Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PatsFans.com Article, Mar 19, 2008.
A long cold winter is a fitting backdrop for this time in our Patriots lives
A bit of a downer...I was hoping for something just a bit more upbeat. But anyway, I like the Patriots chances in 2008, I really do. It probably won't be a sexy 19-0 campaign, like we all had anticipated, but it will be just as rewarding the next time Tom holds the Lombardi in February. When that happens, and it will, all will be right again...I don't think I'll ever experience such torment in the world of sports than what transpired that dreadful evening in the desert...unbelievable...
Being a little melodramatic, aren't we Kevin? This is football, not Thoreau. Jeez. Turn off the Bread album, put down the razor blade, shut off the bath water, and turn on the Celtics. You're bringing me down.
Bread; wow, there's a blast from the past, talk about a group whos songs made you want to fill the tub with water and jump in with a razor blade............
I stole that joke from my boss, actually. He'd say to one of our salesmen if he was upset about something, "turn off the Bread album, Bill, it will be OK".
I like our chances in 08 but I'm worried about all these players aging and-/or leaving in free agency. I was reading about the top free agency signings at Draftsharks and three of the top 15 are ex-Patriots (!!) Are we letting too many get away? Read this.
1. Jets LG Alan Faneca (from Steelers) ‚Äď $21 million is a little too much up front for a 31-year old but Faneca is highly skilled and durable. He‚Äôs missed one start in the last 7 seasons. Together with C Nick Mangold and LT D‚ÄôBrickashaw Ferguson, the Jets now have the meanest left side in the AFC. Look what a talented veteran guard did for Dallas (Leonard Davis) and Cleveland (Eric Steinbach) last year. Those teams stepped on throats every Sunday. If Thomas Jones dodges Darren McFadden in the draft he‚Äôll be on our short list for Fantasy Comeback Player of the Year.
2. Browns WR Donte Stallworth (from Pats) ‚Äď He‚Äôs been a fantasy tease ever since being drafted 13th overall by New Orleans. Stallworth‚Äôs leg injuries have been a big problem. However, last year he remained healthy and made some big plays with limited looks. Stallworth could be a lethal deep threat in OC Rob Chudzinksi‚Äôs sophisticated passing attack. He‚Äôs a career 15 yards-per-catch guy ‚Äď and out of his last 100 receptions, a whopping 15 have gone for 30+ yards. Giving him $10 million up front is a little much but that‚Äôs OK. Note: Joe Jurevicius actually went to mgmt and urged them to sign a #2 WR and move him to #3.
3. Falcons RB Michael Turner (from Chargers) ‚Äď Any dynasty-leaguers still holding onto Jerious Norwood need to cut bait. Turner is the lead back and Norwood is the change-up. When in doubt, follow the money - $34.5 million, $15 million guaranteed. Turner gets 20 carries per game, period. He‚Äôs waited for 4 years for this chance, just like LaMont Jordan and Chester Taylor once caddied for 4 years too. They both topped 1,000 yards in their first season starting for a new team - and just like Turner, both of them joined a pretty bad team. Turner‚Äôs career avg. per carry as a backup is 5.5, compared to Jordan‚Äôs 4.9 and Taylor‚Äôs 4.3. He's been busting off big runs ever since his days at Northern Illinois.
4. Eagles CB Asante Samuel (from Pats) ‚Äď The money is ridiculous, over $57 million, but it‚Äôs structured so he‚Äôs really not a lock to see the last $34m of it. Still, Samuel is gettin‚Äô paid and he‚Äôs in the right system to earn every penny. Eagles DC Jim Johnson‚Äôs pressure defense will mesh perfectly with Samuel‚Äôs instinctual style. Look for at least 2 INTs taken to the house. In addition to the Eagles‚Äô 6 games vs. Romo, Campbell, & Eli, there are 2008 matchups against Arizona, San Francisco, Atlanta, Baltimore, & Chicago. Each of these teams is sweatin‚Äô the QB position whether they‚Äôll admit it or not.
5. Bills DT Marcus Stroud (traded from Jags) ‚Äď Anytime you can get a relatively young 3-time Pro Bowler for a 3rd & 5th round pick, it‚Äôs a good deal. Granted, Stroud‚Äôs right ankle surgery in 2006 ‚Äď a rare microfracture procedure on an ankle, not a knee ‚Äď is a legitimate concern for Buffalo. Stroud struggled last year. But the Bills medical staff undoubtedly put Stroud through an extensive examination. And remember, when everyone said Willis McGahee was damaged goods, Buffalo proved otherwise. Coincidentally, they had an extra 3rd-rounder to use for this deal anyway‚Ä¶ thanks to the McGahee-to-Baltimore trade last year.
