Welcome to PatsFans.com

What do the Patriots NEED out of free agency?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by salty, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. salty

    salty On the Game Day Roster

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    There has been a lot of talk on this board of specific players the Patriots should go after in free agency. What I'm wondering is, what areas of needs MUST the Patriots address by signing veteran free agents? These would be positions where a rookie, even a first round pick, could not be expected to step in and fill the void.

    I would argue that the answer is ILB and WR. Both of these positions are missing a starter, and lack depth as well. At ILB, we should have Bruschi back next year at one position. He is getting old and is certainly not the playmaker he once was, but I think he is still solid against the run and, of course, a team leader. However, there is a gaping hole at the other ILB position. The only options on the team right now appear to be Eric Alexander or Barry Gardner, and I doubt either of those guys can hack it as an every down starter.

    As for wide receiver, the lack of a potent down-field threat, or a playmaking threat, at that position severely handicapped our offense last year, IMO. Caldwell had a much better year than many expected, but I don't like him in the starting lineup. Jabar Gaffney has more promise and, after a monster post-season, is almost certainly qualified to be a starter. So that leaves the need for AT LEAST a viable downfield threat, though I would argue that they should be a starter as well.

    Perhaps a rookie ILB could be effective, but it certainly seems as though the position requires a degree of football knowledge that can only be obtained through years of experience at the NFL level. As for wide receiver, we all know that rookie wide receivers rarely contribute much.

    That is why I think that ILB and WR absolutely must be addressed through free agency (or perhaps a trade).

    Thoughts? Comments?
     
  2. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    9,874
    Likes Received:
    48
    Ratings:
    +135 / 4 / -1

    We were ridicolously close to our 4th super bowl in 6 years, we need two things a) a little depth b) to slightly upgrade a few key spots.

    I think depth can largely come in the draft rounds 3+, we need to use FA & draft rounds 1&2 to upgrade a couple spots. When you're team is already as good as the Pats are, and already on Super Bowl level, it's hard to get that much better. It's a tough task.

    IMO, our main focus should be upgrading ILB. Troy Brown's decision and Chad Jackson's health would help answer the WR position somewhat, it's a need, but nearly not as pressing as ILB. If we went into the season with Gaffney, Caldwell, Jackson, Brown + one FA, I think we'd be set there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  3. satz

    satz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,924
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    Getting 2 Guys
    Polk OLB released from the chargers and harris the 27 yr old ILB or Donnie edwards ILB with bru and seau will solify our LB unit .Eric alxendar got 1 start and i do not know how good brushi /seau / ted johnson were on their first start ie where they better than 10 tackles , 1 FF and a Sack?[his numbers from the 1 game he played].If we would have won eric would have been hailed the second coming of brushi.

    We have tonne on DB`s on IR .them returning will upgrade our defence and then on the offence get a OL , WR [realistically both will contribute next year] so that will set us for a few yrs .If ty warran is gone then a DE must be signed ini the first round.
    Draft some db and rb again next year contibuters.

    thanks
    Satz
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  4. salty

    salty On the Game Day Roster

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    I like your optimism, but I'm going to have to disagree with your assessment.

    The Patriots were quite close to another Superbowl win (I think we can assume they would've beat Wrecks Grossman and the Bears). However, the loss to the Colts was the result of weaknesses being exposed that had really been there all year long.

    The Colts beat us offensively because we had very little depth behind an aging linebacker corps. The Patriots answer before the year was to bring in a 37 year old vet who predictably got injured. After that we were left with very little, and by the AFCCG we were starting a guy who was seeing his first ever significant playing time. Not a good situation to be in. So I feel like a MAJOR upgrade is necessary at the position, not just a couple band-aids.

    As for wide receiver, by the end of the year teams were constantly stacking the line of scrimmage against the Pats because there was very little chance that we were going to beat them deep. This really limited the effectiveness of the offense, and we saw that harsh reality when the Patriots weren't able to move the ball with much effectiveness against the Colts in the second half, and were unable to get ONE friggin' first down that could have ended the game. Why did that happen? Because the Colts were sitting on the short routes and completely selling out against the run. You don't do that unless you know there is very little chance that the opposing offense can make you pay for it.

    So I agree that we can add a lot of depth through the draft, but I think the Patriots MUST bring in a quality veteran at both the ILB and WR position in order to position themselves to compete for the title again next year.
     
