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Possible motive behind the aggressive FA grabs?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PATRIOT64, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. PATRIOT64

    PATRIOT64 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Something seems a bit weird as to all of a sudden BB and FO go haywire in FA - Maybe its not just the fact we have decent cap room but also a possibility that BB and the FO know we have a team with key players getting older and we need some more veteran blood that may not be too young,but not old either and can fill holes when the olders guys call it quits with most likely retiring within 2 years from now (Brown,Bruschi,Vrabel,Harrison,Izzo ect)...

    or maybe...

    BB and the FO looked at this years draft as being lame with outside of the top few round one guys (that we were not going to obtain anyway),.and did not see any future long term prospects,maybe they thought most draft picks outside of #1 thru #10 would be a stab in the dark and no real all-pro to predict and instead went to FA to get some players who already were well known pro players instead of drafting some potential rookie players who could turn out to be busts and ruin the near future years of winning traditions in New England,Maybe they see a better draft next year in 2008 and will do less FA shopping in 2008 and takes advantage of the cap $$ this year as well ..Thats a possibility too IMO

    Its hard to say but maybe some failures (so far guys like Chad Jackson and Marquise Hill) in the draft in the past several years made them think twice about hoping rookies can come in and instantly improve the team,Possibly not taking any chances of failing to stock the team with talented players,Although guys like CJ need another chance to redeem themselves within another year or two....

    This team is always looking ahead to continuous winning seasons and this may just be the reasoning for spending the big bucks,not just because we have more cap room but questions of pro-type talent in this years draft.

    In reality outside of Calvin Johnson there really is no sure fire all pro-type
    player out there IMO all picks below Calvin will be up in the air as to assuming they will be great in the pros...I think theres little doubt Calvin will be great but all others are in question IMO right now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2007
  2. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I think the biggest factor was the speed and number of signings last year left them with nothing for their wait out the bargain approach. so with plenty of money they came out and hit a first pitch fastball just like Johny Ayers.
     
  3. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think it actually may be much simpler than that. I just think that the FO has evaluated the players acquired so far as being uniquely suited for this team (talent, position flexibility, team needs, chemistry, leadership, experience, etc.). If that is the case and you have the means, why wait?

    I actually disagree about the draft (though respect your opinion since it seems well thought out). From a physical talent perspective, this group is impressive. Just like it is every year, the trick is finding the individuals that can turn talent into production. That is why I've always like the "football is important to them" criteria this FO values so highly. Doesn't guarantee success, but seems to minimize failures.
     
  4. Patstopia

    Patstopia Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I would agree with this. I think they learned a lot last year with the changing market values and made an effort this year to be in front of the curve. The players they wanted, they signed and the players they didn't were left to the market. They seem much more decisive this year. They definitely have this planned out!
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2007
  5. PATRIOT64

    PATRIOT64 In the Starting Line-Up

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    True there may be talent in the draft but maybe BB and the FO see no real guaranteed Patriots type player well suited in this Defense or Offense...I don't know but I am glad they are making some decisions to improve this team.

    Of course no big name signings guarantee anything - If this team does not have all 52 players and coaches on the same page and plays are not made as expected and drawn out in practice then we will not be any better...Ask the Redskins that,If you go by big name players getting you to the Super Bowl just by reputation alone then Washington would have won about 6 Super Bowls in the last decade.
     
  6. The Gr8est

    The Gr8est In the Starting Line-Up

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    Excellent point that shouldn't get lost in the clutter, the Patriots look for guy for whom "football is important to them." Assuming they end up getting Welker, it looks to me that, along with Thomas and Morris, that's three guys who fit the description "football is important to them." Kyle Brady I'm not sure of, he seems to have wanted his payday for sure, and maybe BB and SP didn't see another blocking TE available in FA or the draft, but Welker, Morris and Thomas really seem to care about football, Thomas came to N.E. first and like Colvin, he signed because he liked what the Pats offered, even if more money could be made elsewhere.

    In that regard we need to ask,"Is football important to Randy Moss or Donte Stallworth"? before we conclude wheteher the Pats will pursue them.
     
  7. hwc

    hwc In the Starting Line-Up

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    Remember, last year the new CBA delayed the start of free agency. Unlike some teams, the Pats managed their cap so they would NOT have to blow up their team if a new CBA was not signed. This delayed the ability to get the Seymore deal done and getting the Seymour deal done took precedence over any other possible move.

    By the time the CBA was agreed to, free agency was essentially over.

    Remember also that Branch and his rookie agent screwed the Pats by saying that they wanted to do a long-term deal. When the Pats tried to start negotiations on a long-term deal, Branch and his rookie agent changed their minds: they refused to even talk to the Pats about a counter-offer and promised to hold out for virtually the entire season. This bad-faith negotiating tactic on the part of Branch and his rookie agent did not take place until well after free agency was over.

