(For those of you who have never seen this concept, I will take over the New England Patriots as of the start of the 2007 season and become their general manager. I will handle all of the roster moves, etc. I will simulate the games on Madden 2008, and report it all back to you here. I will try to keep it all realistic as possible while still adding my own flair to it all. A few notes to begin on: All teams will have their own seven picks in the draft to start their seasons, no draft picks have been exchanged in Madden 2008. That's right, no 49ers pick for the Patriots. Also in regards to the draft, the players in the draft are fictional. I know this is a bummer, but no worries, I will be updating you all on the prospects as I scout them. In a final note, the following injuries are already in the game for the Patriots: HB Sammy Morris (IR) and TE David Thomas (IR). If I remember anything else as I go along, I'll let you know.) New England Patriots - The Madden Dynasty Preseason, 2007 (Most of you probably know all of this already, but I will break down some of the general roster info on the Patriots along with their "overall rating", which is the rating given to them into the game to determine how good the player is based on many different categories. The rating is out of 100.) Depth Chart QB: Tom Brady (99), Matt Cassel (75) ^, Matt Gutierrez (68) * HB: Laurence Maroney (85), Kevin Faulk (79), Kyle Eckel (64) ^ FB: Heath Evans (89), Kyle Eckel (84) ^, Kyle Brady (88) WR: Randy Moss (99) ^, Donte Stallworth (85), Wes Welker (90), Jabar Gaffney (78) ^, Kelly Washington (73), Chad Jackson (73) TE: Ben Watson (87), Kyle Brady (80) LT: Matt Light (94), Wesley Britt (68) ^, Russ Hochstein (73) LG: Logan Mankins (94), Russ Hochstein (79), Ryan O'Callaghan (74) C: Dan Koppen (90), Russ Hochstein (72), Ryan O'Callaghan (66) RG: Stephen Neal (89), Billy Yates (68) ^, Russ Hochstein (77) RT: Nick Kaczur (82), Ryan O'Callaghan (75), Russ Hochstein (71) LE: Ty Warren (90), Jarvis Green (80), Kareem Brown (69) * RE: Richard Seymour (97), Jarvis Green (82), Kareem Brown (68) * DT: Vince Wilfork (93), Mike Wright (69) ^, Le Kevin Smith (68), Jarvis Green (82), Kareem Brown (68) * LOLB: Mike Vrabel (89), Eric Alexander (70) ^, Pierre Woods (68) ^ MLB: Adalius Thomas (94), Tedy Bruschi (89) ^, Junior Seau (83) ^, Larry Izzo (68) ^ ROLB: Rosevelt Colvin (87), Pierre Woods (68) ^, Eric Alexander (67) ^ CB: Asante Samuel (96) ^, Ellis Hobbs (84), Brandon Meriweather (77) *, Randall Gay (76) ^, Willie Andrews (70) FS: Eugene Wilson (86) ^, James Sanders (77) ^, Brandon Meriweather (82) * SS: Rodney Harrison (90), Mel Mitchell (66) ^, Eugene Wilson (80) ^ K: Stephen Gostkowski (87) P: Chris Hanson (79) KR: Wes Welker (94), Ellis Hobbs (93), Troy Brown (93) ^, Asante Samuel (85) ^, Brandon Meriweather (81) PR: Wes Welker (94), Ellis Hobbs (93), Troy Brown (93) ^, Asante Samuel (85) ^, Brandon Meriweather (81) * KOS: Stephen Gostkowski (83) LS: Dan Koppen (93), Matt Light (99), Dan Connolly (57) ^ 3DRB: Kevin Faulk (98), Laurence Maroney (98) ^ = contract is up after season * = rookie season My evaluation: The offense is all set as long as our offensive line is signed and healthy and Tom Brady is Tom Brady. Cassel makes an intriguing backup if Brady does go down, and may be re-signed by year's end. With Sammy Morris down, this puts even more pressure on Maroney and Faulk to preform, which I believe they will do fine in a pass-heavy offense. Our receiving core is something to be happy about this season, but both Moss and Gaffney reach the end of their contracts post-2007 and Stallworth's cap hit increases dramatically. A problem may arise there in the future. Our tight end situation could use some depth, especially with David Thomas down. Our offensive line is an area of great strength, as they are all signed long-term and guys like Russ Hochstein add great depth. Oh defense, defense, defense. Quite a mess if you ask me. Sure, on the surface, it's pretty solid. Our front three are dominate, and Jarvis Green makes a decent backup at the ends. However, if any of the three went down, Green would be forced to step in, leaving no other backup of any substance. We'll most likely look to add a DT/DE hybrid to insure we don't have a weakness in depth there. Our linebackers are decent, for now. They are aging and almost all of them but our starting three, Vrabel, Thomas, and Colvin, are free agents after the season. I don't expect us to make any moves on this until the off-season, so hopefully they can hold up until then. Our secondary is decent this season, barring any major injury. An injury to Harrison would force us to put Wilson at strong safety and Meriweather at free safety. This would impact our depth at corner as well. We will be in talks with Samuel for an extension, although it is unlikely he'll be re-signed. We may look for an upgrade at backup strong safety, but we will look to address it long-term this off-season. Our special teams will do just fine in my eyes. Gostkowski is a fine kicker and should be able to be effective. Although our punter, Hanson, may not be the greatest, we hope not to be using him all that often anyway. He should be good enough to stay mistake free and not hurt the team in any drastic way. We have serious weapons with Welker, Hobbs, and Brown as kickoff and punt returners. It is always nice to be able to strike from special teams, I look for these guys to make a big difference in field position as well. We have two very solid long snappers in Koppen and Light. Maroney and Faulk are interchangeable as third-down backs, it will be highly situational. Predicted Season Record: 13-3 (Below are the best remaining free agents at each position.) Current Free Agent All-Star Team QB Aaron Brooks (79) HB Domanick Williams (83) FB Jerald Sowell (86) WR Antonio Bryant (81) TE Jermaine Wiggins and TE Erron Kinney (82) LT Todd Steussie (82) LG Joe Andruzzi (83) C Trey Teague (79) RG Adam Timmerman (83) RT Adam Meadows (81) LE Kenard Lang (81) RE Carlos Hall (74) DT Seth Payne (79) LOLB Lavar Arrington (80) MLB Al Wilson (88) ROLB Carlos Emmons (81) CB Tory James (79) FS Lamont Thompson (80) SS Donovin Darius (82) K John Carney (83) P Scott Player (87) Patriots Free Agent Radar HB Corey Dillon (80) HB Kevin Barlow (75) LE Bobby Hamilton (77) DT Seth Payne (79) MLB Ed Hartwell (80) SS Troy Vincent (79) SS Mike Bowen (74) Patriots Trade Radar Jaguars DT Marcus Stroud (95) Vikings HB Chestor Taylor (86) Both the Jaguars and Vikings are looking for decent-to-good wide receivers. Just so happens, we have a few on our depth chart. Moss and Welker are untouchable, in my mind, but Stallworth would be attainable. Stroud's contract inflates up to $8 million over the next three years, but for a player of his status I would take that on. Taylor would be a great addition to our offense, and would probably also cost us Stallworth. He has one year left on his contract and does not fit a "need" exactly. We shall see.