  5. satz

    satz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,924
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0


    I thiink the colts game is a bad example as let say we were upgrade the team that played the colts all we have to do is get the players who could not play the full game
    ie
    Colvin
    Brushi
    seau
    dillion
    fault
    maroney

    put them back in the team that lost to the colts and thay would beat them.
     
  6. salty

    salty On the Game Day Roster

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Well yes, but its not as if it should've been a surprise that we lost some of those players. Seau was 37, it was only a matter of time until he fell apart. Ditto on Dillon with his age and apparent lack of conditioning. Faulk has never been the most reliable guy, Maroney hit the rookie wall.

    Point is, we should not have been relying on a 37 year old linebacker, an aging safety (Harrison), an aging RB, and the most pathetic WR corps in the league. Steps need to be taken to rectify those situations in order to get back to the Superbowl next year.
     
  7. Johnny Handsome

    Johnny Handsome Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Brian Simmons was released by the Bengals. Played ILB and OLB. Quality guy. 31 yrs. old. hurt his neck last year and missed considerable time but has always been productive prior to that. Neck is healed. Can play multiple positions, quality locker room guy. Sounds like a perfect PAT!!!:rocker:
     
  8. The 12th Man

    The 12th Man On the Game Day Roster

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    My opinion on this:

    1) ILB-One more year out of Seau would be great. He'd fill that other ILB next to Bruschi and draft 1(or even 2) high to develop for next year.
    2) S-Draft 1 high (maybe M.Griffin but who knows if BB likes him enough). Also bring in a veteran FS (wishful thinking here, but maybe K.Hamlin from Seattle if they don't resign him-he is a beast when healthy and could easily overtake Wilson spot in case Eugene goes down again). I think J.Sanders is a pretty good SS backup for now and still not sure why we let Tebucky go, he could have been that backup unless it's due to his injury.
    3) CB-Assuming everything goes well with Asante's extension, we have our two solid starters for next few years in him and Hobbs. Clements is out of the question. Now we need some depth here and drafting one would be a clear option (maybe second or third round knowing BB can find good CB talent later in the draft). Also, Gay coming back next year should help a lot. He is easily a great #3 for us when healthy.
    4) WR-Veteran needed here absolutely. C.Jackson probably wont play most if not the entire year (I see BB placing him on the IR because roster spots will be very important early) and he's not fully developed yet anyway. Caldwell and Gaffney are GOOD, not great. Only improvements in FA from them that I see (which will be difficult to sign) are Stallworth and Bennett. Some say Curtis also for his speed, I guess that it would hurt, but signing one of these 3 will be very important.
    5) TE (or simply D.Graham)-we NEED him to come back. Very important part of our offense. There aren't many other options in FA and the you can't rely on a rookie too much to come in and do the things Graham did (especially blocking) right away. Please, Daniel, come back. $4 mil a year is not bad at all. Watson and Thomas are both mainly receiving TEs. Not sure if Mills can fill in the void either if Graham does leave.
    6)OLB-prefer by draft here. It also all depends on who is available at #24 and #28. We can get two spots taken care of here out of ILB,OLB,CB,S, or WR). Like I said, all depends on who is still there. The next two rounds should address another two of those positions, IMO. Colvin and Vrabel still have it, even though they are slighty over 30 now. Tully (hoping he resigns) would be a back up, along with Alexander, Woods, Mays.
    7) RB -of course, Maroney will be a fine starter and Faulk is an exceptional third down back for us and returner. We do need a veteran who can take a few carries to behind Maroney, nobody big (J.Lewis or A.Green) but simply a veteran who understands his duty for the team (maybe N.Goings or N.Davenport, not sure)
    8) QB-3rd string veteran. Not sure on this one. We don't really NEED one, but anything could happen. Some say B.Johnson would be the perfect solution and he might, just depends we sign him. Other than him though there isn't anyone special that I can think of now. Bledsoe's return? Just kidding.
    9) Special Teams- Larry Izzo come back, can't wait to see Mel Mitchell finally play this year (hopefully), another good tackler? Personally that is why I was dissappointed when we released Tebucky, he's great on ST and a solid backup at the same time. There must have been more to his injury or personal reasons, not sure, but sad to see him go.
    10) DL-Obviously our starters are set (including J.Green). This is mainly concerning depth, with M.Hill coming into question. I like Wright, Smith and Thomas as backups.

    The OL looks good, of course K is set, P is relatively set (I assume Miller is our guy, even though Sauerbrun had good playoffs, he'll most likely get a lot of looks elsewhere), FB is Evans, no doubt.
     
  9. The 12th Man

    The 12th Man On the Game Day Roster

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    I don't think we really need another aging LB, do we?
     
