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Patriots Master Plan for 2009

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by VJCPatriot, Jan 31, 2009.

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  1. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    Here is my master plan for the Patriots to return to the Superbowl in 2009.

    Step 1. Franchise Cassel. Cost 14M.
    Step 2. Trade Cassel. Receive in return 1st round pick or equivalent draft value. -14M dollars.
    Step 3. Cut Vrabel and Green. Save 6M in cap space.
    Step 4. Sign OLB Suggs to an AD level contract. Cost 7M per year with 35M guaranteed monies.
    Step 5. Sign S Sean Jones. Cost 4M per year with 10M in guaranteed monies.
    Step 6. Draft a CB, ILB, G, TE, etc. Make sure to hit on some second day picks too!
    Step 7. Brady is healthy.
    Step 8. Dominate the regular season.
    Step 9. Win in the playoffs.
    Step 10. Go back to the Superbowl and take home the trophy this time.

    Alright maybe things won't unfold this perfectly. But if things went according to my master plan, I could easily see 13+ wins in the regular season and a return to the Superbowl.
  2. billdog3484

    billdog3484 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    id certainly be happy if your master plan played out in reality but a lot of things would have to fall in place. i dont see us getting rid of vrabel and green
  3. CanadianPat'sFan

    CanadianPat'sFan Rookie

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    I love it!! This is what I think they need to do .......even step 3 :eek: but I have said this before it is a business and BB is the best. I know step three is not popular especially with Vrabel but it has to be done but only if we get a proven FA like Suggs or Dansby.

    If not then we need to keep him and flip flop and get a good FA DB and move OLB to the top priority of the draft. So that would alter step 6 slightly by changing the order to OLB, ILB, OL, TE but I agree with the other needs but ad a young safety if one slips down to the late rounds just for depth. If we could not get Jones maybe OJ Otogwe as discussed in another thread.

    All in all I love it especially steps 7-10;). A lot depends on if we can find a willing trade partner for Cassel and move him early in FA. I hope we get Suggs and Jones as they would make a definite impact on our defense for next season.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  4. fgssand

    fgssand PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #17 Jersey

    Cutting Vrabel & Green makes no sense.............Green played the entire year with a badly sprained ankle and Vrabel played injured as well. Might as well cut Thomas as he was also injured and did not live up to expectations as a result.

    Heal these guys up and watch them return to form.

    I like all the other steps.

    You may now return to your master plan with my blessing :).
  5. farn

    farn Rookie

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    I also don't think that cutting Green & Vrabel is the way to go... truth is that even if we were able to get better options at those positions, which in its self could be difficult, you can never have enough solid players.

    Vrabel : 2009 edition might not be the player he was in '04, but I don't think he's the reason they didn't go 12-4.
  6. MassPats38

    MassPats38 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Given the injuries to the line this year, why would you cut Green when he has the ability to start for other teams in the NFL? The other veteran linemen said he is one of the best pure pass rushers on the team. Linemen are ranking pretty high on the franchise tag price, so I am guessing $5 million is not overspending. I am more concerned with him leaving next year as a free agent.

    As for Vrabel, the guy had a huge season with 12.5 sacks in 2007, played in every game in 2008, had numbers well below his career highs but not far from his typical career averages. He is a veteran player willing to do what is required.

    The bottom line is whoever you bring in with the $5.8 million savings or $9.7 million total price has to represent value added over these two in terms of depth, veteran presence and knowledge of the system. This system is not generally plug and play, so veterans need some time to adjust (a season or two).

    And Thomas represents a slightly below market contract two years ago. I would be surprised if a coveted free agent signs for that amount under a substantially higher salary cap figure.
  7. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    I am aware that step 3 is controversial. But the Pats might have to bite the bullet if it is necessary to make steps 4, 5, and 6 happen. Signing upgrades in free agency as well as signing our new rookies will all cost money. Please note that I made estimates to the costs, but I can't predict with certainty the actual contracts. The down economy and demand may all factor into final pricetags.

    Vrabel of the 12.5 sacks is no longer the Vrabel of today nor will he be the Vrabel of 2009. Just watching him in 2008 being unable to get to the QB and the teams terrible 3rd down percentage due to lack of pressure will attest to that. The Pats D also had one of their lowest sack output from their OLBs in years. A drop from 20ish sacks to 10ish sacks is reason for concern. 50% output is not acceptable, particularly when it leads to one of the worst 3rd down conversions allowed percentages in the league.

