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Phase III is upon us...

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AzPatsFan, May 6, 2006.

  1. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Phase I Early Free Agency, and Phase II the Draft, have come and gone.

    Its time for Phase III of Player acquisition. Trades (and late veteran cuts). Each phase has a certain rythm in Patriotland. Phase I is a time to shudder and watch guys walk amidst tearing of clothes and gnashing of teeth, while the Redskins delight thier fans in February and March.

    Phase II is a build up and then let down: The draft speculation builds to a crescendo until Draft day then: " Who the h*ll izzat? Why'd did they pick him?? Belichick and Pioli must me senile, not to take..." The next few days there is a re-consideration into: "Gee it looks like its not too bad..."

    This is when BB steps back and takes an overall assessment of what he has lost, what he has aquired in FA and the draft, and then seeks to address the last weaknesses as the coaching staff perceives them. This is sometimes different that what fans perceive, since they don't see the non-playing youngster getting closer to being ready in the daily practices that the Coaches do.

    Phase III is here. Who does BB go get? a CB? a LB? a WR? a NT?

    Remember that Trades are not all that common in the NFL due to the acceleration of contract accounting; something NOT corrected in this CBA. BB has only done one or at most two per year. So who will the ONE guy be?

    Of course BB could cross us all up, as is his wont, and swing for the fences. He could decimate next years draft for talented additions this year, if he thought we were Super Bowl bound.

    And he just might. I could give you reasons but thats another post...

    Discuss.
  2. mcsully

    mcsully Rookie

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    Totally agree with you that the off-season is far from done. I know the rumblings and whispers is that players won't be cut because of the new cba. But the fact is players will still be cut because they never worked in a certain scheme or philosphy and will be sent packing..

    I am still hoping we bring Ty back.. And if we need LB help, I believe the chargers were going to dump Donnie Edwards. He would be coming for a 3-4 and has averaged 109.5 tackles for the past four years.

    Players will be available.. And I'm sure the pats will bring in one of them.. Not sure what position but it will definitely be defense.
  3. drpatriot

    drpatriot Rookie

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    Antwan Peek anyone?

    Peek is a 3-4 OLB on the Texans but, with the new 4-3 defense over there, he doesn't really fit anywhere. If the Texans send him packing I'd love to give him a look.
    Last edited: May 6, 2006
  4. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 Rookie

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    Peek was one of the pre-draft visits way back when. Maybe we still have some interest...
  5. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't think our secondary is horrible, and I do think that improving a secondary by plugging in a "next level" guy is usually disproportionately expensive. We'll see if Ty comes at a price within reason... and how BB grades his "next level" quality. I doubt it. As for a solid lunch-pail gang - we've got that. I don't think Champ Bailey is looking to come back east for a third his current salary.

    At linebacker...

    I'd take Mike Barrow, c. 2003, just not now.

    I'd take Donnie Edwards, now, as a trade. Just don't know that BB needs an undersized guy that "plays big," and I don't know what the chargers want in return...

    I wouldn't pay the first round pick for Peek. Come on. He hasn't shown first round production. I'm not going to be Houston's "oh thank God they went for it" safety valve. Classic "need" thinking. Dude, we don't need Peek with a first rounder as the price.

    I don't see anybody else's current FAs being that appealing at linebacker... now the world of trades is another matter, starting with Edwards. Thing is, you really don't know who is trade fodder - you just see the malcontent tip of the iceberg.

    We shall see. The key is not to let "need" make you stoopit, in both these cases. I'm also sure that when somebody comes up who is worth swinging a megadeal for, I will be as surprised as anybody at who it is and for which position ("Really? McNair to backup Brady?") It's quite possible the brain trust likes what they see out of Hobbs, Beisel, TBC, Gay, et al., and don't mind going to war with that group. Possible they'd like to do some deals and make some payouts now, when the money is there.

    Of course, I can't imagining them not being happy with a Donnie Edwards to throw into the mix too.

    Always interesting,

    PFnV
  6. drpatriot

    drpatriot Rookie

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    My previous post was assuming he was released, as he doesn't seem to have any value to the Texans anymore, or traded to us for a late Day 2 pick. Sorry for the lack of clarity.
  7. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Okay, Doc. I'd give 'em a six, sure.
  8. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    I'm NOT sure this is really phase 3 yet...Phase two also has UDFAs...and while some will be signed soon, mini-camp has to pass before the real Phase 3 starts. They need to evaluate and to have an idea what they have and what they need.
    I agree..there is a LOT more to be done..BB doesn't just find ONE solution to a problem..he finds many..and the best one will work its way out...I do think the team is far from over searching for FAs...
  9. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree... I do think that the "impact" guy everybody is looking for might just not look like that "need filler giant killer" we like to get all hot and bothered by. Let's see we have just south of 5 million out of 16 (last I looked) for our rookies... so call it 11 under the cap, when all is said and done with the rooks. Let's put away 3 mill for in-season replacements, and call it 8. I can see most of it going toward this year's bonus on Deion and any other "keepers" they do, assuming they see the available talent as "thin"... and the FAs being small names rather than big ones.

