Welcome to PatsFans.com

WR Competition

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by LetsGoBuffalo, May 5, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. LetsGoBuffalo

    LetsGoBuffalo Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Hey All -

    Hoping to spark up some debate/insight into NE's WR situation. Seems the Pats currently have an embarrassment of riches at WR. Meantime my guys are still looking for a solid #2. We all know ya can't keep 'em all, so I'm hoping to elicit some feedback from fans who know the group better than I do.

    Two questions (well, 2.5, second one is two pronged):

    1. - How many WRs do you guys see the Pats keeping going in to week 1?

    2. - Who do you see them cutting?

    2a. - Of those cuts, is there anyone that, IYO, could effectively fill a #2 role on a team with less WR depth?

    Thx in advance. Looking forward to your guys' opinons.

    Also hoping that somehow WW, BL, JG, RG, and AH fail to make the team due to an unforseen hot air ballooning mishap that prevents them from landing safely until mid feb 2013! :D

    What a set of options!
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  2. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    20,429
    Likes Received:
    114
    Ratings:
    +205 / 4 / -5

    I could see Stallworth potentially being a #2.

    In any case, I think Buffalo could have GRONK if they were willing to cough up, oh, about ten first-rounders. :)
  3. LetsGoBuffalo

    LetsGoBuffalo Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Oy don't remind me.

    The family is from Williamsville, he grew up a Bills fan, and we go and take Terrell Freaking Troup right before him. Awesome. :/

    Joking aside, do u guys see NE keeping a 3rd TE as well as a FB, one of the two, or niether? Depending on what they do there, will it affect how many WRs they keep?

    I.E, if they keep a blocking TE will they keep 1 less WR given how talented AH and RG are?
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  4. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    20,429
    Likes Received:
    114
    Ratings:
    +205 / 4 / -5

    They have three RBs that could be considered "locks" ATM (Ridley, Vereen, Woodhead). Even if they add a FB, that'd be fewer backs than they carried last year (5-6).

    As far as TEs go, I think it's almost imperative that they carry three TEs capable of actually catching passes: the Patriots averaged nearly 2 TEs per play in 2011.
  5. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,221
    Likes Received:
    88
    Ratings:
    +202 / 1 / -0

    I'm pretty adamant about this. Excluding Edelman and Slater, a lot of people are going to say 5. I say no more than 4, plus those two. The Pats have no need for a #4 WR except in case of an injury. They have no need for a #5 WR except in case of TWO injuries. Edelman is good enough to function as the "in case of second injury" WR as well as his punt returning, kick coverage, possibly kick returning, and (unlikely) defense.

    Of note, I see them cutting Stallworth, Gonzalez, and Ochocinco, with a small chance that any one of them could beat out Branch for my last spot. I think Welker, Lloyd, Gaffney, Edelman, and Slater are locks.

    Branch was the #2 last year, but only averaged 37 yards per game in the 13 games following his 222-yard first two. I also don't know if he'd rather play for another team or retire. Your best bet is probably Ochocinco. He's still got it physically, just couldn't get the mental part of it figured out in time.


    They gave Fells a $1M signing bonus, so they obviously think he's sticking around. There are two FBs on the roster right now and McDaniels seems to like having a fullback or even two, so I'd definitely expect 3 TEs and 1 FB at the minimum.

    I think the WR numbers are more of an effect of how good Gronk and Hernandez are as opposed to how many TEs and FBs they keep. Those two are good enough that they need to be on the field almost every snap. If they go empty, then that means 3 WRs. Any more than 3 WRs, and they're taking either Gronk or Hernandez off the field, and that's not good. And even that #3 WR shouldn't get much use because they'll use a RB so much.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  6. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,039
    Likes Received:
    75
    Ratings:
    +150 / 7 / -7

    I think the Patriots keep 5 WRs, with Edelmen as the 6th guy who returns punts and kicks.

    Welker, Lloyed and then three other guys.
  7. 37Harrison

    37Harrison Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,603
    Likes Received:
    4
    Ratings:
    +8 / 1 / -2

    #37 Jersey

    I think Slater is on the bubble if Tavon Wilson pans out. Slater is of no use as a WR. So if Wilson beats him, I see Slater, Gonzalez, and any combination of the following 2 out of these three (Branch, Ocho, Stallworth) getting cut. I personally think that Branch will stay because of his rapport with Brady but I wouldn't be shocked to see him cut.

    I could see Ocho, Branch, or Stallworth as a #2 in Buffalo but that isn't saying much imo.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  8. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    19,949
    Likes Received:
    29
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0

    Salter isn't on any bubble...unless you have bubbles in your brain... He's a pro bowl ST captain with a new extension... Wilson may play on some ST but he's a versitile db who can even play linebacker in some situations... He and Slater have no relation to each other aside from being teamates.
  9. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,648
    Likes Received:
    12
    Ratings:
    +27 / 0 / -13

    Sound predictions, but your confidence in them is a little overstated.

