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2021 Patriots Roster Discussion Thread

2021 Patriots Season:
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Next Up: at Bills
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Mon
Dec 6th

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jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
I'm not in agreement of the theory that players will not go to a team because they are not currently playoff caliber, have a good QB, etc. That has never prevented players from going to teams with sub-.500 records in the past. Free agents go to the team making the best offer. Players (and their agents) don't have a history of leaving large amounts of dollars on the table.
 

p8ryts

In the Starting Line-Up
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
TV ratings are down. The owners can not be certain of higher TV ratings or full stadiums in 2021. I think the 2022 cap will be depressed as well which depresses this year also. Most teams have escalating cap numbers, so if 2022 does not look, teams need to grapple with 2 to 3 years worth of reduced projections when trying to sign players. For example KC is over the cap in 2021 as Mahomes salary increases $10M, but in 2022 Mahomes salary increases $10M more. So the salary cap issue is not a 2021 issue, it is a 2021, 2022 and 2023 issue. Players have delayed their "day of reckoning" which is coming due from Feb to May 2021.

Thuney will attract interest. Guy, Butler, White and others will attract little interest as they are caught up in the flood of free agents.

I think BB will trade Gilmore. He is purposely at low dollars next year, and there is a large younger FA class of DBs. BB has already figured this all out. He had to manage it "on the fly", meaning as the CV-19 situation developed, but he has managed it well.

Don't fall in love with guys like Butler and White. Guy and Andrews are PTP and will be back. After that who knows. I think JMac will be back on a minimum contract due to his knowledge and versatility. Minimum contract is the key. Slater will be back but at reduced $$s. BB will squeeze all of the mid level guys to find more $$s for a shopping spree.

We will hear a lot of FA signing numbers that are way too high. It is bargain shopping time. 4 or 5 year contracts for 26 or 27 year old players that are VERY reasonable in 2021 and 2022 and escalate after that. BB with so much cap space is the man who can see in the land of the blind.
"Don't fall in love with guys like Butler and White. Guy and Andrews are PTP and will be back" I like it. Wondering if JMac cold be an effective safety.
 

jah

Owner Of A Tactical Coffee Shop For Men
PatsFans.com Supporter
TV ratings are down. The owners can not be certain of higher TV ratings or full stadiums in 2021. I think the 2022 cap will be depressed as well which depresses this year also. Most teams have escalating cap numbers, so if 2022 does not look, teams need to grapple with 2 to 3 years worth of reduced projections when trying to sign players. For example KC is over the cap in 2021 as Mahomes salary increases $10M, but in 2022 Mahomes salary increases $10M more. So the salary cap issue is not a 2021 issue, it is a 2021, 2022 and 2023 issue. Players have delayed their "day of reckoning" which is coming due from Feb to May 2021.

Thuney will attract interest. Guy, Butler, White and others will attract little interest as they are caught up in the flood of free agents.

I think BB will trade Gilmore. He is purposely at low dollars next year, and there is a large younger FA class of DBs. BB has already figured this all out. He had to manage it "on the fly", meaning as the CV-19 situation developed, but he has managed it well.

Don't fall in love with guys like Butler and White. Guy and Andrews are PTP and will be back. After that who knows. I think JMac will be back on a minimum contract due to his knowledge and versatility. Minimum contract is the key. Slater will be back but at reduced $$s. BB will squeeze all of the mid level guys to find more $$s for a shopping spree.

We will hear a lot of FA signing numbers that are way too high. It is bargain shopping time. 4 or 5 year contracts for 26 or 27 year old players that are VERY reasonable in 2021 and 2022 and escalate after that. BB with so much cap space is the man who can see in the land of the blind.

What makes White not a PTP?
 

p8ryts

In the Starting Line-Up
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
What makes White not a PTP?
Everybody loves and appreciates James White. I think he is a luxury on this team and someone projected him at 5M salary. Too much for a role player. Michel and Harris can run and catch and minimize the obviousness of the play call when White is in there.
 

jah

Owner Of A Tactical Coffee Shop For Men
PatsFans.com Supporter
Did not say he wasn't. What do you mean?
You said "Don't fall in love with guys like Butler and White. Guy and Andrews are PTP and will be back." Which to me implies a contrast between the players in the two sentences. Maybe I misinterpreted that, but personally I think White belongs in a list with Guy and Andrews more than he does with Butler.
 

venecol

The FRG has a little ****
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2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
I'm not in agreement of the theory that players will not go to a team because they are not currently playoff caliber, have a good QB, etc. That has never prevented players from going to teams with sub-.500 records in the past. Free agents go to the team making the best offer. Players (and their agents) don't have a history of leaving large amounts of dollars on the table.
I mostly agree with this except that its no secret how different and tough it is to play for the Patriots. With TFB and the chance to always win a SB gone, I just wonder how many good/great FAs will choose to come here with unknown QB and team on obvious rebuild mode.

