Is this year THAT different?

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Pats726, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

  2. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Pro Bowl Player

    There's always the feeling that no matter who is on the roster, with the core of this team (Brady, BB and a defense that finds a way to make the big play) the team will make it to the playoffs and overachieve to have a great shot at winning the SB.

    Last year's team showed just how true that was, demonstrating that even a very flawed team playing with one WR tied behind its back, it could still contend in a big way.

    With the cap space and players BB liked available this year - and those players agreeing to come here, BB sees no reason to have guys who need to over-achieve.

    This team simply needs to stay healthy and perform to reasonable expectations. If all goes well we'll not need dramatic last minute drives or magical defensive plays to win games.

    With this team, BB has adjusted his personnel philosophy to match the realities of the newly available CBA monies.

    Just as he showed he could win SBs on a bargain before, he'll show how proper cap management and available funds can truly be put to work to allow a team to dominate in this day and age.

    Yes - it's different. It's a different era of football with the new CBA and BB is prepared to dominate it.
  3. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    The Pats have tried to fill needs as they arise and found it doesn't work. Either you overpay for A 50% success rate like the skins, or you go low risk like the Pats and hit the lottery in 2001, but years of Biesel, Hayes and Steve Martins after that.

    We're in the middle of a 2 year offense rebuild and A.D. is the center of the new D, hopefully. they almost squeaked by with TBC and Junior, but they saved their cash and picks for an all out assault this year.

    They probably thought they could keep the receivers and Adam last year, so it came down to plan or panic.

    I think they got a gem in Gaffney, but the main thing is they didn't make a high dollar mistake that will kill them.

    I guarantee, if you just buy what you need when you need it, you'll pay 50% more than someone who shops sales and seasons.

    The Patriots are prepared and focused to build the future SB teams.
  4. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    How has he adjusted HIS philosophy??? I think it is all the same..looking for players of value..whether on day one (like this year) or in day 25-30 (more like last year)...whether they have little money to spend (some past years) or a boatload of money..(this year) whether there are many free agents they like (this year) or very few (last year)...same philosophy...
  5. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    In those years afterwords..they won 2 Superbowls..had TONS of injuries in two others and came darn close in one of them. I think they have tried to look ahead, but it's hard when there are wild cards thrown in..ala Bruschi's stroke, TJ's retirement, Branch's holdout...KIND of impossible to predict those..
    Saved theit cash because there were no free agents they wished to spend money on..Is that unreasonable?? I don't think they saved it to go all out this year BEFORE things did not work out last year..They had money for Branch and go on both..and THEN wished to do their best last year with what they had and looked ahead.
    I know they thought Branch was going to stay and did their best for that...NOT making a move until Branch had clearly pushed the team to the limit with bad faith.
    yes..they are moving ahead NO doubt on that...
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2007
  6. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Pro Bowl Player

    In the past, players of "value" were usually found after the free agent feeding frenzy. With a few exceptions (Colvin for one) the Patriots were content to let the initial big name big money contracts be done with, then would come in and sign decent or misused veterans for relative bargain money.

    With so much new CBA money, last year showed that such a high volume of players were signed in the initial few days that there were limited quality bargains to be found by waiting.

    The lesson from last year was that if you have the money, be agressive early - and the Patriots were definately that.

    Now no one can say whether this is or is not a trend - but until the salaries catch up with the new cap money I think more teams than usual are going to continue to have a lot of cap space than they would under the old CBA system.

    So yes - in part to the available money, in part to the knowledge that the there are fewer value players available after the initial feeding frenzy, BB adjusted his philosophy this year.

    If you doubt that, answer this question. Let's assume the Patriots - like some teams as of now - had not made ANY free agency moves as of yet.

    Who, among the remaining available free agents now, would you be very excited to see the Patriots sign, proclaiming them great value veterans to help the team? Look at who is available now - and who would you sign under the hypothetical situation that BB had made none of the moves he had as of now, biding his time to get the remaining "bargains" still out there.

