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Time To Free Up Some Cap Room?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Mar 19, 2012.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We're are into Day 7 of fee agency.

    We've re-signed 5 players (including Love) and signed 10 free agents from other teams.
    We have done well with our cap space! It seems likely that some move may need to be made soon.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  2. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    Cut Ocho. Sign Welker up for 3yrs with a little more than the average pushed into the 3RD year when the cap increases dramatically. That should give us enough to re-up Mark Anderson.
  3. Haley

    Haley Rookie

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    There is always a surprise cut, right? I just hope it isn't Wes. I'll cry!
  4. JoeShmoe

    JoeShmoe Rookie

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    I'm almost certain we trade 2 or 3 picks into 2013
  5. PatriotReign

    PatriotReign Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    Cut Stinko, and give Wes a 3 year deal. That should free up some space.
  6. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    The rule of 51
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  7. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    It's time for Ochostinko to take a hike!
  8. Christopher Patriot

    Christopher Patriot Rookie

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    Wes Welker for Jared Allen,
    Wes Welker for Tim Tebow,
    Wes Welker for current and or future draft picks.
    Right now we have little to no holes going into the draft.
    Something has to occur to stir us up cutting or trading Wes would do just that,
    Gonzalez and Stallworth who can both do some damage in the slot.
    Softens the blow.
  9. Reckedtrek

    Reckedtrek Rookie

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    Remember, according to Felgah... the cap is crap. Opinion, not fact. :bricks:
  10. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    Gonzalez hasn't done any damage in years, and Stallworth isn't a reliable slot receiver

    cutting or trading welker is a horrible idea.

    As for holes and the draft -- think defense -- plenty of holes there.
  11. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey


    The holes in the defense may not be as many as you think though.

    They are potentially one or two players away from being a lot better, most likely coming in the front seven. One playmaker at DE/OLB + one solid big guy with youth and muscle on the line, and things are a lot better than you think.

    I am still hoping for a guy like Castillo at DE, that would really lessen the needs on the line in my opinion. I think there will be a low level FA signing or two at some point, like last yr if Castillo doesn't come here. Carter will almost certainly be back. Pryor is returning from injury, and has the potential to be a strong presence as an interior rusher. Fanene and Scott are also here for competition and depth. Wilfork, Deaderick, and Love are all here. The D line will be addressed still, but it should be a lot closer to being just as good as last yr, if not improved altogether.

    LB is pretty set, with the addition of a 1st/2nd round pick. They have Mayo, Spikes, Fletcher, Ninkovich, Cunningham, White, Tarpinian, and maybe even M.Carter. One more big, young, playmaker here--and we're instantly in good shape.

    CB/S are also in a lot better shape than you are thinking, at least in my opinion. We saw great strides down the stretch of the season last yr, and IIRC they only allowed one 300+ passer in the last 1/2 of the season, including playoffs. That's over the last 11 games. A lot of the earlier problems were due to scheme change, injuries, and the struggles of DMcC and the safeties. As long as the safety position is improved, we have McCourty, Dowling, Arrington, Moore, and a few ST'er as CB's.

    Safety is probably the biggest problem/weakness on this team. A positive aspect of this is that many of the CB's can likely also back up or even take over one of the safety positions in a worst case scenario; although that is not what we necessarily want to have to rely on.

    I am seeing a total of maybe 4-5 possible improvements out of the 25 (approx.) players on defense. A couple of those will be addressed via the draft. A couple of those will still be addessed via free agency, or team cuts later on in the spring/summer. When you think about it, that isn't as many "holes" as you'd think. The positions of front seven (3-4 improvements/additional depth), and backline secondary (maybe 2 improvements/additional depth) are not that bad of a situation to be in.
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So, in order to have a reasonable defense, we need to sign Carter, have Pryo come back strong, add a playmaker on the DL, at DE/OLB and 1-2 playmakers at safety. You seem to think that being 4-5 players away is "not a bad situation to be in". Is that your position?

  13. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    No, I may have not worded my thoughts as well as I could have, but I didn't say anything about all of these 'playmakers' that you bring up, with the exception of adding a 'playmaker' in the front seven. That's a total of ONE. The rest will be like any other team. You incorrectly quoted me.

    I see some of those variables (re-signing Carter, having Pryor return from injury) as almost being concrete. There's no reason to believe that Pryor can't add as a rotational DL that provides depth and competition, is there?

    To answer your question about being "4-5 players away" (out of 25/53 man roster approx.).....

