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Evaluating what we need in free agency

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The patriots needs to spend cap money just to replace what we have. But, presume that Hochstein, Gaffney, Sanders, Sanders, Paxton and Evans are re-signed or replaced with little or no cap effect.

    Please evaluate where you would spend 2009 and/or 2010 cap money to improve the 2009 team. This includes using the money for free agents, for extensions or for signing Wright.

    I have included my comments. My position is that replacing our current free agents, having the IR guys return, having improvements from the rookies, and adding a couple of key 2009 rookies who will contribute this year is all we need to be a Super Bowl favorite. My concern is maintaining the quailty in 2010, given all the players with contracts up.

    RUNNING GAME
    We have the #6 running offense and the best patriots running game in 20 years. We can bring back Jordan or replace him or go with BJGE, but this unit will improve if we can consistently have three healthy running backs.

    PASSING GAME
    We had the best in NFL history in 2007. I see no reason not to expect one of the top passing games in the league with Brady and everyone else back for 2009.

    DEFENSIVE LINE
    Someone will need to explain why Seymour, Wilfork, Warren, Green, Wright and Smith is insufficient. We had a top 10 defense with a very young, inexperienced, often-injured secondary. The key to the 2009 DL is to re-sign Wright or replace him with equal quality.

    LINEBACKERS
    Many want to add youth???????? I guess they just haven't reviewed the roster. The ILB's are composed of two 2008 rookies and a veteran. We can/should add a draftee. The OLB's are composed of two veterans, a 4th-year player and several youngsters. There are those who here who think that we need to improve on Vrabel and Thomas outside. I strongly disagree. We have the past, present and future at linebacker on the team. This is again a strength. Let's face the fact that the front office has solved the problem at ILB.

    CORNERS
    The team is working hard on this. We've added a 2nd and 4th. Both look like starters or at least nickel or dime backs. Hobbs is playing his contract year. So, we need even more, plus a couple of veterans for leadership. I like Lew Sanders a a lot in this role. I'd add a Day One draft pick.

    SAFETIES
    Who are we kidding? We have Meriweather and no one at the moment. The key is that we have three more players who could come back and make up a decent unit: Harrison, Tank Williams and James Sanders. I would draft a safety on Day One.

    BOTTOM LINE
    We have a team ready to compete in the Super Bowl hunt. There are the normal one position that need real work: corner and safety. I think that we can deal with safety position with re-signs or free agency. We will have five picks in the top 100 picks of a great draft. We need to use our cap money to keep the franchise going. We need to extend our players: Seymour, Wilfork, Green, Hobbs, and Mankins (and possibly Faulk, Light and/or Vrabel). On Day One I would be looking at CB, S, ILB and a G (to replace on of those leaving in 2009).
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  2. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    To address in free agency and draft:
    Strong safety, cornerback, offensive tackle
  3. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Have to agree with this, or D backfield makes this D have to play a completely different game.. also think have to keep bringing in LB's as not all that confident that Guyton is a 3 or 4 down player and Crable is an unproven commodity.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  4. karran_s

    karran_s Rookie

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    We need defense primarily.. Our offense is great...

    Cornerback is my number one priority.. Then, a couple of linebackers to shore up our D line.. I think Seau has one more year left in him and may come back.

    On the offense, here's what I would do...

    Franchise Matt to trade him... They should be able to negotiate some pretty good picks for him. Brady will be back next year....
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with most of what you say. I think that are priority/immediate term needs to be covered (between FA and the draft) are S, CB, LB and OT.

    Here's my take:

    QB: Hope we franchise and trade Cassel. Don't need anything else. If we do, we may look to pick up a veteran next summer, but not now.

    RB: RB by committee is working fine. I'm not sure Maroney is the answer, but give him another year with a longer offseason and hopefully fully healthy. Would resign Jordan if possible, as I agree that 3 RBs help.

    WR/TE: It sounds like Gaffney wants to resign. Some depth here would be nice, as Watson is a FA after 2009 and we don't have a lot of youth at WR. I could see us signing a modestly priced FA WR/TE such as Owen Daniels (TE, Houston), Devery Henderson (WR, New Orleans) or Reggie Williamns (WR Jacksonville), but only if they come at a reasonable price. If we don't do anything we are probably OK for 2009.

    OT/G: Guard is OK for 2009 as long as Neal is healthy, but with Mankins a FA after 2009 and Neal aging and injury prone it is a risk. Addressing ROT would allow Kaczur to move to backup/RG and would provide insurance at guard as well as upgrade the right side of the line. There is a lot of talent in both FA and the draft, and I would like to see us either sign a good FA (Jordan Gross, Vernon Carey, or Khalif Barnes) or use a 1st day pick on one of the top OTs (ideally Eugene Monroe, Jason Smith or Eben Britten).

