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12/8 Revised Possible Pats Offseason

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by mayoclinic, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A week ago I posted a 4 round mock offseason and draft. Based on last week's loss to Miami and how things currently look, I thought I would make a revised attempt at what just a Pats offseason might look like:

    Assumptions:

    1. 2010 is an uncapped year.
    2. Pats finish 10-6, win the division, and lose to Indy in the playoffs. As such, we are a "2nd 4" team in the group of 8, which has different rules than the "top 4" for signing external FAs.
    3. The Pats have the #20 and #52 picks in the draft, plus #42 (Tennessee) and #50 (Jacksonville).

    Free Agency:

    1. The Pats re-sign (or franchise) UFAs DT Vince Wilfork and TE Ben Watson.
    2. The Pats re-sign UFA CB Leigh Bodden for 4 years, $24M.
    3. The Pats tender RFAs OG Logan Mankins and K Stefan Gostkowki high tender offers.
    4. The Pats sign UFA OLB Shawne Merriman for 4 years, $24M.
    5. The Pats sign UFA RB Reggie Bush for 4 years, $14M.
    6. The Pats do not re-sign UFAs Stephen Neal, Kevin Faulk, Jarvis Green, Derrick Burgess, Pierre Woods or Junior Seau (total savings about $15M).
    7. The Pats cut CB Shawn Springs (savings about $2M).
    8. The Pats trade OT Matt Light to Kansas City for the #70 pick in the draft (savings abuot $5.5).

    The cuts, trades and lack of re-signings dave about $22.5M. That should cover most of the FA signings except for Wilfork (Bodden and Merriman about $6M each, Watson about $3M, Gostkowski about $2-3M, Bush $3-4M, and Mankins $4-5M = $24-27M). Wilfork would likely cost about $8M/year on top of that. Not impossible to manage.

    Draft:

    1. Rolando McClain, ILB. NE trades #20 and OLB Adalius Thomas (and probably some picks; James Sanders could also be a throw-in) to either Denver or SF to move up to the 10-12 range. With Merriman at OLB a pass rusher is not necessary with the 1st pick. McClain is a stud, and Merriman-McClain-Mayo will form one of the best LB corps in the NFL. CB Joe Haden or DE Cameron Heyward would get consideration if McClain is gone. If anyone thinks this is totally out of the question, consider what the Jets gave up last year to move up from 17 to 5.

    2(42) Jason Pierre-Paul, DE/OLB. A raw physical freak to pair with Merriman. Greg Hardy or Greg Romeus could also be options here, or possibly Everson Griffen or Jerry Hughes. Allen Bailey could also be an option as a 3-4 DE, in which case we would go DE/OLB with the #70 pick from KC.

    2(50) Maurkice Pouncey, OG/C. An inside stud. OG Mike Iupati or OT/OG Gabe Carimi would also get consideration. A small trade up might be necessary here.

    2(52) Joseph Barksdale, OT. A RT who would bring a physical dimension (with LT caliber footwork) to he right side like Vollmer brings to the left. Gabe Carimi would also be an option.

    3(70) Corey Wootten, DE. A 6'7" guy who was considered a 1st round prospect at the beginning of the year. If we went DE instead of DE/OLB in the 2nd round, then someone like Austen Lane or Jeremy Beal could be an option here.

    That offseason would fix our primary problems at OLB (including the pass rush), OL, and 3-4 DE. Merriman would give a veteran presence and a proven pass rusher, combined with a young guy to develop. Those additions, along with ILB Rolando McClain and the return of Tyrone McKenzie, would immediately upgrade our LB unit from the weakest area of the defense to possibly the strongest. Reggie Bush would replace Kevin Faulk and add an all-purpose threat to complement Maroney, with the right side of the line getting an upgrade.