    I think that 2 can be acquired via the draft, most likely in the front seven.

    I think that 1-2 lower level acquisitions can be added for depth, competition, and possible upgrades at guys like Brace/Fanane via team cuts in the summer, if not maybe a guy like Castillo sooner.

    I also think the same can be said for the secondary too. There isn't any reason to believe that a guy or two cannot be signed/added/drafted, is there?

    That seems to cover all the bases for me. I don't know why you'd see that as having 'many glaring holes?'

    The defense improved dramatically last yr, when the safety position was shored up and the injured players came back...it was like night and day. We held the NYG to one TD for the first 59:01 of the Super Bowl. That's impressive. We also saw a team that only gave up one 300+ passer in its last 11 games, including playoffs.

    There haven't been exactly many subtractions from that defense that was making great strides. The potential loss of Anderson? Please...

    However, there have been additions:

    Dowling, Cunningham, Fanane, Scott (I don't expect more than one to make the team out of the 2 of Fanane and Scott), Gregory, and a few more lower level moves.

    I don't know why you'd see 'so many' holes, when a couple of draft picks and a couple of lower level FA signings would instantly add just about everything that we need.

    Are there many defenses out there that don't have the exact same problem (4 or 5 total players out of 25)?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  14. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I think we have a 'reasonable defense' right now, actually.

    They gave up the 15th ranked pts in the NFL, and made great strides down the stretch.

    Since we haven't had any real subtractions, why is expecting the ability to shave off a point or so average such a stretch to you? That would put us in the top 10 in pts allowed. That's not a reasonable defense to you?

    We still have the draft and the rest of FA and summer cuts to go, but I see no reason to believe they aren't a 'reasonable defense' right now.

    For a team that played with a major scheme change, a lot of injured players and second/third tier players, and the lack of a safety whatsoever, I thought they did okay LAST year...let alone any potential for this yr.

    And I am a pessimist...at best cautiously optimistic. I'm not sure why the panic?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  15. Nitro

    Nitro Rookie

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    #22 Jersey

    W-T-F? that could be the stupidest thing i've ever read here, and I read the jets fans posts too!
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  16. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative Rookie

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    The odds of adding a player to the defense that will make a significant difference in this upcoming year are less than 50% even if we use three picks in the first two rounds.
  17. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative Rookie

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    That would leave us with what, two or three picks in the entire 2012 draft? I don't think that will be their choice.
  18. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey


    While I would expect you to be somewhat close to the truth, I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that we can add a younger, faster, stronger big body on the defensive line that may tie up a couple of guys at times; maybe even have the potential to rush the QB.

    We saw a halfway decent rookie season from Cunningham, and a pro-bowl rookie season from McCourty. Dowling started day one, for the first 2 games and looked impressive while doing so.

    If anything, I wouldn't expect too much contribution from a potential draft pick in the safety position, but it's still needed nonetheless.

    Regardless, I still see no reason why we can't build on our additions from last yr's team. That would include Pryor, Dowling, Fanane/Scott, Gregory, and maybe even Moore--considering that he only started in 3 regular season games. Another aspect is the fact that we should hopefully see a lot more playing time from Spikes and Chung, who each missed 1/2 the yr.

    Adding in a draft pick/two + a vet/two isn't anything out of the ordinary, and the defense should be able to build on some of the potential from last yr. We're not even through the 1st week of the additons yet.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  19. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative Rookie

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    I don't disagree with you at all. I just don't believe that BB will rely on the draft as a way to fill basic needs. He'll do that with veterans. We won't fix problems with the draft, but we can take some shots at making the team better.
  20. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    He probably doesn't realize that we only have 6 picks in the draft this yr, and that would total between 33% to 50% of the entire draft.

    Then again, when you consider the fact that we will most definitely be trading down for additional picks this yr, his early side prediction of 2 may not be too far off.

    I can't imagine Belichick being okay with not having any picks in the 5th, 6th, or 7th rounds, so I am sure that some of the early picks will be traded into a round or two lower; with the additon of some picks added in of course.
  21. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    The 2012 New England Patriots defense with the relevant unrestricted free agent additions to date:

    3-4 Defensive Alignment

    3-4 RDE - Deaderick
    3-4 NT - Wilfork, Love, Brace
    3-4 LDE - ???

