Archive for the ‘ Players ’ Category

The 10 Most Pivotal Players for 2012

1. Devin McCourty

After a shortened off season due to the lockout, McCourty had a horrible start to the season getting burned by Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson. In fact, in many cases Kyle Arrington played better than McCourty.

In order for the Patriots to have a better defense, McCourty has to play smarter and overall just better.

2. Patrick Chung

Chung has the potential to be a Pro Bowl safety if he can stay healthy. Apparently, that is a big if, but if he does the safety position will be solidified.

3. Ras-I Dowling

Dowling was very hyped going into his rookie season. I thought he was the best corner in the draft. Like Chung, if Dowling can stay healthy he can be starting opposite of McCourty.

4. Nate Solder

Matt Light is retired and Solder will be thrown into the fire either at left or right tackle (depending on Sebastian Vollmer). Either way, Solder has big shoes to fill on the offensive line, not to mention dealing with the new AFC East pass rushers Mario Williams and Quinton Coples.

5. Chandler Jones

We all can agree the Pats have been missing a pass rush for the past few years. Andre Carter and Mark Anderson were good stopgaps last year, but Jones has the potential to be a Jason Pierre-Paul type player. If Jones can get anywhere near the 15 sacks his coach says, the pressure on the secondary will be a whole lot less.

6. Brandon Lloyd

The Pats offense has stalled in recent years in the playoffs. The receivers can’t separate from the corners and there is a lack of a deep threat. Lloyd will add the deep threat dynamic to the offense and much more.

7. Stevan Ridley

Stevan Ridley is has shown more than Shane Vereen and looks to be the starting running back going into next season (granted, Vereen was injured). I have high hopes that Ridley can build off of last year’s success and provide the Patriots with a top running game that will keep defenses honest.

8. Donta Hightower

Hightower brings impact, impact, and more impact plays to the defensive side of the ball. He can play all over the field and bring that next level to the linebacking core.

9. Kyle Love

After Vince Wilfork, the defense line drops off greatly in talent and ability. Love has to step up and play better against the run.

10. Steve Gregory

The safety position was horrible last year. Gregory is hopefully better than Sergio Brown and James Ihedigbo.

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A Look at the Roster Cuts and Releases

After a wild day of players being cut from teams all over the league, I have attempted to compile a list of all the players the Patriots have cut or released this offseason. If any players are missing, please comment so I can add them.

PUP and IR

  • Kevin Faulk, RB
  • Ron Brace, DL
  • Brandon Deaderick, DL
  • Rich Ohrnberger, OL
  • Marcus Cannon, OL

Cuts:

  • Jonathan Crompton, QB
  • Eric Kettani, RB
    • He is moving to the practice squad
  • Sammy Morris, RB
    • Even though Morris did everything right there just wasn’t any room for him. I wish Morris the best
  • Richard Medlin, RB
  • Thomas Clayton, RB
  • Brandon Tate, WR
    • Tate could never get it together (like another player with the first name Brandon..)
  • Buddy Farnham, WR
  • Darnell Jenkins, WR
  • Jeremy Ross, WR
  • Tyree Barnes, WR
  • Tiquan Underwood, WR
  • Alge Crumpler, TE
  • Carson Butler, TE
  • Garrett Mills, TE
  • Lee Smith, TE
    • Yeatman beat Smith out
  • Will Yeatman, TE
    • I surprised by this cut, but Yeatman will be moving to the practice squad
  • Chris Morris, C
  • Corey Woods, OL
  • Jonathan Compas, OL
  • Kyle Hix, OL
  • Mark LeVoir, OL
  • Mark Wetterer, OL
  • Mike Berry, OL
  • Nick Kaczur, OL
  • Steve Maneri, OL
  • Zack Roth, OL
  • Chris Koepplin, K
  • James Dearth, LS
  • Matt Katula, LS
  • Aaron Lavarias, DE
  • Clay Nurse, DL
  • Darryl Richard, DL
    • Another player cut because there was no room, Richard should be picked up by another team soon with his strong camp this offseason
  • Eric Moore, DE
    • Moore made my 53 man roster so this cut came as a surprise.
  • Aaron Lavarlas, DL
  • Gerard Warren, DL
  • Kade Weston, DL
  • Landon Cohen, DL
  • Marcus Stroud, DL
  • Steve Williams, DL
  • Ryan Coulson, DE
  • Markell Carter, DE
    • I was on the Carter Train this offseason, but the switch from 3-4 to 4-3 hurt him and thus he isn’t with us anymore
  • Ty Warren, DE
  • Marlon Favorite, DT
  • Anthony Leonard, LB
  • Christian Cox, LB
  • Niki Koutouvides, LB
  • Ricky Brown, LB
  • Tully Banta-Cain, OLB
  • Darius Butler, CB
  • Jonathan Wilhite, CB
  • Thad Turner, CB
  • Tony Cater, CB
  • Brandon McGowan, DB
  • Malcolm Williams, DB
  • Ross Ventrone, DB
  • Brandon Meriweather, S
    • I could go days ranting about Meriweather and Darius Butler…
  • Bret Lockett, S
    • Multiple news organizations say he will be put on IR once he clears waivers
  • James Sanders, S
    • Not a flashy or special player, Sanders was an above average player
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Haynesworth can be fixed