    Or I could DEFINITELY see Edwards making his way to Foxboro. It's just one of those things that seems like a good idea to Fandom, so probably doesn't in reality.

    Law I just don't see getting so humble so fast.

    PFnV
  10. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    It could be an Edwards..OR a player as good as an Edwards..but less expensive..who knows?? There are a TON of good rookies out there..GOOD football players..we only need a FEW more vets..let's see what happens..why take an Edwards now when someone of better value could drop!! It may be less about the cap and money and more about who to keep on the roster...
  11. Hoodie

    Hoodie Rookie

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    I know it's wrong to "fall in love" with a player but I just like the sound of Donnie Edwards in a Pats uniform.

    Do they need to get him in a trade or will the Chargers release him?
    Last edited: May 6, 2006
  12. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    In a very good post, this is the best point made. We don't know who in practice has shown that they're ready to move up in responsibility.

    From BB's actions, there is apparently somebody at LB who fits this description. I guess it's not Claridge, since he hasn't practiced. It could be TBC, but I think it's Biesel. He gets dumped on on this forum way more than I think is fair. No ILB has ever learned our system very well in less than 2 or 3 years, yet Biesel was expected to step in and thrive just because we lost TJ and Tedi on short notice. Biesel was robbed of his time to develop.

    Putting Biesel at ILB and Vrabel outside makes sense to me, because then we have backups at both ILB (Vrabel!) and OLB (TBC, say).
  13. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    A trade..but he could be released as well later..but might there be others?? I agree he would look good..but I always wonder about the vet that is under rated..and who doesn't get as much ink..but would fill in fine..
  14. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Everyone seems to be forgetting that this is a very different year - Free Agency has been so fast and furious this year that there are much fewer players still available now, than in previous years - obviously all that has been fueled by a ton of new Salary Cap money

    That doesn't mean there aren't still deals to be made. But the majority of FAs already have deals, and those remaining will become hot commodities as training camps start and players start getting injured.

    This is one of the reasons why I felt it was important to address certain needs in the draft, knowing that quality backups would be at a premium (not to mention starters)

    So if you are expecting the same "magic" this season as in previous ones, given the numbers of remaining FAs alone, you are comparing apples to oranges
  15. mcsully

    mcsully Rookie

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    I going to have to strongly disagree. Vrabel learned the position in weeks. Biesel had all of training camp and a good part of the season to learn and never got into flow. Biesel comes for a KC team that was never known for their defense. So to answer your question, he wasn't robbed and one ILB off the top of my head learned the ILB position in a portion of the time.
  16. D-cleater

    D-cleater Rookie

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    I also disagree. Roman Phifer and Brian Cox came in and learned the system right away, granted, they weren't starting and we were still a 4-3 defense for Phifer's first two years.

    I haven't completely lost hope in Beisel although he looked horrible last year, and I dont think he's tough enough to be a 3-4 ILB in our system. I'm hoping we get Tedy a solid running mate well before TC.
  17. jaj18

    jaj18 Rookie

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    I remember reading pre-draft that Keith Bulluck was going a possibility to be a cap casualty? Anybody know anything about that? I Believe that the Titans are real close to the cap ($100,000 I believe) And they still have to sign their Rookies-Vince Young, Lendale White and such. Hes 29 and has made over 120 tackles in each of his last 4 years. I think he could be a Big player for the patriots. And if this doenst work out, I would also like Donnie Edwards as he can get it done. He has had over 150 tackles in each of his last 3 seasons. But according to Foxsports the chargers say that if they cannot work out a deal to trade Edwards away, They will keep him.

    The news on Edwards not being traded is in the Fantasy news
    http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/player?categoryId=69835
  18. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    I'll have to disagree right back at ya! Vrabel was here playing in our system for years before he moved to ILB.
  19. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    People waiting to fill rosters with trades and quality June 1 discards may have a long wait. Top players are dropped because they want to much money, and often because they are on the downside of their careers, not a great combination. Trades are relatively rare, although I agree that we migh make one.

    More likely are five or so jags, brought in for camp compeition and insurance; for example on the DL.

    I do agree that we are in Phase III, the time that starts a few days after the drafts, after the UDFA's increase the rosters to their limits, going though rookie camp, passing camp and minicamp, ending on the first day of Training Camp.

