Let's take a walk through fantasy-land. Kraft hires you to make all the personnel/scheme decisions this year, with no reservations (all the free agency choices, draft moves, coaching hires, etc). What are the top five or ten (or more) moves you would make? I'm not asking for rational, realistic scenarios of what would conceivably work in NE, given our current philosophy, but rather your own personal preferences for the direction of the club. Feel free to "bend" situations in order to give us favorable results if you'd like; after all, we're all just hopeful amateurs here. Go wild! - -=- - Instead of employing a base 3-4, I'd spend a lot of time in various subpackages, particularly the 4-2-5, which I feel could be the best mix of run-stopping and pass-defense. Many of my projected personnel moves are informed by this shift in defensive philosophy. The 3-4 will definitely stick around, though, so the goal is to find players who could fit in either scheme. Ahhh, versatility! On offense, I want to get away from finesse. Big, mauling lineman, big physical receivers, a downhill running attack (complete with fullback), and the versatility to continue our screens, underneath stuff, and the occasional long-ball. I want to make aggressive, high-risk/high-reward moves. It's Super Bowl or bust, and I'm tired of ending with a whimper instead of a bang. That means spending some money in free agency and going after guys who've fallen in the draft due to injury or off-the-field concerns. In this scenario, I don't have to be accountable to anyone, really, so let's go all-in. I'd sign Wilfork to a 4 year, $35 deal with pro-bowl and performance escalators. I think that's a pretty generous deal for a NT, although I'd end up playing him in more of a hybrid 3-tech/0-tech role.I think if he lost 15 pounds, he'd be an explosive inside passrusher, just like he was in college. Unleash the beast. Next up on my agenda: sign Mankins to a tender and hope a team snaps him up, giving us another 1st rounder. If I'm really greedy, I sign him to the highest tender, but a team would have to be desperate to cough up a 1st and 3rd for a guard, even a two-time pro-bowler. Tender the Ghost. He should stick around. Trade Light, Koppen, Springs & Thomas to KC for their two 2nd rounders. They shore up their offensive line with players familiar with Weis and get secondary and passrush help. In addition, they are able to focus on the very best player available in the first, instead of just taking a LT, which they need. We get extra ammo in the sweet spot of the draft. My most controversial (and admittedly far-fetched) move is to trade Welker for a 2011 1st and 2010 3rd. Yes, he's a great player, but I don't know if he'll ever be the same again, and Edelman gives us almost exactly the same skill set. I think JE will actually be better in a few years, given how good he was as a rookie QB conversion in his first year playing WR. Will a team be willing to give up a 1st for an injured all-pro? I have no idea, but I'd rather take the sure thing than a promising rookie who may or may not pan out. Let some other team enjoy the benefits of the hard-working and irrepressible Welker, who is probably my favorite Patriot because of our similar size and attitude on the field, while we stockpile for the future. How about another crazy trade? Since I'm in charge, and this is my stupid thread (hah), I'm going to trade Warren, Maroney, and Kaczur to WAS for a 2010 2nd rounder and a conditional 2011 pick (3rd up to a 1st), with provisions based on starting time, performance, and potential pro-bowl appearances. I know that's a lot of value to trade, and I'd originally toyed with the idea of receiving a 1st as compensation, but then I realized that WAS has the 4th overall pick. There's no way they'd trade that for two starters and a role player, even though they're getting quite a lot. Both sides win out in this trade. With Washington slated to switch to the 3-4. they receive a premier 3-4 end to pair with Hayensworth. On the other side of the ball, we've all heard how enamored Shanahan is with Maroney, and I'd love to see this kid thrive in an environment where they'd use him properly. He's still young, and I think his talent is off the charts. On the offensive line front, Shanahan employs a ZBS, so Kaczur would probably slide right in as a starter at guard or tackle. We get another premium draft pick this year, with the potential of a very good pick next year, as well. (For the sake of this exercise, let's say that we get a fairly high 2011 second round pick for this trade.) Resign TBC and Burgess to at least one-year deals. Go a step further and prioritize a pass-rusher in free agency. Peppers is the latest obsession, but I'm more than happy to settle for Edwards, Kampman, Taylor, or even Merriman, though none of them are ideal. Still, we need to create competition at the DE/OLB position. Let Bodden walk, even though he was our most consistent CB last year. His physicality and size was nice, but he did struggle against comeback routes and shiftier receivers. His lack of a closing burst was particularly evident a few times. I think he's a great #2, but he's going to get paid like a #1, and I'm not willing to empty the coffers for him. Besides, I think Butler will be great next year, and with a better pass-rush, even Wilhite should be serviceable.