    DT: Re-signing Wilfork is key. It sounds like this will happen once the market value is set (Haynesworth). A true NT backup to Vince would be nice, especially if Wright leaves. I don't know how Titus Adams is progressing on the practice squad. I don't see much in FA. A second day draft pick might be reasonable in this area.

    DE: IF we could keep Seymour-Warren-Green-Wright we would clearly be set, but it's doubtful that we can keep all and address other areas if we resign Wilfork. I wouldn't trade Seymour unless someone offers a 1st round pick for him (always possible given that Washington gave up a second for Jason Taylor at age 34 and holding out from Miami). I'd like to restructure Green for less $$, resign Wright, OR sign a reasonably priced alternative. Chris Canty from Dallas is an UFA, has ideal 3-4 DE size and experience, and sounds like he would be at least equivalent to Green/Wright, if not an upgrade. Don't know how expensive he would come.

    OLB: Thomas is set. Vrabel has slowed considerably. I think he may become a part-timer in 2009 if we develop any other options. The problem is we have a lot of bodies but no clear candidates to take over. Woods is a great STer and is adequate, but probably won't ever be more than adequate at OLB. Crable showed flashes in preseason but is still an unknown. Redd and Daryl Robertson have potential but are still unproven. I wouldn't spend big $$ in FA on this position (e.g., Suggs) because the cost would be prohibitive, but I think that spending 1-2 early picks in this area on draft picks with pass rushing potential would be a good move. Some first round talent will probably be available in the second round. I like Connor Barwin and Greg Hardy. Cliff Sintim, Larry English, Aaron Maybin, and Michael Johnson have also been mentioned. I wouldn't personally spend a 1st round pick on Orapko or Brown given the conversion time, but feel that a second round pick is a worthwhile investment.

    ILB: We've made tremendous progress in the past season with Mayo and Guyton, but Bruschi/Seau are about done, Izzo was never an option and is winding down, and Alexander has never really materialized. I don't see much of an option in FA other than Karlos Dansby, who would probably cost too much given other needs. A first day pick would be nice to complement Mayo and Guyton. I like Brandon Spikes a lot, and think that at least some of the DE/OLB options (Barwin and Sintim in particular) may have the versatility to adapt to ILB as well. AD also gives us flexibility in this area, since he could potential move inside to SILB at least part-time as necessary.

    S: A big hole. Harrison is retiring or fading fast. Sanders and Tank Williams are UFAs. Meriweather is solid. There are no studs in FA. I would resign Sanders or sign a comparable player (Sean Jones, UFA Cleveland) in FA, and then spend a relatively high pick. I personally like William Moore in the late 1st/early 2nd round, Sean Smith (if he declares) in the early-mid 2nd round, and Patrick Chung in the mid 2nd-3rd round. Opinions may vary, but there is certainly a lot of depth at S in the draft.

    CB: Hobbs is adequate but is an UFA after 2009. Wheatley and Wilhite show signs of developing nicely but are not sure things. O'Neal is barely adequate and should be upgraded. There is a lot of talent in both FA and the draft. Scrabble is to high priced for us, and may not be the best fit. Given that some other needs may be better address in the draft than in FA I wouldn't mind seeing us sign a mid-range CB in FA such as Jabari Greer (Buffalo), Dunta Robinson (Houston) or Bryant McFadden (Pittsburgh), all of whom would fit reasonably and would be a significant upgrade. Richard Marshall (Carolina) is an RFA and Carlos Rogers (Washington) may be on the block as additional options if the price were right, though I think they are less likely. Given our youth/inexperience at CB I like the idea of signing a vet FA better than drafting another rookie, though there is a lot of talent in the draft.

    ST: Ghost is great. Hansen is adequate but upgradeable. Ken Huber from Cincinnati seems like the perfect Pats punter, with great accuracy and ability to pin opponents deep. I'd love to see us pick him up with a late round pick.

    Not sure how we manage all this with our own resignings. I'm not a capologist, but I expect BB/SP)?) to be aggressive this offseason the way they were after 2006 to address deficiencies. Thoughts?
  6. SoonerPatriot

    SoonerPatriot Rookie

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    Regarding several of the LB spots, "Veteran" is code for older than dirt.
  7. PatsFaninME

    PatsFaninME Rookie

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    Bad organizations chase their tale and say this year our seconddary was weak so we have to draft a day 1 CB or whatever. The Patriots play a few years ahead. I think it's going to be a year that we strengthen our OL. We have no backup to Light, Neal is often injured, and we havent' had the RT spot solidified in years. We need to find and develop a pure LT because Brady is the Pats present and future. THe O-line played well but we don't have the depth we once had. Imagine Brady having loads of time to throw to these receivers...where is next year's SB anyway?

