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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by marcus, Dec 23, 2006.

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  1. marcus

    marcus Rookie

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    Going into December with 8 million dollars in cap space, below average receivers and a 60 million dollar quarterback is dumb...


    I am sure that even BB/SP would admit that they did not play their hand well this year

    Before everyone on this board uses the old knee jerk reflex of denial...ask yourself if there is any truth to this statement
  2. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    For the last time. D.Branch had a signed contract with the New England Patriots for the 2006 season. Had he lived up to his commitment this team didn't need a wr this year. When entering the draft/free agency season, a GM/Coach's don't assume a player will hold out. They look to fill the other holes. That's why we drafted CJ and signed Caldwell. For the 2/3 slots.
    Direct your criticism at Deion. He chose not to play here. I'm pissed at him not our front office.
  3. bradmahn

    bradmahn Rookie

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    "I am sure that even BB/SP would admit that they did not play their hand well this year."

    I don't agree with this statement at all.

    Bill and Scott Pioli did what they did because of several reasons, and I am sure that they were fairly confident that they would be able to sign Deion Branch. If they attempted to sign one of the big name receivers that were available last offseason (overpaying for their services), they would have created an even bigger dilemma when it came time to negotiating with Deion, who would feel as if he deserves more money than the recently acquired player.

    If the Pats had eventually traded for Javon Walker (which they were pretty serious about, Walker just never boarded his plane to Boston) they also would have had the dilemma of restructuring his deal. Walker had also pulled the same Branch BS last season. After going to the Pro Bowl in '04, Walker wanted "his," and held out of training camp to show the Packers who had the leverage. They didn't budge (good move) and he eventually came back (and got hurt). He wanted big time money, and, while I don't know the contract the Broncos gave him, I can bet it was more than the Pats would have given (see also having to eventually pay Deion).

    The Pats signed Caldwell to replace Givens, and he has done so (production wise), but they also had every intention of playing this season with Branch (who forced himself out of town). They drafted a "stud" WR in the second round, who unfortunately got injured. Keep in mind that many prognosticators felt Jackson was a steal and the best WR in the draft, a true first round talent.

    After the realization that the Pats were not going to have Branch for a good deal of the season they attempted to sign/trade for another receiver, but how many receivers were out there? Donte Stallworth would have commanded a draft pick and a new contract if they expected to have him available for more than just this year.

    Looking back on the situation now and saying "they could have had this guy" or "they should have tried harder for this guy" is hogwash and a classic case of hindsight being 20/20. In doing so you also fail to realize the situation the team was in at the time those players were available. If Deion doesn't pull his BS or if Chad Jackson doesn't get injured this season is entirely different. The Patriots prepared for this season's WR situation in many ways, and unfortunately they were not lucky enough for those ways to pan out, but to say that they didn't do anything because "they have six million dollars in unused cap space" is naive and a stupid attempt to criticize them now for stuff that was out of their control or a reasonable assumption then (like that Deion was going to play this season).
  4. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    THAt is the best statement I have heard on this u ARE SO SO correct ask DB baby...a team can not assume every player is a phony 2 year old whiner...and who says that they are 8 mill under??? I think THAT is speculation with the Koppen deal done and..other things
    BUT also besides money for Branch they were also pusueing Law..so without those ..they obviously HAD money...and when does this cap run out?? I believe that it foes beyond the season****Miguel..others please correct me if I am wrong*** They may use this space after the season for extensions yes no??
  5. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    The only other alternative would have been to let Branch run his holdout until Week 10 and then show up for the last 6 games + playoffs... I'm sure it would have done wonders for the locker room.

    In truth the only party that comes off looking 'dumb' is the Seattle Seahawks. They gave up a 1st-rounder and a mega-contract for essentially a #2 receiver (in their system) whose production is on par with Joe Jurevicius' of 2005 - who happened to sign a deal worth half as much with Cleveland.
  6. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    How does Branch look..besides rich, lazy, greedy and like a whiner??? I agree seatt;e looks dumb..
  7. sarge

    sarge Rookie

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    I'm wondering what it's going to be like when Darrel Jackson is ready to sign his next contract.

