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2011 Free Agency Thread

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Halifax_Pats_Fan, Jul 20, 2011.

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  1. Halifax_Pats_Fan

    Halifax_Pats_Fan In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think the baby is almost out....re: AdBrant this am on Opening Drive.

    What kind of moves do you want to see our team make, it should be a fast and furious couple days.

    Who will be let go? What areas need addressing? What are some big names that you'd like to see in a Patriots uni, other than S. Rice obviously...:)

    I think we have some great core young talent, bring in some big name playmakers while #12 is in his prime.

    Thank god football is close to being back...
     
  2. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think you and any fantasy type fans may be disappointed. As Real Pats tweeted yesterday time for fans to remember it's about teambuilding here and not talent collection.

    I think the Patriots will be comparatively minor players in UFA for a lot of reasons. I think they may look at some value veterans who don't get the attention they anticipated in this compacted FA scenario or cuts other teams make to free up cap space, but I think they also will weigh long term value into the equation since most FA would struggle to contribute to this system at a high level in 2011 given the lack of an off season to assimilate. We have enough players signed already to field a team, many teams's do not and may be inclined to overpay due to cap space and cash cap requirements. I do expect BB probably has assembled quite a list of choice UDFA's to approach given the TC roster expansion to 90 as potential long term projects via the PS or even shadow PS roster (including IR).

    I also doubt you see any cuts pre camp. We don't need to cap wise so those decisions will likely be made on an as needed basis. Bill likes his veterans, particularly those with experience in his system. You never really know how a player will perform within this system until you get him into your program, and the program won't be nearly what Bill prefers it to be this TC season.
     
  3. HomerSchooled

    HomerSchooled Practice Squad Player

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    Like basically everyone, I've come not to expect much, but I'll bite anyway. I've already expressed my interest in DE/OLB Jason Babin, but Shaun Ellis has been catching my eye lately, as well. 3-4 DEs have been much more BB's speed, and Ellis has been one of the better ones over the past ten years, maybe the next best behind Seymour. Very durable, and a consistent threat rushing the passer for his position (4 seasons with 8 or more sacks, twice as many as Seymour). Had 2 sacks against us in the Jets playoff game. Can't recall him running his mouth too much like some of his team mates. He's getting a little old, but he could prove a valuable veteran on maybe a 2-3 year deal. Some Jets fans are hoping to keep him at the veteran minimum, but I can't believe there's any way he'd take that. I'd happily offer him 4 million a year.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  4. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact Pro Bowl Player

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    I would like the pats to bring in one of the better OG's available to replace neal.

    A WR is possible, but I would not expect one of the better ones......

    that's about it
     
  5. Patriot 37

    Patriot 37 On the Game Day Roster

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    No one is talking about Ellis, but he would be a great pick up for the reasons you listed. At the very least jack up the price for the Jets.

    I think a lot top players are going to get offers from teams that ussually don't do much in FA.

    A lot of teams (Arz, Jax, TB ect) are so far under the cap that to reach the minium spending level it seems they would have to hit the Free Agent market hard (I've heard reports that the Bucs are $60 million under the cap). These teams will be most likely going after younger players (like Edwards, Holmes and Cro) So the Pats will probably in the mix for the 2nd tier and older players.
     
  6. Urgent

    Urgent In the Starting Line-Up

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    #24 Jersey

    On free agents in general this year:
    There is a far larger group this year than normal, due to all the players who would have been free agents last year who were not - but suddenly become free agents. The supply will be larger - so there might be value opportunities.
    The Patriots like value opportunities.

    They are also under the cap, and may be interested in adding a couple contributing players, since they will need to spend up to the cap anyway.

    OLBThere's a huge opportunity to improve here. There are several different routes:

    - Experienced 3-4 OLB's - looking at Manny Lawson and Matt Roth. Very different players. Lawson struggled at times in San Francisco, but now has four years of experience in a 3-4. He has great speed, experience setting the edge, and is strong in coverage. Rotational player in SF. Roth is similar to Ninkovich - not exceptional, solid.
    - 4-3 pass rushers - top candidates are Charles Johnson, Cliff Avril, Ray Edwards, and Jason Babin. None would have much time to transition to the 3-4, so might take time to pick up the system. I think Avril is the best fit for the team needs, in terms of size, speed, and performance.