Corey Dillon, Randy Moss, Albert Haynesworth, and now Ochocinco too. All players with different skill sets but they all have one thing in common, they suffer from a ‘all about me’ attitude and a diva complex.

When Corey Dillon came to New England, people all over where doubting Coach Belichick’s ability to turn Dillon into a team player. One Super Bowl later and a member of the New England Patriots All-2000s Team, the Corey Dillon trade was excellent. When the Patriots traded for Randy Moss, there where comments such as “I wish I could share what Kraft must be smoking to go for that trade” on a lot of the NFL related sites. In 2007, Randy Moss broke records and caught 23 touchdowns and 1,493 yards. Nuff’ said.

Haynesworth though is on an entirely different level than Dillon and Moss. Haynesworth has received his money already, has had success to some degree, and he has essentially pulled a Tully Banta-Cain on the Redskins. Haynesworth may be a headcase, but who better to deal with a headcase than Coach Belichick and his staff. The Patriots are polar opposites of the Redskins and the Patriots have very little invested in Haynesworth unlike the Redskins.

The Redskins as an organization is a complete mess. No offense to Mike Shanahan, but he didn’t create the most stable environment last season. Taking McNabb out of the game and putting in Rex Grossman is such an example . When Haynesworth was with Jeff Fisher and the Titians, he was very productive and the player we all remember. As far as stats go, Haynesworth racked up 24 total sacks and 72 assisted tackles. In his two years in Washington, he had 6.5 sacks and 11 assisted tackles. Last year he had 2.5 sacks in 8 games . Mike Wright, our sack leader last season, had 5.5 sacks. I bring up his time in Tennessee because it is a more stable environment like New England. If Jeff Fisher can handle him, Coach Belichick can.

The trade itself is a win-win. If it works out, our defensive line is one of the best, if not the best, in the league. If the trade doesn’t work and Coach Belichick has to cut Haynesworth, we lose a 5th round pick (a hit or miss pick). Heck, if Haynesworth is even marginally good this upcoming season, he would be an upgrade over Gerard Warren.

As Michael Lombardi said “When he is on the field, he has to be doubled. With Vince Wilfork lining up next to him, it spells more than trouble for opposing offensive lines.”

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Recent Moves and Signings

Now that the lockout is over, it has been a tornado of player signings and releases coming in almost every hour. The Patriots have been have been wheeling and dealing for low risk high reward players and it seems like its going to be a great group this year.

Patriots:

  • Rookie Free Agents Signed
  • Free Agents Signed
    • Marcus Stroud, DL
    • Steve Williams, DL
    • Jonathan Compas, OL
    • Chris Morris, C
    • Richard Medlin, RB
    • Mark Anderson, DE
    • Shaun Ellis, DE
    • Andre Carter, DE
    • Mark Anderson, DE
    • Zach Roth, OT
    • Garrett Mills, TE
    • Tiquan Underwood, WR
    • Ross Ventrone, LS
    • Tiquan Underwood, WR
  • Players Traded For
    • DL Albert Haynesworth is now in New England by way of a 5th round pick in 2013 (He has restructured his contract to make $1.5 million in 2011 and $6.7 million in 2012)
    • WR Chad Ochocinco for two picks in 2012 and 2013 (He has also restructured $1 million this year, $3 million in 2012 and 2013)
  • Players Re-signed
    • Kevin Faulk signed a 1 year deal
    • Logan Mankins has signed a 6 year deal
    • Kyle Arrington signed a 2 year $3.275 million max deal
    • Matt Light has signed a 2 year $12 million deal
    • BenJarvus Green-Ellis (who was a RFA)
    • Gerard Warren, Sammy Morris, Brandon McGowan, and Tracy White have been resigned
  • Players Released
    • Jonathan Crompton, QB
    • Sammy Morris, RB
    • Richard Medlin, RB
    • Thomas Clayton, RB
    • Eric Kettani, RB
    • Buddy Farnham, WR
    • Darnell Jenkins, WR
    • Tyree Barnes, WR
    • Tiquan Underwood, WR
    • Alge Crumpler, TE
    • Carson Butler, TE
    • Corey Woods, OL
    • Jonathan Compas, OL
    • Mike Berry, OL
    • Nick Kaczur, T
    • Chris Koepplin, K
    • Matt Katula, LS
    • Aaron Lavarias, DE
    • Darryl Richard, DL
    • Eric Moore, DE
    • Kade Weston, DL
    • Landon Cohen, DL
    • Markell Carter, DE
    • Ty Warren, DE
    • Marlon Favorite, DT
    • Niki Koutouvides, LB
    • Ricky Brown, LB
    • Tully Banta-Cain, OLB
    • Jonathan Wilhite, CB
    • Tony Cater, CB
    • Brandon McGowan, DB
    • Malcolm Williams, DB
    • James Sanders, S

