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Going Into Free Agency

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by mgteich, Jun 17, 2011.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It seems that free agency MIGHT begin in 3 weeks. What are your highest priorities. IMHO, we have no NEEDS. Of course, there will always be opportunities to upgrade.

    Obviously, we need to decide what offers to give to our own free agents. The number re-signed could the lowest in years.
    ================================================================
    JUNE 17 ROSTER

    QB - 3 Brady, Hoyer, Mallett,(Crompton)
    RB - 4 Green-Ellis, Woodhead, Vareen, Ridley,(Clayton)
    C - 2 Koppen, Wendell
    G - 3 Mankins, Cannon/Ohrnberger, Connolly, (Austin)
    OT - 4 Solder, Vollmer, Kaczur, Levoir/Maneri
    WR - 5 Welker, Edelman, Tate, Price, Branch,(Farnham),(Jenkins)
    TE - 4 Crumpler, Gronkowski, Hernandez, Smith (Butler)
    --------------------------------------------------------
    DE - 3 Deaderick, Ty Warren, Stroud, (Favorite)
    DT - 4 Wright/Love, Brace, Pryor, Wilfork, (Weston), (Richard), (Cohen)
    ILB– 4 Mayo, Guyton, Spikes, Fletcher
    OLB- 4 Banta-Cain, Ninkovich, Cunningham, Moore, (Murrell)
    CB - 4 Bodden, McCourty, Arrington, Wilhite/Butler, (Jackson), (Carter)
    S - 3 Meriweather, Sanders, Chung, (Ventrone)
    CB/S -1 Dowling
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    P - 1 Mesko
    K - 1 Gostkowski
    LS - 1 Katula
    ST 2 Slater, Brown/Barrett/Page, (Carter), Williams)

    FREE AGENTS
    Faulk, Graham, Light, McGowan, Morris, Ojinnaka, Taylor, G. Warren, White
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  2. Professor Frink

    Professor Frink Rookie

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    Are you sure White is a FA? I thought he was signed through 2011. He's definitely a guy I want on the roster, he was our best special teamer.

    I think this team's biggest priorities should be on resigning Mankins and Welker to long term deals. As for additions, the guy I have my eye on is Shaun Ellis. We all saw in the playoffs last year he can still play, he has experience in the system, can be had for cheap, and leaves the Jets without thier best D lineman.

    I envision Belichick using him strictly in sub packages to help keep him fresh, and he offers versatility because you can line him up pretty much anywhere on the line. If Ellis can come in and provide some pass rush help, along with the developement of Cunningham, I think this defense could be just about complete.:rocker:
  3. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Couple of considerations:

    1) There will also certainly be a cap at a level in the 120's. The Pats may have to clear some space to get ready for the season. They can clear $10M without much trouble (TBC, Sanders, Kaczur, Crumpler) and replace them for a much smaller number (Moore, Dowling, Cannon, Smith).

    2) You don't take Dowling at #33 if you don't plan on playing him at least 20% of the snaps. That means Sanders/Wilhite/Butler are likely playing for 1 spot.

    3) Need some clarity on the interior OL. Mankins needs to report on time and need to assess Cannon's health. If Mankins, Cannon, Connolly, Koppen and Wendell are all available, life is good. If not, this would be an area of interest (not panic) in FA.

    4) If TBC moves on, there is a definite need at rush end. Even if he is retained, this is an area of FA interest. Again, no panic since Fletcher and Guyton can line up there in a pinch. Belichick seems to be wanting to specialize his defense, so having dedicated rushers like Wright, Pryor and Moore rather than having every-down guys like Seymour and Vrabel looks like the plan. I think Belichick would like to sign a vet that can just line up as a 4-3 end in sub packages and focus on pressure like Moore did last year. Cunningham will get his chances there but his value in the base is too great to wear him out playing every down.

    So other than interior OL and rush end, the team is young, talented and deep. If the youngsters take the next step in development, the offense could be explosive (not just efficient) and the defense should improve significantly on getting off the field (not just generating turnovers).
  4. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Miguel lists White a free agent. I believe that he is correct. And yes, I would like to see him re-signed.

    Josh Barrett was re-signed through 2012. Page was tendered through 2011. Perhaps you are thinking of one of them.

    I agree with regard to Mankins. However, I would note that he might very well play for the $10M franchise amount. In any case, his re-signing will not need to be addressed early in free agency.

  5. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I'll be very, very surprised if either Sanders or Crumpler aren't Patriots in 2011.
  6. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    I'm just looking at $$$$ per snap count...