    Stat wise, he is clearly above Branch.

    I would be curios to see how Branch would do without Jackson lined up on the other side. Part of me thinks Jackson is drawing the double coverage helping Branch's numbers. but the other argument would be he is taking receptions from Branch.

    Regardless, Branch is paid like he is one of the best receivers in the league when in reality, he is not even the best receiver on his own team!

    So I am real curious to see what happens with Jackson after this season.
  8. hodgey

    hodgey Rookie

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    The original post is dead on. Add to that the fact we are getting almost no production from our draft class. I posted about a year ago how I felt our window to win was now, and would continue to shrink. I think they blew an opportunity at another superbowl run.

    Now to repond to the above post. Denver was in the exact same position as we were. They choose to protect themselves and sign J. Walker. We could have done that as well. Would we be a better team with a Walker or Stallworth for Brady to throw to? The front office should have anticipated this possibility and acted. We better just hope our FA's are not still as coveted as in prior years or our window will shrink even further.
  9. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    We couldn't have worked out a deal with Walker because Branch was still a Pat.

    The WR situation is in its worst-case scenario, but look at Washington, lots of talent at WR....and 5-9.
  10. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Patriots have another week to find ways to use that money - and it's closer to $6M by all reports - by either extending other players who are scheduled to become FA or by adding LTBE incentives into some reworked deals. That said, this franchise demands accountability from top to bottom and when they evaluate their own performance at the end of the season I don't doubt they will conclude that they did not play their hand all that well this off season. They underestimated their #1 WR's resolve regarding his contract status while likely overestimating their ability to replace production within the unit (Gabriel).

    A couple of things to keep in mind are they did actually try to pre-emptively replace him with Mason in 2005 but were rebuffed. They also made an effort to re-sign Givens when it appeared the Houston offer would be his market, but it was a case of too little too late. Perhaps that offer at the end of the 2005 regular season would have retained him, but they chose not to make it then apparently to avoid potentially driving the price up on Branch. And while we all assume Branch was overpaid by Seattle, the troubling thing to remember is the reports that the Patriots were willing to give him the same deal just prior to pulling the trigger on the trade with the caveat that he bring a new agent to the table. We may never know the whole story there unless Brady decides to address it in his post career autobiography.

    They also attempted to upgrade the secondary but both corners they persued also rebuffed them, Townsend to remain with the team he won his ring with and Law who money aside it seems was intent on proving he was in no way a product of a system. Like the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. However, you need to do a better job of deciphering when you are merely being strung along and when you are truly in the hunt.

    If we win it all this year it will all become a moot point. If we don't then it is reasonable to discuss why we didn't, as I am sure they will be doing in the bowels of Gillette long into the winter.
  11. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That's beside the point though. As Bill would say, it's not how a players performs somewhere else that matters - it's how he would perform in this system. In this system Branch was a #1. That is why so many of the pundits were dumbfounded - as the majority of them contended Branch was worth more to this team than he would be to any other (because of his fit in the system and rapore with a cerebal QB - something we are learning is not that easy to develop).
  12. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There is another choice, negotiate with him and throw out the '06 year of the contract, which would have gone against the philosophy of the club and gotten squarely up the butt of the other 52 guys in the locker room..btw, anyone check how incredibly well that Deion is doing in Seattle?? Seattle would have been better off spending their money on Hutchinson, than spending that much cash on their #3 receiver.

    This horse has been beaten to death at least 29 times on this board.
  13. belichickaholic

    belichickaholic Rookie

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    If they don't have the horses, how did they manage to get to 10-4 this year?
    They'll probably finish 12-4, but I guess that's not good enough for you.