    Yes, I would like to see a CB added but I think Wheatley and Wilhite have potential and I don't believe BB and SP believe CB is as much of a need as everyone else. I think a pass rush would solve the seconday issues more than anything else.
  8. JoePats

    JoePats Rookie

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    Adam Seward.
  9. MetalBleachers

    MetalBleachers Rookie

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    Looking toward the draft side:

    Sounds good, although if a pass-rushing OLB or an offensive playmaker (Harvin?) comes along in the Pats' top three picks on day one, shouldn't they take a shot?
  10. MetalBleachers

    MetalBleachers Rookie

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    Heaven knows they might do that, but the whole "plan years ahead thing" doesn't explain drafting Jerod Mayo. I think the Pats can get OL help in the mid-rounds this year as well as one free agent.
  11. billdog3484

    billdog3484 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    MG, you did a good job going through our roster. i think our DLine is really good, probably the best unit on our team. i think it appears they are lacking because of no pressure on the QB, but i think that falls squarely on our LB's. I think that OLB or ILB is the #1 position we need to upgrade. with a solid addition at that position we will be able to get to the QB
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    1) Hobbs is in his contract year. We have Hobbs and 2 prospects for 2009 and just the prospects for 2010. I agree that we should look ahead. To me, that means we need a corner. Even if BOTH Wilhite and Wheatley are top contributers AND we extend Hobbs, we still need a fourth corner.

    2) I agree that we need to look at the OL. Maybe I've listened to Parcells for too many years. If we need an interior lineman to replace Neal and/or Mankins, then I suggest that we should draft one. Just BTW, we also need a backup center. If we need a LT or RT, then we should draft one. Obviously, if a top one falls in our lap we'll take him but I think Belichick and Dante think a lot more of Light, Kaczur and LeVoir than you do. I do not believe that Kaczur is a better RG than a RT. He was a decent LT in his rookie year. So, my conclusion is that we need a guard or two (one in the frist 100), at least one which can backup at center.

    3) We have five picks in the first 100. I think that we should come out of the first hundred with a safety, corner, OL and an ILB. We would have still one pick left for a TE or WR. Of course, if we are getting nowhere with Wright, Seymour, Wilfork and Green, all bets are off, and we will need to look to 2010 and focus on our DL. Do you disagree?

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  13. The_Riddler

    The_Riddler Rookie

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    As far as CBs go, if you look at what will be available, to be honest, we're better off sticking with Hobbs/Wilhite/Wheatley and adding a second tier guy like Jabari Greer. Greer, who I consider to be an upper tier-2 guy, can probably be brought in for reasonable BB-type money who could also become the Ellis Hobbs replacement in 2010 while the rooks develop and groom themselves for the open island and slot spots in 2010 after Hobbs moves on.

    The top 3 guys aside from Asomugha, really don't impress me over a guy like Jabari Greer, those other top guys being, Chris Gamble and Dunta Robinson. If we didn't fork out the high end corner cake for Asante, there is no way BB breaks the bank for Asomugha.

    The real money needs to be spent on a pass rusher (Suggs, Peppers) or a Bart Scott to pair back up with AD to really solidy the middle-4. Our lack of a pass rush this year really hurt in a number of games. And this has to be our #1 focus along with another safety to pair up with (Brandon, Rodney - yes I feel Rodney comes back for one more go around with TB) in a 3-man rotation after Sanders moves on. The safety will have to come from the draft as there really isn't going to be much available in FA. (Will Moore) or a trade up for (Taylor Mays) would take care of this. I'm hoping a Vikings deal is in the works for Cassel that would allow us to land their #1 which would really give BB the ammo to deal our 3rd and a 1 up into the top 12 to land Mays. Taylor Mays and Merriweather would be the next Dennis Smith/Steve Atwater, they would be unbelievable together. Or we sit tight and hope Will Moore falls to us and he becomes the 3rd guy in the rotation.

    We've always talked about upgrading the RT spot. Kazcur, I thought actually played better as the season went along and he got his head back into the game after the shakey offseason he had. Regardless it needs to be upgraded
    and BB might be phoning a guy he's always liked, old Eagle friend, Jon Runyan, in February. He's getting up in age, but signing him short term would be a major upgrade over Kazcur while a young drafted RT develops.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  14. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I assume you made a typo and mean Wilhite rather than Wilfork. I agree we should look ahead and need at least one additional corner. Given the number of other needs, the depth of FA CB options, and the depth in the draft, I would opt for a mid-range FA CB and possibly a day 2 developmental CB unless someone too good to pass up falls into our lap.