    Priorities in 2011 could include a shut down CB such as Patrick Peterson with the Raider's pick, and getting one of the available top WRs to develop as an eventual replacement for Moss.
  2. bigcountry75

    bigcountry75 Rookie

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    Sold!!! Let's get this plan to Belichick immediately and get this done.....That would be incredible....
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In this scenario, a possible 53 man roster might be:

    QB(2): TBrady, BHoyer
    RB(5): LMaroney, RBush, SMorris, FTaylor, BJGreen-Ellis
    WR(6): RMoss, WWelker, BTate, JEdelman, SAiken, IStanbeck
    TE(3): BWatson, CBaker, +1 (possible 4th-7th round draft pick)
    OT(4): SVollmer, JBarksdale, NKaczur, MLeVoir
    OG/C(5): LMankins, DKoppen, MPouncey/MIupati/GCarimi, ROhrnberger, DConnolly

    DE(6): TWarren, VWilfork, ABailey/CWootten, MWright, RBrace, MPryor
    OLB(4): SMerriman, JPierre-Paul/GHardy/GRomeus/JBeal/ALane, RNinkovich, SCrable
    ILB(5): JMayo, RMcClain, GGuyton, TMcKenzie, EAlexander
    S(4): BMeriweather, PChung, BMcGowan, JSanders/BLockett
    CB(5): DButler, LBodden, JWilhite, TWheatley, KArrington

    K: SGostkowski
    P: CHanson/Rookie
    ST: MSlater
    LS: JIngram

    Offensively we would be essentially the same, but the right side of the OL would be upgraded, and Reggie Bush could become a major weapon with more screens and draws. We could also draft a big running back in rounds 4-7 such as LeGarrette Blount.

    Defensively we would have a lot of flexibility. We could run a 3-4 with Merriman, McClain, Mayo and the rookie DE/OLB. McClain could play 4-3 SAM with Mayo at ILB and Guyton/McKenzie at WLB, and the rookie DE/OLB and possibly Merriman playing DE. We should be much better against the run, and our pass rush should get much more pressure to set up our playmakers in the back 7.

    Personally, I like it.
  4. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Part of the problem this year with the defense is that Bill held out on retooling for too long and then when he did he went full force. Harrison, Bruschi, Vrabel, and Seymour all gone in one shot. Harrison and Bruschi were done so nothing you can do there. Seymour the price was right I'm ok with it. I wish they had held on to Vrabel even though he's lost a step. He'd still be a team leader and he would still rush the passer more consistently and with more heart and effort than Burgess or AD.

    I'd prefer to keep Faulk who's a leader and shows heart. Plus he doesn't look to be slowing down.
  5. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    I know you and I have had this debate before but I still think AD is un-tradable with that contract and his production. I do like the idea of Merriman as I don't see the Pats going first round OLB and if they got McClain I agree that McClain, Mayo, McKenzie and Guyton would make a solid ILB core.
  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Always an option if he will re-sign for a reasonable amount. I agree Faulk shows no signs of slowing down, and he's been clutch for us. But he'll be 34, which is geriatric for a RB. Bush is 25, and is much more explosive than Faulk. If we could get Bush, I'm not sure I'd see the need. But I'd be fine with re-signing Faulk for low $ as insurance.
  7. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    I think for a RB who has 2,000 carries between the tackles it's more like life support but he's not that back.
  8. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't see AD as untradeable. He'll be 32 and he has lots of value at both 3-4 OLB and SILB. He needs a change of venue. He could help both Denver and SF, possibly more than a rookie. I'm not sure his contract is prohibitive. We'd stuck with his pro-rated signing bonus no matter what. His salary this year is $1.9M. I don't know what it is for 2010, but most of the cost of his contract was in the signing bonus. We'd actually lose money by cutting or trading him this year. Next year I think we save a little. It would be worth it to get rid of him, as I think he's a negative impact on the team right now. But if I were Josh McDaniels or Mike Singletary, I think he would be worth a flier. They could trade down to 20 and still get a very good player, while picking up a productive veteran with lots of versatility (and possibly some additional picks).
  9. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    I wish you were making the decisions instead of Bill Belichick. I do believe
    that Mankins and Gostkowski will be given high tenders. I also agree that
    Light and Thomas will be traded. Wilfork will be franchised and then
    traded. Springs will be cut especially since he has been an inactive.

    From this point on we disagree. The Patriots will practice cost restraint next preseason. The Patriots will make offers to Watson and Bodden but they
    will leave for free agency because the offers are well below market value.
    They will re-sign two or three of the players you list as cuts. No high
    end free agent will be signed but they will sign half a dozen for the
    veteran minimum.