    Green is a highly overpaid backup. A GOOD quality backup, but not nearly worth his 5M dollar paycheck. The Pats can look for a cheaper replacement via the draft. The key to the plan is that they upgrade TWO starter positions via free agency. That way they can fill in the rest of their needs with more affordable draft choices.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  8. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    I agree with most of it except cutting Vrabel/Green and signing Suggs. I love Suggs but we have enough high cost players on the team. Wilfork, Mayo, Merriweather are also going to eventually to be very well paid. We have an extra 2nd rounder this year and going to get more extra picks once Cassel is traded and not too many dire needs. I hope (and think) we will fill those through the draft.
  9. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This looks more than a wishlist than a plan:)

    IMO, a master plan should address what the Pats should do with the following free agents:

    Raymond Ventrone, S
    Eric Alexander, LB
    Wesley Britt, T
    Pierre Woods, LB
    Rosevelt Colvin, LB
    Heath Evans, FB
    Jabar Gaffney, WR
    Chris Hanson, P
    Rodney Harrison, SS
    Russ Hochstein, G
    Larry Izzo, LB
    Lamont Jordan, RB
    Deltha O'Neal, CB
    Lonie Paxton, LS
    James Sanders, S
    Lewis Sanders, CB
    Junior Seau, LB
    Kenny Smith, DE
    Tank Williams, S
    Mike Wright, DT
  10. farn

    farn Rookie

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    Agreed. Though I think some of the above are of higher value - considering potential salaries - than others. For example, I'd be surprised NOT to see Paxton or Izzo on the team (what other team would the Pats be bidding against ?). Others, such as Gaffney and the Sanders boys would be welcome, but will they be courted ? Thirdly, I'm not sure you bring back Seau & Rosie in the summer or just keep them on November speed dial.

    The interesting ones for me are : Woods, Hochtein, and Hanson... I wonder what the cost is for those guys and what is BB's max on them.
  11. kurtinelson

    kurtinelson Rookie

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    #37 Jersey

    check
    check
    I'd like to see a restructure here. I'm not ready to let Vrabel go. Jarvis will definitley need to restructure to a more cap friendly number. If we don't/can't resign Seymor, losing the depth that Jarvis provides could be a mistake.

    I'd rather stick with Vrabel and Draft the Stud OL of the future than sign Suggs to a big money contract.

    I don't know enough about Jones, but S is definitely a position we need to upgrade in '09 now that Harrison may be done.

    I agree spot on with the positions you are targeting in the draft, although I would include S in the discussion.
    check, check, check and check
  12. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    Now we're talking! Great plan!
  13. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Like Alexander and Britt, Woods is a RFA.

    Below are the RFA tender levels.
    $1.01 million = original draft pick compensation (but a second-rounder if the player was a first-round pick)
    $1.545 million = second-round pick
    $2.198 million = first-round pick
    $2.792 million = first- and third-round picks
  14. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Oh brother. People on this board rant and rave all the time about wanting Reserve players who are as good as any starter at their position in the league, yet when you have one we see a crowd of people ranting about how much he's to receive for a back year in his current contract.
    -- Is Jarvis "NFL" starting quality? What's that worth? What is the "cap" savings once you've cut Jarvis?
    -- Is it vital for the overall strength of the NE defense to have at least one Reserve DL who can fill in at nearly the same level of performance as the Starters? What's that worth?
    -- Is there one DL in this draft class who can play at the same level as Jarvis in NE's 3-4? Name(s) please. Where would he have to be drafted?

    We've had our disagreements neighbor, but on this one you've flat taken leave of your senses.
  15. farn

    farn Rookie

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    Thanks Miguel. You truly are the "info-man" when it comes to Patscash. Though I'm comfortable talking most things Patriots, I find myself still lacking in the value dept... I'd have to guess that since Alexander didn't play this season, he shouldn't garner the $2-mil + tender. But BB might need to do so with Woods & Britt (though the OL should not be worth a 2nd rounder, so he could be lower). In Britt's case, they might even settle that without needing to tender.

    What are your thoughts concerning the RFAs ?
  16. bigdgp

    bigdgp Rookie

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    The Decline of Mike Vrabel is significantly overstated on this board. I'll bet $50 toward the charity of the winner's choice that he's on the opening day roster.

