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WEEI.com: 2009 Pats Starting To Come Into Focus

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Christopher_Price, Jun 15, 2009.

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  1. Christopher_Price

    Christopher_Price Rookie

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    Hey all ... here's today's story: Now that the spring minicamps and OTAs are all done, the 2009 Pats are truly starting to take shape.

    Christopher Price | Patriots Starting To Come Into Focus

    As always, don't be shy with your opinions. And start following me on Twitter at twitter.com/capeleaguer.
  2. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Was it difficult narrowing it to 5 profiles?
  3. supafly

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    #24 Jersey

    Thanks Chris, nice job as always
  4. Christopher_Price

    Christopher_Price Rookie

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    It was ... but these were the 5 guys I felt we had now really greater handle on after six weeks of minicamps and OTAs. There are other guys I'd love to get a sense of -- particularly Ron Brace, Greg Lewis and Joey Galloway. But I felt these were the 5 who we now definitely say we know more about than before the minicamps and OTAs began.

    And thanks for the kind words, everyone!
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009
  5. farn

    farn Rookie

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    I wonder what'll happen to Edelman in pads... if he makes the cut, it will also be interesting to see who's on the outside looking in.

    The most intriguing one for me is Chung. As "fun" as Edelman talk is - Chung obviously could have the kind of impact the Patriots could use on D. He and Butler are the ones I am most hoping will contribute this season.
  6. BradyFTW!

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    #12 Jersey

    Great stuff! Just dialed up my amped-ness for this season a couple more ticks.
  7. Mosi Moose

    Mosi Moose Rookie

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    I'm most interested in Chung's progess too. I'm not a huge Sanders fan and I hope Chung and BM are the starting safeties by late-season.
  8. PATRIOTSFANINPA

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    Chris ... If you run into Seymour and Mankins ask them if they can hook up McGuire to be their agent as well :)
  9. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great stuff, Chris. I just have one question, if you wouldn't mind. How does Galloway look? Is he building a rapport with Brady, based on what you've seen?
  10. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Chris,

    Thanks for another fine column. It's always a pleasure to read your articles.

    respects,
  11. Deus Irae

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

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    Most important players to know about:

    Wheatley
    Crable
    Woods
    Guyton


    Anything on those four would be appreciated. Barring further roster moves, they figure to be pivotal to the season's success.
  12. Urgent

    Urgent Rookie

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    I don't completely agree with this.

    Right now, Randy Moss and Richard Seymour are essentially tied neck and neck for the the second-highest cap charge on the team at $9.8mm. Moss makes almost double Matt Light's salary.

    In 2007, Asante Samuel had the highest cap charge on the team.
    In 2003 and 2004, Ty Law had the highest cap charge on the the team.

    Right now, veteran WR Welker makes more than veteran OG Steve Neal. (It's unfair to compare Welker or Moss to the younger linemen still on their first contracts.)

    The largest outside free agent deal went to Adalius Thomas, at OLB, and before that the largest outside free agent deal went to Rosevelt Colvin.

    New England has pursued a pragmatic approach to player contracts, trying to match the value of the individual player to the contract. If the player demands significantly more than the value the Patriots place on him, he's gone. However, the only way to make the point that the Pats value linemen over receivers is to focus on Branch and ignore Moss.

    Applying a metric like 'the Patriots value linemen more than receivers and defensive backs' runs the same risk as stating that 'the Patriots never draft guards and linebackers in the first round.' It sounds right until you look at the details.

    Another way to summarize the deals for Brady, Light, Seymour, and Warren, as you list above, is to say that the Patriots tend to pay Pro Bowlers more than non-Pro Bowlers. Then you can include Moss and others under one generalization.
  13. Christopher_Price

    Christopher_Price Rookie

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    Urgent,

    All great points. Let me try and take them individually:

    When it comes to my theory that the Patriots usually pay more for guys closer to the ball (probably the phrasing I should have used), I agree that it was a bit of an over-generalization. I also agree that there are occasional exceptions to the rule like Samuel and Law.