    In the draft, the Patriots will select a nose tackle, offensive guard,
    and tight end with their early picks. I would not be surprised to see the
    Patriots wait until the third or later rounds to select linebackers. I would
    not be completely shocked if they drafted no linebackers at all. Drafting
    linebackers seems to be a mystery to Belichick.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  10. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    No his numbers are much higher for the remaining two years.
  11. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A couple of minor quibbles:
    • Gostkowski is a Polish name, but he's not from Poland: his first name is Stephen. :)
    • Are you expecting that even though Merriman would be an RFA (he only has five years in the league), the Chargers will let him walk and get nothing in return, when they could keep him at an RFA tender for an extra year?
    • There's no actual savings from step 6, as none of those players are under contract. In any case, I expect they'll resign Faulk at the least, because they've been fairly careful in how they use him. [To put this in perspective: LaDainian Tomlinson had about as many touches in 2006 as Faulk has had in the last three seasons.]
    • There's also the little matter of extending Brady to consider. A lot of people (including Reiss) expect it'll happen this offseason.






    Except that that's not BB's draft philosophy. When he moves up, it's to grab a player who's already fallen "too far."

    And note the question I asked earlier about Merriman.

    If Carimi is a "swing" guy who can do both, I'd prefer him with one of these picks. Also, this pick should be in the 57-60 range.

    My biggest problem with the running game, FWIW, is not replacing Faulk (since I think he still has a couple of years in him), but replacing Morris: while the first time was a freak injury, this is the third season in a row that he's missed about half the season with injuries. If the Pats could get a strong north-south runner in the second, I think they very well may do so.
  12. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I disagree with you this: I don't think the Patriots will spend money like it's going out of style, but I don't see Kraft being exceedingly miserly, either. The Pats didn't sign any gigantic FAs like he did Thomas in 2007, but they did sign several to medium-level contracts (e.g., Springs, Taylor, and Bodden).

    Also, note that in mayoclinic's plan, the Pats are limited somewhat in what they can spend on outside FAs, but are NOT limited in what they can spend to resign their own FAs.
  13. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    • Thanks for the correction. I had forgotten to change it.

      Damn, damn, damn. That's not a minor quibble, that's a major flaw. I'd forgotton about that. That messes up my whole offseason. I have to rethink it now.

      There's a savings from what they cost us in 2009, which frees up money to be used elsewhere. The potential re-signing of Faulk has already been discussed.

    It could well happen. I didn't address it in this "mock".

    I'm not sure that's BB's philosophy. He moved up for Graham, and he moved up for Chad Jackson. I wouldn't put it past him to move up for an impact player like McClain.

    I agree that being a "swing" guy has value (Vladimir Ducasse is the other interesting "swing" guy at RT/OG), but I think Barksdale has "swing" value at LT as well as RT, and much better feet and ability to play in space than Carimi. I'd prefer him.

    I'm not sure why this pick should be in the 57-60 range. My opening assumption was that we would end up 10-6 and pick around 20-21. If that's true, why wouldn't our 2nd round pick be around 52 or so? 60 implies we'd have the 5th best record in the NFL; 57 implies we'd have the 8th best record. Right now 10 teams (Indy, NO, Minnesota, San Diego, Cincinnati, Denver, Dallas, Philadelphia, Green Bay and Arizona) have better records than we do, so at best we'd be picking 22nd. Another 2 teams are tied with us (Jacksonville, NY Giants), with 5 more only a game back (Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Atlanta, NY Jets, Miami).

    I think we can draft a mid-late round big back to eventually replace Morris (I'd keep him through 2010). Faulk may have a year or two left, but I think that someone like Bush could really provide an added dimension to our offense, and be a long-term solution.
  14. MVPatsfan13

    MVPatsfan13 Rookie

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    Im beginning to this this is already a given. Look at how the NFL is handling the situtation...
    "The NFL has told the players’ union it will cut a $100 million annual supplemental revenue-sharing program that subsidizes lower-revenue teams. That plan, which is a small portion of the $6.5 billion shared in full by all 32 teams, will be trimmed because the 2010 season will not have a salary cap. (copied from the Boston Globe online)
    Dungy rips colleges for minority hiring - The Boston Globe (its the last two sentences of the Dungy paragraph)

    And your offseason would be fantastic:)
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  15. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Two really good ones to consider are:

    1.) Tate of Auburn. A really strong RB that can catch and blocks occasionally.

    2.) Dixon of Miss State. Powerful runner with decent balance and can also catch and occasionally blocks.
  16. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Those are both very good ones.
  17. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Here is a tiip for you.

