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Could this be the year for us to be bigger spenders in the off-season?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by ironwasp, Nov 28, 2006.

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  1. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I ask this, genuinely, in the spirit of seeking the wisdom and guidance of the board, rather than get into a protracted discussion about Samuel/Graham.

    I have been trying to get my head around the salary cap and our post season moves in the light of the excellent debate in another thread about whether the Pats might go after Lance Briggs.

    It seems to me, and I could be a million miles off target, that we will have a lot of space to play with again next year, for the following reasons.

    1 There is a (well documented) mass of cap space this year, that turns into the same next year.

    2 The cap is being extended generously next year by the CBA.

    3 There are only two UFAs - Samuel/Graham - that present particular re-signing problems this year. Many of the others are either a) expendable or b) if the Pats want them, available at reasonable prices

    4 There are only a couple of players who may need resigning for after the 2007 season - Tedy and Geno are the highest profile players signed through to end of 2007 season - and none of them are in the Seymour/Brady range and probably not even in the Dan Koppen range.

    If my reasoning is therefore correct there should be quite a bit of cash for BB and Scott Pioli to play with and even within the relatively narrow limits of their structure for spending money in these situations, we may be at one of those points where the Patriots feel they can go out and make a significant investment.

    It appears from most reports that the Pats were prepared to pay relatively generously for Deion Branch or Ty Law, and even factored their signings into the now under-utilised 2006 cap space, which consequently suggests that the money for two (at least) second-tier free agency acquisitions remains available.

    The debate is made more complicated by the relative paucity of the 2007 free agent class. Having checked out who's going spare at Football Futures there's not a wealth of choice and ability out there, which may mean the bidding gets too hot for BB. (Lance Briggs may just be the best player out there - Chris Simms is the top UFA QB, Ahman Green the RB, Drew Bennett the WR etc etc)

    But I do wonder if they look at what they have available in the cap, and at what they need on the team - most pressing IMO is DB/CB, LB and WR - and feel that there is an opportunity to load up again for another massive tilt at the SB. And I'm not saying we're not in one right now - but we are loaded in most areas and short of the help in one or two positions that could send us right over the top and make the Pats look like a great prospect for 2007.

    Drop into the mix the fact that we have two first rounders this year - albeit relatively low ones - and I believe that BB and the FO are playing with a full hand in the post-season, and that if ever there was a moment to go and make another Colvin type, this might be it.
     
  2. chunkypony

    chunkypony Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I would love to see us pick up either Lance Briggs or Adalius Thomas, who I believe is a FA after this year. I think we need to get younger in the secondary through the draft, and pick up one of my two preferred FA LBs. I also hope we resign Grahambo, and I feel we will have a pretty solid team.
     
  3. Patriots4Ever

    Patriots4Ever Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Nice well thought out Post.I think most of us are in Agreement that Grahambo and Samuel need to be brought back.The Graham situation is damn near IMPERATIVE seeing as Watson has become a go to guy for Brady,Meaning that Unless we want to give up that tremendous recieving Ability to have him sit in and block.Graham needs to be resigned.There has been much talk about how Daniel has become injury prone and that his shoulder is a mess.But when he is healthy he goes out to produce.One play in particular is that leaping catch he had in sundays' game.

    The Asante Samuel Situation is another that makes me uneasy,We do have a tendency to not resign players as of late.For whatever reason.Asante is having a breakout year and as it was said earlier.He and Ellis are the only two CB's signed beyond this season.Not sure If I saw that right,But IMO He is a class act.Always has been.His increasing confidence level is apparent as He now isnt afraid to get in there and go for the plays.

    I hope this is to be the year for some spending.Definately,As I dont think it bodes well for us to let too many guys go this off-season.It will start preventing guys from wanting to play with us.Eventually anyway.
     
  4. Pat_Nasty

    Pat_Nasty Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I would actually be surprised if the Pats were particularly active in FA this offseason.

    Given recent increases in cap space as well as most teams' front offices getting better at managing it, it seems like fewer and fewer quality players are hitting free agency. With most teams in good cap shape already and big jump in the cap, you can imagine that those few quality starters who do hit FA will have plenty of suitors, and probably get a lot of money thrown at them.

    The Pats will be competitive in FA, but ultimately, I expect guys like Chicogo's Lance Briggs and our own Asante Samuel will end up signing elsewhere for ridiculous money in what, I hope, is the last year of ridiculous CBA-induced boom-time spending.

    I predict another season of solid, low-key Caldwell and Seau like singings.
     
