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The 2010 and 2011 Offensive Line

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Aug 25, 2009.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Belichick is quietly building the future offensive line.

    So far we have:

    veterans: Koppen, Kaczur
    kids: Vollmer, Ohrnberger, Wendall/Connolly (Belichick will choose), LeVoir
    future decisions: Mankins, Neal, Light

    SUMMARY
    center - we are all set with Koppen and either Wendell or Connolly
    tackle - we are all set with Vollmer, Kaczur, LeVoir and Light (for as long as he stays)
    guard- Ohrnberger and ?????? (the contracts are up for both Mankins and Neal)
    Certainly, Kaczur could be an option at RG.

    BOTTOM LINE
    Neal has little leverage and I would expect Belichick to consider trying to extend him.
    Mankins is an RFA without a new CBA in which case he would be here another year.
    Belichick has a solid 2010 option even if we lose both Neal and Mankins (we could also add a draft choice if Belichick chose to do so)
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Didn't Ohrnberger play some center in college also? Just saying that's another option for the G/C role in 2010 if he's not starting by then.
  3. jefmblrd

    jefmblrd Rookie

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    #50 Jersey

    I would expect them to re-sign Neal at a reasonable price and would think that Mankins would be a high priority to retain-he's the real deal. As a former offensive line coach, I love to see him de-cleat guys.
  4. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Mankins is definitely the real deal. He will be a high priority to extend, and should resign unless he really wants Hutchinson-type money, which doesn't seem his style. I doubt he'll come cheap, but like Wilfork he's not just a mercenary.

    I'm not sure about Neal. He'll be 33 this fall and has been injury prone, which argues against an extension. On the other hand, our OL has been markedly improved when he's been on the field. I could see the FO going either way, and guess they may wait a bit to see how the youngsters are developing. Neal's salary and cap hit are not insignificant (over $3.4M cap hit for 2009), and I can't see the Pats keeping both Mankins and Neal if Neal is going to continue to get that kind of money.
  5. borg

    borg Rookie

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    Neal has missed 16 games over the last 3 seasons (3,8,5). Being 34 after next season and injury prone will be a problem come contract time. As you said, looks like Mankins will fill this salary slot in the future. The offense does click when Neal is on the field
  6. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Being that I don't see the Pats carrying more than 9 O-linemen, things don't look good for depth inside:

    OT: Light, Kaczur, Vollmer, LeVoir
    OG: Mankins, Neal
    C: Koppen
    C/G: Ohrnberger
    OT/OG: Bussey

    That would give the Pats 3 Rookie O-linemen for depth.. The only one who could be the odd man out is Bussey, and then you'd have Wendell or Connolly. Neither of whom have been great in Pre-season so far.
  7. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    1) I can't see Bussey anywhere but the Practice Squad.
    2) As of now its Wendell or Connolly in the last backup spot.
    3) Either Ohrnberger is better than he seems or Belichick expects to pick up a veteran guard backup from another team.


  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I expect

    1) Mankins to get what the market bears for a pro-bowl qulaity guard. What do you guys guess, $8M a year?

    2) The patriots don't expect to extend Mankins, although we will give him a "fair" offer (meaning lower than market).

    3) In the absence of a new CBA, Mankins is an RFA and will stay unless someone is ready to give us a 1st and a 3rd.

    I would very very surprised at an extension for Mankins this year. Neal is more likely. A player from another team is more likely.



  9. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    1) I think that Mankins will get offered a contract that will be higher than the transition tag of 6.85 Million, but less than the 8.5 million of the franchise tag.

    2) How can you tell the Patriots don't expect to extend Mankins?

    3) As you mentioned, Mankins is an RFA. The Pats can tender him for a year to a contract that is close to 2.7 million per the RFA tag... That would get them a 1st and 3rd in return for Mankins.. Or the Pats can put the transition tag on him for the 6.85 million number..

    Why do you think its more likely that they'll extend an Oft-injured 34 (he'll be 34 in October) year old Guard over a 28 year old guard who is in his prime???? Especially when they don't have anyone who is proven to back up either position yet.
  10. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I completely agree. I see Mankins being extended for somewhere in the 7-8M range. Is is young, healthy, and a pro-bowl caliber anchor for the interior line. Neal is been solid when healthy but is aging and injury prone. I can't see any rush to give him an extension.
  11. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What games are you watching Db? Wendell has looked pretty good and Connelly is close behind him. Both worked against Cincy's first team the other night, so they got tested against the same guys who faced off against Mankins, Koppen, and Neal.
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    How many players do you think we can pay $7M or more a year? Brady, Seymour and Wilfork all have contracts to be worked out. And Moss is also in that range. Gost is less but he is among the best in the league and also needs an extension.