    When considering which O line guys to put in your mock draft, consider the blocking scheme we run and try to find guys that fit that scheme. That is how I found and then included Vollmer in my final mock draft last year.

    1.) If I examine Pouncey, I see a guy that spent four years in a funky offense that DOES NOT translate well to the pro game. I see a guy that never had to make 1 line call and never had a QB take a snap from under center. He has never had to fire off the ball with a QB under center. Bottom line is that while he may blossom with the right coaching, BB has NEVER taken an offensive lineman on day one that DID NOT have expereicen in a type of zone blocking scheme, except for Adrian Klenmm and I am not sure we were running the zone blocking scheme back then.

    2.) LSU runs a straight ahead power running game that does not require their OT's to make any reads and very rarely do the OG's pass off pass rushers that leave their zone. Barksdale has miserable technique and really struggles with change of direction. Bottom line is he is a round peg for a square hole. Lots of work needed before he could be trusted on our O line.

    PS: Hard to imagine Carmini with the feet to play OT in the NFL, could be a devastating OG though.

    Hope this helps!
  18. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As always, the offseason is in steps. If this is indeed an uncapped year, there will be less emphasis on "savings" since Kraft will save the revenue sharing monies.

    STEP ONE - BEFORE DAY ONE OF FREE AGENCY
    A) What do we do with our do with own soon to be unrestricted free agents. I expect that Faulk will be re-signed.
    B) I presume (always) that we sign our ERFA's and make our RFA's high enough offers to keep them (if we don't re-sign them to new contracts).
    C) I have no reason to believe that Bodden or Watson would sign before testing the market.
    D) I agree that Wilfork will be franchised.

    STEP TWO - AFTER WE FIND OUT WHO IS RE-SIGNED BY THEIR OWN TEAMS
    A) I haven't a clue who will be available. I seriously doubt that Merriman and Bush will be on our team by March 1st.
    B) There is no reason to make early cuts to save money. Kraft might as well wait until camp with guys like Springs.
    C) I agree that Light is likely to be a pre-draft trade if Mankins stays.
    D) I don't think AD at $5M a year will bring much in trade. I suppose it doen't matter.

    STEP THREE - THE DRAFT
    A) We will debate this up until the 16th pick. I don' think that Belichick has any intention of moving up in a draft that doesn't have rookie salary caps. In any case, he has the picks to move up if he wants. As always, a move down is more likely for Belichick.
    B) I'm fine with using our top five picks for offensive linemen, defensive ends and linebackers.

  19. carolinatony

    carolinatony Rookie

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    Great post Mayo.Send to BB.

    It address's everything we need BUT somehow I feel BB will go another route.
    Trade one pick down; take a lesser pass rusher but more VALUE and make a pick we all say Huh.
    I wish you did our drafting.

    Its one thing to miss on a pick ot two but another NOT to address your needs and we have needs this draft.
  20. kas

    kas Rookie

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    Nice work Mayo - a few thoughts:

    I really like the FA's you target. Bush and Merriman are both talented but will come cheaper than their ultimate ability dictates.

    No reason to let Faulk go even with Bush, who could easily take BJGE's roster spot. I'd look for a Morris replacement with a more natural FB (not a pure blocker mind you, but another Heath Evans type).

    Love most of your picks. 2 picks I don't like:
    1) Pierre-Paul - raw like crazy and IMO there will be better players available. Besides, with McClain and Merriman, I'm not even sure if there's much room. A 3-4 DE like Bailey would be amazing here, or even a more traditional 4-3 DE type (think Jarvis Green role). I've mentioned Brandon Graham before, but there will be plenty of those kind of guys available here.
    2) Barksdale - I know you love this guy, but I really just don't see it. Besides, with Vollmer/Kazcur/Levoir we seem set for the immediate future anyways.

    Finally, I think you've neglected the 2nd biggest need on the team (behind pass rushing OLB/DE) and that's a 3rd receiving threat. Whether it's a TE or a WR, we need a solid mid range option. I like Watson, but he isn't that guy. Tate could be that person, but I'd rather have a vet just in case. Aiken's looked promising too so that might be an option. Maybe a mid round pick for a vet WR?

    Anyways, keep up the great work - it allows for awesome discussion.

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