  5. broadwayjoe

    broadwayjoe In the Starting Line-Up

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    I agree and when I see signings like Adam Archuleta and some of the other big pay check guys giving no production I like The Patriots way of doing things also but hopefully this year we can keep our own that have produced.
     
  6. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think that the salary cap era is all about drafting well, signing one or two star Free Agents and signing a bunch of decent depth free agents. And tying to re-sign your good players.

    The draft is HUGE on this team, because of the fact that Bioli lets so many players walk. We need to keep replacing those guys that walk with cheaper but equally effective talent via the draft. So far that has worked pretty good. This team needs to be sharp with it's draft picks because we aren't doing much at the upper levels of free agency. I would like to see less picks at the TE position and better pure pass rusher/outside linebacker types. I still want a shut down left tackle and secondary help. Middle linebacker would be nice.

    One or Two star free agents means the underrated players like Derrick Mason, or the Colvin type players (Briggs) or the recovering from injury types like Harrison, who can be a great deal. We need a #1 WR, LB help and maybe a solid, underrated CB. If one exists.

    The rest of free agency becomes a massive numbers game for Bioli. Bring in all kinds of guys with good potential to play a role on the team. A lot of teams bring in scrubs to fill out camp rosters, but Bioli is looking for every player on the camp roster to be a potential depth player or role player. Bioli wants everybody in camp to be decent. This is the secret to their seemingly mysterious ability to find gems through free agency. Strength in numbers. We have cut literally dozens of half decent players after preseason. Many teams are simply cutting NFL Europe level scrubs.

    Of course, before any of this occurs, you want to re-sign your good players. This is an area where Bioli shows a lot more resolve than us fans. We want to keep almost everybody. Bioli only wants to keep those players vital to winning that can't be easily replaced, or those players that take exactly what they are worth to the Pats and not a dollar more. So far, the vital group doesn't include WRs. Not sure if it includes TEs. It includes a QB and a D Lineman. The value group includes the Bruschi, Light, Koppen players who forgo free agency dollars. I think we all want Samuels/Grambo back for the right price.

    I hope they spend their cap money! I really hate seeing Brady get anything less than the best of everything on offense. And we have a revolving door at secondary with injuries. Aging linebackers.
     
  7. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    ironwasp - I commend you on a great, well thought out post. Please keep it up, and with more frequency.

    I think I agree with others in this thread who postulate (or, in my case, worry) that the Patriots will not get a shot at Briggs b/c of other teams' cap space increasing, just like ours will. Yes, we may have MORE cap space, but we also will be more disciplined, staying within pre-set budgetary restraints. However, it's not out of the realm of possibility that we'll pull another Poole-Harrison-Colvin FA out of our hat. Hope so. Would love to get Briggs in this D.
     
  8. Jimke

    Jimke In the Starting Line-Up

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    The draft is not going to work as well for the Pats from now on.

    They will spend two or three years training a player and then lose

    him after year #4. They will be like the little Dutch boy trying to

    plug holes in their roster.
     
  9. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The day they actually sign big named free agents, is the day pigs fly and hell freezes over. I just don't see it happening. It isn't "The Patriot Way". I hope I'm 100% wrong though.
     
  10. TomBrady'sGoat

    TomBrady'sGoat 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Pat Nasty said it well, lots of teams will have cap room to spend. The Pats will neither be unique due to their cap space nor at the top of the list of teams with the most cap space.

    The only part he got wrong is that Briggs will be franchised. He does not hit the open market.

    I can only assume that as for the Pats free agents, Graham will be franchised and Samuel is gone.

    As for Scott99, don't forget about Rosie. He was a big FA brought in by this management
     
  11. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Rodney Harrison and Roosevelt Colvin ring any bells? Looks like the pigs are flying where you're at.
     
  12. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I'm with you on this one Bruinz. I believe it is probably a question of need meeting appropriate players coinciding with available means.

    My reading of this year's FA, which prompted the post, is that stars may be aligned for us to make a deal this year.
     
  13. jimmyjames

    jimmyjames On the Game Day Roster

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    You don't make any sense.
    First off the FO has a very good track record in evaluating talent and stockpiling picks - that is not going to change in the near future.

    Virtually all rookie contracts are 4-5 years, so every team is in the same boat with their rookies, and 3-4 years is a lifetime in the NFL when you consider how often teams fire their coaches and front offices and are forced to spend at least two seasons rebuilding. Not to mention how many first day picks fail to play out the full length of their rookiw contract

    As for trying to plug holes in the roster, that is the nature of pro football and again is a problem faced by all teams. The fact that the Pats have proven adept at getting higher on field value out of late round round draft picks and other teams' cast-offs makes them more likley to have continued success and again better equipped to deal with the inevitable departure of free agents.
     