    Who do you sign - and do they really offer as much "value" even with the lower price tags as the guys we actually got?

    My point is, unlike pre-new-CBA money years, the remaining free agents aren't anything to get too excited about anymore. That didn't used to be the case, and BB found lots of quality bargain veterans - but things are different now and so too is BB's approach.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2007
  7. mtbykr

    mtbykr Supporter Supporter

    #37 Jersey

    I remember hearing a inteview with BB on WEEI where he said that this year was no different in their approach. What was different is that the FA that they went after wanted to play here for the money the pats were offering....where that wasn't true in the past! (except mabey 03 with rosie and rodney)
  8. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    Last year a lot of new moneyt was chasing some really average players.

    Apparently, some of the wild spenders blew their wad and even though there were still teams with money, the selection of free agents was better and the Pats were really focused.

    It's just shopping. If you bring a list and wait til things go on sale you will prosper.

    When the deals not good, the pats go for the low cost option and wait. Often the low cost option is as good as the high priced one.

    You'll never convince me Branch and Givens are worth 8-9 mil a year more than Caldwell and gaffney.
  9. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa Supporter Supporter

    Do you really think AD is being groomed as the center of the D? You don't build the center from a peripheral playmaker... my point being that playing from the edge, he can sack the QB, and he obviously has physical tools to make plays in the run game, but not be THE run-plug. Isn't that the other anchor you need? Or do you truly think BB is planning to rebuild that D around AD as he built around LT w/the Giants?

    Either way I agree AD is a great pickup, on a par with the Colvin pickup. I just don't think he's a "centerpiece" player.

  10. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    I mean like a Lawrence Taylor or Willie Mcginest. Perhaps the center isn't the right word. I was looking for someone who we would "build around".

    I think he fits that. He'll be the biggest playmaker, I think.

    I don't think we go for the big physical talent at other positions. I think we go for smarts and experience.

    He'll be allowed to freelance more. Of course whoever replaces Bruschi and Rodney will be the "center in another way.

    I don't think we really disagree, we're talking more shades of meaning.
  11. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Is it that more money is available because of the CBA or are teams undesrtanding the cap more to free up money...OR a combo of the two??
    So are you saying there will never be any "bargains" again later in a free agency period?
    I think each year is money available ..needs..players available etc. But the bottom line is their philosophy is to find value..whether first day or 20 days in.
    This year, they had more money and also saw that there were players they thought would fit in. Wasn't the case last year at all when they apparently did not like the pickings. How has this been a changed philosophy?? It's the same philosophy, NOT some new one.
    The conditions have changed, of course and that will happen from year to year, depending on players, money available, needs...but signing players of value to help the team has NOT changed at all.
    "Lesson from last year...."?? In retrospect, who SHOULD the Patriots have picked up early last year? My point is I do not think they thought highly of the players available and certainly NOT for the price.
  12. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Their approach is to look for value...whether it is early or late in free agency. They didn't find any last year, but this year have. In 03 they did as well..with Rosie, Rodney and Poole. But they also went after WR Mason on day one in 04, even if he did not sign, they say him and offered what they thought was a good contract.
    SO in general it is NOT different..
  13. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Very true...and these new free agents..acquired early have NOT in any way upset the Patriots pay fact they are right in line. Very true...about Givens and Branch..absolutely.
  14. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    I think Gaffney will be our best receiver. Whenever teams take on contracts with poor decisions, they have to let players go.

    There just aren't the guaranteed June deadline type shopping days, but whenever people make poor decisions, bargains will be available.

    Plus the one man's trash............... factor.
  15. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    poor decisions help NE

    Oh.....I agree!! The more teams that do NOT get it..the better for the ones that DO!! That is why I think the Snyders of the world are becoming more teams are understanding the cap and money better. But some teams will never learn..and overpaying for players will always happen..and as you said bad decisions mean other players must When that happens, a team like NE can take advantage.
    I've always loved it when many critics don't believe that teh Patriots are dong a solid job..Good the same thing.better for New England that teams DO NOT get it. No the June cutting has seemed to be gone the last few years, but players being cut WILL happen. (Just look at what the Texans did!!?)
    I also agree on Gaffney as being a big number one..but I love Welker as one who will find a way to get oipen and get yardage..and having someone stretch the D like Stallworth will only open so much more up. Washington may be s surprise as well..and Caldwell?? Also wonder about some of the young ones as well..Jackson, Childress, Kight, and a draftee.. Bring Troy into the mix as well NOT at all bad!!
  16. PatsMyBoyz!