    DGP
  17. Lampshade

    Lampshade Rookie

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    And will play as many snaps as any other LB.
  18. 363839

    363839 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Please someone correct me if I'm wrong but if we franchise Cassel, doesn't it mean that a team would have to give up 2 first rounders for his service?
    If this is true, how likely is it that a team will give up that much?
  19. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A team who signs him to an offer sheet that NE doesn't match gives up two 1st round picks. If NE works out a trade with another team they could agree to lower compensation.
  20. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Boy, and people said my offseason dreams were overly optimistic!

    I'm fine with franchising and trading Cassel - it's the best case scenario for getting value from him. I predict it will be to one of Chicago-TB-Detroit-Minnesota (unless Pioli really decides to go after Cassel) for pick #18-22 plus a conditional 2010 pick, but executing it will be tricky since we will have to trade him relatively quickly in order to have money to spend in FA.

    I'm fine with Sean Jones as an alternative to Sanders, though I think it's more likely that we resign James and Lewis Sanders. I'm not sure how we'll have the $$ to resign all of our own FAs + Jones + a big FA + the draft. I'd also consider a mid-range CB alternative such as Jabari Greer.

    The big FA signing is the biggest reach. As I see it, there are 3 options:

    1. Suggs. Would move to OLB and would be great, no doubt. But Baltimore will probably franchise or resign him long term. He has already stated that he hopes Ray Lewis and Bart Scott will resign with Baltimore (for reasonable $$ so that he can get more implied), suggesting that he wants to stay with Baltimore. IF he leaves, which is a long shot, his price tag will surely be extreme. He sounds like a guy who wants his $$ and has no intention of taking a nickle less than he can get. There are a lot of teams moving to the 3-4 who have more cap space than we do. I think this is a pipe dream.

    2. Karlos Dansby. Would provide the most versatility, able to play 3-4 OLB or SILB. Probably won't command as much money as Suggs, but will still be hard for us to afford if he goes the FA route. With Arizona making the SB and being $31M under the cap right now, and Dansby having stated that he hopes to stay there, I can't see him hitting FA, much as I hope it will happen. Same kind of demand as option 1. I think this is slightly more likely, but still a long shot.

    3. Julius Peppers. Would move to OLB. I think this actually has the best chance of the 3 long shots, because Carolina is only $9M under the cap and also has Jordan Gross as a FA. They can't franchise both Gross and Peppers. Plus, Peppers has said he wants out, and wants to go to a 3-4 to "maximize his potential", which is practically saying that he would love to go to the Pats and play for BB. Of the 3, he's the one I can most see being willing to take a slight discount because he wants to play for a winning team with a 3-4 system and the best coach in football. But it's still unlikely.

    I'd obviously love for any of these 3 scenarios to happen, but the combined likelihood of any of them happening is probably < 20% right now. But no one expected AD to sign with the Pats this time 2 years ago, so it's not impossible.

    Cutting Vrabel and Green makes no sense unless we have replacements. Plus BB tends to hang on to his veterans. Restructuring them is more likely. (I'd also like to see Stephen Neal restructure). Green and Mike Wright are still reasonable quality backups, and if you cut Vrabel then we still need either another OLB or an SILB depending on the scenarios above and what we do with AD. Crable/Woods/Redd may be ready to step up, but I wouldn't count on it.

    My personal favorites for #6:

    - Sean Smith CB/S (alternatives: DJ Moore and Alphonso Smith, CB in the 1st round; Patrick Chung, Will Moore or Louis Delmas S in the 2nd round)
    - Connor Barwin at DE/LB conversion (OLB or ILB; alternatives: Paul Kruger, Clint Sintim, Larry English, Clay Matthews)
    - Trevor Canfield at OG (alternatives: Andy Levitre, Karl Urbik)
    - Favorite day 2 picks: Devin Moore RB (Darren Sproles type, eventual Faulk replacement); Jarrett Dillard WR; Kevin Huber P; Sammie Lee Hill DT; Antonio Dixon DT; Donald Washington CB; Davon Drew TE)

    If we get #18-22 for Cassel I'd also consider packaging it with #58 or 86 and moving up a bit if someone we love slips. My personal pipe dream is BJ Raji slipping to around 14-15.

    I'm just fine with #7-10 in your scenario. :)
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