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idle thoughts - the WR conundrum.....

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Mar 2, 2012.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    Disclaimer: This offense, without any changes would still be coming off being the 2nd most prolific passing attack in NFL history. So its not like there are huge holes to fill or if we don't make drastic moves the passing attack will suddenly morph into the Jags or the Jets. However we ARE Pats fans, and we ARE terribly spoiled so even amongst the “plenty”, it is our duty to demand that we improve upon near perfection. So who am I to claim, “the king has no clothes”, and here we go. :D


    Everybody is looking for the WR “answer” Servers have died to keep the Mike Wallace Brandon Lloyd, and Vincent Jackson conversation going, and more will die before this issue is resolved over the next few months, But assuming Wes Welker is on the team this coming season, Its pretty obvious that that baring injury, whomever that 4th receiver is going to be, most of the time, he is going to be the 4th option. And I think its stupid to spend top dollar for a guy who would be just a 4th option or at best merely take receptions away from those who got them last season.

    So I was thinking about potential INEXPENSIVE options that could both fill the need to have a “field stretcher” and a legitimate 4th receiver threat that opens up the field to everyone else. Here are just 4 off the top of my head. Feel free to add others. The key attributes here are speed, route running, and the ability to be a WR who doesn't need to be the focus of the offense.

    a.Braylon Edwards. If healthy, he's got the unique combination of size and speed that we are looking for. He had a great season in 2010, and made a lot of big catches, (including too goddamned many against the Pats). After the disaster season he had last year he'd come very cheap. The extra bonus is that by signing himyou'd keep him away from the Jets. While he's a nice signing by us, he's a critical get for the Jets since he'd likely to be one of the few FA's that the Jets could afford, and weakens them. BTW- If he came here, it would be the first ti he's ever played with a top notch passer.

    b. Lee Evans – Another very solid speed guy, who had a horrible season with a new team. I think we've all seen him enough in Buffalo, playing in bad weather, with worse QB's to respect his accomplishments. Why not Lee Evans. BTW – that so called “drop” in the endzone in the Ravens game wasn't. It was more about Moore's good play, then Evans bad one.

    c. Randy Moss – IF he can still run a 4.4. IF he understands he'd be a role player, and NOT the focus of the passing game, That he'd be here to open the field for others and be willing to accept getting only 3-5 targets a game.. Why not Randy Moss, who would come to play for base of a million plus incentives in a non-guaranteed contract.. Low risk, high reward

    d. Keep Ocho and Branch, they both will come cheap, and let them fight for the position of 4th receiver and let the best man win. BB loves to create this kind of “death threat” competition. and then draft a speed guy for the future.

    All these options make more sense now that tit looks like some of the better DE/OLB, and DL interior rush prospects are sadly very likely to be gone when its our turn. Do this and you can spend those assets on finding them in FA

    Again my main reasons for not being willing to simply add that great receiver to the mix, and STILL sign Welker are: You shouldn't tie up 18% or more of your cap on 2 WR's, You shouldn't someone who could be your 4th receiver. And why would a top receiver want to come here knowing they might end up being the 4th option a lot of the time

    4. Now what's the plan if Welker walks. Its unlikely, but still you have to prepare. BTW- I wonder if the hold up in resigning him is more about the money or the years Here are a couple of Welkerless scenarios

    a. Mike Wallace. The Pats offer the Steelers their 2nd this year, and a 2nd next year in trade for Wallace. Although you give up 2 premium picks by trading him, the benefit is that you keep the #1 and when you sign him to a long term big money contract, it will be easier to structure a deal where the big cap hits hit after 2014 when the cap will expand by about $40MM Now you put Edelman in the slot. Wallace becomes one of the top 3 options, and the offense could become even more dangerous

    b. Vincent Jackson – Its going to cost $10/MM/yr but you get a #1 receiver type who can run all the routes, and if you all remember the SD game just last September....a very scary guy.

    c. Brandon Llyodd.- I wonder about this one since you wouldn't be getting true speed guy, but more of a bigger stronger more versatile Dion Branch. I'm not sure what he's looking for, but I wouldn't pay more than $6-7MM/yr for him,.

    That's just 3 off the top of my head, again feel free to add others you might feel fit. And now on to the NEXT installment :D
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Once we Franchise Welker, he can't walk. That's not an option he has. If we were to trade for Wallace or sign him as a RFA, we would be able to recoup some of what we traded by trading a Franchised Welker.
  3. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I will assume we decide to keep Welker. I also think that Branch and Ocho will compete for a #5 depth spot, I will guess Branch. People ignore his 51 catches as if it were a failure rather than good production for the #4 option in the offense.

    As to a possible FA. I wouldn't take it for granted that if we sign a FA he would automatically be the #4 target. Perhaps AH would be the #4 target if the 'new guy' brought the right dimension to the offense.