But you're correct, $$ definitely talks.
 

jah

Owner Of A Tactical Coffee Shop For Men
PatsFans.com Supporter
Everybody loves and appreciates James White. I think he is a luxury on this team and someone projected him at 5M salary. Too much for a role player. Michel and Harris can run and catch and minimize the obviousness of the play call when White is in there.
The good/bad (for White) news is I think Cam Newton drastically drove down his value.
 

DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Based on this list of Patriot free agents I think we have to keep Guy, Butler and James White. The rest can go sign elsewhere. White is integral to our offense. We don't win 2 rings without this type of 3rd down back being integral (Rams, Falcons). Interior OLine should not suck up a lot of $ but the center spot is key to a high functioning line, so I'm fine if Andrews is back and not an overpay. DLine is obviously always important and we should add to DLine with our first round pick.


.
 

patriot1136

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Does anyone have an idea of the cutoff dates for players to retire? Much of our roster may be influenced by guys retiring or not retiring. For instance, its not 100% if Hightower comes back. Also, there is speculation that J. McCourty could retire (or a move to safety might be good). Bolden says he is coming back. What about Marquise Lee? Players coming back, or not coming back, will determine a lot of this.
 

masterbouncer

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
NFL Picks Grand Champ!
Does anyone have an idea of the cutoff dates for players to retire? Much of our roster may be influenced by guys retiring or not retiring. For instance, its not 100% if Hightower comes back. Also, there is speculation that J. McCourty could retire (or a move to safety might be good). Bolden says he is coming back. What about Marquise Lee? Players coming back, or not coming back, will determine a lot of this.
not sure how it is handled internally (perhaps BB has already discussed or talked to the players which are in the range of retiring, what their plans are for next season and so on) but there is no cut-off date as such, you can retire anytime, today, tomorrow or one day into camp or one day after you signed the contract and got your signing bonus :D

with regards to Cap allocations I believe its June 1st
 

Sciz

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Does anyone have an idea of the cutoff dates for players to retire? Much of our roster may be influenced by guys retiring or not retiring. For instance, its not 100% if Hightower comes back. Also, there is speculation that J. McCourty could retire (or a move to safety might be good). Bolden says he is coming back. What about Marquise Lee? Players coming back, or not coming back, will determine a lot of this.
There's no deadline, but since Hightower has had a year off I imagine they're going to want an answer before free agency starts in mid-March. Reiss said last weekend that he expects Lee, Chung, LaCosse, and Vitale back to compete for jobs this offseason.

J-Mac is a little more complicated. He's not going to cost a ton of money, and I don't know whether he'd consider signing with a different team or if it's between the Patriots and retirement. I could see a scenario where he and the team wait until July or August to decide whether he'll be back or not.
 

One-If-By-Sea

In the Starting Line-Up
You said "Don't fall in love with guys like Butler and White. Guy and Andrews are PTP and will be back." Which to me implies a contrast between the players in the two sentences. Maybe I misinterpreted that, but personally I think White belongs in a list with Guy and Andrews more than he does with Butler.

OK. I understand. I think Sweet Feet is a PTP, but will not be back (maybe on a really cheap deal), so I say don't fall in love with him. Do you remember Shane Vereen? Same type of player, and left after his rookie contract, and was replaced by James White. White was drafted, played very little his rookie year even though Fears spoke highly of him, the Pats let Vereen go and White stepped in. We signed JJ Taylor, he played very little this year, Fears talked highly of him, and now I think White will not be resigned and Taylor will step in and take over. Rinse and repeat.

White might be different because he is a PTP and might take a discount. But he has never been great running between the tackles and I think this year he looked worse, including getting tripped up more than in the past (soft tackles).
 

ashley1992

Moderator
Staff member
PatsFans.com Supporter
The two opt outs of Hightower and Cannon are going to be very interesting. Hightower is a no brainer, he makes our defense better. Cannon, with his salary, may not be so cut and dry.

I think with all the cap room that we have going into next year we can expect to add some players. I'm hoping we focus on the defensive line/lb's. As has already been mentioned, I think Guy is a keeper and I'd keep Butler in that pass rushing 3rd dt role....
 

Ring 6

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2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
I agree completely.
There is enough cap room to add more than 10 starters and not doing it cheaply. We will also see riding caps going forward so we can backload just like every other team to manage it.
This could literally be the restart of the dynasty because the patriots run 4-5 year cap plans and the nature of this years cap
Is the perfect storm for them.
 

Ring 6

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2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
OK. I understand. I think Sweet Feet is a PTP, but will not be back (maybe on a really cheap deal), so I say don't fall in love with him. Do you remember Shane Vereen? Same type of player, and left after his rookie contract, and was replaced by James White. White was drafted, played very little his rookie year even though Fears spoke highly of him, the Pats let Vereen go and White stepped in. We signed JJ Taylor, he played very little this year, Fears talked highly of him, and now I think White will not be resigned and Taylor will step in and take over. Rinse and repeat.