    It was just a eff'd up free agency season for teams that were concerned about the threat of an un-capped season. Other teams (Redskins and Colts) got their bacon pulled out of the fire by the new CBA. They were dead without it.

    The reason so many teams have cap money this year is that they got under the no-new-CBA cap and by the time the new CBA was done, there really wasn't much left to spend the newfound money on. Just because a team had the money to sign a big-dollar free agent doesn't mean they are going to do it if all the remaining big-dollar free agents are turds and stiffs.
     
  8. holyredeemer

    holyredeemer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    It seems that their are more players in FA this yr. that fit the mold of this team. Some yrs. you will have those players out there and some yrs. you wont. Why sign guys that wont fit your system just so you can say you signed a FA? I personally am not reading much into it. It's just the Pats FO doing what they do best, and thats fielding a competetive team each and every yr. I don't think (as much as others believe) that they have an exact recipe on how to do it. They just get the **** done!
     
  9. salty

    salty On the Game Day Roster

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    I think there are a couple things to consider here:

    - There happened to be players available this off-season that fit the Patrtiots perfectly. There was no A.D. last year, no guy that absolutely, without question, would fit right in with what this team is trying to do. Same goes for Wes Welker on offense.

    - The Patriots were quite uncharacteristically behind the curve last year after the new CBA changed everything. They figured out their mistakes real fast though, and are now back in the game with a vegeance.

    - I know the philosophy of the front office is to always have a competitive team, but there is no denying that the Patriots have a certain window here, with Tom Brady in his prime and that amazing defensive line all in their youth. The Pats needed to add a few more parts to complete the team and take advantage of the opporutnity to win a few more Superbowls within the next 3-4 years.
     
  10. DW Toys

    DW Toys In the Starting Line-Up

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    Cousin,
    I agree with you on some of what you say. Here is my take. The last few years the Pats have waited for "the cream of the crap" and took the left-overs which wasn't too bad in years past, or at least we did well with what we got for the most part. But with the extra cap space this year almost everyone has an interest in a player or two.

    In the past, those players still left standing while the Pats got around to inviting a few into Foxboro a month or two later, perhaps might have been better "left-overs" back then. For all the new-found money out there, maybe the talent is slim. Perhaps the Godfather and SP might have seen 2007 as a "grab-and-git" FA group. I also think Mr. Kraft is doing a little PR repair with the players lost especially last year. He guaranteed the Pats were going to be more responsive in this years FA crop. We all had the attitude. "Yeh, Right Bob".....Surprise!

    Now I have a proposal to run by you Cousins out there. Would you consider giving our pair of first round picks to Romeo for the #3 pick in the first round and grab Calvin J before Tampa? He is by far the best "draftee" out there of any draft choice and predicted sure fire future All-Pro by all the "experts". It's still a gamble but it appears this kid is the real deal. I am not saying the Browns would do it and the draft "values" don't exactly match, but the signing of just the third player in the first round by the Browns does not get them healthy. They need more than just one "first rounder" to help them out faster and save Romeos' butt.

    Now, that being accomplished we use out third and either fourth choices (or supplemental third or fourth which shall be granted no question) to still be able to pick up a good young ILB or CB or Safety to round out the draft. Maybe a Siler or DeOssie at ILB, a McCauley or Eric Wright at CB, or an Eric Weddle or Sabby Piscatelli at Safety.

    Cousins, Calvin J plus two or three of these above make this an off season for the Pats of huge positive proportions. In all honesty, Calvin J could cost us less than two # ones CAP wise in the end too.

    O.K. Poke holes in this one and see whatcha got!
    DW TOYS
     
  11. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I've been predicting this since last year - though the fact they have cap space is what makes it all possible.

    Last year was the most active FA period ever - though this year is giving it a good run for the money.

    Why? Because the salary cap went from $82 million in 2005 to $109 million this year.

    Last year, the Patriots, usually ones to find some good football morsels in the initial Free Agency leftovers, found little meat to pick off the bones. Only 100 FAs left after the initial feeding frenzy - compared to 200-250 in previous years.

    Did anyone think, with $25 mil in cap space, that the Patriots would let the same scenario play out again this year?

    Everyone seems to be stuck in a 2000-2005 mindset that BB isn't active in free agency. That was a completely different era of football. I had no doubt BB would recognize that and act accordingly.

    As far as the draft, I look at the draft as about future years, and free agency about this year. Sometimes you get lucky but don't bank on it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2007
  12. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

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    Cleveland would never do that deal. No way does anyone trade a #3 for #24/#28. The values just don't add up. You would probably have to add a first-round pick in 2008 to pull it off. While the draft trade charts are just a guideline, they do indicate the disparity in value for this trade:

    #3 = 2200
    #24 + #28 = 1400

    Now our picks could get us up to about #10 or so, but that's about it.
     