    Every WR except Welker is a major question mark, due to age, newness with the the team, spotty recent production, or some combination. So keeping one more than you're saying, as a hedge against flame-outs, is not inconceivable.

    Similarly, although I think Edelman will stick around, he's hardly a lock. (Slater, on the other hand, is indeed a near-lock.)
  10. MrNathanDrake

    MrNathanDrake Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,778
    Likes Received:
    46
    Ratings:
    +98 / 4 / -2

    #95 Jersey

    One of these guys won't be on the team next year

    Ocho Cinco, Wes Welker, Deion Branch
  11. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Messages:
    4,911
    Likes Received:
    115
    Ratings:
    +259 / 1 / -2

    We need more than one person to play special teams.

    On the OP's question, I think Stallworth is your best bet, as I think the WR4 position is between him and Branch realistically. Branch hasn't proven he can succeed outside of the Pats system, so if he's cut I wouldn't expect much from him there. Stallworth, while diminished from his earlier career, at least still has some wheels and could be a solid player elsewhere.

    That said, depending on how our punt return situation pans out, it's possible we cut Edelman and keep both Branch and Stallworth. In which case you get nothing :D
  12. Deus Irae

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

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Messages:
    41,536
    Likes Received:
    314
    Ratings:
    +837 / 44 / -48

    Disable Jersey

    Most of the receivers just signed their deals this year. Based upon that, it would seem that Welker and Lloyd are locks. Beyond that, Gaffney signed a two year deal and was the Redskins leading receiver last season, so he should be close to a lock. Branch signed a deal that gave him a decent signing bonus, unlike the rest of the signees, so he should have a fairly solid advantage as well. Slater just signed a long-term deal with a good signing bonus, and he's a special teams ace, so he'll make it.

    That makes 5 'wide receivers' before getting into the back end of the group, with Johnson/Gonzalez/Britt/Edelman/Stallworth/Ebert. I'd say that Britt's a likely candidate for cuts, and he could end up on the practice squad with Ebert, unless Ebert surprises enough to supplant Edelman/Gonzalez. That would leave BB choosing 1-2 (I think 2) of Johnson/Gonzalez/Edelman/Stallworth, so that would be the foursome I'd think a team like the Bills would want to follow closely in the offseason/Exhibition season. Stallworth and Johnson have questions about how much gas is left in the tank, Gonzalez will come in with major health questions, and Edelman will come in with questions of how replaceable he is at the back of the roster.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  13. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,852
    Likes Received:
    27
    Ratings:
    +46 / 2 / -0

    I'd agree with your assessment and sum up that there's a high potential for one of the Patriots cuts to be beneficial to another team.

    This is going to be a competitive offseason for WRs - if, by some chance all should do well, BB may be prone to give his 5/6 WR spots to younger guys who can also contribute on special teams while developing and providing depth. That would free up some potential #2 WRs on another team.

    But that being said, if anyone is a particular hot commodity for a team in need of help at WR I think you'd see Belichick try to work a trade - even if only for a late draft choice to prevent that player from going to, say an AFC East rival.
  14. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,466
    Likes Received:
    4
    Ratings:
    +9 / 0 / -0

    I think we'll have six receivers on the roster. Possibly seven, if BB decides the 7th receiver is more useful to the team in the long run than a 3rd TE or 4th OG.

    Handicapping the field...

    Brandon Lloyd - 100%. Is a lock. Good contract terms, he and McDaniels are mutually enamoured, special physical tools.

    Matthew Slater - 100%. Is a lock, because he is the special teams' captain. He is nominally a WR, but sees at least as much time as an emergency S... and probably will in 2012 again, too.

    Jabar Gaffney - 80% will make the squad. BB would not have brought him in on top of all the other top receivers on the roster, without a sense of conviction. Gaffney is proven in the Pats scheme and has a few more years to run.

    Julian Edelman - 80%. What makes Edelman secure is the fact that he's a three way player for Belichick who loves three way players. Only two ways I see Edelman not making the team: (1) Ebert beats Edelman for the PR, KR job straight up, or (2) some team trades for him. KC or Baltimore, perhaps.

    Wes Welker - 80%, and dropping. The heart and soul of the offense. Everyone says that Brady "carries" the team, but it's on Welker's back. Here's why Welker is not a lock: he's got one big contract left in his career. If the Pats can't get him to terms they feel are fair value, with all the depth available to us, (and assuming Wes signs the tender) I think BB would listen to an offer from a team like Indy or Jacksonville for an early 1st round pick. For that matter, if the Bills or Fins offer a 1st and 3rd, or something like that, I think Welker could even get dealt within the Division! Please let it not happen that way. Worst case scenario for us would be for Welker to play this year under a Franchise designation, and then walk next year as a Free Agent. Note: if BB traded Bledsoe, Vrabel and Seymour at the cusp of their careers, Welker certainly isn't immune.