6. Jets LB Calvin Pace (from Cardinals) ‚Äď The former 18th overall pick of the 2003 draft might have found the perfect home. Jets HC Eric Mangini will flaunt Pace as a pass-rushing LB in the 3-4, and it could result in 10+ sacks. Pace has struggled in Arizona‚Äôs 4-3 stuff but last year they installed a 3-4 and the light flicked on ‚Äď and 5 of Pace‚Äôs 6.5 sacks came in the 2nd half of the season. Bonus points for the Jets, who weren‚Äôt afraid to outbid the rival Miami Parcells-phins and steal Pace after his South Beach visit. The $20 million signing bonus is gaudy but if you‚Äôre not spending, you‚Äôre not trying.
7. Jaguars WR Jerry Porter (from Raiders) ‚Äď Ironically, Porter says he should have been a Jaguar from the start. In 2000 they were coming off a 14-2 record and had the 29th pick. They took WR R.J. Soward, and Porter went to Oakland 19 picks later in the mid-second round. ‚ÄúThey needed a third receiver [behind Jimmy Smith & Keenan McCardell] so I felt I would be a natural fit,‚ÄĚ said Porter. Speaking of Jimmy Smith, the Jags are reportedly installing Porter as a true ‚ÄėX‚Äô receiver like Smith was. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm on board with that,‚ÄĚ Porter said. Jags QB David Garrard had a 102.2 rating last year. The highest QB rating Porter witnessed in Oakland since 2003 is 77.3.
8. Rams OG Jacob Bell (from Titans) ‚Äď A classic move in NFL free agency. You have a need, don‚Äôt wait for the draft - just purchase a rising young star. Bell is the ticket. He was the quiet glue in the Titans‚Äô 5th-ranked rush offense. No small feat when defenses know you can‚Äôt or won‚Äôt pass. Bell has only missed 2 games due to injury in 4 years. Since 2004 at least 11 players have started one game at left guard for the Rams. Marc Bulger and Steven Jackson can‚Äôt complain about the front office, who is in tune with the offense‚Äôs needs. And what if St. Louis adds OT Jake Long with the 2nd pick?
9. Browns DT Corey Williams (traded from Packers) ‚Äď Here‚Äôs an interesting deal, Green Bay used their leverage to franchise Williams and keep him locked up, but then Cleveland called 3 minutes after midnight when free agency started. They offered a 2nd-round pick and bam! Williams was off to Cleveland. Then they gave him a startling 6-year deal for $38 million including $16m in guarantees. Williams is a great young prospect. He‚Äôs amassed 14 sacks the last two years while alternating 3-technique & nose tackle.
10. Seahawks RB Julius Jones (from Cowboys) ‚Äď Upon hearing that Jones‚Äô moderate 4-year/$16 million contract is front-loaded with $5.5m paid out in 2008, it‚Äôs clear they want to give him the ball. Shaun Alexander‚Äôs release is almost a lock. Just how many carries Jones gets depends on T.J. Duckett and also whether or not they draft a halfback. Regardless, the Seahawks obviously remembered Jones pasting them for 198 yards & 3 TDs on a Monday night in 2004.
11. 49ers DE Justin Smith (from Bengals) ‚Äď Always underrated in Cincy, Smith gives 100% and doesn‚Äôt tire in the 4th quarter. The 4th overall pick of 2001, Smith is a classic 4-3 defensive end so we wonder how 49ers HC Mike Nolan will use him in the 3-4. He has the skills to play linebacker and drop into coverage. Interestingly enough, 49ers GM Scot McCloughan said if they draft a defensive end with the 29th overall pick they could very well use a 4-3 as their base defense. Whatever happens Smith allows Nolan to mix it up New England-style.
12. 49ers WR Isaac Bruce (from Rams) ‚Äď Yes he‚Äôs 35 but Bruce is in terrific shape and can recite Mike Martz‚Äô playbook from front to back. We initially had Bruce up at #7 on this list but started thinking about his age (35) and the shaky QB situation. Plus Bruce is always better on turf. Last year he averaged 61 yards on turf and 36 on grass. This is a boom-or-bust signing. Bruce either has a renaissance year with 1,000 yards and 7 TDs or he stumbles around for 600 & 4. Remember, the 49ers once gambled on geezers like Curtis Conway and Johnnie Morton and got burned.
