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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    Its certainly been an emotional and exciting day for us Pats fans. It probably sent Ian out looking for more server space to keep up with the traffic. Lets get to what we know happened first.

    1. Wes Welker is gone. I was NOT obviously not one of those who felt Welker was a mandatory resigning. But as I read the Welker to Denver thread from when it was just a rumor to when it became I fact, I have to tell you that, while I knew in my brain that it was likely to happen, in my heart I was hoping that it wouldn't. I understood all the reasons why he might be going, but when the reality hit, I wasn't happy. He was only here 6 years, but in time he will earn a place in the Pats HOF, and deservedly so.

    2. What was the real shocker in all this was the price that he mustered. If Ivan had told me that the Pats could have Welker for 2 years and $12MM, we would have been best buds. I would have done that deal in a heartbeat and laughed the whole way. It was really telling number in a lot of ways.

    First it showed that the Pats had moved on from him, and only would have brought him back on their terms. The fact they had Amendola's name on a ontract within hours, only confirms this. They are going to change the direction of the offense, and Welker's skills didn't fit, at least not at that price. Second, I am surprised that 2 and 12 was the best he could do from the rest of the league. The Broncos couldn't have been the only other serious suitor. What it shows is that, so called "slot receivers" are still considered 2nd class citizens, not worthy of top money, not just the Pats, but by every team.

    Think about it. The best Slot receiver of his generation got half the money/yr than the 3 top new WR contracts so far (Bowe, Harvin, and Wallace). Throughout all the discussions we had about Welker's contract the past 2 months, regardless of which side you took, we all vastly underestimated the market for slot receivers. It really brings into focus why the Giants are having such a tough time getting Cruz signed

    3. I think everyone is a little sad right now. Most will move one. Others are going to pissed for a long while. The Amendola signing is some solace. How big a solace will be discussed ad nauseum for the next 6 months before we get some answers the questions we have.

    What I hope (and it will be in vain, of course) is that when the season starts and Wes has a good game, that people here won't constantly throw it in our faces. We are fans of the Patriots and its OUR team that should be our focus. Wes is a Bronco now and he should only be a concern when he plays us.

    4. Danny Amendola brings a lot of the qualities of Welker. There are almost too many Welker comparisons to mentions.Someone linked an excellent Amendola profile from Grandland that goes into many of them in detail. So I'll focus on the differences. There are 2 main ones, imo. The first is his size. While not a "big" receiver Amendola is 5'11 with long arms and has a larger catch radius that Welker. Welker was in his element on balsl thrown from his chest to his toes. He was a master there. Where he struggled (and this is relative of course) were on balls he had to reach over his head for. I don't remember ever seeing him leap and out fight someone for a ball. Amendola isn't Anquan Boldin by any means or even Brandon Lloyd, but he does excel to a greater degree on those kinds of catches.

    The second area of difference is durability. Amendola has one of the best yds/game average in the league at over 60/game. The problem is that he hasn't been able to play a full 16 games the last few seasons. It will be by far the greatest criticism of him as the off season progresses. The good news is that the injuries he has gotten are the freaky kind, and not the muscle/hamstring/concussion kind usually associated with the truly "injury prone". The bad news is that he can't lose the reputation until he actually gets through a season relatively unscathed, so it will be talked about over and over, to no satisfactory conclusion.

    5. Its not always what you think - There are people going to be pissed that the Pats wouldn't play Welker $6MM/yr, but are willing to pay Amendola slightly more. Well that 5yr $31MM contract has only 10MM guaranteed, so if Amendola ever ends up getting his $6MM/yr it will be because he EARNED it, and was worth it and more. He could just as easily end up being a bargain as a bust. And if he is a bust, he won't be an expensive one.

    6 I don't see Amendola putting up the number of catches that Welker did over the last 6 years. I didn't expect Welker to, had he returned. At least I hope so. The reason being I doubt that he will have nearly the number of targets that Welker got. I'm thinking more in the 80-90 range. And this will lead into the speculative portion of the post.

    7. I see a Pats offense that will be a little more aggressive next season. More slants and quick strike seam patterns. More passes to our RBs, and more rushes. The biggest failure by our offense in the Raven game (at least to me) was how often we failed on 3rd and short. I have to believe it was at least a half dozen times, and most of those were passes from the gun, with little or no run threat. I'm hoping that with a healthy Gronk and Ballard, the Pats will run more often in that situation, and thus make the play action off that run more effective when the want to pass. Something that were uncomfortable doing last season.