    Deon Branch - 70%. Deon projects to be the third or fourth WR option. He has Brady's trust like no one else on the roster. But his effectiveness has certainly dropped and he doesn't play on special teams. Of the remaining WRs, the last spot is his to lose. But if Stallworth, Gonzo or Ocho beat him out in TC, he will be cut and probably latch on to some team to ride out the last few years of his career.

    Donte Stallworth - 50%. Has to beat Branch, Gonzo and Ocho to make the roster. Or make such a good showing that BB decides not to carry a 3rd TE or not to carry a FB. He has been productive under McDaniels in the past, which is a point in his favor. At the end of his career.

    Chad Ochocinco - 50%. Has to beat Branch, Gonzo and Stallworth for the #4 WR spot. After failing to absorb the playbook last year, will this offseason make the difference. Already reworked the terms of his contract to stay with the team, which will make BB more reluctant to cut him. At the end of his career.

    Jeremy Ebert - 40%. To make the roster, he either has to beat Edelman for the KR or PR job, or he has to come close to matching Stallworth, Ochocinco and Gonzalez in training camp. He only needs to come close because as a rookie his upside is higher and his payroll is very attractive. If he flashes anything special in the preseason, BB may stash him as the 7th receiver, solely out of concern that he would not clear waivers. Otherwise, he's likely to end on the PS.

    Anthony Gonzalez - 30%. A lot to prove. (1) is he healthy? (2) can he absorb the system faster than Branch, Stallworth or Ochocinco, who all have a head start? (3) can he beat out a lot of veterans based on pure merit? The only thing going for him is that he's younger than the rest. If he can match Branch, Ocho and Stallworth, and beat Ebert, he may get the nod just based on the fact that he has more football ahead of him.

    Britt Davis - 0%. No chance. I'm sure BB offered to release him, same as he did with Underwood. But Britt probably sees more upside in being in camp with all these veterans and working to earn the trust of the coaching staff to find a spot on the practice squad.
  15. TyronePoole

    TyronePoole Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,335
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Welker will cave and give into the pats eventually
  16. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    24,625
    Likes Received:
    67
    Ratings:
    +126 / 7 / -13


    Great Summary, I think that the Welker deal gets resolved. Tough choices regardless.
  17. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,852
    Likes Received:
    27
    Ratings:
    +46 / 2 / -0

    I believe the working assumption is that Welker is prepared to play at the franchise level this year, though don't expect him to attend non-mandatory trainings.

    That being said, until he reports and we know he's in the 100% group, I think it's wise to keep him at 80% as the ranking above indicated. But I really don't see this devolving into a contentious situation where Welker is refusing to play one season at over $9 million.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  18. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    14,125
    Likes Received:
    203
    Ratings:
    +471 / 3 / -7

    #24 Jersey

    There are going to be too many opinions, so if you are looking for a clear cut answer, unfortunately you won't get one.

    It's probably the biggest controversial position heading into TC.
  19. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    24,625
    Likes Received:
    67
    Ratings:
    +126 / 7 / -13


    Definitely see them with 3 TE since we run 2 TE as our base O, having only 2 TE last year bit us in the SB (especially since the WR corp wasn't very deep). I also see a FB as part of the roster along with 3-4 RB (my guess 4 RB + FB + 3 TE) this would dictate 6 WR on the roster.

    I see currently Welker & Lloyd as locks, Gaffney, as a near lock. Edleman and Slater as near locks due to versatility.

    This leaves Branch, Stallworth, Gonzales, & Ocho for 1 slot, unless there is a big surprise Ebert is ticketed for the PS.

    Branch as Stallworth would be the favorites for that spot. But camp will tell the story.
  20. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    19,949
    Likes Received:
    29
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0

    Welker isn't getting traded and we aren't going into a season featuring 2 TE's without 3 TE's again. Bill makes mistakes just not the same one repeatedly. We just added a veteran RB so I think hopes of sliding a WR into a vacant slot are just pipedreams. It's not likely we start the season with less than 4 RB and 1 FB on the roster. Josh loves the position. It's unlikely we start the season with more than 6 WR including at least one if not two who play on ST. Barring pre season injury, Welker, Lloyd and Gaffney are locks. Branch and Edleman are incumbants who will have to be knocked off. Chad is an incumbant who has to compete his way back on. Stallworth, Gonsalez and the rookie will also have to compete their way onto the roster. There are at best 2 and at worst 1 slot open for them.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>