    WRThe current roster includes five presumed players: Branch, Welker, Edelman, Tate, Price. With an extra QB and potentially extra TE, there is very little chance the Patriots keep six. So, any WR should be an upgrade to one of those. Looking at the roster:
    Branch - traded for him last year, but is he nearing the end?
    Welker - unimaginable that they cut him
    Edelman - future slot receiver, improving
    Tate - the kick returner, the deep threat, but candidate to be upgraded
    Price - future potential starter, hard to imagine cutting him
    Most likely candidates to be upgraded, then, are Branch and Tate. If Branch, then you need to target a top starter, not a rotational player. If Tate, then you probably need KR ability. I think a WR is less likely.

    OG/CA ton of good candidates here that might miss the first wave of free agency. With the uncertainty surrounding Mankins and Cannon, I think this is very likely. I assume there will be something more than an Ojinnaka move here - a starting-quality guard is a likely target. I assume this is a target of UDFA's as well.

    Slot cornerThe Patriots have three potential outside candidates in Bodden, McCourtey, and Dowling. There are no veteran slot corners on the team. I wouldn't be suprised to see a veteran slot guy brought in to compete with Butler and Wilhite for that role.
     
  7. Big-T

    Big-T In the Starting Line-Up

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    #51 Jersey

    I'd like to see the Pats go after Mike Sims-Walker, everyone will concentrate on Rice etc, but MSW is a good receiver and has managed to look good in a Jags team that doesn't do a lot of passing.
     
  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    PHASE A - Review the rules
    This will happen before free agency begins. The cap and floor rules need to be reviewed, as well as the tag, contact term, contract length, and free agency rules.

    PHASE 1 - The 72 hour window to sign our own
    The first stage of free agency will be the 72 hour rush to sign our own free agents.

    PHASE 2 - The UDFA's
    When the floodgates open for free agents from other team, we will sign our UDFA's within a few hours.

    PHASE 3 - Setting the bar
    In the first week, there will be lots of flashy signings. I doubt that we will make any early top signings. We MIGHT sign a mid-level player or two in this phase. This phase will be important this year. It is not at all clear how the market will play out with free agency coming after the draft.

    PHASE 4 - "Real" Free Agency
    I don't see much for the patriots. Obviously, much depends on the contract status of Light, Faulk, White, G. Warren, Green-Ellis, Page, McGowan, Morris and even Mankins at this point in the process.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  9. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback In the Starting Line-Up

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    After signing Mankins, I could see the Pats sign

    WR/KR Brad Smith-Versatile
    WR Donte Stallworth-Could be had cheap

    RB Ricky Williams-Vet if no Faulk
    RB Ronnie Brown-Vet if no Faulk

    OLB Manny Lawson- Unfortunately not much of a pass rusher but has other skills
    OLB Matt Roth-Experienced in the 3-4

    DE Shawn Ellis

    DB Richard Marshall-As a Safety
    DB Jarrod Page-re-sign


    Players I'd like to see:

    One of:
    C Ryan Kalil
    C Olin Kruetz
    C/G David Baas

    And at least one of:

    DE Haloti Ngata- I would give up 2 1st rounders for him but the Pats won't.
    OLB Lamar Woodley- Won't be franchised, I'd offer good money.
    DE/OLB Mathias Kiwanuka-More likely than Ngata or Woodley
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  10. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Too risky.

    If Coach Bill acquired the guy he was traded for ~ 5/6 of him, anyway ~ it could generate a Paradox that would rip an hole in the Time/Space Continuum and create a Super Black Hole, suck everything into its Vortex, and consume us all.

    I hate it when that happens. :mad:
     
  11. HomerSchooled

    HomerSchooled Practice Squad Player

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    Bill Shankly once said : "Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that." He was talking soccer, but we can all share the sentiment.

    If Ellis can help the team, we can bite the bullet and accept the occasional Super Black Hole or all consuming oblivion. We wouldn't be fans otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  12. SeanBruschi54

    SeanBruschi54 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #24 Jersey

    Travis LaBoy is a name people should really look into.

    He is someone who can get after the quarterback and apply some pressure off the edge and the guy is 29 so he's not getting a big payday. Played OLB for Titans, Cards (super bowl year) and 49ers last year.
     
  13. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    This roster is in as good a shape as any roster in the league, and we are doing OK in cap space. This team has a lot of young, cheap labor outperforming their rookie contracts - the exact dynamic they had when they won 3 out of 4 championships what now seems like a lifetime ago.