    8. I'm guessing that Amendola won't cost more than $3MM on this year's cap, so th Pats Pat still have in excess of 22MM still in cap space, so as more and more good players get cut our options keep growing. So lets explore a few names that we haven't heard much about.

    a. Kerry Rhodes - Jet fans hated him, which probably should be looked at as a plus. But he is only 30, and a Safety who makes a lot of plays and has had some good years with a relatively good defense in Arizona. But I bring him up for this observation. I can never remember a Jet game where BB didn't make a point to say a few words to him after the game, so I watched closely after the Cardinal game this year, and damned if BB didn't make a bee line to Rhodes after he shook the HC's hand.

    So now there are veteran safeties who the Pats could easily add to that very young secondary, in Rhodes, Reed, Pollard and AWilson. Don't be surprised to see one of them wind up here.just before camp, and Rhodes would be my darkhorse guess.

    9. Interesting that the 2 top pass rush options got their instant deals (Krugger, Avril) and neither exceeded $8MM/yr. That's a far cry for what top rushers have gotten the last few years. Its an indication that guys like Freeney and Osi, etc better lower their expectations, and another indication that market is soft at every position.

    10. Most of the immediate OL contracts seem to be in the $5-8MM range so far, so I'm still optimistic about getting Volmer in that $6-7MM/yr Range eventually. And while LaRon Landry got the $6MM/yr he wanted from the Colts, the CB market seems to be surprisingly soft. Steve Smith isn't getting any run according to PFT, and Aso coming on the market due to get paid $4MM next season from Philly regardless, makes him an interesting target. One I'd love the Pats to explore in addition to Talib. It would be sweet to think of a DB of Aso, and Talib at CB. Dennard in the slot and McCourty and Rhodes/Wilson at S.

    There's a lot you could do with that group. For example if one of the opponents WR's is a smaller quicker WR, you put Dennard on him, with Talib on the bigger one. Then you send Aso inside to match up on the opponents top TE receiver as a safety or coverage LB. At 6'2 and close to 220 he's big enough.

    11.I seem to recall that there are over 300 players with NFL experience who are looking for jobs. That is a LOT of very good football players. Within a day or 2 there is going to be a quantum shift from teams contacting agents looking to make big money offers, to agents contacting teams begging for them to give their clients jobs. There will be a lot of teams who will find significant contributors from that latter pool of players. When add the over 250 players who going to be draft, that's almost 600 players looking to fill far fewer than that number of slots. More than ever this off season, its a buyers market,. The patient WILL be rewarded.
  2. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A) I agree with all that you say. It is good to remind folks that the Amendola cap hit is likely to be below $3M.

    B) Our next decision point is likely still to be at wide receiver, whether to pay Lloyd.

    C) It is not at all clear that Denver's deal to Welker was the highest value offered. I think that Welker wanted to play for a contender with a top quarterback. He may, or may not, have gotten higher offers from other teams.
  3. hellolin

    hellolin Rookie

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    Last year's AFCCG was the last call for Welker, not because of his drops, but though that game we saw how he and AH was basiclly two person doing one player's job. We don't need two players doing exactly the same job within one offsense, unless the NFL has gone the way of NBA that has a bench to come into the game.
  4. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If Welker had other offers for bigger money, we'd have likely heard it by now from various sources and leaks. I'm not doubting that there may have been another team or two interested, but they certainly weren't offering any more significant money.

    Off topic--looks like DEN struck again with the signing of DRC for their secondary. It is only a one year deal. They made 2 nice moves today with 1 and 2 yr deals for decent players.
  5. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Are you suggesting that AH and Amendola will now be the 2 players doing one man's job?
  6. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There's another equally important fact: Welker had his fill of playing on c**p teams when he was in Miami. The only other teams I think he might even have listened to offers from would be the Colts and the Bengals.
  7. Brady2Moss

    Brady2Moss Rookie

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    Anyone think its possible we get Talib and Smith?
    Looking at the CB market no one has signed for more than 5 million dollars for a varied number of years. It could be possible to get both for 5-6 million each on 2-3 year deals at this point. Man that would go a long way to making us a legit Defense.
  8. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    I seriously wonder if the New England Patriots organization are currently playing hardball with offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer.
  9. Brady2Moss

    Brady2Moss Rookie

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    We play hard ball with everyone.
  10. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think we may have a slight difference of opinions on this one, ct.

