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At least 19 openings

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Feb 24, 2009.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I know there are many who would cut some of the players that I think already have jobs. But even if all of my list made the team, there are NINETEEN openings to be filled through free agency, trades and the draft. Given the normal say three injuries before the first game, that gives us TWENTY-TWO spots to be filled.

    I will list the number of openings and the current candidates. I have assumed that Ventrone, our only ERFA, will make the team, an inexpensive #53 with no choice. I have not presumed the signing of any of our RFA's. Those are decisions still to be made.

    OPENINGS AND CANDIDATES (19)
    Curiously, of all the candidates, I am not really attached to any, except perhaps for Spann, who has always stepped in when needed. I have listed Cassel as a candidate but I expect that he will long gone before the season starts. There is plenty of room for 10 competing rookies, 10 competing free agents and a few more for additional camp fodder.
    ------------------------
    OFFENSE (10)
    QB (1) Cassel, Gutierrez
    RB (1) BJGE
    FB (1)
    TE (1) DeVree, Listorti
    OT (2) LeVoir, O'Callaghan
    OG/C (2) Connolly, Wendall
    WR (2)
    -----------------------------
    DEFENSE (7)
    DL (1) Adams
    LB (2) Redd, Ruud, Robertson, Craig
    DB (4) Spann, Richardson
    -----------------------------
    SPECIALISTS (2)
    P (1) Malone
    DS (1)
    ==========================
    LIKELY ROSTER PLAYERS AS OF FEBRUARY 25th PER MG
    --------------------------------
    OFFENSE (14)
    QB (2) Brady, O'Connell
    RB (3) Maroney, Faulk, Morris
    WR (2) Moss, Welker
    TE (2) Watson, Thomas
    OT (2) Light, Kaczur
    OG/C (3) Mankins, Koppen, Neal

    DEFENSE (16)
    DL (5) Wilfork, Seymour,Warren, Green, Smith
    LB (7) Thomas, Vrabel, Mayo, Guyton, Bruschi, Crable, Banta-Cain
    DB (4) Hobbs, Wheatley, Wilhite, Meriweather

    SPECIALISTS (4)
    K (1) Gostkowski
    ST (3) Aiken, Slater, Ventrone
  2. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Where's Yates?
  3. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    I don't think Yates has officially re-signed yet...but I DO think he will be in the mix.
    I also thought Ventrone was not signed for 09...according to Reiss in an i/0 blog, his contract expired as of 08. I have not read that he has re-signed although I THINK that will happen.
    I also think there might be only 3 OL positions open..that is if they keep 8...but they could keep 9...but that is an option.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  4. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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  5. Nestapats

    Nestapats Rookie

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    Where's mike wright?
  6. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Mike Wright is an unsigned unrestricted free agent.

  7. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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    I wonder if they're going to let those guys hit the market before doing anything... interesting if they do. All upgradeable, but maybe not in one off-season.

    If Gaffney isn't coming back, they better be putting Housh in a Pats uniform.
  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    1) I don't think that Yates has re-signed yet. I expect him to re-sign, but he could theoretically sign elsewhere. I don't think that he is more likely to re-sign that Evans, who I didn't list wither, since he has not yet signed.

    2) Ventrone is an ERFA. He has no choice but to accept a minimum offer from the patriots.

    3) I think that Belichick has always started with 9 OL's, although it is possible that we started with 8 one year because of injury. We keep 5 inside linemen and four tackles. Almost always, seven are active, including an inside and outside backup.

  9. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ventrone is an ERFA, so he can't go anywhere else if the Pats want him.
  10. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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    How highly do you guys value him? I know he's a good ST'er, but worth a roster spot? It would be nice to upgrade him with an honesty safety project who is a good Special Teams player.

    O'Brien will have an effect on which guys stick around. I imagine we would like more "starter" capable guy on ST's, and in that sense Larry and Ray (and maybe even Slater) could be expendable. Not that they don't contribute, but can we get guys who contribute more? With a couple more picks this year, we could conceivably have near-starters at every position on the team, especially if last year's MASH unit is back in-tact.
  11. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, BB thought he was good enough to have him on the 45-man roster every game he was healthy.
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Who are you referring to? The patriots have 21 players who will be free agents come Friday (including Yates, not including Cassel).

