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Patriots about to sign another DL from the CFL

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jmt57, Jan 26, 2013.

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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Patriots to sign another from CFL - Extra Points - Boston.com


     
  2. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

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    so this is our FA
     
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Pats are facing a very tough cap situation, so loading up on cheap bodies seems to be a priority. This seems to be totally different from Armstead, however. Armstead is a legitimate talent who slipped for medical reasons, and who has a ton of upside. Vega sounds like your basic UDFA pickup. Hopefully he'll be a good one, but I'm not particularly optimistic. Maybe he'll become a "Ninkovich" in time, but it's a long shot, and I doubt he'll make a huge immediate impact. But hopefully I'm wrong.
     
  4. Claremonster

    Claremonster Banned

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    Keep em' coming.

    Any good deep threats up there? Safety's?
     
  5. TomPatriot

    TomPatriot PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  6. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I think you are being a "little" pessimistic, brother Mayo. At a quick glance he has the length, weight and raw speed to be an excellent pick up.

    Certainly he doesn't bring the hype of the Armstead signing, which was a real coup. But you should know better to dismiss these below the radar signings like this completely. Take it from someone who thought Rob Ninkovich's best chance to make the final roster was as a long snapper, that Julian Edelman was a wasted pick, and Brandon Boldin had NO chance to make the final roster,

    Besides he might be the last chance for someone from the Northeastern football program to play in the NFL. Hard not to root for that.
     
  7. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not pessimistic, Ken. But I don't think this is at all analogous to Armstead, who I think is a stud who will compete for significant playing and possible starting time from the outset. Vega will get a chance to compete along with other guys, and if he earns a roster spot, so much the better. But it's a long shot, and I don't have high hopes for him. If he bucks the odds, so much the better.

    Our DE depth list right now looks something like the following:

    1. Chandler Jones. 6' 5" 270#. Starting RDE
    2. Rob Ninkovich. 6' 2" 260#. Was our starting LDE in 2012. I think he'll share time with Armstead at LDE, and possibly also play some standing up.
    3. Armond Armstead. 6' 5" 298#. I think he'll be targeted for the role that BB wanted Shaun Ellis to play in 2011.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    4. Jermaine Cunningham. 6' 3" 260# (though he may be heavier).
    5. Justin Francis. 6' 2 3/8" 272#.
    6. Jake Bequette. 6' 4 1/2" 275#.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    7. Marcus Benard. 6' 2" 256#.
    8. Tracy Robertson. 6' 4" 280#.
    9. Jason Vega. 6' 4" 255#.


    I assume it's very unlikely that Travis Scott will be back.

    All of these guys are 25 or under except for Ninkovich, who turns 29 on Friday, and Benard, who turns 28 in July. It wouldn't shock me to see one of the guys from the 3rd tier of players move up into the 2nd tier, with either Cunningham or Bequette getting axed if they don't pan out. BB believes in competition, and in Darwinian survival of the fittest.
     
  8. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    About the same size as Ninkovich, we can hope..
     
  9. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Pro Bowl Player

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    2013 New England Patriots

    Defensive Tackles under contract:

    Vince Wilfork
    Brandon Deaderick
    Kyle Love
    Myron Pryor
    Armond Armstead
    Marcus Forston

    Defensive Ends under contract:

    Chandler Jones
    Justin Francis
    Jake Bequette
    Rob Ninkovich
    Jermaine Cunningham
    Marcus Bernard
    Tracy Robertson
    Jason Vega

    Linebackers under contract:

    Jerod Mayo
    Brandon Spikes
    Dont'a Hightower
    Spencer Larsen
    Mike Rivera
    Jeff Tarpinian

    I would venture that five defensive tackles and five defensive ends on the 53 man roster should suffice:

    DT: Wilfork, Love, Deaderick, Armstead, Pryor
    Practice Squad: Forston

    DE: Jones, Francis, Ninkovich, Cunningham, Bequette/Bernard/Vega
    Practice Squad: None

    Current status of the linebacker corps not currently under contract:

    RFA: Fletcher
    UFA: White, Koutouvides

    http://www.patriots.com/team/roster.html
     
  10. Rob0729

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    I don't think this has anything to do with the cap whatsoever. The Pats are in decent cap shape. They aren't really in a position to make a huge splash, but they have plenty of money to make some moves and can free up more with restructures or extensions to Brady, Mankins, and Wilfork.

    Every year at this time, teams pick up players for future contracts. These players include street free agents and players from other leagues.

    Armstead might be a little different than that because he probably would have been a high draft pick out of SC if not for his heart attack. But Vega is no different than the players who got futures contracts last winter or the winter before that or the winter before that.
     
  11. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I know 0 about him. Wonder if he showed something in the coverage game that stood out to the scouts? Certainly a project, but then again so was Neal and Vrabel and they turned out ok.

    More of a gone fishing pick. Sometimes your surprised what you reel in. Is your line caught up in the rocks and you got to cut it loose or is that a Striper Bass tugging on the end.
     
  12. Deus Irae

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    Another signing that seems to make more sense for the 3-4 than the 4-3....
     