  13. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    because they're both starters, and one is way cheaper than the other, and atm we dont have anyone waiting who is ready...thats why u do all u can to keep the guys u have here, and u start with the cheaper guys who are still starters
  14. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not a capologist, but I don't think we're in bad position in terms of being able to pay market value to key players.

    The 2009 salary cap is $127M. 2010 may be uncapped, and certainly will be well over $130 million. If it's somewhere in that range, you can almost average almost $5M/year for the 22 starters and then average $1M/year for the 30 backups. Factor in that many 2010 starters will be playing for well less than that and that many players on the back end of the roster will make well less than $1M, and you should be able to handle a reasonable number of players getting payed market value.

    Consider the current key players and when their contracts expire:

    - QB Brady (2010) - 2009 cap hit of $14,627,280 represents 11.5% of the cap
    - DE Seymour (2009) - 2009 cap hit of $9,792,280 represents 7.71% of the cap
    - WR Moss (2010) - 2009 cap hit of $9,757,280 represents 7.68% of the cap
    - LB Thomas (2011) - 2009 cap hit of $6,407,280 represents 5.05% of the cap

    That's about 32% of the cap on the 4 players with the biggest hits.

    In terms of other key players, Welker is signed through 2011, Mayo thorugh 2012, Meriweather through 2011, and Warren through 2013. Their combined cap hits for 2009 account for 9.63% of the cap, or about 40% for those 8 key players.

    Matt Light and Stephen Neal are 31 and 33, respectively. Their cap hits will go down significantly with their next contracts, or they will move on. Kaczur and LeVoir have extended, Koppen in on the books through 2011, and Vollmer is signed through 2012. Mankins seems to be the key OL signing, and my guess is that something in the $7M/year range is not unreasonable.

    If you look at players needing to be resigned through 2010 who should command potentially large money (> $5M), the list pretty much only includes Brady, Moss (who will be 34 when his contract expires and will who's cap hit will likely go down, assuming he re-signs), Seymour, Wilfork, Mankins, Burgess (who needs to prove himself) and Bodden (who needs to prove himself). Add in Welker, who's contract expires after 2011 but who will certainly need to be extended, and that still makes only 8 or so players. We may not be able to keep all of those, but I don't think we're in dire straights, especially given some of the money which should be freed up from current contracts (Jarvis Green, Stephen Neal, Kevin Faulk, Tedy Bruschi).

    Just as with the Randy Moss situation, I think we can afford to play key guys like Wilfork and Mankins reasonable value to stay. If they insist on going for absolute top dollar they may have to look elsewhere, but we shouldn't be expecting to have to either sign them at a huge discount or let them leave.
  15. fester

    fester Rookie

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    The one who is significantly cheaper is significantly cheaper for a reason. He is not as good as the more expensive player and the long term prognosis for the number of good seasons each player has left is extremely different. An older oft-injured interior lineman has fewer quality seasons of play in him than a younger, not yet injured interior lineman.

    Price is a consideration, but the value proposition is not just price. I bet the Pats go with Mankins over Neal if both are amenable to signing with the Pats and Neal wants anything more than 1.5 mil per year because the Pats need to protect Brady from pressure up the middle over the next couple of years, and Mankins has a much higher probability of doing that better and longer than Neal.
  16. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes, these players both are guards. Other than that the situations are very different. Neal is more comparable to LeVoir or Kaczur. The team could lock up a starter/backup through 2011 if the team and Neal choose to do so. The cost of extending Neal would be cap neutral or even give us a 2009 cap savings.

    Yes, Neal has been injured. However, that injury history is the reason he doesn't cost $5M or more per year. He is certainly worth having for part of the year as part of a five man interior line rotation.

    Mankins is another story entirely. He will likely cost $7M a year or more next year. Since he could end up being an RFA (with only a $3.043M pay check), there is a possibility that the team could make a deal now. Surely, Mankins would like to make more than $5M over the next two years. HOWEVER, even if the team were willing to pay Mankins to avoid the possible 2010 free agency, the cost would mean a major increase in the 2009 cap, given that any bonus would need to be amortized and salaries must meet the 30% rule.

    BTW, I personally don't expect us to work it out with Mankins, but it certainly could happen, in the next off-serason.

    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
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