    However, the larger contracts that are doled out by the Patriots -- more often than not -- go to guys who play in between the tackles. Take a look at the top 13 cap figures on the 2009 roster, as provided by Miguel. Seven of them are interior linemen (Seymour, Light, Green Koppen, Warren, Neal and Wilfork). Two more are linebackers (Mayo, Thomas). That's nine of the top 13 taken up by non-skill position players. In the top 13, there are two wide receivers (Moss and Welker) and zero defensive backs. (The other two are Faulk and Brady.) I haven't looked at the other cap figures across the league, but I have to imagine that's a bit of an anomaly when compared to the rest of the league -- especially the DBs.

    I didn't mean to intimate that the Patriots favor linemen over receivers. My point was only to suggest that the Patriots are much more generous in their contracts with linemen as opposed to other teams out there.

    Thanks for reading,
    Chris
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009
  14. Christopher_Price

    Christopher_Price Rookie

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    One more quick note -- thanks for the kind words, everyone. And in the coming days, I'll empty my notebooks for minicamp and OTA thoughts on the names that were mentioned here. It may take a day or two, but I'll try and get to everyone I can. Thanks again!
  15. Deus Irae

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    Much obliged, Chris
  16. Urgent

    Urgent Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    OK, yes.

    But, if you are counting OL, DL, and LB as those 'non-skill positions closest to the ball' then you are also including a fairly large group of the football team.

    That's 12 of 22.
    LT is commonly the second-highest paid player on the team.
    DE is usually third.

    Let's look at the franchise tag amounts (F) and the Pats highest paid player, per salary cap accounting, (P) at each position:

    QB: F=$14.6mm P=$14.6
    RB: F=$6.6mm P=$4.0
    WR: F=$9.9mm P=$9.8
    TE: F=$4.5mm P=$2.0
    OL: F=$8.5mm P=$5.5

    DT: F=$6.1mm P=$2.8
    DE: F=$9.0mm P=$9.8
    LB: F=$8.3mm P=$6.4
    S : F=$6.3mm P=$2.5
    CB: F=$10.0mm P=$3.0

    It's interesting to compare how the Patriots allocate salary compared to league averages. However, much of that is driven by the average age of that position, how many players are still on their rookie contract, and so forth. The Pats are way under at OL, DT, and secondary, and at or above at skill positions QB and WR, but track fairly closely in terms of general trends. (Obviously no one team is going to have top five salary figures for all positions in any year). You cannot look at those numbers and conclude that, compared to league trends, the Patriots allocate a lot more of their cap toward the lines and away from the skill positions.

    Given the big deals in the past for players like Moss, Law, and Samuel, I think the Patriots are closer to league-average trends, over time, and harder to generalize than we'd like.

    Other than to say that they tend to allocate their money in a smart way.
  17. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    i dont know about 3 of them, but from what ive see it seems wheatley has the best chance to start from him, wilhite, and butler....

    either wheatley, (from the work hes been getting) will be a starter opposite bodden or springs (BB might not want to use springs as starter cuz he might get hurt and is old), or hell be our nickelback
  18. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    Nice article. I'm also curious about how Brace and Butler will fit in though. Also how about Vollmer, he's on the minds of a lot of Pats fans as a possible future LOT. And anyone who protects Brady's blindside is gonna have to be on top of his game.
  19. Christopher_Price

    Christopher_Price Rookie

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    Urgent,

    Again, all excellent points, and I agree that the Patriots are extremely hard to generalize when it comes to their overall salary structure. However, in the end, I guess my argument really boils down to the fact that the Patriots pay their defensive backs and other "away from the ball guys" less than the league average while rewarding their defensive and offensive linemen with contracts closer to the league average. The difference in average salary isn't dramatic, but there is a difference. (That pay difference between the league average for safeties and corners is staggering, by the way.)

    Thanks,
    Chris
  20. Urgent

    Urgent Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    Chris, I'm not positive about this, but I believe it's customary, when debating a point over the Internet, to denigrate your partner and restate his premise in a ridiculous fashion. Basing your insight on facts, when hyperbole will do, is sort of against the whole spirit of the thing.
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