This is an exploration into the unlikely. Its a alternate scenario that I'm not sure is the best thing nor do I think its the right thing. Its just something different to contemplate. Its a long time before the draft let alone watching the FA season come and go. So many possibilities Last season, much was made about the Haynesworth and Ocho signings, which didn't work out, while the last minute signings of Anderson, Carter, Waters and Iheadabu, went largely unnoticed and under appreciated until the season was well underway. Each of those signing were unmitigated home runs. The lesson to be learned from this is that you really don't know how a signing will work out until the season is well underway. What might look like sure thing can back fire (just ask the Eagles), while after thoughts can turn into 20 sacks and an All Pro RG. Here is one just one possible scenario Offense: 1. Receivers - We don't resign Welker or Branch - We essentially retool the WR position. a. We replace Welker with Edelman â€“ he's actually bigger, stronger and faster than Welker. If you noticed that he nearly always makes at least one guy miss on punt returns regardless of the end result. He is now going into his 4th year as a WR and is well versed in the offense and the job of a slot WR b. We take the Welker money and give it to Vincent Jackson. HE has the size and speed to be a true down field threat. Others may like Lloyd better, and I wouldn't hate it, but Jackson gives us that true downfield speed that defenses would have to respect. Wallace would be my first pick but I'm not willing to give up that first round pick as well as the max contract to get him. c. We replace Branch with Ocho. He is bigger, faster, and more durable than Branch. A full off season of OTAs and passing camps will improve his production. He STILL would be the 5th option behind Gronk, Herandez, Jackson, and Edelman, but so would Branch if we kept him. Plus a he wouldn't cost you more than 2MM for this season. d. So you would go into the season with Gronk, Herandez, and a designated 3rd TE from FA, along with Jackson, Edelman., Ocho, a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick, and someone like Underwood who could bounce from the PS to the roster as needed 2. OL - You don't resign Dan Koppen. a. As more and more teams move to a 3-4 base, he is just too small to set the middle of the pass blocking schemes Dan C has more than established a claim on the position. b. OT is set with Light coming off what might have been his best season as a Patriot, along with Volmer and Solder, plus someone from Dante's school of Olmen in training. c. OG is set with Mankins, Waters and Cannon as 3 guys who could start at any time. Cannon's role in 2012 should be to take about 25% of the snaps at RG so Waters will be fresher for the Playoffs d. So the OL roster will be Light, Mankins, Connolly, Waters, Volmer, Solder, Cannon, Orenburger, plus the best of the rest 3.RB's â€“ You look to upgrade BJGE - a. Ridley and Vereen become your principle RB's Woody continues as the 3rd down RB and you look into FA to find a pure power back to up grade BJGE â€“ If you can't find him, then you bring BJGE back at the right price. 4. QB - You bring back the 3 Qbs. I would love to get something for Hoyer as a RFA, but I'm afraid the lack of actual playing time he's gotten, plus the shear volume of FA QB's who have actually played in the league would make it unlikely that the Pats could even get a 7th round pick for him in trade. Keep all three and you might have the best QB situation in the league, top to bottom. Defense: 1. DL â€“ Here is where some tough decisions are going to have to be made. This also assumes we will see much of the same hybrid 3-4/4-3 formations again. a. Retire Mike Wright and replace him through the draft. b. Resign Andre Carter and Anderson. Both exceeded our expectations in the pass rush, but also were better than expected against the run. Sign Carter for a year and give a 3 year deal to Anderson. c. You draft a penetrating interior Dlman â€“ Fletcher Cox seems like most people's favorite at this point. d. You start the season with this DL roster. Wilfolk, Deadrick, Love, Pryor, Brace, Cox, Anderson, and Carter both of whom will play some OLB Sorry Sean Ellis, no room at the inn for you. 2. ILB- We are all set here, no need to add anyone. a. Mayo, Spikes, Fletcher are enough for the season. Especially when you consider that when the defense goes to the nickel, the ILB will be replaced, and we are likely to be in a nickel more than 50% of the time. b. You also keep a guy like Tarpanian as a coverage ILB/special teamer. He replaces Guyton in that role. 3. OLB â€“ Once again we enter the bizzaro world of the NE Patriots OLB. I would expect to see the Pats go with a group of 4 that would consist of Ninko, Carter, Cunningham and a draft pick. Right now that would seem to be someone like Mercilus, Perry or Jones. But for this exercise, I'll take Mercilus because he is the guy your looking to replace Carter with in 2013. 4. DB's Here is the critical area for improvement for this season. a. I want to keep McCourty's principal AOR at CB, though moving him to S in specific packages would be fine b. I want to add a high end vet FA to this mix. Right now Michael Griffith is at the top of my wish list as a big upgrade to our safety position. c. Draft another tall CB Chase Minnefield is my top choice and should be there at 31 and might be there at 47 d. So in the backfield .You'd have Arrington, McCourty, Dowling, Minnefield, and Moore playing CB with Griffith, Chung, Barrett, at the S position, with Moore and McCourty available to play S in certain coverage packages. 5. That would leave 4 roster spots available for the 2 kickers, the snapper, and Matthew Slater This would be a 53 man roster that I'd LOVE to see coming out of. Let me know what you think. Its not like we have a lot else to do the next 2 months but speculate on crap like this.