    Smith and Crumpler are completely redundant. They can't be on the field at the same time except in short yardage. For a team that values roster spots, I can't imagine keeping both of them would be optimal. Smith could make it through to the practice squad for a year, but I'm assuming they don't want to take the chance on losing him (I think the Jets don't have much after Keller on the roster).
    Savings = $2M - $500K = $1.5M

    As for Sanders, there are just too many players in the secondary needing snaps. Meriweather and Chung get the majority of snaps. Dowling better be your nickel guy or it is hard to justify picking him at #33. For depth/ST, you have Sergio and Page (assuming he doesn't become an UFA) and haven't even mentioned Butler possibly shaking off his sophomore slump or Arrington providing solid coverage in a pinch. Need his leadership? Time for Chung to put on the big boy pants. There is space on the roster for Sanders...just not at his price tag.
    Savings = $2.5M - $1M = $1.5M

    So the Pats can transition from Crumpler->Smith and Sanders->Dowling, get younger and more athletic, transition 2 positions this year rather than next and save $3M in cap space in the process. If there are injuries in camp, Crumpler and Sanders can stick as plan B. If Crumpler and Sanders are necessary to maximize the Pats season, I'm afraid that season will end before February.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  7. PatsFanStnfrd

    PatsFanStnfrd Rookie

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    Don't expect these from being cut:
    --Kaczur: insurance on OL if healthy
    --Sanders: insurance among Safety group
    -- Crumpler: leadership

    Remember also that rosters might be expanded -- and while rookies will primarily benefit -- the game day rosters are likely to be domianted by veterans due to abbreviated/rushed Training Camps and lack of Off-season camps. So, Cap issues have to be rebalanced against need for veterans on game days.
  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So, it is time for the annual "cut our #1 defensive signal caller" thread.

    Sanders is going nowhere. SDergio Brown is a STer is will make the team or not as a special teamer. Page is an OK #3. I would prefer to keep Sanders as our #3 safety. I think that Meriweather is staying. But if one is going, I think that Meriweather is much more likely than Sanders.

    With regard to needed cap savings, we'll see in a couple of weeks. However, the miost obvious source of cap savings is to pay less than $10M for our 2011 LG.

  9. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    That is almost $11M of cap space, which is likely almost 10% of the total cap. Wouldn't that cap space be better spent on a major upgrade over TBC, a tidy front-loaded bonus for Mankins and/or an early jump on the 2012 contract guys (Mayo, Chung, Vollmer)?

    First off, that is a major reach. Owners offered to expand rosters by 1-2 in exchange for an 18 game season. At 16 games I can't imagine there will be a roster expansion. Maybe delaying the final roster cutdown, but nothing that will affect the revenue split (players don't want more jobs with the same salary pool).

    And even if there are more veterans on the roster, that makes it even more important to use the cap money and roster spots wisely. Spending $4M per on insurance policies and locker room guys seems a bit pricey.
  10. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I couldn't disagree more.

    A rookie who has never taken an NFL snap is in no way redundant with the guy who was made captain within a few months of his arrival, who took two seperate running games to the next level (TN and NE - his absence was blatant in TN last year) and who BB seems to compliment as often as possible and who the other TEs revere.

    Unless he isn't healthy enough to play, Crumpler will be on this team. Smith appears to be his successor, but it will be after a full season of receiving Alge's tutelage.

    As for Sanders, his contract and the depth of his position puts him at a little more risk, but he is a guy that BB loves who has gotten better every season, even last year when the rest of the secondary (sans McCourty) had issues. I've heard BB talk about Sander's work ethic in glowing terms and he puts a lot more value in guys like James who set the tone than fans do.

    The comment about Dowling having to "be your nickel guy or it is hard to justify picking him at #33" is a little absurd, considering you put a lot on Chung who was picked at almost the exact same spot and did little as a rookie. If he shows that inate ability that Devin did and Asante/Geno did before (and Butler steps up and NE brings back the FA safties....), then we'll talk about whether NE has cost cutting options. Until then, Sanders is exactly the type of guy BB likes to have as the foundation of his team.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  11. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    How are Sanders and Crumpler "insurance policies"? They were both well up there in their respective snap counts (Sanders 70% for 6th on defense, Crumpler 54% for 4th on offense). Seems like they were depended on a whole lot more than you indicate. Sure, we hope Sanders is squeezed out a little by improved CB play and depth, as well as Chung and Meriweather taking a stranglehold on the top two spots, but he is virtually certain to see 50% of the snaps even then.

    I'd love an upgrade over TBC, who do you have in mind? That "tidy front-loaded bonus for Mankins" would actually lower NE's overall cap.
  12. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    If the combination of Mayo and Chung isn't enough to get the defense lined up and on the same page, then the Pats should trade them and sign replacements who can. Are you suggesting that the Pats need to keep Sanders on the roster indefinitely because he brings something that can't be done by anyone else?

    For Sanders to be the primary signal caller, he would need to be on the field most of the time. Is that really ideal for a defense adding Dowling and getting Bodden back?
  13. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    According to Football Outsiders, under Crumpler's tutelage, GRONK and Hernandez finished in the top 7 TEs in both DYAR and DVOA (i.e., total contribution and play-by-play basis), and in GRONK's case, that doesn't even take into account his skills as a blocker.