  13. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    There was a single year in the Belichick era that he had some cap room. He signed Colvin and Harrrson. Enough said...
     
  14. Patriotic Fervor

    Patriotic Fervor Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Yes, these are good points. But when trying to figure out the answer to the question posed by the lead poster on this thread, you must, I feel, realize that the past is prologue, especially in this instance.

    This was, without question, the worst team fielded by the Patriots since '02. However, utilizing an uncanny ability to press scotch tape, band aids, smoke and mirrors, and the ever-amazing wiles of BB and his staff into a cohesive whole that won quite a few football games, the Pats were able to come within 4 yards and less than 2 minutes to make it to yet another Super Bowl.

    But that's not how BB likes to live.

    Remember the blood letting after the '02 season? BB looked at what he hath wrought, and found the product wanting. This led to the fabulous seasons of '03 and '04.

    They're doing it again, only this time the vehicle is free agency.

    Few front offices are better at evaluating, and projecting, talent onto a team than this one. After viewing what has happened, one is inexorably drawn to the conclusion that these guys know exactly what they are doing. (But all you guys here already knew this!)

    Are they done? Maybe. But probably not. There is more to the equation than just signing free agents, you know. They can also cut or trade players in other roster moves.

    I agree with those of you who think a central focus on this year's draft will be on defensive backs. Oh, sure, they'll pluck another warm body or 2, but this is where the focus will be.

    As for other FA signings, another vet LB is almost a sure thing, although it likely won't happen tomorrow - or this week. If they can successfully talk Stallworth down, they might give him a fly. Maybe.

    The Patriots find themselves in quite a unique position. Strengthening themselves at a number of points simultaneously, they no longer really have to worry about what the rest of the league is doing, or is going to do. They instead will focus on bringing yet more strength to the grid that is their team.

    That, in my estimation, is the mark of a pretty good team.
     
  15. PATRIOT64

    PATRIOT64 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Good post,Lots of realistic views,both past and present
     
  16. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    They need a monster LB. They don't see or feel comfortable with any in the draft.

    The other players are just vet fill ins. We need a lot of players and no way does BB want that many holes filled with rookies.

    The only difference is he gets to choose Welker and Brady instead of waiting for some value guys and hoping you get one that fits.
     
  17. smg93

    smg93 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    At the risk of sounding a little corny, the possible motive behind this years aggressive FA is "to make the football team better."

    I think BB figured that last year none of the guys available would be worth shoveling heaps of cash over. Save the room for this year by re-arranging a few contracts by front ending them so that we'd have more space this year for someone who they feel will fit the Patriots program to a T. That of course would be Thomas.

    I just don't see BB and SP treating each Free Agency period on an individual basis. The salary cap is a moving target each year and saving money last year on free agency allowed them to add more space this year to go after targets that they really want.
     
  18. richpats

    richpats Banned

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    There was a definite improvement in last year's team over the '05 squad. Even when our offense would struggle in games, our D would keep us in it til the 4th quarter. The offense was less of a liability in '06 than the D was in '05.

    That being said, over the last 2 years the Pats have really struggled against quality competition in the regular season, notably Denver and Indy. This has been a contributing factor in our downfall. Outside the division, in conference, the Pats are 1-6 against winning teams in the regular season, and 0-4 AT HOME. This has cost us playoff position and winning on the road is no easy task in the playoffs.

    One reason NE has done so poorly in these games is the 'scotch tape' factor, they can only do so much against good teams. If they want to get back to the Super Bowl, they need to beat good teams in the regular season and not just 'save it for the playoffs' because they've suffered uncharacteristic meltdowns on the road after playing some of their best football in the 1st half of those games.
     
  19. ChoWZa

    ChoWZa Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Calvin is awesome and definitely should be a Patriot, but it is unlikely for a trade-up now that NE has given up its 2nd round pick(unofficially, but likely to happen). This would leave NE with only 1 pick until #91 rolls around. While I would love to see Calvin J on the team, there isn't much chance for it.
     
  20. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If it's true that some of the Patriots' high draft picks haven't panned out as they hoped, what follows is that the Patriots should be less confident in their ability to predict what draft prospects will do, up or down. You assume that the inference is that they should be (negatively) confident and start to write off the draft. I'm happy to think that Belichick and Pioli are too smart to make the same mistake. (Nor do I think that they have been overconfident in their ability to predict players' future success from scouting. They do their best, but they make mistakes like everybody else -- and they know it!)

    The answer to why the Patriots are making a splash in free agency is perfectly simple, I think -- because they can!
     

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