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Reiss - Patriots must decide whether to be players

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by ChoWZa, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. ChoWZa

    ChoWZa Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Team has needs, but is free agency the way to fill them?

    Article-Boston Globe

    By Mike Reiss, Globe Staff | March 1, 2007

    <Edited out article.. was too long check the link>
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  2. ChoWZa

    ChoWZa Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    "Linebacker, receiver, defensive back, and running back are arguably the team's top needs, and coach Bill Belichick often refers to free agency as one piece of the team-building process, along with the draft, trades, and waiver pickups. Salary cap space is not a significant limitation for the Patriots, with the team having in the range of $20 million available."

    I agree with his ordering of needs for the Patriots though I think they need another corner and some help in the secondary...
     
  3. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    If Samuel stays and if Rodney/Geno are both healthy (big if, I know) then a secondary that also includes Sanders and Ellis Hobbs is in reasonable shape. I'm, certain they will bolster resources there, but it seems like a darft/experienced vet position (Like signing Mitchell and Tbuck last year) rather than getting heavily involved in FA.

    One interesting absentee from all the noise around trades etc is Donnie Edwards, so I wonder what their thoughts are there. Anyone have any insight into what sort of contract he might command?
     
  4. ChoWZa

    ChoWZa Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I think we can count on someone in the Linebacking core or secondary going down somewhere early or midseason, and they need to be able to sustain that, just like every year.
     
  5. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    The secondary back-ups still include Artrell Hawkins, Chad Scott, Antwain Spann and Willie Andrews - plus Randall Gay, depending on what's going on with him. Working on last year's roster structure it seems likely that they would be looking to add at least one and maybe two if all of those stay.

    LB is a lot thinner than that.
     
  6. Jimke

    Jimke In the Starting Line-Up

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    I don't know how the Pats can expect an immediate improvement in

    their team without being players to some extent.

    Last year we started free agency by signing Reche Caldwell, Fred

    Mitchell, Barry Gardiner, Eric Warfield, Tebucky Jones, and Martin

    Gramatica. We even re-signed Chad Brown after cutting him right

    after the 2005 season ended. The only UFAs in the group were

    Caldwell and Mitchell; the others had been released by their other

    teams. Later on we signed Jonathan Smith and Rashad Baker when

    they were released . Junior Seau was signed when Monte Beisel

    regressed in training camp. When trouble with Branch occurred,

    we traded for Gabriel. Jabar Gaffney, Ken Walter, and Tod Sauerbrun

    were the last three additions. Our best pickups were made well after

    training camp began.
     
  7. scott99

    scott99 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #87 Jersey

    I really feel we can't hang too much of our hopes on Rodney. He's gonna be 35 (I think), has had 2 knee injuries and a shoulder injury in the last 2 years, and has missed more games than he's played. He's not the Rodney of 2004. We really need him for his attitude, but I don't think he's going to be an elite safety anymore.
     
  8. PatsWorldChamps

    PatsWorldChamps Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    do we really need an immediate improvement? sure, it's nice.... but we came within a few yards on one play of being in (and probably winning) the super bowl... im happy if we stay the same... of course, we need to replace some guys we lose, but if you told me we could play with the exact same team as last year, im happy.
    that being said, i do expect improvements... notably:
    we have a LOT of very good young guys, who theoretically will be better
    brady theoretically hasnt reached his prime
    injuries shouldnt be as bad as last year (although they always seem to be)
    if we keep AS, our loses will be minimal compared to most teams
     
  9. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    I don't think I could disagree more, in the NFL staying the same is moving backwards. Last year is over, the roster building for 2007 starts with the following picture of the roster. A lot may change in the next couple of weeks but the roster is significantly weaker than the team that played against Indy.

    WR - weaker, Jackson is hurt and Brown is not guaranteed to return
    RB - weaker if Dillion leaves
    TE -weaker without Graham
    ILB - only 1 starter, little depth
    OLB - no backups
    CB - very thin

    All of these holes have to be filled just to get us back to the same level as 2006. Hopefully new players can be brought in who are better than the people they replace.

    As with every year there will be about 8-14 new faces on the roster.
     
  10. salty

    salty On the Game Day Roster

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    I agree. The guy is simply getting old, and when you play with a physical style such as he does, that tends to catch up to you quick.

    Then Eugene Wilson hasn't done much of anything since 2004. I don't think either Harrison or Wilson should be relied on as a full-time, season-long starter. That leaves us with Hawkins and Sanders again, and I, for one, would like to see an upgrade there.
     
  11. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    One point that I've made since last year that doesn't seem to get much play with reporters is how the new CBA money has changed things.

    With the influx of new money fewer teams are up against the cap as tightly as in the past - and even those that are do some restructuring or let players go to free up cap space quickly (i.e. Indy was $200k under the cap, restructured Manning and quickly gained $8 - $10 mil in cap space)

    The end result is that the extra CBA money and the extra cap space that created a Free Agent feeding frenzy last year, looks likely again this year.

    That means fewer "leftovers" at the table for frugal teams that want to look for better bargains.

    I don't think the Pats fully expected the volume of early activity last year, and I expect this year they will be more agressive in targeting the players they want, especially given the cap flexibility they now have.

    That of course means that bidding wars are possible and would require that the Pats might overpay for a few players - but if they are the right fit I think they will do this.

    Like last year, there will be fewer unsigned Free Agents when the smoke clears, and while that's not to say there can't be value found there, the lower volume alone means that one can't count on providing the same quality depth for one's team they did in 2005 and back.
     
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  12. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    This is a really good post; it's one of those changes in busines and culture that we might not understand the full implications of for another couple of years.

    But I believe one thing: if any team's FO is going to figure it out quick then it'll be ours. If BB and SP really were caught unawares last year - and I suspect you might be right - it ain't going to happen again.

    We are in position of strength in this FA, and I fully expect BB/SP to exploit that. How that plays out I don't know - I'm not the football/personnel genius - but we'll be off-season winners this year.
     
  13. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    #37 Jersey

    It's not just the new money. Last year, the CBA wasn't settled until the days before FA. The Pats didn't know how much money would be allowed. This time, they've had a year to plan. They were caught not only by the CBA uncertainty but by Branch's holdout.

    They're pretty good at learning from their mistakes and changing. So I'm ready to be surprised.
     
  14. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    There's another possible Pats strategy in response to the frenzied bidding expected.
    Use cap money to extend some of your younger core players (if possible). Guys like Warren.
    Kraft et. al. tend to be longer term thinkers vs. go for it this year guys.
    Problem with that is Brady is geting older and 2nd place is not a position Pats fans enjoy.
     
  15. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    You are right of course about last year and WHY they were taken by surprise given the lateness of the CBA - but I guess my point simply is that if you have a need in free agency, plan on being active and agressive. The Pats didn't plan on it last year - but this year isn't going to be any less frenzied - so the BETTER plan on being a player if they want to address needs.

    They can't wait for the crumbs to drop off the table because until the salaries truly catch up to the Cap $$, the feeding frenzy and high salaries will continue - and there won't be a lot of good "crumbs" available

    (Though if Graham's $5 million salary rumor is any indication, salaries are quickly catching up to the new cap $$ - at which point things return to a degree of normalcy and the "old" BB/SP strategy of finding decent "middle class" quality depth at reasonable prices comes back into play)

    Pissah is correct too in that, for the time being, retaining and extending one's own young players is one of the wiser moves to make.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007

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