  13. manxman2601

    manxman2601 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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  14. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's worth noting that the Pats are systematically adding low cost depth to their roster for 2013. This seems to be phase I of their offseason plan. I believe that they had only 39 players under contract for 2013 a few weeks ago. Right now the number stands at 54:

    QB(3): Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Mike Kafka
    RB(4): Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden, Jeff Demps
    FB(2): Spencer Larsen, James Develin (the Pats also retain the rights to Tony Fiammetta for 2013)
    WR(5): Brandon Lloyd, Matt Slater, Jeremy Ebert, Andre Holmes, Kamar Aiken
    TE(3): Ron Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Daniel Fells, Brad Herman (Michael Hoomanawanui is a RFA and Jake Ballard an ERFA)
    OT(4): Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon, Markus Zukevics, Kyle Hix
    OG/C(5): Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell, Nick McDonald

    DT(4): Vince Wilfork, [Armond Armstead], Kyle Love, Brandon Deaderick, Marcus Forston (the Pats also have the rights to Myron Pryor for 2013)
    DE(9): Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Armond Armstead, Jermaine Cunningham, Justin Francis, Jake Bequette, Marcus Benard, Tracy Robertson, Jason Vega
    LB(5): Jerod Mayo, Dont'a Hightower, Brandon Spikes, Mike Rivera, Jeff Tarpinian (Dane Fletcher is a RFA)
    S(4): Devin McCourty, Steve Gregory, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner
    CB(3): Alfonzo Dennard, Ras-I Dowling, Malcolm Williams

    ST(3): Stevan Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko, Danny Aiken

    There are 5 players listed who are either RFAs, ERFAs, or to whom the Patriots hold the rights by virtue of their having missed time such that their contracts did not expire at the end of 2012: TEs Michael Hoomanawanui and Jake Ballard, FB Tony Fiammetta, DT Myron Pryor, and LB Dane Fletcher. Adding those guys would put the Pats at 59 players. These guys should all be low cost, and should have a decent shot at competing for roster spots, so I suspect they will be re-signed.

    The thinnest positions from the point of view of simply fielding a team are CB and WR, followed by OL.

    I'm guessing that phase II of the off-season plan would involve possible restructing some contracts, or deciding whether to cut any current players, in order to free up cap space, and then address some re-signings.
     
  15. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Given the two CFL signings, this seems an appropriate thread to ask....

    Do you think Cunningham makes it to camp?
     
  16. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Pro Bowl Player

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    As for contract restructures, the following are feasible salary cap maneuvers:

    Convert Tom Brady's roster bonus to a signing bonus. Cap savings for 2013 NFL Season will be $2.5 million. Cap increase for the 2014 NFL Season will be $2.5 million.

    Convert $4.5 million of Logan Mankins base salary to a signing bonus. Amortized over three seasons, cap savings for the 2013 NFL Season will be $3 million. Cap increase for the 2014 NFL Season will be $1.5 million.

    As for the 2014 NFL Season, cut Daniel Fells and Steve Gregory. Cap savings will be $4 million and the equivalent of the cap increases due to the aforementioned restructured contracts.
     
  17. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As of a few weeks ago the Pats were about $20M under the cap but had only 39 players under contract. They now have 54 players under contract (56 if you consider that Myron Pryor and Tony Fiammetta are still under contract), at relatively little incremental increase.

    It's deceptive to say that the Pats are in "decent cap shape". They need to field a full team, and they are woefully thin at CB, WR and OL right now. They don't have enough money to resign their own FAs without significant cuts or restructuring.

    BB addressed the "illusion" of salary cap space recently:

    Patriots and salary cap space - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston

    I think that the Pats are adding as much low-cost depth to their roster as they can right now, to set themselves up for the next stage. Low cost depth is critically important in the salary cap era. The more of those guys who actually make the team and produce, the better.
     
  18. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Makes it to camp? Sure. His 2013 cap hit is only $960K, and cutting him saves only $630K. I'm not sure there's enough benefit to cutting him now.

    Makes it through camp? That's much less likely. Anyone who steps up can probably bump him off the roster.

    Makes it to a second contract? I wouldn't want to bet a rusty nickel on it.
     
  19. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Numerically, Mankins would seem to be an easy restructure and could free up a fair amount of cap space. Brady is a bit less cut and dry, IMO. Because of what it would mean for next year's cap, I don't see much value in reworking his deal unless they've already decided that they're going to keep him around and intend to work out an extension by early next offseason.
     
  20. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think the Pats should try and trade Fells now for some minimal consideration if they can get it, because realistically I don't see the value of keeping him on the roster if they re-sign both Ballard and Hoomanawanui. They won't likely carry more than 4 TEs, and Fells was behind Hooman on the depth chart. Cutting him frees up almost $1M this year, and $1.85M in 2014.

    Your 2 restructurings would free up $5.5M. Add $1M from Fells and you have an additional $6.5M in cap space, which might cover the 2013 cap hit of one of the 3 major re-signings depending on how the contract was structured.

    I've also suggested that Gostkowski and Connolly could be candidates for restructuring or pay cuts. Both make over $3.3M this year and over $3.8 next year. That seems like an awful lot to spend. Both are fine players, but there may need to be some brutal decision making over the next month or so. I also wonder if they might try and tack on another year to Brandon Lloyd's deal and knock his numbers down some ($4.5M in 2013, $5.5M in 2014).

    Regardless, I think the Pats have some work to do to manage their cap situation in order to move forward, and I think these kind of cheap depth signings are an important part of the process. If any one of them pans out, it works out great for the team.
     
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