White might be different because he is a PTP and might take a discount. But he has never been great running between the tackles and I think this year he looked worse, including getting tripped up more than in the past (soft tackles).
Michel will take whites role and also a wood head type role.
wooodhead was the “passsing back” bit ran a lot more than he caught. He was in a personell grouping that spread the field and went no huddle. I think that’s Michele role next year.
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
There is over 30M 2021 cap tied to key ? players - Gilmore, Hightower, Cannon, Edelman, Slater.
Add. 10M to players ? to make Pats roster even if they do come back - B.Allen, Bolden, Spence, LaCosse, Vitale, King.

At least 20M add free cap should come from here through either retirements, cuts, trades, extensions etc.
Some 85M to work with if cap is adjusted to 180M. Should be fun.

Still id guess BB will not go into top FA battles much, but could go to bargain spree to build depth.
Much will depend on QB situation - the only one where Pats are not in prime position.

It is likely that Pats will remain towards the top of cap space list for quite some time.
Unless they somehow land star QB ;)
 

jah

Owner Of A Tactical Coffee Shop For Men
PatsFans.com Supporter
OK. I understand. I think Sweet Feet is a PTP, but will not be back (maybe on a really cheap deal), so I say don't fall in love with him. Do you remember Shane Vereen? Same type of player, and left after his rookie contract, and was replaced by James White. White was drafted, played very little his rookie year even though Fears spoke highly of him, the Pats let Vereen go and White stepped in. We signed JJ Taylor, he played very little this year, Fears talked highly of him, and now I think White will not be resigned and Taylor will step in and take over. Rinse and repeat.

White might be different because he is a PTP and might take a discount. But he has never been great running between the tackles and I think this year he looked worse, including getting tripped up more than in the past (soft tackles).

I think White and Vereen are entering the FA market under opposite conditions. Vereen was coming off a career year whereas White is coming off his worst year by far since he originally broke out. I don't see why we wouldn't be able to afford him if we want him back.

That being said, I'm certainly not calling White a lock to return. He's old in RB years and I do have faith in our team's ability to find a replacement at this position (although I can't say I see anyone on the current roster as that guy--I like Harris, Michel, and Taylor, but I'm not sure if they're pass catchers).
 

One-If-By-Sea

In the Starting Line-Up
There is enough cap room to add more than 10 starters and not doing it cheaply. We will also see riding caps going forward so we can backload just like every other team to manage it.
This could literally be the restart of the dynasty because the patriots run 4-5 year cap plans and the nature of this years cap
Is the perfect storm for them.

I think BB honors his contracts too. So big player contracts with a final one or two large years are usually cut short leaving the player high and dry. I have not done an analysis, but I feel like BB pays out the whole contract a lot more commonly than other teams. So BB's 5 year back loaded contract is a real contract, unlike other teams. I think that is attractive to free agents and also playing for BB if they are PTP (which some are not).
 

One-If-By-Sea

In the Starting Line-Up
I think White and Vereen are entering the FA market under opposite conditions. Vereen was coming off a career year whereas White is coming off his worst year by far since he originally broke out. I don't see why we wouldn't be able to afford him if we want him back.

That being said, I'm certainly not calling White a lock to return. He's old in RB years and I do have faith in our team's ability to find a replacement at this position (although I can't say I see anyone on the current roster as that guy--I like Harris, Michel, and Taylor, but I'm not sure if they're pass catchers).

There are multiple reports that Taylor is a pass catcher. I do not really know for sure, I go off what I read (especially when Fears says it):

Drawing some similarities to former Patriot Danny Woodhead and perhaps even Dion Lewis, Taylor is a versatile player that typically fares well in a Bill Belichick offense. Taylor shows value as a runner, while also being a good pass catcher out of the backfield and even a solid blocker. Additionally, Taylor is easily coachable, doing anything you ask of him.

This is what Coach Fears said:

“Oh yeah. Yeah, he can do both,” Fears said. “You haven’t seen him in that role, but early on, the kid’s got great hands. He’s really, really quick and sudden. He can get in and out of breaks. I think he has a chance to be a combination-type player. A guy who you can use in multiple roles. You’ve just got to play to his strong suit and not put him in a situation where he can be taken advantage of. As a runner, the guy’s got great vision, he’s hard to see. He’s so small, they can’t find them. When he plants that foot and he accelerates north, wow. Man, I mean he’s like a blur. Like, where is he? He’s not big and everybody sees him. He’s sort of in between the rafters there. There’s a lot of things to like about this kid. There really is. And he’s a good kid, very good kid. We’ve just got to find a role for him. He’s got to create that role by what he does in practice.”
 

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