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Off-season Options for Patriots Secondary in 2013

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by MTM558, Feb 20, 2013.

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  1. MTM558

    MTM558 Rookie

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    I figured since there are currently two threads on this board about the legal ramifications of the Dennard trial, and what he may be facing in terms of sentencing come April, that I make a new thread devoted completely to the Football Aspect of his potential sentencing.


    While it would be nice to assume Dennard will get off easy, the fact that he has been convicted of a Felony creates great uncertainty. With his sentencing not until April, the Patriots would hinder themselves by waiting until then to determine their course of action. The best thing they can do at this point is make a plan to move on from Dennard. If he is available for this season, great, but the team can't take a chance and come up empty handed, down potentially 2 starting Cornerbacks.

    Therefore, the following are some measures that can be taken:

    1) Resign/Franchise Talib - With losing Dennard for the season (and beyond) looking like a real possibility, the Patriots should try and secure their other top Cornerback from last season. While he has some serious character issues and some durability concerns, he proved in the AFCCG how important he is to this secondary. When he went down, the defense crumbled.

    2) McCourty back to Cornerback - While McCourty can become a star at Safety, he may be forced into a position change again (AGAIN!!!) to fill the void in the backfield. McCourty can be an adequate option at Left Cornerback when given the support, so a change to more Zone Coverages and acquiring better Safetys would allow McCourty to thrive (hopefully 2010 form).

    3) Leave McCourty at Safety, Talib Walks, Draft and Sign FA - There are some decent Cornerback prospects in the Draft as well as Free Agency... but they won't come cheap or plentiful. The Patriots would need to be aggressive in identifying their type of player and bringing him in. Options include: DRC, Sean Smith, Jonathan Banks, Xavier Rhodes...

    What else could the team do?
  2. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The team can do a number of different things based on the wildcard that is Devin McCourty.

    If a suitable safety is around in FA, they can make a move at him or any number of mid/lower level possibilities at safety.

    They could also draft a safety.

    They could start last yr's 2nd rd pick Wilson and McCourty as their 2 safeties.

    They could slap the transition tag on Talib guaranteeing he'd stay this year and free up some money via restructures and/or a potential Brady extension.

    They could offer Talib a decent deal for around 6-7 million for the next 2 seasons or so, which he may very well turn down. Or they could reach an agreement with Talib.

    They could go after a higher priced CB, or a number of mid tiered CBs in FA.

    They could draft a CB or even two, with one a higher pick and one a mid/lower pick.

    They could re-sign Arrington.

    They could sign anyone of the cap casualties such as DRC, Asomaugh, Gamble (expected) etc for something in the mid range CB price.

    For all we know (as doubtful as it may sound) Ras-I-Dowling may be at least playing the nickel back role or better. He played in 6 games last year, so he's making progress :rolleyes: Maybe this season we see him for 1/2 the year?




    Obviously it will probably take at least a draft pick and a mid level FA signing, but they don't have to chase anything and can wait for the right move. Things aren't quite as desparate as many are making them out to be just yet.

    And I can 100% guarantee you that Dennard will not be gone for more than the 2013 season, if it even comes down to that. There are plenty of sentencing options where the prosecution would still be satisfied with seeing him do some smaller amount of jail time during this spring and summer. There are suspended sentences that would include zero jail time, which can be added to a 180 day 'real' jail sentence where he's actually out in 3 months and in plenty of time for TC. There are community setting alternative sanctions such as house arrest, work release, weekend reporting, etc, etc, etc....there are community service hours, probabtionary periods, etc. In an absolute worst case setting, we see him gone for the upcoming season, but it can't reaslistically get much worse than that.

    I still think there's a good chance that he's back for at the very least, some part of the 2013 season.
  3. Brady6

    Brady6 Rookie

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    I would do this.

    1. Transition tag Talib over pay a little see how he plays out a full season and recover some of the value for the 4th rounder we gave up.
    2. Leave McCourty at FS.
    3.Come into camp with Tavon Wilson as the starting SS, give him every chance to succeed. He was 2nd rounder it is ridiculous to draft another safety without even giving Tavon a chance to fail. If he was to fail plug Gregory in and draft a safety in 2014.
    4. Draft a CB early hope he pans out and let Talib walk after the season.
  4. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That may actually be a very reasonable way of dealing with it, but that is also assuming 2 things, one that they are okay with paying Talib 8.9 million this year, and two that they won't be selecting anyone in FA.

    Also, I'm not as worried about the loss of the 4th rounder because we did receive a 7th back. Just the flop in placement alone isn't really that much of a concern, especially if he trades down at some point and picks up another pick or two.

    If he gains an additional pick we'd have one less than Pittsburgh, and obviously two more would give us 7 and be right in the thick of the average amount. Whether it's 6 or 7 picks, it shouldn't make too much of a difference.