    And they were both rookies making rookie mistakes. Imagine what they (and Smith) could do with another year under Crump's wing.

    I could see the Pats going into the season with four TEs (Crumpler, GRONK, Hernandez, Smith) and four RBs (BJGE, Woodhead, Ridley, Vereen), and the only way I don't see Crumpler on the roster is in case of injury or retirement.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  14. Professor Frink

    Professor Frink Rookie

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    Crumpler and Sanders are exactly the kind of role players Belichick likes to have on his team. Neither is going anywhere.
  15. s3antana5757

    s3antana5757 Rookie

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    BB hasn't built all this depth to give it away. These guys can play ST and guys like Dowling, Chung, Ridley, Smith are probably going to have to play ST.
  16. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

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    Have to agree here. These are the kind of veterans that BB will carry on his roster with no regrets: professional, reliable, steady, affordable.

    If Lee Smith does well in camp (assuming there is a camp), and he proves that he wouldn't clear waivers, he'll make the team on ST and as a #4 TE in goal line situations. And he'll fill Crumpler's role after Alge hangs it up maybe 2012. Otherwise, he'll go to PS.

    Regardless, Crumpler's job is safe, at least for another year.
  17. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

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    Offense (26)
    QB - 3 Brady, Hoyer, Mallett
    RB - 5 Faulk, Green-Ellis, Woodhead, Vareen, Ridley
    OC - 2 Koppen, Wendell
    OG - 3 Mankins, Ohrnberger, Connolly
    OT - 3 Vollmer, Solder, Levoir
    WR - 6 Welker, Edelman, Tate, Price, Branch, Slater
    TE - 4 Crumpler, Gronkowski, Hernandez, Smith

    Defense (27)
    DE - 6 Deaderick, Ty Warren, G. Warren, Brace, Love, Pryor
    NT - 2 Wright, Wilfork
    ILB– 4 Mayo, Guyton, Spikes, Fletcher
    OLB- 4 Banta-Cain, Ninkovich, Cunningham, Moore
    CB - 6 Bodden, McCourty, Arrington, Wilhite, Butler, Dowling
    S - 5 Meriweather, Sanders, Chung, Page, Brown

    Special Teams (3)
    K - 1 Gostkowski
    P - 1 Mesko
    LS - 1 Katula

    - I'm three players over the roster limit. I expect this will be solved by injuries. But, if everyone comes into Week One healthy then the following roster fights:
    a. Wilhite vs. Butler fighting for the #5 CB spot
    b. Page vs. Brown for a ST role and DB depth
    c. Deaderick, Pryor, Love: 3 guys fighting for 2 jobs on the DL

    - I sent Cannon to PUP. Fully expect him to get a red shirt, even if he's perfectly healthy by the time the season rolls around. This is standard BB fare. He drafted Tate with the same kind of thinking: take a flier on a high talent guy who dropped in the draft due to injury and wait it out.

    - I think there's a chance BB re-signs Light, which would bump Levoir. But taking Solder that high pretty much only makes sense if they plan to throw him out there. I think BB will be satisfied to take the compensatory pick after Light signs with Buffalo, Miami, Jets or something heartbreaking like that. Hopefully he goes to Kansas City.

    - I've dropped Stroud and re-added G.Warren. Each year, BB brings a vet into camp that cant make the conversion. I've supposed that Gerard will re-sign and then edge Stroud out based on experience in the system. Could easily work the other way around.

    - I've also added Faulk back on the roster. I think most fans are ready to turn the page on Kevin, but BB admires him, he's a solid role model to the rookie RBs, and he makes plays. Seems crowded in the backfield, but this unit will also be important nucleus for the STs, made more urgent given that Sammy Morris is not listed.

    This team is much deeper than the 2010 version that went 14-2, with the same starters on both sides of the ball, other than Light. There's not a speck of fat on the roster... fully 56 players deep. When you use your two 2nd round picks on #4 CB and #4 RB, you know the team is stacked with talent.
  18. patriotscpfc

    patriotscpfc Rookie

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    There is also every chance that the Rosters may be expanded by 2 or 3. Would allow for players on the PS/Cut bubble to be kept.

    Players like Lee Smith, Sergio Brown, Josh Barrett, One of the young D-Linemen, as well as the young Secondary guys like Tony Carter.

    We're losing a Roster spot with the addition of Mallett as there is no way we wont be carrying 3 QBs now.
  19. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Barring injuries or trades, of course.
  20. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    I don't see why there is so much momentum to the thought that rosters will expand. Players are fighting for a bigger slice of the pie to increase their own paycheck, not to add another guy to the roster.

    As for the 3rd QB, you are right, but NE also kept an extra RB and an extra G/C guy due to uncertainty on the OL last year. They could pretty easily slide a 4th TE and a 3rd QB without putting anyone promising on the bubble.
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