  10. Johnny Handsome

    Johnny Handsome Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    For the right price he could definitely help. He should have a few good years left. Heck, Seau helped us before he went down. Add a smart versatile vet and add a couple in the draft.
     
  11. The 12th Man

    The 12th Man On the Game Day Roster

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    From what I remember, Simmons is mainly an OLB. In that case, we already have Vrabel and Colvin who are basically the same age as him. Those guys are our projected starters, at least for this year, so we don't NEED another starting OLB this year. Draft is a different story however. We can pick up a young guy to groom for the next few years to replace these guys. I do like Seau though for another year at the ILB position with Tedy also.
     
  12. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    18,869
    Likes Received:
    352
    Ratings:
    +970 / 7 / -14

    #75 Jersey

    The great young LB, but with teams ready to spend money like Pacman Jones at the tittiebar, that might not be doable.

    Possibly an older reasonably priced LB would complement the bunch of LB draft picks I hope they're contemplating.

    Any similar Dbacks that can play or a top safety or CB, if affordable.

    Again, I think they go big on DB in the draft. I can't see why not.

    A veteran WR.

    Throw some blocking TEs on the practice squad. Please, not another 1st at that position.
     
  13. salty

    salty On the Game Day Roster

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    You do realize Seau will be 38 years old next season, right?

    Also, he hasn't played a full season since 2001, due to injuries. He's played in only 26 out of a possible 48 games in the past three seasons. So he's only played in a little more than 50 percent of possible games since 2003.

    It should have been no surprise that he didn't make it through last season, and so the Patriots would have to be absolutely stupid to think that he could make it through the 2007 season. I'd really rather not have him on the team at all, but if they are absolutely desperate for depth then I could see him as a backup and rare situational player only.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  14. The 12th Man

    The 12th Man On the Game Day Roster

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    I know Seau is old, but that's exactly what everyone said last year and look how important he turned out to be for us. Seau has a special passion for football even at this age. If you read my first reply for this post, I mentioned that drafting an ILB early (round 1 or 2) is a priority. The guy we draft would get playing time right away, but not a lot, getting to learn the system slowly, while Seau would be the guy in running situations (1st and 2nd). Plus, for a 38 year old, he can tackle better than most 30 year olds.
     
  15. salty

    salty On the Game Day Roster

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    But what good is a guy if you can be virtually certain that he won't finish the season? Last year when we lost him our run defense suffered considerably. I think it would've been better to have had someone else in there from the start, rather than coming to rely on Seau for run support, only to lose him near the end of the year, when it really counted.
     
  16. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    5,047
    Likes Received:
    23
    Ratings:
    +46 / 11 / -4

    #54 Jersey

    An ILB.
    finally figured out what 10 characters means...
     
  17. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,936
    Likes Received:
    65
    Ratings:
    +148 / 2 / -3

    As long as that free agent (or trade) were a deep field threat, I'd agree with you.

    Another 10 yard per catch WR or TE isn't going to do what we need. We'll still have secondaries lining up 15 yards "deep" against us putting all kinds of pressure on the TE, RB & QB.

    I think we have a tougher schedule this season too, but I agree we're close.
     
  18. salty

    salty On the Game Day Roster

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    It is possible that the Patriots could target an OLB instead, with the intention of keeping Vrabel inside next year. It wouldn't be ideal, of course, but it seems to me that the ILBs that are available are a little underwhelming. It seems like it'd be much easier to come up with an OLB.
     
  19. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    5,047
    Likes Received:
    23
    Ratings:
    +46 / 11 / -4

    #54 Jersey

    I hope not, when Seau went out we were weaker at all 4 LB positions because of all the mixing and matching. Ideally we get a veteran starter, draft a day 1 ILB and then use a rotation at both ILB and OLB.
     
  20. The 12th Man

    The 12th Man On the Game Day Roster

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    First of all, you can't just assume he always gets hurt when the guy has only had two seasons in his entire 17 year career in which he missed more than 3 games. The last two were the worst with the Dolphins, but he is still a difference maker on defense. Anytime you have a player who is a difference maker, you make room for him and give him playing time. Simple as that. You don't know who will get hurt and who won't. If you think we don't need Seau, you probably also think we don't need Rodney, Eugene, and other guys with recent unfortunate season ending injuries repeated times. Seau is still a good contributor, just like Rodney, and though both are up there in age, you can't just say we should get someone else. I think you bring in young talent and let them groom slowly this year and when ready, they will take those spots.
     

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>