Hey everyone. Some of you might not remember, but I posted a mock offseason a couple of months ago. After watching the combine and conducting further research, I think I may have found what would be in my opinion (and hopefully some of you will agree) the most successful 2011 offseason for the Patriots. Just to let everyone know, this mock is operating under the assumption that the new CBA will remain the same in terms of tags being applicable and years towards UFA status. Towards the end of this post, I will explain in detail certain signings or draftees and why I saw them as the best fit. Let me know what you think.
Matt Light: 2 yr deal
Logan Mankins: 5 yr deal
Sammy Morris: 1 yr deal
Tracy White: 2 yr deal
Kyle Arrington (ERFA): 3 yr deal
Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis (RFA): 2 yr deal
Corey Graham (from CHI): 2-3 yr deal
Sidney Rice (from MIN): 5-6 yr deal
Kevin Faulk retires ala Bruschi terms
Fred Taylor retires
2011 NFL Draft
(Trade 1st Round (OAK) to PHI for 1st and 2nd Round Picks)
1st Round (PHI): Ryan Kerrigan OLB/DE
-Good at setting the edge and a very good pass-rusher. Could be had in the mid to late 1st.
1st Round: Gabe Carimi T/G
-Stud O-lineman who could step in at RG for first 2 yrs and kick out to RT when Light retires.
2nd Round (CAR): Muhammad Wilkerson DE
-Another 1st round DE prospect who might fall out of 1st due to level of competition he faced, needs of other teams, and abundance of 1st round talent.
(Trade Original and MIN 3rd Round Picks to KC for 2nd Round Pick)
2nd Round (KC): Stefen Wiesniewski C/G
-Can play G or C and could be groomed to play C in 2012 after Koppen's contract expires.
(Trade 2nd Round (PHI) Pick for 2nd and 3rd Round Picks)
2nd Round (Team A): Benjamin Ijalana G/T
-Another small school player who would be tutored by Scarnecchia and would serve as more of a backup T/G in year one.
2nd Round: Jordan Todman RB
-A RB who reminds me of Ray Rice, would be the perfect compliment to Woody and Lawfirm.
3rd Round (Team A): Kenrick Ellis NT
-While some people on here have expressed no interest in Ellis due to his character issues (which I don't know what they are), he is still a decent football player. If there's one thing we need, it is a TRUE backup NT for Wilfork. Because if Wilfork goes down and we don't have a serviceable NT, we are screwed.
4th Round: Greg Romeus OLB/DE
-Late round project who could either be redshirt IR'd or play as a passrusher only in yr 1 due to his injury last season. Either way, he could be something special.
5th Round (Comp): Chris Prosinski FS/CB
-My late round binky for this year. Ever since I saw the one post that had his highlights, I've been intrigued by this guy. I think he could not only thrive as a FS, but MIGHT be able to play CB given his fast 40 time (I think it was in the low 4.4s) At the very least, he would provide depth and add another ST demon to our arsenal.
*Note: I am assuming we garner a 5th Round Comp. pick due to loss of Jarvis Green and Ben Watson.
6th Round (NO): Greg McElroy QB
-As much as I hate this douche, he's smart and comes from the school of Saban. Don't see him leapfrogging Hoyer for #2 so he would either make it as a #3 or could be stashed on the PS.
Now, here are my reasons for signing some notable players:
While most of you may think it's impossible or illogical to sign Rice, allow me to explain. He gives us a bonafide vertical option and would open things up in the middle of the field for Branch, Welker, and whoever else. He would also provide Tom with a level of comfort that he did not have with Tate and also allow us to further develop Price.
While Matt is getting up there in age, he has enough left in the tank, I think, to go 2 more years. By that time, we could hand the reigns over to Vollmer and shift Carimi out to RT.
Simply put, he is the best O-lineman we have and one of the Top 5 football players on our team. While we may hate his agent's guts, we would be utterly screwing ourselves if we didn't pay this guy. Since there might not be a salary cap this season even if a new CBA is in place (read it on PFT), we could work the contract so that he earns a huge chunk of his guaranteed money this year and then it evens out to a more cap-friendly number for the remainder of the deal. Either way, we have to make an effort to keep this guy.
Solid special teams player.
While some of you might not know a lot about this guy, I feel he is one of those complimentary FA signings that Bill does every year. He is a solid CB (not the kind of player that would command Asomugha or Jonathan Joseph money, but a solid DB nonetheless), AND he is a special teams wiz. I saw this guy a few times this year (vs GB on MNF, vs NE, and vs SEA in the Div. Round) and he was almost always the first guy down field to make a good tackle or down a punt inside the 10. Plus, he's only 25.
While some people might feel Morris is done (and I'm one of them) he is at least serviceable as a FB and a ST player. Plus, Bill doesn't like inexperienced players playing the lead FB spot, so he may place Eric Kettani (who is done with his duties in May) on the PS and give him a year to catch up and study film in order to take over in 2012.
•12 Tom Brady
•8 Brian Hoyer
•42 BenJarvus Green-Ellis
•Sammy Morris RB/FB
•39 Danny Woodhead
•84 Deion Branch
•11 Julian Edelman PR
•17 Taylor Price
•19 Brandon Tate KR
•83 Wes Welker
•82 Alge Crumpler
•87 Rob Gronkowski
•85 Aaron Hernandez
•Gabe Carimi T/G
•63 Dan Connolly G/C
•Benjamin Ijalana G/T
•67 Dan Koppen C
•64 Mark LeVoir T
•72 Matt Light T
•70 Logan Mankins G
•76 Sebastian Vollmer T
•Stefen Wiesniewski C/G
•97 Ron Brace DE
•Kenrick Ellis NT
•91 Myron Pryor NT
•94 Ty Warren DE
•75 Vince Wilfork NT/DE
•Muhammed Wilkerson DE
•99 Mike Wright DE/NT
•96 Jermaine Cunningham OLB/DE
•52 Dane Fletcher ILB/OLB
•59 Gary Guyton ILB
•Ryan Kerrigan OLB/DE
•51 Jerod Mayo ILB
•50 Rob Ninkovich OLB/DE
•Greg Romeus OLB/DE
•55 Brandon Spikes ILB
•58 Tracy White ILB
•27 Kyle Arrington CB
•23 Leigh Bodden CB
•28 Darius Butler CB
•25 Patrick Chung SS
•Corey Graham CB
•32 Devin McCourty CB
•44 Jarrad Page SS
•Chris Prosinski FS/CB
•31 Brandon Meriweather FS
•36 James Sanders FS
• 3 Stephen Gostkowski K
•48 Matt Katula LS
•14 Zoltan Mesko P