Other League Signings

  • WR Sidney Rice has agreed to a five-year $41 million deal with the Seahawks
  • RB DeAngelo Williams will stay with the Panthers with a $43 million five-year deal
  • WR Santonio Holmes is staying with the Jets on a five-year deal that averages slightly less than $10 million per season
  • WR Donte’ Stallworth will sign with the Redskins
  • WR Michael Jenkins signed a 3 year deal with the Vikings
  • WR Steve Smith (of the Giants) has signed with the Eagles
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Patriots cut Tyrone McKenzie and sign others to practice squad

The Patriots cut 2rd-year linebacker Tyrone McKenzie today. McKenzie was a 3rd round pick from 2009 that was injured with a torn ACL his rookie season. This preseason McKenzie didn’t make a great impression and looked like a special teamer. I’m surprised though that he was let go.

In other news, the Patriots signed wide receiver Darnell Jenkins, linebacker Shawn Crable, safety Sergio Brown, and center Rich Ohrnberger to the practice squad (Crable being the most notable back with the Patriots).

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Pats trade for Jarrad Page, Updated List of Cuts

The Patriots traded for safety Jarrad Page out of Kansas City. The Chiefs will receive a conditional draft pick for the trade. To make room, Patriots waived safety Sergio Brown who was on the bubble.

In other news, the Patriots released defensive lineman Derrick Burgess. It seems that Jermaine Cunningham was picked over Burgess, who arrived to camp late and did not have a stellar preseason. Here is a updated list of players that have been released, confirmed and compiled by Boston.com

LB Eric Alexander
DB Sergio Brown
LB Derrick Burgess
TE Carson Butler
RB Thomas Clayton
OL Eric Ghiaciuc
WR Darnell Jenkins
OL Ted Larsen
DL Damione Lewis
TE Rob Myers
OL Rich Ohrnberger
WR Rod Owens
QB Zac Robinson
DB Ross Ventrone
OL Thomas Welch
DB DeAngelo Willingham
LB Pierre Woods

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Patriots cut Damione Lewis and others

The Patriots cut defensive lineman Damione Lewis and tight ends Rob Meyer and Carson Butler. Meyer and Butler were presumably kicked out by Gronk and Hernandez, and Lewis was presumably cut for numbers reasons.

There is a chance the Patriots bring Lewis back though. A common thing teams do is release a veteran and then sign him after the first game so they don’t have to guarantee a full season’s salary. That and Bill Belichick was quoted saying “I think he can help us this year” just about 3 weeks ago.

Thanks to Mike Reiss for the quote

Update: The Patriots also waived offensive lineman Eric Ghiaciuc

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Patriots make minor changes to the roster

The Patriots made minor changes today, releasing offensive lineman Brian Simmons and signing recently cut defensive back Terrence Johnson. Both players have/had a long shot of making the roster.

In other news, Rex Ryan is eying the ex-Patriot Adalius Thomas. With Calvin Pace injured, the Jets will need a replacement and Thomas and Ryan have history together up in Baltimore. “I would say that would be a possibility,” Ryan said of Thomas joining the Jets. “I wouldn’t rule that out.” (- from ESPN)

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Torry Holt placed on IR and other news

The Patriots signed recently released wide receiver Buddy Farnham and also signed offensive lineman Brian Simmons. The signings were made possible with the placing of wide receiver Torry Holt on injured reserve and the release of defensive back Ross Ventrone. Holt suffered a knee injury and is scheduled to have surgery this week, according to various sources.

In other news, Ron Brace and Derrick Burgess showed up for practice today. Some notables that were missing were Nick Kaczur and Jermaine Cunningham.

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Patriots release OG Darnell Stapleton

The Patriots cut newly acquired  offensive guard Darnell Stapleton. Stapleton was originally signed to add depth to the depleted Patriots line, but it seems that did not work out. The move is an odd one seeing how he was just signed days ago and how the Patriots line is so thin. My guess is he wasn’t who they thought he was.

With the release, the Patriots were able to sign running back Thomas Clayton, who had been recently cut by the Patriots. Clayton was a 6th round pick by the 49ers back in 2007.

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