    I am biased towards Lloyd because he is a know quantity in this offense. Being a deep threat is a combination of speed and route running and ability to adjust make a play for deep balls which won't be as accurate as a shorter pass. Lloyd getting 18+ w 77 catches in this offense is the deep option we need.

    Also IF the 'new guy' is a legit deep threat even if he is the #4 target the goal is to kep otherD from crowding the middle and taking away Gronk and Welker. IOW he should help the performance of the #1-2 targets.

    I also think that we need to get more out of the passing game from our RB's, I really hope Vareen becomes a factor with 40+ catches.
  4. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Perhaps I am a glutton for punishment, but I want to focus on the Moss comment.

    Lets put aside the fact that before sitting out a year he looked more than done.

    Your comments above suggest selecting a guy who has been the polar opposite of what you described for his entire career, and trying to fit him into that description. The definition of what you want may be very reasonable, but out of 1000 possible WRs you picked the guy is the 1000th most likely to fit it.

    Why would Moss come back after sitting out a year to be something the exact opposite of what he has always demanded to be? How is the guy who has always pouted when he wasn't being babied and treated like the man be your choice to be the self-sacrificing role player?

    It's like opening a kennel and choosing Michael Vick to run it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2012
  5. MoLewisrocks

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    Can't trade for Wallace or trade away Welker until or unless they sign their tender/tag. Which is why most players don't before they have to. And for this team July or August is too late to trade for a WR who will demand a big contract to show up here too. Then we'd face the prospect of 17 weeks of hearing how he was going to develop raport with the QB or breakout any week now because he's getting the playbook or how Tom is a stubborn, selfish diva who won't throw to the wide open $10M WR just because he isn't open where he's supposed to be...

    Someone needs to explain to Ken how the business end of NFL football works. Miami traded Welker because they foolishly didn't value him in their system and they didn't anticipate someone smarter than them would. Pittsburgh doesn't want to flip Wallace for picks, let alone less than a #1. They will be fine waiting him out til week 10 for a substantially reduced tender ala Mankins if that's the way he chooses to go.

    Someone also needs to explain to Ken that while Moss is begging for a contract by dangling the no guaranteed money up front card, he will want to be paid commensurate with his perceived standing once the bell rings and he won't be a happy camper being anything less than a #1 target and Tommy won't be a happy camper if he has to spend his free time catering to a mentally weak, delicate ego yet again.

    There really is no WR conundrum. If they had just kept Jab for 4 years at $10M...they'd still have all they need.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2012
  6. BelichickFan

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    I was playing along with the scenario - if we worked out a long term deal for Wallace and another team did for Welker they'd both happily sign the franchise contract, get traded and get their deal. We go through this "process" discussion every year. I don't think the Patriots will Franchise and Trade Welker but if that were the chose path, the details of him agreeing to a new contract with another team, signing and being traded would get taken care of.
  7. MoLewisrocks

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    Bill has a policy of not talking trades for unsigned players. And again, not sure the Steelers want to trade Wallace even for a 1st. They'd have tagged him if they had the cap space. They'd like to keep him if they can get him signed to a reasonable deal. They have another WR they may like even better coming along right behind him. But this year they don't have a lot of viable options for replacing his production. So they likely wouldn't be inclined to make a deal for him even if he doesn't report until week 10. And I don't think any team will trade a 1st for Welker and give him the kind of deal he probably wants. Nor do I think Bill would trade his most productive wide receiver for anything less - and this year. He held out for a 1st for Branch in August when he had to trade him even though he never intended to.
  8. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    Fans just love to focus on the WR position. A bit too much, IMO. The Pats had a combined cap hit of $5 mil last year for their # 2 and 3 WRs (Branch and 85). If they bring back Welker, they will have their top 3 targets returning and will be paying a lot more already at the WR position that before. So IMO, they cannot go over that $5 mil mark this year for WRs 2 and 3 again. And what makes it tough is that cutting 85 will cost them at least $1.5 mil dead money, which should count against that $5 mil mark. Which leaves something like Branch and maybe a guy like Meachem. I'm perfectly fine with that.
  9. Stilla

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    If the player is assumed to be the 4th option at WR, he better be a special teams threat.
  10. Triumph

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    This season: Ocho 34, Branch 33 and Welker 31.

    Does anyone else see a need to plan for the future?

    Gronk was basically the NE Pats scoring offense in 2011. I hope hes the same after surgery and that defenses dont take him away in 2012 because theyve figured the Pats offense isnt so lethal once you pull its teeth. Any weapon can be stopped, BB has been doing it for years.