    I think that your guidelines could be a good place to start, but I'd also like to see something addressed in FA to improve the situation. I'd also like to try and get some value in the draft in a somewhat deeper safety class, although I agree that it's certainly no guarantee that they will select a safety like most are assuming, especially since they just did it last season with Wilson. He's probably a major focal point to what they will do.

    I think that your point is very valid that there are options and that there is a good possibility that they won't waste as many picks.FAs/resources in getting there.
  5. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So your corners to start the season are Talib, Dowling, developmental rookie (with Dennard on suspension)?

  6. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We seem to forget how bad the draft can be at safety (last year) and how good the draft can be at safety (this year). I would expect us to draft a safety no matter what else we do.

    Last year we drafted a corner and a rugby player to be safeties. This year, there are lots safeties out there.
  7. Brady6

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    Dennard will not be suspended. It was before he was even in the NFL that have no jurisdiction over that and no suspension would hold up. My starters are Talib and Dennard with Dowling and a rookie behind them. I'd bring Arrington back at low price too.
  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Obviously, everyone here hopes that you are right. Of course, last week several were posting that he couldn't possibly be convicted of anything.

    If Dennard is guilty, I suspect that Dennard ls guilty of lying to every team he interviewed with. You are free to believe that Goodell would not punish such actions.

  9. Brady6

    Brady6 Rookie

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    That would be hearsay. He couldn't punish it. Being found guilty does not determine he lied just that the evidence didn't support what he believed happened. Otherwise they wouldn't of put him on the stand to perjure himself.
  10. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's obviously the popular thought due to the usual media overhype that Dennard will be suspended or behind bars when the season comes around, but the truth is much more likley that he'll only miss a handful of games--if that.

    Even if Goodell suspends him, how long would that really be? NYJ defensive player Kendrick Ellis was sentenced to jail time and wasn't given any suspension. Of course Greg Ailleo is going to say that "we'll take a look at it," what else could he possibly say?

    In the end though, all of this suspension talk probably won't amount to more than a 1-2 gamer, if anything, and we know the union will surely be fighting that tooth and nail.

    If Dennard is suspended for a game or two life will go on, but I'd love to hear the reasoning behind that and the choice for Goodell not to suspend another player who received jail time in K.Ellis.
  11. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think Goodell could punish him, but how long could that be for? The choice to punish is meant to be a deterrence mechanism, and to show that everyone will be treated fairly. Usually the loss of a week's check or a couple games worth of checks does the job. It's just so overblown by the media that some start to wonder if the punishment could be for 4 games or something.

    If he is suspended it would have to fall under the personal conduct policy, which is much softer on first/second time offenders than the substance abuse policy which acts like a mandatory minimum situation and has no leeway.

    Since he chose not to punish Kendrick Ellis for receiving jail time for a violent crime, I'd be interested in hearing how long the potential suspension could possibly be for, and why he chose to punish Dennard for the same exact thing.
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You seem to understand the facts but not the obvious conclusion. Dennard's case is so week that they thought the only way to save it was to have Dennard testify.
    ======
    Let's see now.

    A) An individual tells the nfl that nothing illegal has happened.
    B) A US court decides that the person is guilty.
    C) The NFL then decides that there is not evidence to decide whether anything illegal was done or not; so the NFL then gives a patriot player the benefit of the doubt and does not penalize the player.

    NOT
    =============================

  13. Brady6

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    No if his case was weak he would of pled out. No lawyer would put a client on the stand to perjure himself. Also what makes you so sure that he lied in the interviews? And how many team were doing there draft interviews a week before the draft?

    Realistically the case will be appealed and not have any immediate affect.
  14. Brady6

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    How can you be held to a personal conduct policy that you've never agreed to? A policy can not be implied it is a very black and white thing. You understand and agree to it, therefore you can be penalized for violating it.
  15. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree that Goodell has leeway in this case and is not forced into a serious suspension. And yes, Goodell has to consider how serious it is to resist arrest and punch a policeman.

  16. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  17. supafly

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    I'm speaking strictly in a worst possible case scenario here, nothing more.

    I certainly agree to what you are saying, since the incident happened prior to being a member of the NFL etc, nothing was agreed upon under the CBA and Dennard was not representing the NFL at the time therefore he shouldn't be able to be punished.

    I am just stating that in a worst possible case, the "suspension" could not possibly ever be more than a game or two anyway since the personal conduct policy is not like the mandatory minimum/hands tied situation of the drug policy.

    In other words, we really don't need to concern ourselves with the possibility of a suspension, because even IF it were allowed (which is almost impossible) it couldn't amount to anything anyway.
  18. jbb9s

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    1) if Dennard isn't physically in jail come WEEK 1, what is the likely suspension imposed by Goodell? 6 games? 10 games? I have no idea how he figures it out.