    Again, I agree that OL is a need between FA and the draft. I think LeVoir has exceeded expectations and should be a keeper. Kaczur may not be a better RG than RT, but if we upgrade the RT position then it gives him flexibility to backup RG as well.

    Assuming a round 3 comp pick for Asante we have 5 picks in the first 100, with potential for more. I agree that S, CB and OL are legitimate offseason needs, but am not sure we need to address all 3 through the draft. I would also like to see more of a priority on the LB position - both ILB and OLB - to stock up on pass rushers, disruptors, and add speed and depth. I'm not sure we can have too many options here, much the way the Giants have kept stockpiling pass rushing DEs in their 4-3 scheme.

    I would like to see 2 needs addressed in FA (OL and CB are my preferences). That would allow us to address at least 3 others on day 1 (my preference would be S-LB-LB) and keep our second day picks to address less urgent needs, to trade up, or to trade back into 2010. Again, there is flexibility if someone too good to pass up at a different position falls.
  15. patsfaninpittsburgh

    patsfaninpittsburgh Banned

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    For arguement sake, let's say we trade MC for a 1st and a 2nd.

    That means for the 2009 draft we have:

    2 1st
    3 2nd
    2 3rd

    That's a lot of picks coming our way. I don't think the conversation needs to be limited to just free agents. The possibilities are huge.
  16. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    Prob won't get a 1st and 2nd in same draft. I'd be thrilled with a 1 this year and a
    2 next year.

    As far as what we can do in free-agency or trade. I'd like to add

    1. S - Not sure Rodney can cut it.
    Sean Jones - Cleve.

    2. WR - I'd check around to see if we can upgrade J.Gaffney.
    If not, I'd bring him back.

    3. ILB - I think Bruschi done. Would love to get a R.Phifer
    type to bring Guyton along slowly.
    M.Peterson - Jax.

    Now as far as the draft. Let's assume those 3 positions I mentioned above have
    been filled.

    1. CB - Wheatley could be allright. But, Hobbs UFA after next season.
    A. Smith - Wake Forest

    1. OL - Pick from Cassel trade.
    J.Smith - Baylor

    2. OLB - From SD. Will prob have to move up. But, I'd like to get Vrabel's
    eventual replacement. His contract up after 09. I'd trade our 3
    to move higher into 2nd round.
    C. Barwin - Cincy

    2. DE - 3-4 guy. Everyone projects T.Jackson to us. Boy, they were
    disappointing(lsu ) this year. Not sure how motivated they were
    and that concerns me.
    P.Jerry - OLE Miss

    3. traded

    3. Supple - TE

    4. RB
  17. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not sure that BB would ever want a bunch of #1's.. particularly from a bad team, would throw the salary structure out of sinc, see last year we moved down 3 slots for Mayo.. would think he would want a couple of #2's and one or two #3"s
  18. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good catch; I fixed the typo.

    With regard to OLB, I think that we will wait and see what we have in Crable, Redd, Robertson and Craig. We are fine for 2009 with Vrabel, Thomas and Woods getting almost all the reps if need be. As of now, I would expect to keep Crable and Redd, with Redd as a ST specialist. I believe by the end of the year, we will know a lot more. It is also possible that Colvin will be back to take the spot instead of Redd. In any case, it seems inefficient to draft an OLB and not see what we have. There is a possibility that Belichick will not keep Woods if Colvin is 100%.

    With regard to ILB, I agree that we need to draft someone. This will give us a mix of three youngsters (Mayo, Guyton and a draftee) and a mentor, Bruschi. Ruud could push for a spot, but I don't think so.

    The alternative is to draft a top OLB and move Vrabel or Thomas inside.

    My bottom line is that we need to draft acquire at most one linebacker. My personal preference is a top 100 pick ILB.

    With regard to free agency, we do need to add a veteran corner. We can't have Hobbs and the kids! My preference is to re-sign Lew Sanders. I don't see us spending what it costs to get a top corner in free agency. The draft seems the best option. We could add an OL in free agency. We usually do. After being penciled in as a starter, the question is usually whether they first retire or be cut.

  19. patsfanofNC12

    patsfanofNC12 Rookie

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    I would have to say that we draft on day 2 or sign an okay TE
  20. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not sure what you mean by an OK tight end. I suspect that Belichick thinks we have at least two already. However, DeVree could certainly be upgraded. Competition from a Day 2 TE or an OK freee agent TE is fine. Neither of these would replace Watson or Thomas. They are free agents in 2010, and their production hasn't been impressive, so some see a higher need.

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