13. Saints CB Randall Gay (from Patriots) ‚Äď He got a 4-year contract worth $17.8 million with $6.9m guaranteed. Good deal for both sides. Gay is a local boy from LSU who valiantly played through a hyperextended left elbow in the Super Bowl. He injured it on the 6th play from scrimmage but was quickly fitted with a harness and kept going.
14. Bengals DE Antwan Odom (from Titans) ‚Äď The former 2nd-round pick from Alabama posted 8 sacks in a rotation last year and was a key ingredient in Jeff Fisher‚Äôs pressure defense. Odom gave the Titans every chance to re-sign him but they declined. Cincinnati got him for a nice price ‚Äď 5 years, $29.5 million, with $11.5m guaranteed ‚Äď and new DC Mike Zimmer will turn him loose. IDP owners looking for value should remember Odom.
15. Titans OG Jake Scott (from Colts) ‚Äď It‚Äôs always good to swipe a key starter off your most hated rival. He can tell you secrets. Scott started 55 straight games for Indy and rarely made a mistake. Denver and Houston wanted Scott badly but he chose Tennessee. Sometimes Scott might have looked better than he is because of Colts C Jeff Saturday & Peyton Manning‚Äôs precision line calls and reads ‚Äď but that‚Äôs nitpicking. Scott is a great addition to the Titans.
"Turn off the bread album" needs to be on a t-shirt somewhere.
Speaking of Bread, do we have enough cap space to sign our rookies ?
Any number of people here could have written that article just as well.
So this generation Patriots team lost a super bowl. Not the end of the world. For those folks here that also follow the Red Sox, who in 2003 after the devastating loss to the Yankees in the ALCS, that was over 45 years old or something, wondered if the Sox would ever win a world series in their lifetime? Count me in that group. What the hell, it had been 86 years until 2004 happened. The Patriots have 3 trophies in the case, and still the best team, consensus says. Maybe Kevin Rousseau has that winter-not enough exposure to sunlight depression malady.
The fact that it was THIS Super Bowl was what stung. If we didn't beat the Rams, so what. If we didn't beat the Panthers, not the end of the world. The Eagles? Would have hurt more than the first 2 because we had "dynasty" status on the line. Even if we had lost to the Bears in SB41 I could get over that (they, like the Giants, played us tough in regular season games). But THIS game was for ALL of the marbles, past present and future. And we lost. That game won't be soon forgotten by anyone.
Yeah, it was probably the least worried about SB for the Patriots as to the outcome, but still, we have three in the bank, and going forward, an all time great QB and coach and lots more. I can't dwell on it anymore, I'd rather enjoy this year's Celtics and upcoming Red Sox. There's never, ever been anything close to this decade for Boston/N.E. sports.
If they weren't going for the perfect season / best ever team SB win then I say yeah no big deal 9liek u said we won 3 already & Brady will always make the team a contender). But to be that close to being 19-0 ?!?! It's still somewhat infuriating....now we still have to hear from Mercury 'huggy bear' Morris with that perfectville sh*t & other 'formerly on drugs' sayings!
It's games like SB42 that make me wonder if the Pats are done winning SB's for a while. Even a QB and coach as great as Brady/BB isn't enough.
1. The bolded Pats free agents who we let go were universally accompanied by a "might have overpaid..." note.
2. Stallworth's a good example. If they don't prove what they need to prove by the time the big money's due, they have to move on (or accept that they big money can be negotiated down, if they prefer.) Stallworth is not a good example in another way - he was signed to prove he was the "next" Randy, then we got Randy (basically.) So his departure was pretty predictable.
3. Dude, as a Member of the Tribe, I have to tell you: when the Jewish guys are telling you to step back from the ledge, you need a hobby.
Not trying to be a smart alek here, but has there ever, in the history of the modern NFL ever been a team unable to generate the cap space to sign its rookies?
If there is and someone can tell me I'd be pretty surprised. And I'd be more surprised if the Patriots were the first ever.
I can't believe we got beat by a receiver they want to convert to safety: http://giants.lohudblogs.com/2008/03/20/another-question-2/
In any case, I am not so gloom and doom myself because I honestly believe we will be in the thick of it again next yr. Can't predict a SB W or trip because that's an awfully difficult road, but I know we will contend - in the end that's all we can ask for.
And that's what we'll get. The Yankees are contenders every year too.
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