    PatsMyBoyz! Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    I see little difference in the Pats' approach to FA;it's still all about value and they've kept their player standards in place.

    They boast an outstanding record from the leaner cap years and so far this increased cap year looks right on par with those.

    The only difference is the crop of players available; remarkable in that they not only had the skills and versatility but apparently have that 'Patriot Mindset' as well,making them (so far) worth it.

    Most importantly,these guys very much wanted to play here. What seemed somewhat unusual was the speed with which these signings got done-no BS,just inking the dotted line every time.

    In essence I'd say things are pretty much as BB described,though I believe he also may be downplaying any hard efforts made at the Pro Bowl to try and dispel some of that negativity which was floating around prior to that.

    We've always been among the best at assessing value and this year is no different. It was the market which was different and it all started with signing AD. That was a coup from every angle,not the least of which was the message it sent to the league and the other FA's. We are not cheap,BB is a great guy:D ,and we are obviously setting up to make a solid run and not just for this year. It's always been pretty obvious the Pats are not a one-and-done type organization,and signing AD just reinforced that concept,a concept which may have taken a bit of a hit last year.
  17. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Pro Bowl Player

    Last year and this year were VERY different compared to the old CBA years.

    In the old CBA more than 200 players would still be available after the initial overpaid feeding frenzy of free agency. Last year there were half that many - and as RayClay said even average players were agressively pursued and overpaid. I'm not sure of the numbers this year but the lesson was learned from last I believe.

    So yes, there were/are fewer bargains with the influx of new CBA money - whether that's a trend I don't know. And I'm not expecting BB to go on WEEI and explain all this as well as sharing his Free Agency strategy with the media (aside from meaningless soundbites) but I do believe BB was well aware that things changed signficantly with the new CBA.

    Again, I'd ask you, assuming we'd made none of the moves to address LB and WR we already did - what remaining players would you be excited to have sign to fill those spots now?

    If you want to simply say - BB's philosophy is to sign good players that represent value - not to be crass, but "duh!" of course that hasn't changed. I don't think the nature of the post's question was whether or not BB has suddenly decided to overpay for crappy players or not.

    But under the new CBA one needs to be more agressive in early free agency than BB was in the past when there were many more quality players availabile following the initial feeding frenzy.

    That's a very significant change, and requires a GM to adapt his free agency strategy and I believe we've seen BB do exactly that. You can't drop $20 million into the cap without it having some dramatic effect - and sure enough, it did.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2007
  18. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    I'm not smart enough to see these trends, but the Pats are and it's obvious they saw good shopping this year and planned for it.

    Anyone that thinks they just decided to spend hog wild because they were mad about not going to the Bowl 2 years in a row doesn't know how they operate.

    Methodical, not emotional.
  19. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

    #75 Jersey

    How good a book do you think they have on WRs in the 2002 draft, for instance? LOL!!:D
  20. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa Supporter Supporter

    Right, wasn't trying to corral you into that, I know you didn't mean the "center" as in physical positioning (although with his versatility, you know he'll eventually take snaps in the middle when needed.)

    But interesting that you figure him to be enough of a difference maker that we build around him. I am not disagreeing... I had just seen him as one contributor, part of a process... but that might be the same thing, since we're at the outset of steadily rebuilding the LB corps.

    I personally would not want to be the guy trying to figure out whether Rosie Colvin or Adalius Thomas was supposed to come, never mind Vrabes or a suddenly loosed Richard Seymour.

    Of course, it's all on paper... but God, this should be a fun year!


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