    Some will be able to be signed within the little free agency cash we now have.

  13. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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    I understand that, but my question is whether he can be replaced by a guy who can play a offensive or defensive position at near starting quality.
  14. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We have a different philosophy of special teams. To me, there is room on the team for three special teamers who start on at least four of the special team units, and are always active. These players need not be projects at other positions. There are some who think a #4 receiver or a #6 DL or a #8 or #9 OL or a #3 TE or a #8 or a #9 LB or a #3 QB are critical players to the team. Many think that these players, with very few reps are more important than special teamers who contribute many reps in every game.

    There is a budget for special team positions, just like any other position. Washington was being paid as a special teamer AND as a backup wide receiver. Slater, Aiken and Ventrone are top special teamers and should make the team as special teamers. They don't need to play other positions. As it happens, Aiken was also our #4 wide receiver last year, although of course Faulk and Watson had more catches.

    There are six players inactive in every game. These inactives are NOT the special teams specialists. These players play every game.

  15. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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    OK, I see what you mean. Paxton would the the #4 ST'er, then?

    Do most teams have a dedicated long snapper?
  16. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Paxton would fill the DS (deep snapper) spot. Some teams do not have a dedicated long snapper. We have one of the best, who has never messed up a snap.

    The numbers below are not firm. Obviously, we could go with one more or fewer at several positions. But, this breakdown seems to fit what Belichick has been doing for the past few years. For example, 6 LB's get almost all the reps. Do we need 9? 8 defensive backs is often not enough; one of the special teams is often an emergency defensive back.

    The bottom line is that the last couple positions can be at almost any roster spot. My last three are probably #8 LB and #9 LB, which I have kept because of the need to develop linebackers. In the past we have carried two special teamers who were labeled linebackers (Izzo and Davis, Izzo and Alexander, include Woods a couple of years ago). Only seven position linebacker are really needed" 3 OLB, 3 ILB, and a swing backup).

    Total "Filled" Open

    QB 3 2 1
    RB 4 3 1
    FB 1 0 1
    WR 4 2 2
    TE 3 2 1
    OL 9 5 4
    Offense 24 14 10

    DL 6 5 1
    LB 9 7 2
    CB 8 4 4
    Defense 23 16 7

    K 1 1 0
    DS 1 0 1
    P 1 0 1
    Other ST 3 3 0
    SPEC 6 4 2

    Total 53 24 19

  17. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    He hasn't and no need to include him..as long as he has not signed...makes sense.
    True..he has no 09 contract..and I THINK he''s the only ERFA that has not re-signed. PSquader Dillard has not, but I believe if a team does not have his rights going forward after the season, he is basically a FA..not exactly sure. I thought THAT was the reason they brought Connolly in to the 53..to keep him in the fold. Price was also not signed but did with SF. It might be that Ventrone is still recovering from a jaw injury and they are waiting for that.
    as for the starting number of OL it's been 10, 8, 9, 8, 9, 9, 9..in seasons 02 to 08. Seems like the trend is for 9 although they have started twice with less.
    I also agree with your philosophy about special teams it is a BIG part of it all and Slater, Ventrone, Aiken, Izzo and Washnington have been a reaol part of it. I don't expect either of the latter to be back although Larry might sneak into the mix at least in TC. What is interesting is that both Slater and Ventrone can play on all three sides of the ball..That certainly adds depth. I would not be surprised to see Ventrone play more in teh DB in TC and preseason.
  18. drew4008

    drew4008 Rookie

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    I don't see there being two openings in the backfield. We've got a plethora of backs... and we might put one on TC or sign another vet, but if I had to bet, I'd say we're set.
  19. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    The more I looked at the 34 that were listed..I could see that trimmed a bit....players that I think could be more questionable...are TE Thomas DL KSmith LB Crable, Banta-Cain I just think it's very possible that a player could come in and change the situation where they may NOT be on the team. If that is the case, there will be close to 25 spots up for grabs...and I do agree that injuries have a way of upping that number up some...3 seems fine.
  20. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yates was officially re-signed on February 20:

    Patriots re-sign OL Billy Yates
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