    Defensive Line Pass Rush Specialists - Fanene, Pryor

    3-4 ROLB - Ninkovich, ???
    3-4 RILB - Mayo, Tarpinian?
    3-4 LILB - Spikes, Fletcher
    3-4 LOLB - Cunningham/Scott

    Cornerbacks

    LCB - McCourty. Moore
    RCB - Dowling, Arrington
    Nickel - Arrington
    Dime - Cole

    Safeties

    SS - Chung, ???
    FS - Gregory, ???

    The safety position is extremely weak as well as the 3-4 outside linebacker position, since who knows what to expect from Jermaine Cunningham or Trevor Scott during the 2012 NFL Season. Andre Carter, if re-signed, could start the 2012 NFL Season on the PUP list. The New England Patriots defense needs a starting 3-4 left defensive end. Also, Jeff Tarpinian is a question mark at the backup 3-4 weak side inside linebacker position.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  22. Dillon46

    Dillon46 Rookie

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    I'll be shocked if they trade away all the picks except for 2 of them......signing stop-gaps and fillers/camp fodder if fine but they can't constantly do that. Problem is outside of the 2010 draft haul we are lacking home-grown defensive talent along the D-Line and LB Core.

    I think the FA approach they are taking with creating depth for competition will work hand in hand with staying put in the draft with balance in mind between BPA and "Position Needs" for the most part. Possibly a couple of trade ups for specific players within strike range with a trade-down on say only one pick(only if the price is right) the 31st or likely 61st picks to get back later picks missing in the 5th, 6th rounds and or for the annual BB future stock-piling
  23. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I think that's a very good way at looking at it.

    That said, with at least 6, and probably a couple more picks through trades, I think it's probably safe to say that someone will make the team better. The odds of at least 2 players being able to contribute and make the team instantly better out of 6-7 are probably pretty good actually.

    I agree with your thoughts about BB not relying on draft picks though. If that's the case and BB will target more vets, then we'll likely be trying to free up a bit of money in the process too. I don't think Belichick likes being over the cap by too far of a margin, and it seems as though he will likely make a few moves to combat that process since I would imagine we are probably moving closer to the number with the additions from today + Lloyd.

    Then again, maybe he'll continue to be somewhat aggressive now with some lower level moves, especially if he has a good feeling on the potential Welker signing which would free up some money pretty quickly. I suppose a combo of both isn't out of the picture either.
  24. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    We're not even one week into the additons period.

    The draft and the rest of the signing period will add to the depth and needs.

    If we haven't lost too many players, and only added more--I would ask how they managed to do it last yr?

    I still only see 4-5 empty spots in your groupings, which is precisely what I said in several posts.

    I don't see how that's any different than any other team in the NFL.

    Go look at the #1 passing defense/#3 overall defense in 2011, and tell me how many 'holes' they currently have.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  25. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I still don't see how this is any different to exactly what I said?

    They need a couple/few additions in the draft, targeting front seven and safety; while also needing a couple/few additions in the free agency period, likely targeting the same.

    At the end of everything, I am pretty sure that Belichick will be able to field a competitive team.

    Some of you guys are acting like we didn't just go to the Super Bowl and have back to back #1 seeds in the past 2 yrs.

    If they managed to have a middle of the road defense being 15th in pts allowed, and made great strides against top notch competition in the playoffs, then why wouldn't they be able to improve in a couple of areas with 5 picks in the first 100 choices, and a bunch of recent free agency signings--with only more to come?
  26. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    I'm not sure if there is any quality starting talent left in unrestricted free agency to make an impact on the defense.

    The aforementioned exercise was to seriously address the deficiencies in the New England Patriots defense. Hopefully, the New England Patriots will target these areas in the 2012 NFL Draft.

    Tom Brady and the pass offense carried the team most of the year.

    Three impact starters at the 3-4 defensive end position, the 3-4 outside linebacker position, and at the safety position.

    Other NFL teams did not field a historically poor pass defense (aside from the Green Bay Packers) as was the case with the New England Patriots during the 2011-12 NFL Season.

    If the Houston Texans can turn around a poor pass defense in one season, why can't the New England Patriots?
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  27. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Goodnight, fellas.

    Don't mean to be a d!ck or take a hard lined stand, as I respect your opinions, and you know that.

    Maybe we're as doomed as some make it out to be? If that's the case, I may start watching Nascar or something instead (I shudder at the thought).

    I still only think the defense needs approx.4-5 players to improve on the team from last yr, and that Belichick knows what he's doing. Maybe I'm way off base, in which case I'll be more than happy to admit that.
  28. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I don't think there's ever any shortage to the amount of players from FA and other teams that can contribute, Tip. Especially savvy vets. There will be many team cuts that occur later in the summer too, there always are. In the meantime, I am giving BB the benefit of the doubt that he can find a few guys on the line that are out there.

