Optimism? Wicked Thoughts!
First I would like to say hello to everyone! I am new to the board but not new to the Patriots. I have grown up to live and die (mostly the latter throughout the years) with New England football. My grandmother used to start every season saying that this was the year the Pats were going to win it all. The year after she left us for the pearly gates in the great land above the Pats made it to the Super Bowl, only to be distracted by the Tuna's diva fit and lose to the Packers and MVP Brett Favre. But she has been able to smile down upon the Pats the past few years since the arrival (or return) of Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli.
Enough about me... This offseason has been trying thus far as we have seen Willie McGinest, David Givens, Christian Fauria and now Adam Vinatieri leave for the mirage of greener pastures.
Poor Willie is stuck in the muddy waters of Cleveland, Ohio, you know the town obsessed with Pittsburgh and yet to win an NFL Championship. The guys that are the NFL's version of the Chicago Cubs. God bless Romeo as he tries to right that ship, but throwing around all that money isn't going to get it done. I respect McGinest as a player and he will always have a special place for my family for what he did on the field for the Pats, but I wonder how he's going to enjoy those 6-10 campaigns?
Givens is heading down to Tennessee, country music a blaring! Yes he's just entering the prime of his career and the Tits got a very good WR who will only get better, but for $25mil??? That money will be well spent around Foxboro. Besides - no RB, no TE, and McNair on his way out... Not too potent of an offense (or defense for that matter). Maediocrity must be nice...
That brings us to Adam, our dear clutch PK whom won a pair of SB's from the tips of his feet. Well he saddled up with this generation's Dan Marino. Hope he took his brides maids dress to Indy along with him.
No pun towards these players as they are all great in their own right and I wish them all of the luck in the world, except when they are playing the Pats of course... But each scenario was a bad move from a winning standpoint, but hey you can't argue with the money right? I mean who in their right mind wouldn't prostitute themselves out for money to the highest bidder? Money solves everything right? Well everything but love, happiness and winning anyhow...
With that out of my system I thought we'd take a peak at what is still left out there on the market... Shall we?
We know that there is a need for a backup QB with the ageless Doug Flutie about to ride off into the sunset adn Cassel not yet ready for prime time well...
Jay Fiedler is on the market still, would be a pretty darn solid backup if you ask me. Then there's always that Tim Rattay guy, you know the one the Pats almost took instead of some guy named Tom Brady a few years back.
We all know that there is the need for an infusion at LB, both inside and out, and the draft does offer many options - especially for 3-4 defenses - but there is some talent out on the meat market yet, players such as:
LaVar Arrington, Peter Boulware, Sam Cowart, Chris Claiborne, Scott Shanle (RFA), and Jamie Sharper.
Second-tier LB's such as Na'il Diggs, Rocky Calmus, Jay Foreman, Warrick Holdman, Hannibal Navies, DaShon Polk, and Gary Stills could also fit into BB's system.
Boulware, Cowart, Shanle, Sharper, Foreman and Polk all have experience in the 3-4. Shanle is a restricted free agent but may be worth taking a run at, after all the compensation would be a lowly 7th-round pick. This is a guy who started for Tuna in Dallas and seemed to be on of their best 3-4 LB's (other than their rook).
We know we need to replace Vinatieri. An even swap for Vanderjagt? The most clutch PK in NFL history for the most accurate PK in NFL history? Seattle's Josh Brown is a restricted free agent who has kicked in snow during his collegiate career with Nebraska. Again the compensation would be a round-six selection. So if you like him beter than possible draftee John Scifres (who you'd have to spend a round four pick on) then you have to make a run at his services.
A couple of defensive linemen could help us out, Gary Walker had played NT and DE in the 3-4 and would be great for depth even though he has lost a step or two. Jared DeVries is a player misused in a 4-3 who was built to play in BB's system.
The secondary is full of holes we could always resign Chad Scott and Arturo Freeman or make a run at a few other DBs such as cornerbacks:
Charles Woodson, Jerry Azumah, Eric Warfield, Ralph Brown, Nate Clements, Jamar Fletcher, and Dewayne Washington. Or the Pats could try to bring Ty Law back home, though unlikely. DeJuan Groce is an up-and-coming CB whois developing nicely for the Rams, he is a restricted free agent, though the third-round compensation is likely too much for BB to give it serious consideration.
At safety you have Idrees Bashir, Chad Williams, and Tank Williams. Or you could always rethink Tebucky Jones.
Tom Ashworth has to be a priority on the OL, Derrick Dockery would be a nice pickup at OG, he can also play some OT, so there is the versatility that BB and Pioli covet.
Seeing Troy Brown in any other uniform could really give me a bad case of unPatriotism, but I think I could brace myself for the blow if need be. Keyshawn Johnson is close to BB but will seek more moolah than the Pats are willing to dish out. In the end he may not have many suitors and NE could get a steal there. Or maybe Peerless Price coming to Mass. to revive his career? The draft seems the most likely spot to fill the need for a #2 WR. There just isn't much out their on the market unless NE gets creative in some odd trade scenario.
There has been talk about taking a RB in the first round, and well if that's the case I'll beg for Laurence Maroney. Heck call me crazy but if I had the #1 pick I wouldn't take that Bush kid, Maroney is going to be a much better NFL back. I wouldn't be angry with a LenDale White selection either...
I'd realy enjoy a LB, say Bobby Carpenter or D'Qwell Jackson. Ernie sims could possibly do. DeMeco Ryans would be okay with me as well. Mike Kudla in the fourth round I'd really like. Brodie Croyle in the third? Possibly Rodrique Wright in the second, you know insurance just in case that Richard Seymour thing goes sour...
Travis Henry is on the market, think he'd like to stick it to buffalo twice a year?
Well hopefully I've entertained someone and thanks for having me! I'm really enjoying it and look forward to much, much more in the future!
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