    10-4, jeez louise, get a grip!! Anything can happen in the playoffs.:rolleyes:
  14. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    We need one receiver to step up to be solid at every position.

    The Colts need to find a whole defense by the playoffs.

    Given theres a salary cap, I'll take our situation.

    Playoff bound for the 5th time in 6 years!
  15. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Are you saying the 8-7 Seahawks made a smarter deal?
  16. sarge

    sarge Rookie

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    Looking at the stats on NFL.com, it shows Branch as the second most productive receiver, not third.

    Am I missing something?
  17. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Plus they have Burleson at 49 milllion for 7 years and they only use him on special teams.

    We really need to emulate them.:rolleyes:
  18. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Evidence? We continue to add more young talented players and have double picks in most rounds including #1.

    Is our quarterback ready to retire?

    You guys just like windows, cause you're always looking to jump out one at the first sign of trouble.
  19. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Mo..is it only a week OR does it go into the new year??? I always have thought that it was more in Feb..and that many do not understand that...I of course stand corrected if wrong...I also afree that they tried to sign a few and were rebuffed n that..BUT many miss those actions. Also many forget so easily the CBA extension and how that affected the Patriots and their thinking..Do you not think they would have played their gand differenty if the CBA hadn't been up and an issue in March?? I think it would have been different..
  20. JR4

    JR4 In the Starting Line-up PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Absolutely correct but they should have done something when Branch
    held out early in the year. If they just said out he won't really
    hold out of the season ... that was wrong thinking. But hind sight is a nice
    thing. Deion was such a nice guy .. who thought he would be the traitor he
    is.
    One problem was ... they really couldn't committ to another WR
    as long as Brach was a possibility ... unless they just decided to let him go.
    Branch really put this team in a big bind. He's on my doo doo list.
  21. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    Kindly do not introduce facts into a BB-bashing thread. Comparing the 8-7 Hawks with the 10-4 Pats. Tsk, tsk. Next you'll be pointing out that the difference will be even greater next year as we have two first round picks and they have none.
  22. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Yes and no...It is true that Branch performed well here..But what does that mean??
    Does a FO knowing that throw a ton of money at him for that?? More than what is reasonable?? The bottom line was that the last year of contract and Deion wanted it gone..OR he would not play..Do you think the FO should have given in? I don't think so..he's not close to the Brady, Seymour world...and it is Branch himself who put himself in the situation by not negotiating of good faith. We will not find out for years if that is the case with other receivers..how many years was Branch here to develop that timing with Brady?? Give these receivers time though... I agree Branch had a special link with Brady..but it didn't seem to mean that much to him.
  23. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Next year? But I thought the window was closing?
  24. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Seahawks have nothing to do with the discussion. This isn't about who got the better end of a deal. It's about this team and where they find themselves 16 weeks into the 2006 season in which they had 80% turnover at WR. And barring any earth shattering developments in the next 8 days that will be 12-4 but unfortunately a 4th seed entering the playoffs without a bye. Imagine where this team would be now with Branch still here, or even Givens. And don't make that assessment based on what they did elsewhere, make it on what they routinely produced in this system. Would you rather be 12-4 (or 11-5 or God forbid 10-6 and praying the JETS lose the late game next week) while you ponder who they should take with the 23rd pick...or would your rather be 14-2 contemplating HFA throughout the playoffs?
  25. hodgey

    hodgey Rookie

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    Is the point to just be better than Seattle?
  26. RayClay

    RayClay Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    It's also about this team and a pattern of fiscal discipline that makes them contenders year after year while other teams boom and bust.

    It's easy to say, cave in just this time, rip up the contract just this time, make a questionable high dollar signing just this time.

    Every team in the league is a potential competitor and I think it's fair to compare our overall to that of other teams.

    Due to some factors beyond our control and some we might have been able to do better, we have a temporary problem at one position.

    Seattle has a budget busting mess at WR, that's going to cost them valuable players at other positions because of the cap.