    This means we have money in the short term, but not the long term (we'll need to extend those young guys like Mayo at some point). So, on the whole, our approach will probably be as it is every year - add Veterans who've already gotten their payday, and are looking for one last shot at a ring, or a place to show themselves off and get one more contract.

    - Priority is extending Mankins.
    - Next priority is adding veteran talent to the OL in case Solder cannot start immediately. This may be as simple as NOT cutting Kaczur. Either way, we'll still add some bodies, I imagine.
    - I do think we'll add a body at OLB. It may not be a big name, but it might be somebody that can come in and contribute. Edwards will be out of our price range. Maybe Roth isn't. Lawson would be a nice all around player.
    - Add a vet at WR just for camp competition, as we do every year.

    We have some cap space, especially if we want to create it. But I'd rather work on extending Mankins, maybe Welker.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  14. Professor Frink

    Professor Frink On the Roster

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    Obviously this is a very interesting/weird year for free agency. I think the Pats did a good job getting their roster to a spot where they don't have any position where they absolutley must upgrade.

    That said, I do expect them to be active in free agency. Others have brought this up, but when you have a lot of players, and league wide there is less cap dollars to go around, that presents an opportunity to get good value.

    I don't think you're gonna see the top 50-100 guys get paid any less, those guys are gonna reap the benifits of teams that need to hit the salary floor. However, after that, you're still gonna have hundreds of players looking for work, and not able to command the kind of money they would in a regular offseason. I think Belichick is gonna be able to find quality players at good value, and these will be guys who will upgrade our roster.

    Who are they? I don't have the first clue, but I would guess they would look at safeties (lots of uncertainty after 2011) pass rushers (obviously) and interior offensive lineman.

    I'm optimistic that this roster is gonna be better in two weeks than it is today
     
  15. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    FOR THE WIN, Brother Homer!! :D :rocker:
     
  16. townes

    townes Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I think there is a real opportunity here if they want to be aggressive. There is a really good chance the Patriots are more organized and ready for the coming free agency than many teams in the NFL and if they spent their time doing their homework they can outflank the competition and make moves that can put them over the top. Obviously the big names like Rice are out there and everyone wants something like that to happen but they could also make moves like they did with Vrabel where they go after guys who could be on the cusp of breaking out but aren't the top priorities for their current teams.

    I realize that there MO has generally been cautious and deliberate but if they are prepared they can be aggressive and deliberate.
     
  17. blackglass3

    blackglass3 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    I'm on board with the Mike Sims-Walker idea and Mathias Kiwanuka. Those two plus resigning our own players and I'll be a happy camper.
     
  18. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Part of that organization, though, was getting a lot of young'uns under contract. Right now the Patriots have over 70 players under contract.
     
  19. townes

    townes Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    No doubt, they have set themselves up well, which is another reason they can afford to be aggressive in this free agency. Teams like the Jets have so many of their own to deal with that they have to focus on not getting depleted by the process. Teams like the Raiders are well over and will be hard pressed to clear room quick enough to be players. Teams like the Panthers, Browns, and broncos, to name a few, have new regimes and it is hard to see how they could be far enough along operationally to be aggressive in this situation, so teams like the Patriots who are already well set in signed players, salary cap, and operationally are in a sweet spot for the coming free agency. With so many players available and so many moves on the horizon they can take advantage of those strengths and add a number of players who could really help them going forward.

    I like this team already and I won't be complaining if they make some solid moves and keep Mankins and possibly Light, but i do see a golden opportunity to take advantage of the coming chaos.
     
  20. TheComeback

    TheComeback 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Good thoughts here. Ellis would be an instant starter on our d-line. Ellis-Wilfork-Warren would give the Pats one of the strongest 3-4 lines in the league. It would also give us excellent depth, and maybe even allow Ron Brace to develop his technique as NT. We need a backup to Wilfork. Brace could be that versatile guy who subs for every position on the d-line. He certainly has enough talent to contribute as a second-string guy, if not a starter.

    If the Pats sign any big names, I too think they'll be older veterans who have to settle for a cheaper, shorter deal. These guys offer very good value, and needed experience, for a young team like this one.

    That said, other 3-4 teams need starting DEs as well, so I could still see Ellis getting overpaid quite a bit.
     
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