  14. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not to be confrontational, but I really think the Harrison signing was really more like the Ted Washington move, very under the radar at the time. Many teams, including SD thought Harrison was washed up. He was far from a hot commodity at the time, and in fact, we still had Lawyer Milloy as our starting safety. Colvin, at best was the 2nd best LB up for grabs.
     
  15. fleabassist1

    fleabassist1 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #12 Jersey

    I could of swarn this exact topic was braught up last year
     
  16. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I absolutely agree with you ... Low key signings. Franchise tagging Samuel and trading him for a pick. Drafting a TE in the 1st round ... it's all pretty predictable.

    IMHO it will be a good offseason because of the draft not necessarily because of FA.
     
  17. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Felger and Tomase brought up some good points on ESPN890 yesterday. I know sometimes it hard for them to come up with one good point between them at times, but this time they seem to have some good arguements.

    Over and above the money they had earmarked for Law and Branch, they felt the Pats were a bit caught off guard with the market value because of the huge cap jump. They may have underestimated what was low tier value and passed on some value contract players that if they had a little better handle on the market, they might have signed.

    They also believe that the Pats will be a player in free agency this year because if they aren't there is no way they can meet the salary cap minimum even if they resign all their players.

    That said, the Pats probably could redo Brady's and Seymour's contracts to minimize cap hits in future years and get us to the cap, but they could do that this year (in fact today) and they appear to not be going in that direction. Maybe they have behind the scenes, but publically they are about $7 million under the cap.

    I doubt the Pats will turn into the Redskins with their approach to free agency. Based on Daniel Snyder's success record, why would he? Heck, Randal-El's signing bonus is far bigger than Reche Caldwell's entire contract and Randel-El has zero receiving TDs this year.

    But I can see the Pats approaching free agency like they did in 2003. They got solid free agents, but didn't grossly overpay for them. At the time, Harrison's contract was deemed a bit high, but not like Adam Archeletta's last year. Colvin got a very good contract for a LB, but it wasn't as big as Takeo Spikes was that year and not nearly as ridiculous as Julian Peterson's was last offseason. I can see the Pats making those moves.

    Guys like Briggs, Thomas, Samuel, and Graham (who I think will be franchised because the TE franchise tag number is pretty small) have to ask themselves if they just want to go to the guy who pays them the most or get paid very well, but sacrifice some money to play for a team with a shot at the Super Bowl. If they choose the money, they will probably end up on the Redskins and play for a team that will struggle to get into the playoffs every year and usually fail. If they choose the later, we have a shot at them.
     
  18. Jimke

    Jimke In the Starting Line-Up

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    Whenever a forum member questions if the Pats will come up with

    big money for a premier free agent the names of Rosevelt Colvin and

    Rodney Harrison are mentioned.

    Exactly how much money did these players cost? Rodney Harrison

    received a 6 year contract for 14.5 mil. including a 2.5 mil. signing bonus.

    The contract was back loaded and averaged 2.4 mil. per year. The cost to

    franchise a safety in 2006 was 3.6 mil. Rosevelt Colvin received a 25.8 mil.

    contract including a 6 mil. bonus. This contract was also back loaded and

    averaged 4.3 mil. per year. The cost to franchise a linebacker in 2006

    was 6.4 mil. Rosevelt Colvin was the top rated free agent in 2003. He

    signed the contract for the going rate for a linebacker in 2003.
     
  19. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Colvin was THE FA LB that year. Who else was up at LB receiving more foo fo rah??
     
  20. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

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    That is life in the NFL for all teams, and the Pats seem to have a couple extra fingers than most when it comes to plugging holes thru the draft.

    It is what they are doing already. Out with Branch, in with Jackson. They will be plugging holes forever, that is what football is all about. Injury/retirement/gone in free agency, all these things happen to every team. The Pats just happen to be fairly good at drafting, and some teams aren't.

    The Pats believe in drafting talent that can play now, not 'projects' who need time. It is just hard to do at the WR position, which is why they wanted Derrick Mason and offered him more than the Ravens. Also, at LB, they like to try free agency because their LBs have to do so much. That seems to be why they don't draft LBs very high, because they don't want a 'project' player trying to get acclimatized in their particular 3-4 system to take up a good draft pick.

    The Pats will continue to stock their team with young legs and fresh talent, and apparently are willing to let a lot of their current players walk unless they are either essential (Brady/Seymour) or willing to take a value offer (everyone else that stayed).
     
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