    Yes, I am one of those spoiled fans that doesnt want to waste another season of having a HOF QB like Brady and a mediocre WR corp beyond Welker. Id like to see Belichick add 2 new WRs after signing Branch and Welker. If the 4th WR lit up secondaries, he would see more playing time. BB is always about whats best for the team and starting the guy who is getting it done on the Sunday and in practice. Mystery#4 WR wouldnt be the 4th WR for very long.
  11. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    BJGE had 11 TDs.
    Welker had 9 TDs.
    Hernandez had 7 TDs.
  12. Triumph

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    Gronk had more TDs than Welker and Hernandez combined.
  13. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    Gronk is a beast. when healthy. A healthy Gronk and I think we win the superbowl. But that didn't happen. Outside of Welker, who do we have?

    Here is our entire WR production for the superbowl:

    Wes Welker

    7 catches 60 yards

    Deion Branch

    3 catches 45 yards

    Chad Ochocinco

    1 catch 21 yards

    Grand total 11 catches 126 yards.

    That is NOT good.

    The question now is do we resign Welker plus add a few middle salary vets to shore up the WR position or do we go in an entirely new direction? VJAX as premiere receiver, etc.
  14. doesntmatter1

    doesntmatter1 Rookie

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    Besides wes, I borderline hate our wideouts. Call me crazy, but I believe branch is the equivalent of tebow time. The dude is blanketed all game and then late in the fourth he gets open at will, albeit he doesn't allways secure the catch.

    And on the free agent front, I am completely focused on different guys than most. I want guys such as roscoe parrish, eddie royal, and jerricho cotchery. I really feel any one of those three would be dangerous in our offense. But to be honest I don't think it would be overly hard to fix our receiving corps since branch and ocho are kinda washed up.
  15. doesntmatter1

    doesntmatter1 Rookie

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    One last thing I want to throw out there. My problem with ocho isn't his speed because it is adequate. I hate how much he is affected from physical cornerbacks. I didn't expect that considering how much bigger he is than branch and welker.
  16. supafly

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    I would agree with a guy like Cotchery. He could possibly be more of that "Gaffney--type" WR that we have been missing. He seems to have a positive attitude for the most part, and we know he can still make the grab. The problem is that he likes it in Pittsburgh, so they'd have to make a better offer and I doubt that would happen in this case.

    The other guys are alright talent-wise, but my concern is that they'd be too close to what we already have. Another guy to run 5-10 yd routes.

    I wouldn't fully be opposed to a guy like Lee Evans etc, something in that mold either, as long as he can still run of course.

    There's a ton of FA's out there, and the team may choose to try and lock up 2 lower level guys in the hopes that one of them works out, as opposed to spending the big money that everyone wants and assumes.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  17. patfanken

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    The only way to get immediate WR help would be in FA. I doubt any rookie coming into this particular offense would be a big impact player in his first year. Braylon Edwards, Lee Evans, and Randy Moss would all be inexpensive experienced options. So would Ocho and Branch.

    In fact Ocho ran a very good complex route in the superbowl for 21 yds. Great timing with Brady. Its not his fault that they never even gave him a look the rest of the game. I shouldn't have to tell people how many time players have been deemed "washed up" after a bad year. RB's McGahee and Lynch are 2 guys who have had their careers declared dead, by both mediots and fans, and BOTH just signed lucrative long term deals in Seattle and Denver.

    It just seems to me that after one bad season fans immediately dismiss players. They did it with Cunningham. They did it with Ocho. Hell they do with Ninko. I mean I shouldn't be surprised. All you have to is check out any game day thread and see the number of Pats fans who are ready to declare defeat after the first time the Pats offense doesn't score, or the defense gives up a first down. :rolleyes: Patience IS NOT one of our virtues. We are a very spoiled fan base.

    The point of this thread is to point out that FIRST, the offense is far from broken, and the options to improve the WR situation need not be expensive or even newsworthy. I hope that Pats fans aren't morphing into Jet fans, by demanding "all star" moves over team building additions.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  18. skinnydog

    skinnydog Rookie

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    The offense is really a one trick pony. It's a damn good trick, one of the best ever, but it's still basically one trick. The no hudle offense. When running the no hudle they absolutely killed it. Outside of the no huddle it was very good but by no means awe inspiring. The two tight ends in the no huddle passing attack was also pretty unique. Teams will learn how to slow it down a little. Also if one of the TEs gets hurt they aren't he same, i.e., Gronk in the Superbowl and Hernandez the year before.
  19. MoLewisrocks

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    Somewhere between Braylon Edwards :eek: Lee Evans :bricks: Randy Moss :beatingcoming: Ocho Stinko :confused2: Deion Branch :D and another top tier WR lies what this offense still needs :idea2:
  20. Joker

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    are we deliberately omitting Lloyd from this conversation?

    why???
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