    I think you'd have a great point if it came down to a couple million here or there for players like Harvin or Wallace etc, but when your 2 major offers are 2/10 and 2/12, my guess is that you'd want to check out all of your options. There are 12 playoff teams every year and another 3-4 who compete for those spots on a regular basis. On top of that there are teams like N.Orleans etc who had bad years. I'd agree that maybe he took some teams off the list who suck, but I think we're just trying to justify his low signing price.

    Due to that fact I'd have a hard time believing that he and his agent automatically slashed 28 teams off the list. You may feel that way, but I find that hard to believe myself.
  11. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    That's what was so surprising after you stepped away from your own disappointment. Its not just that the Pats offer was surprisingly low, but so was Denver's. And where were the rest of the offers for the greatest slot receiver in NFL history. Were the Pats and Denver the only 2 interested parties? Granted those were the best fits, but still.... Welker was a top 10 FA on everyones list, and only 2 suitors? What does that tell us?????

    To me it can be only one of two things or maybe a little bit of both.

    1. The position Welker plays is NOT held in high regard around the league, and certainly not on the same level as an outside the number WR.

    2. Other teams saw a subtle deterioration of Welker's skills that made them shy away from giving him big money or more than 2 years.

    If anyone can think of another reason, I'd love to hear it. Its not shocking that he left. What's shocking is the price he left for and the seeming lack of suitors.
  12. kurtinelson

    kurtinelson Rookie

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    For the life of me, I can't understand why there weren't 20 teams willing to make offers to Welker. IMO shame on the Pats for not bringing him back, shame on 30 other teams for not making a serious play for the GOAT slot receiver, and shame on Welker for not getting a better deal.
  13. doesntmatter1

    doesntmatter1 Rookie

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    I loved Wes but I am not sad whatsoever. When you dink and dunk like us, every down is important and he was starting to waste them with drops. Also it was starting to feel like 6 passes to wes would only total 20-30 yards when for other receivers 6 catches would usually put them over 100 yards.

    I commented long ago when we set a record for the most third down completions. Its cool we converted 3rd down but imo we shouldn't have had that many 3rd downs in the first place. I found it crazy that if we passed on 1st and 2nd down we still wouldn't have traveled more than 9 yards most of the time. Against good defenses it is not easy to score when your entire offense requires 10 plus plays to get the job done.

    Once again, I loved wes, but this had to happen and I am glad it was now. I'm hoping for some rookie wrs to come in and instantly produce the way gronk and ahern did. Maybe we can resign Branch just to teach the new guys. Then cut right before week 1 so his contract isn't guaranteed and we can bring him back whenever we need a coach.
  14. PatsSox363804

    PatsSox363804 Rookie

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    I would think that there were several teams Welker wouldn't go to and maybe he and his agent wanted to get a deal done as opposed to using a team to drive the price up. Also I'd bet that several teams consider him a system player so only a team like NE, Denver, and New Orleans would really highlight his skill set.
  15. chevss454

    chevss454 Rookie

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    Schefter reported the Titans offered Welker 2y/$15M. 3 teams interested and all in the same ball park for money. (Pats, $10M + 6M incentives; Titans 15; Broncos 12).
  16. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks Rookie

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    Welker is not a threat to score anytime he touches the ball. It is hard to score TDs in the NFL, and when you have a player like Harvin or Wallace that can make players miss while on their way to turning a 7 yard pass to a 60 yard TD, well that makes a huge difference. Welker just did not have the top end speed to make that happen. And yes, I realize he did that once two years ago, but other than that....not so much.
  17. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I should have been clearer: that's among the teams that clearly had the cap room to make an offer.
  18. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    Agree with your thoughts. I'm excited to see Amendola and what he brings. Plus hopefully another WR capable of playing outside. Defensively there's plenty of options to fix our secondary.

    As for Welker's offers, I did read on rotoworld that the Titans offered him more - 2 years, $15M but he declined the money for a chance to play with a contender and I'm sure Manning had something to do with his decision too.
  19. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    FWIW (which ain't much), I've been a season ticket holder for 20 years. I called the Patriots this morning identifying myself as such just to vent. They transferred me to the team's PR office and I asked if there would be any official statement released about the Welker non-deal. Unsurprisingly, I was told no. So I asked if they were getting a lot of calls from irate fans, and she said I was the second one. To me, THAT was surprising.
  20. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks Rookie

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    Do you believe that season ticket holders should have a voice in player personnel decisions? By calling the team you are basically making that statement.
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