    At times it seems the Colts are missing a whole defense.

    I won't list every team in the league, but if people are going to obsess on one position on a 10-4 team, weaknesses on other teams are germane to the discussion IMO.
  27. PatsWickedPissah

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    Disable Jersey

    14-2 contemplating HFA

    What do I win?
  28. belichickaholic

    belichickaholic Rookie

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    Deion Branch didn't help them any better than 10-6 last year and IIRC, he had an extremely costly penalty on the play just before Tom threw the Int to Champ Bailey in the Denver game.

    It's spilled milk, they've moved on, but a lot of fans haven't. IMO, the 4 losses have more to do with the entire team just playing flat than anything else.

    Also, if they play the way they did last week, (no penalties, no turnovers, strong ST, strong D and an efficient offense) they'll beat anybody.

    Remember Defense Wins Championships, not offense. How many rings does Peyton have?
  29. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Players contracts pay out over the course of the regular season. Teams don't pay players for the playoffs, the league does via playoff shares. Therefore deals must be signed before the end of the regular season to count any bonus money or amortization of bonus against the current season cap. The time to increase salaries actually passed about a month ago.

    If they in fact offered him the money if he'd dump the agent, then maybe they didn't think it was all that unreasonable - and they were just playing hardball and determined not to pay a nickle more than they had to until they had to. If that's the case perhaps they did in fact put winning the contract battle ahead of winning the football war. And an emerging approach to the growing cap and rookie contract limits (not more than 4 year deal for other than first rounders) appears to be extending players earlier (once you have identified their value) before the FA salary curve under a rapidly expanding cap gets even steeper.

    I always said Branch was not an elite WR, but he was a #1 in a system that is difficult to master. Hopefully Jackson will develop into a WR who can master the system, but the early results are not a slam dunk. Branch was able to show not only he grasped it conceptually but could execute it in practice and on the field early in his career. From what we hear CJ grasped it conceptually but whether due entirely to injuries or something else altogether, he has yet to show he can execute those concepts at NFL game speed. And as a tea leaf reader I'm a little uncomfortable with the way Brady has spoken about him almost from the get go. Something isn't clicking when Brady doesn't gush about you.

    As for the special link not mattering to Deion, this isn't love - it's the business end of football. He had something we need, and he was willing to provide it but not for a nickle less than he could get from someone else. More often than not at the end of the day that's what motivates professional athletes. Brady has something we need too, only he (and a few others) are willing to discount it because we have something they want more than a few more millions - an opportunity to be part of something special to them, winning multiple championships with a career team. That apparently didn't matter to Deion nearly as much as maximizing his immediate earning potential. Although I don't doubt in time he will better appreciate that Brady (and the system) had something that all QB's (and systems) don't have, and as a result he will likely not fare as well career wise when all is said and done. But for him the most important thing over the last year was securing his family's financial future.

    The players have a mantra they often impart to young guys coming up. When your career is over all you will have is your money and your memories. Deion has two rings and a Superbowl MVP trophy, and for most NFL players that more than covers for the memories.
  30. DaBruinz

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

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    First off, the Pats don't have 8 million in cap space. Its closer to 6.5 million
    2ndy, the Pats had set aside money for the Branch negotiations and for Ty Law. Had Branch ACTUALLY negotiated or had Law signed, the Pats probably wouldn't have been able to extend Koppen.

    The "Sports Guy" doesn't know what he is talking about.

    The only "truth" to the statement is that its stupid and pathetic to be a johnny come lately to the discussion that has been hashed and re-hashed 1000s of times on this board. All with the same conclusion.

    The Pats put more than a good faith effort to sign Branch. Branch didn't even negotiate with them. All Branch did was offer an ULTIMATUM after the draft.


    They also made a damn good offer to Givens. One that was trumped by the Titans. The contract offered to Law was very lucrative as well.
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