensation from Chadron State really has developed his career in three seasons with the Patriots, so he is about to embark upon the most interesting offseason of his life.

No big deal, apparently.

"Really, I haven't really thought about it," Woodhead said yesterday. "It's only a week and a half out about, and I still just haven't thought about it. It will play out later on. It's a month away, so it's not something I've really thought about and probably won't think about for a little while."

Woodhead still could re-sign with the Patriots before free agency begins March 12, so there is no certainty he'll make a beeline toward a bidding war for his services. However, the Patriots have change-of-pace backs in 2011 second-round pick Shane Vereen and Olympic silver-medalist Jeff Demps, so it's unclear how willing they'd be to make a contract offer enticing enough to keep Woodhead from maxing out his value on the open market.

Either way, Woodhead continued to blossom in the Patriots' spread offense, compiling 250 carries for 1,199 yards, 92 receptions for 982 yards and 14 total touchdowns during three seasons. He thoroughly has enjoyed his tenure.

"I feel like the coaching staff is obviously one of the best, if not the best, in the league," he said. "Playing for coach (Bill) Belichick is obviously awesome. He's unbelievable. I've got a lot of great friends. The last three years have been fun. I've really enjoyed playing. I really enjoy being a Patriot."