    2) Anyone proposing a plan with Dowling in more than a dime back with a good #4 behind him is unrealistic and having a hard time accepting his injury history.

    3) Didn't McCourty move to safety because he sucked at corner? People make it sound like the team was desperate to backfill Chung or something which is 50% true at best.
  19. Brady6

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    I hear you bud.. I just think Goodell doing anything is just another misuse of his authority
  20. Brady6

    Brady6 Rookie

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    McCourty was not moved because of sucking at CB. If sucking at CB got you to safety Arrington would of been there first.
  21. Wilfork#75

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    These are the key parts to me
    I don't see Goodell getting too involved here. Maybe a stern talking to, but I don't think he has any grounds to suspend him. It was before he was part of the NFL and wasn't covered by the CBA.
  22. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    OK. Much of the media seems to agree. So, a couple of game suspension at most.


  23. supafly

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    I don't mean to come across as pretending to know it all. It's just an opinion, but I think it's pretty black/white as far as what the rules are, and I also think it's fair to assume that if anyone would try and make up his own rules--it'd be Goodell, so you're right about that.

    I just think that it's getting to be overblown too, and that it's going to be much ado about nothing in the end. If we need to play 4 games without Dennard or something like that due to his incarceration, then so be it. They'll get through it.

    In the meantime though, I do think that justice can be served and an example set without it destroying his career too. The prosecutor didn't recommend anything, and claims that he and the defense will sit down in the coming weeks to decide something reasonable to suggest as punishment. In this case I couldn't see any reason why the judge wouldn't go along with it.

    Dennard's atty's will be arguing that any incarceration is completely unnecessary, and the prosecution will likely want some form of jail time. I think they want to see him behind bars in some form.

    I do think that an agreement can be reached as to how much jail time (and/or other forms of punishment) and more importantly--when it can be served. It is not unreasonable to think that even if he receives a full year that it can't be broken up into most now and the remaining when the season is over. I doubt that anyone wants to see Dennard's career or life ruined. That is not reasonable punishment at all, not to mention that he falls very low on the score for sentencing, although that could be slightly different in Nebraska.

    There are really a ton of options.

    Even as bad as Burress's case was, he only received two years, and that was totally different because it was a mandatory minimum sentence and there was absolutely no leeway whatsoever.
  24. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You have gone over the wall on this one.
    First, you don't know what Dennard told teams.
    Second, being convicted doesn't mean he lied.
    Third, lying to teams in interviews is not punishable by suspension under the CBA.
    Fourth, giving your side of a story is not lying, even if a jury chooses to not believe you.
  25. BaltimorePatsFan

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    Patriots Secondary in 2013: The Return of Duane Starks, Deltha O'Neal, and Hank Poteat.
  26. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I am used to folks disagreeing with me on legal matters. We had these discussions before.
    ====================================
    The jury decides whether a defendant has committed the crime or has lied on the stand (presuming that he testified). It really is that simple.

    With regard to the what he told the NFL, you are free to believe that he told the NFL that he resisted arrest and punched a policeman. I choose to believe that he addressed those allegations and denied them. Where I come from, we call that lying. You are correct in saying that I was speculating. Well, that is what we do here.

    In any case, the patriots will not likely lose this felon for many games, if any. We will happily welcome him back as a starter. If you don't think that this isn't a PR for the nfl and for Kraft, so be it. You can chose to believe that hiring felons is OK. Personally, I don't think this philosophy really works for the league or for Kraft.

  27. patsfan-1982

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    the pats went from a Horrible to a average secondary with Dennard and Talib at CB and most of that was because of the big upgrade at FS ( Devin McCourty ) the pats need more talent and hopefully a upgrade at CB with or without Dennard and Talib, if Chandler Jones can turn into Jared Allen next year that would help the secondary alot but right now they are in bad shape
  28. Nunchucks

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    Back on target!

    I think the worst case scenario, which actually isn't too bad would see McCourty and ??? at CB (assuming Talib is not resigned), Arington as the nickelback, Wilson and Gregory as the safeties.

    That may not be too awful of a backfield.

    Ideally, we see Ed Reed and Wilson at safety with Gregory rotating in, McCourty, Talib and Dennard as the CBs.
  29. tonyto3690

    tonyto3690 Banned

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    Here are our starting calibre players we have right now:

    1. McCourty.


    Here is our list of starting calibre corners we have right now:

    1. McCourty

    Here is our list of starting calibre safeties we have right now:

    1. McCourty


    We need to sign...
    -Slot corner
    -Either two starting CBs and a S or two starting S and a CB
    -#4 corner and depth


    The issue is just as big, if not bigger than people are saying. Gregory and Wilson should never see the light of day on a championship team, and we have no one at corner. Not even mediocrity. Unless we move McCourty back, we have literally no one.
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