I know it probably isn't of much interest for someone to say this, but if you think you have much chance of making a Patriots value type analysis on WRs or DBs, maybe you should think again. For WRs, how much actual film are you ever able to see with regard to a receiver ? The answer is, you see ONLY catches, misses, and drops. Compared to the number of offensive plays that a WR runs, what kind of a sample is that ? Before you jump on me too hard, certainly there is some information here. If there are too many drops, a receiver isn't worth much. If a receiver obviously gets lot's of catches in a game, that is valuable information. But if a receiver only makes a few receptions and doesn't have too many drops, then the evaluation of worth to the team is a lot of things we have absolutely NO way to evaluate. To name a few, does he actually run routes that he is supposed to. Does he make the complex route adjustments and options that Brady and the WR coach expects him to - this is BIG. Does he block well - think about it, this can be a BIG value issue. IF he runs the routes well (a total prerequisite), does he then actually get open or get separation from the DBs. If he is a decoy or the play is designed where he is supposed to pull DBs to certain areas (to open up zones/gaps for other receivers) is he successful in doing so. If he is supposed to pull a DB deep, does he sell the route in order to do so or does he allow the DB to drop off and double up on another receiver. Does he actually hang on to the ball if he gets hit as he gets the ball. Is he willing to go up for a ball and risk getting clobbered. Is he willing to go over the middle into traffic and actually mean it. Is he versatile in other roles - special teams both directions. Does he have an exotic versatility - reverses or WR passing options. Something that may be overlooked by almost everyone (for players lower on the depth chart) - does the player have characteristics that will be of value to the team in running scout team practice ?? Probably another BIG one - work ethic - which we get little info on for practices and probably can't evaluate very well even in game situations. This year - is he an emergency QB candidate ?! I'm sure some of the knowledgable folks can add things I've missed. When you try to read something in to why BB/SP would take this guy off of some other teams 'scrap heap', remember that they have film on ALL of this guy's work on the field in all of the contribution areas listed above. Do you REALLY think that they are not knowledgable about what to look for ? Give me a break. Another thing that is sometimes commented on here, but probably not enough or gets lost sight of when these acquisitions are made: Belichick has a DIFFERENT system that he runs that anyone else. Even when the pundits talk about another teams system being similar, none are the same as the Pats. So what we have no way of even guessing at is what differences in the system might make a WR be down the depth chart of another team or get less playing time but might make him a much more valuable contributor in the Pats system. We have NO way of knowing what those nuances are - see the above list of all of the things that are important in a receiver. Folks tend to look at every acquisition with a critique of whether the player can be #1 (or #2) on the depth chart at the position. Geeesh. You can be sure that some of these players are expected AT THE OUTSET to be 4th or 5th on the depth chart but may simply be judged to be stronger at that depth than what is currently on the roster. How MANY times do we talk about the fact that one of the strengths of the Patriots is a more solid depth chart than other teams. But then we ignore that, for a given acquisition, this may be what BB/SP are actually doing - building a lower rung on the depth chart. There is nothing wrong with this folks - it's what we acknowledge to be a REALLY good thing. Another thing that I think folks probably are aware of but forget in the heat of a new acquisition. There really is something called potential. How many times has Belichick talked about one of the key factors in a player getting on the roster or staying on it is for the player to keep showing improvement. You get a strong impression that players make the roster who we may see as weaker than another player at this juncture and we wail about why that happened. But what WE don't have any way of seeing is whether the player who does make the roster is making progress every practice and every game and looks like they will, in some Belichick judged time frame, end up being stronger and so is the better choice for the team. So what they may see in these 'why this guy' acquisitions is some improvement over time that shows upside potential that they don't see in a player they let go. Statistics are interesting. You will see me listing stats frequently. BUT. Statistics ALWAYS have to be viewed carefully. That is a whole different discussion that would cloud this one, but some of the important things to keep in mind are that in football, stats may tell you little about actual percentage of success or value of contribution. And, many stats, especially ones that show little performance, can be very affected by simply opportunity or play schemes or even less-than-smart coach preferences. Folks comment on the following issue one way or another all of the time. But do some people really GET IT: This is NOT in any way shape or form an exact science. Even with all of the info BB/SP have access to, most of these acquisitions are a GAMBLE. In the end, even after they have filtered out all of the obvious misfits or shortcomings of potential acquistions, there is still no substitute for getting the player into your coaching regimen and seeing what he can do in your system. I would bet a significant amount of money that if you asked BB/SP, that they have no expectation that they are going to hit it on every acquisition. But along with, folks don't seem to understand that part of the success of BB/SP is that they are not afraid to keep bringing these players in and trying them out. They do not get complacent with or fixed on players and take the easy route of not going through all of the work and effort to keep trying new players. Most new coaches/GMs start out doing this but then slack off after a couple years. Give BB/SP credit - they are not falling into this trap. ----------------------- So make your lists of 'failures'. But those lists have no credibility unless you put right alongside it the list of successes. So get all excited and rewrite the depth chart and put the new guy at the #1 position or maybe just higher than the present guys - but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense IMHO. There's no way to make a declaration like that. We can't have a clue as to what BB/SP expect from the player and for SURE it's a very rare unusual player that can come in and produce as effectively as someone who has been through the coaching and experience. So judge the acquistion as stupidity on BB/SP part, or dumb compared to signing some player you have a 'notion' about. Somehow I have to think that BB/SP are able to evaluate a potential and possible contribution to the Patriots that you can't possibly do. I wonder why I might think that. So blast BB/SP for letting a player go, cutting a player, and/or replacing a player and judge that this is a disaster, or a terrible move, or at least a bad move. Your credibility when you do that is virutally ZERO. ZERO, folks. Get a clue.