    While I certainly agree that Brady and the offense carried the team last yr, if you didn't see the defense improve throughout the season (which is often a typical Belichick M.O.) then you were watching another team. They allowed less than 23 points in 18 of 19 games right? The only exception was vs BUF when Brady threw 4 INT's. In that instance, he certainly was not carrying the team. Averaged giving up about 18 at home too, IIRC.

    When they gave up ONE touchdown to Manning, the 'big 3' WR's/TE's, and Bradshaw + Jacobs through the first 59:01 in the Super Bowl, yet Brady only managed to put up 17 points (and actually may have outright cost us the game with the safety and the ridiculous INT), he was certainly not carrying the team then either.

    I get what you're saying. The secondary was piss poor. That needs to be addressed. I think it was when the safety position was shored up and the schemes changed a bit, that they looked a lot better. Injuries were also a concern. If worst comes to worst with the safeties again, I would expect Belichick to do the same exact thing that we've seen 1,000x before---make do with what we have. Hopefully those options are improved and we don't have to be a lousy secondary anymore, hopefully they can be more middle tier.

    I never claimed one time that the NEP can't turn around their secondary, as a matter of fact I have said the complete opposite about 100x now in various threads. My point was to look at the Steelers (2011, I revised the post). They had the #1 pass defense last yr + one of the top few overall defenses, yet you don't think they have some holes this year? Just like any other team.

    My main point was that the defense wasn't in as bad of shape as some posters are making it out to be. I personally don't see a "ton of holes" like some say. I see a team that has the main core from last year that needs to improve in the secondary. I also see 5 picks in the top 100 choices.

    Most importantly, I see March 20 on the calander. There's plenty of time to address the vet additons that need to be made on the D-line. There's also plenty of time to address some of the needs via the draft. At the end of the day, I still don't see more than 4-5 spots that need upgraded. That's my opinion, and I could be very wrong. Maybe the defense will set new NFL lows in pts allowed and be the laughingstock of the league, but in this case I am seeing reason for optimism. Much like you, I am also 'cautiously optimistic' too, so it's not like I am a big homer.

    We'll have to see how it shakes out.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  29. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    You're not and I appreciate your opinions.

    The New England Patriots defense is not doomed and by the way the New England Patriots are due for a great defensive draft.

    If Devin McCourty reverts back to his rookie form, that will resolve one of the two starting cornerback positions.
  30. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The "problem" is that we do not know the position of those that will contribute. There are two reasonable solutions.

    1) Go into the draft without any real "needs". In that way, we can be flexible in drafting, the 2 will be a major plus, and there will be no huge holes unfilled.

    2) Go into the draft with one real "need" that "must be met through the draft. This strategy may require the use of a mid to high first or the use of 2 picks to make sure the need is addressed. IN recent years, we have doubled up on TE's and RB's. We also have doubled up on defensive backs under Belichick.

    These strategies have served the patriots well.
    ================
    In hindsight, last year we failed at safety. This was the result of many issues. First, Belichick apparently mis-evaluated his veterans, ending up cutting both Sanders and Meriweather. Certainly, if he knew that these players were not likely to be on the team, he would have addressed this issue in the draft and/or free agency. Secondly, Belichick mis-evaluated his upcoming "talent". Belichick counted on both Barrett and Brown to step up and be significant contributors. Belichick was forced to have his one success to start. Yes, Ihedigbo was a success. He was a signed as a special teamer, who could provide some emergency depth. Unfortunately, he was asked to do much more than he was capable of. However, the presence of Ihedigbo was a major plus.

    I recall this issue at length because the effect is still with us. We usually carry four safeties, 3 who should be getting all the reps, and one backup for depth. Sometimes, we also carry a special teamer, labeled a safety, who we really do not want on the field getting reps.

    As was the case last year, we start with Chung. We have added Gregory, who by all evaluations seems to be a possible #3 safety. Given our need, we need him to be a major contributor at present. In normal times, we would add 2-3 more safeties in free agency and in the draft, hoping to find enough help to fill the glaring need. But there is little help to be had. It seems that this position is likely to be our major weakness yet again. And yes, all teams have weaknesses.

    At very minimum, we should expect to find another 1-2 safeties in free agency and draft 1-2 safeties.

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
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