    For me Phase Four ends the week after after Game One, when rosters are solidified for the season.
  20. mcsully

    mcsully Rookie

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    Same system different postion.. But as someone else pointed out (Vrabel was first name to come to mind and still believe my point) but Cox is another..
  21. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    But hadn't Cox played for Belichick in the same basic system with the Jets? IIRC, Cox was not at all new to the BB system when the Pats acquired him.

    Beisel is still in the running to become the quickest ILB ever to learn the BB system!
  22. mcsully

    mcsully Rookie

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    Good question but different defense.. Jets played 4-3 most those years..
  23. Flying Fungi

    Flying Fungi Rookie

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    regardless, cox and phifer had more combined years in the NFL than beisel's age! crafty vets are crafty for a reason...
  24. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

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    Nice threat topic, Az. I completely agree with your structure.

    Phase 3 may not have much for us this year.

    A QB, certainly. Flutie or another like him.
    Maybe a WR, but probably of the JAG TC-bait variety (assuming we can even find one) with an eye to the kicking game. Tim Dwight-like.
    Maybe a veteran LB in the Bryan Cox, Roman Phifer, Chad Brown mold.
    Long shot for a veteran OC for depth... but Hochstein is absolutely adequate.

    Other than that... probably not much.

    Remember we got Grammatica, Caldwell, Jones and Mitchell in Phase 1, and in any other year those would be Phase 3 players. I actually think the 80-man roster is pretty loaded and very deep.

    And, as mentioned, the Phase 3 talent pool is very thin this year. Even slimmer pickin's than usual, and not a strong likelihood of finding players who'll be competitive in terms of experience, size and speed.
  25. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Well, I'm sure AZ would acknowledge that BB has often remarked about the three phases of the offseason...

    But I think you are correct - no one should get their hopes too high for big finds at this stage of FA

    This has been the 2nd busiest FA period - for obvious reasons given the extra cap space - so with only 100 FAs left, as teams address remaining needs and pre-season camp injuries, the pool will be smaller, demand will be higher, and its less likely talent and value will skirt by other teams unnoticed

    So we're kidding ourselves if we're expecting 2006 to be the same as other years when the FA market was a whole lot different
  26. MalaysiaPatsFan

    MalaysiaPatsFan Rookie

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    I don’t expect the Pats to make a big splash in free agency, nor do I expect a lot of June 1, salary cap cuts to become available. However, looking at the current roster the Pats could still pick up a few middle tier FAs.

    QB – If Flutie retires I expect the Pats to pick up a vet QB even if they think Cassell is ready to be the #2 QB. They should have an experienced backup QB to run the scout team. Looking at the free agency list on KFFL a few possibilities are Jay Fiedler, Shane Mathews and Jeff Blake.

    WR – I am not expecting the Pats to pick up a big name WR, but another player like Caldwell who is not a big name but shows some promise might be a good pickup. Looking at the free agency list on KFFL a few possibilities are Randy Hymes, Jerome Pathon and Dez White or maybe even Ricky Proehl if he still has anything left in the tank. I don’t know much about any of these guys except Proehl.

    LB – I think the Pats might be OK at LB, but I am concerned that one or two injuries could decimate the LB depth and there would be a huge dropoff in talent on the field. Looking at the free agency list on KFFL a few possibilities are Peter Boulware, Chris Clairborne, Quinn Dorsey (was with the Pats briefly before he was traded to Chicago), Ronald McKinnon, Keith Newman, Orlando Ruff and Junior Seau. I realize that some of these guys have not played in the 3-4, but they might still be worth a look. I tried to pick guys with the size to play 3-4 and decent experience and production (except Dorsey).

    I admit that I don’t know much about most of these guys. What do you think? Are any of them worth consideration? Most of them should not be expecting big paychecks at this point in free agency. What are the good sites to look at players still available in free agency other than KFFL? I wouldn’t mind seeing David Patten in a Pats uniform this season if he gets cut by Washington.
  27. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Very much agree -- the new CBA has given teams a lot more cap room than they expected to have a year ago. They can now keep guys that they would otherwise have had to let go. There aren't going to be many fire sales.
  28. the taildragger

    the taildragger Rookie

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    I wonder if the Pats are interested in Proehl. seems like a perfect fit for one season while Jackson makes the leap. if he plays half as well for us as he plays against us it's a steal.
  29. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    Vrabel has played inside some since 2001. So it was not a totally new position for him.
  30. patsfan55

    patsfan55 Rookie

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    i would piss my pants if we got keith bulluck
    i doubt that he will be let go though

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