Fletch's First Offseason Mock

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I.M. Fletcher

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
This is incredibly early in the process, probably too early, but I thought I would get the ball started. There are a lot of unknowns about our own free agents and other possible free agents, so I will do a minor offseason mock as well. I also haven't seen everyone (by a mile) but have found some groups of players I like in different rounds (or at least the rounds I have them forecasted at now).

So, a couple things up front.

I have Garoppolo being traded for the 10th and 42nd. I am not going to argue if he is worth that much, that little, or if he should be dealt at all. It's all guess work from the smartest people in the business, let alone you and I, so I am sticking with 1st and 2nd.

I am working off a mix of current rankings, and where I imagine some guys will end up. I tend to be more conservative with my rankings, but one or two of my picks could end up a round or two above slot. That's the nature of any mock at this stage

No 5th rounder, or 7th rounder due to the Mingo and Williams trades. We also have Seattles 4th but not our own, plus one 6th round compensation pick. The draft order is based on us picking 32nd, as it should always be.

I am guessing on a lot of these guys actually declaring. Last year was a record on underclassmen declaring, and there is good reason to believe with the CBA rules, that more and more underclassmen will come out. So, you will see more and more guys in the 5th-UFA being juniors and redshirt sophomores.

I am drafting guys that I feel fit the mould of players we have drafted before, or players we have targeted before. As an example, Malik McDowell is a really interesting prospect, but I can't think of BB drafting a DT that's 280lbs. BB is always adapting, but size profile isn't something he has moved too much on over the years.

Alright, here's the offseason

Released:

Amendola: 6.5mil saved
McClellin : 1.5 mil saved

Amendola has been an important piece over the years, but he's simply being passed by other players. The cap hit is now just too much to justify, even if his quality of play is still good enough to elevate the team. McClellin just doesn't seem to fit quite yet, and with Roberts stepping up, and the acquisition of Mingo, it would be hard to keep paying him 2mil a year as duel reserve.

Amount available: 78mil

UFAs

Walk
Vollmer : retired
Blount
Ryan
Harmon
Branch

Collins 5yr 52mill
Hightower Franchise
I think it's pretty obvious that the team would love to keep both, but they also want to make sure they aren't locked up to two guys at one position with injury concerns. You can flip a coin on who you think is more worthy of the contract and who is worthy of the tag. When it's all said and done, I am guessing they are both here long term.

Sheard 4 yr 32mil
Bennett 3yr 21mil
Both have done really well here and have seen the other side of the NFL coin. I honestly don't think either will be that difficult to sign, if the Pats decide they are players that they want around long term. I am not really worried at all about either player falling off anytime soon, but I would imagine both see the market and test their worth.

Cannon 1yr 5mil
Bolden 2yr 2mil
Develin 1yr 1mil
Vollmer is done, and while Cannon is everyone's favourite whipping boy, there isn't much chance we go in to the draft with Fleming or Waddle as the RT placeholder. BB doesn't like being pressured in to a draft pick, so I see Cannon coming back on a one year deal. Bolden is still a valued backup back and a great special teamer. Develin is a dying breed, so he should be an easy sign at a position we are keeping in the playbook.

Butler qualified

Easy place to save some dollars, even if it upsets an important piece. I know they can't keep everyone, and if a team wants to give up a 1st for Butler, by all means. He is one of the toughest CBs out there, but he isn't a player who can afford to lose a gear, and he's been awfully banged up already in his career. Love him, just don't love him for 10+mil a year.

One of Long/Mingo 2 yr 8mil/ 3yr 11mil

I am guessing it will be Mingo given the age and special teams impact, but I am guessing the dollars will be pretty comparable in the first year. I can't see them coming back with the exact same pass rushing edge group, so pick your poison.

Qualified
King
Coleman
Johnson
 

I.M. Fletcher

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
League Wide free agents

Markus Wheaton
Terrell Pryor
Kendall Wright
Robert Woods

I think Wheaton is my top free agent target as an Amendola replacement, with Wright and Woods as the next in line. Pryor is a total wish, but the Browns are loaded with money and can make him one of the leagues highest paid receivers.

Dontari Poe
Vince Wilfork
Domata Peko
Brandon Williams
Johnathan Hankins

I have interior line as a must draft, but also signing one other big body. Poe and Williams are high end talents, while Peko and Wilfork would be good mentor role types. I think that if Houston moves on from BOB, Wilfork coming home could be a possibility.

Kiko Alonso
Sean Lee
John Cyprien

Another linebacker who can cover would really make our defense tougher to gameplan for. Lee is signed next year, but Dallas cap situation is a disaster, so expect him to hit the market. Cyprien is a former high pick in our coveted star backer role.
 

I.M. Fletcher

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Ok, finally, the draft

With the 10th pick, I have Garrett, Peppers, Allen, Foster all off the board (Unfortunately). I don't see any situation where we draft a running back with such a high pick.

If we lose Collins or Hightower, we do what we can to move up for Foster. If we lose Butler, I put my chips on the table for Quincy Wilson, Sidney Jones or Gareon Conley. All three have elite shutdown capabilities.

Otherwise.....

I move the 10th pick for 19 and 50.

19th

Vita Vea NT/DT 6'5 355lbs
This may be a bit of a reach at this stage, given he's listed as the 6-7th best DT right now. That is going to change. Vea is the type of player that isn't coming out of college football anymore, that BB has always relied on. He's a monster size wise, with the strength to match, but feet that make linebackers jealous. He is no question, very raw, given he's a RS Soph, but he has everything I look for in a tackle, that should be able to play a long long time. Brown is a stud inside and Valentine is going to be a great rotational piece, but I think we are missing that one guy who can change blocking schemes and force an offensive lines hand. Vea, in my mind, could be that guy.

Comparable: Haloti Ngata
Honourable mention: Sidney Jones CB, Lowell Lotulelei DT

32nd

Budda Baker FS/SS 5'11 195lbs
Our team has become very safety reliant over the last few years, and need to draft to support our starters. McCourty and Chung will start to slow down or break down soon enough, and we have to have options on our roster. Fortunately, this is the deepest safety draft since 2010. They could easily pick a safety at 10 and get a great player, but I imagine they wait till the end of the first, since there are 6 or 7 safeties with first round grades. Baker is now ranked around that point, but if it's any of Hooker, Evans or Adams that slip, I am comfortable with any of those guys at this slot as well. Baker is a true deep safety with a great nose for the ball, blazing speed, and high football IQ. He plays with a tremendous amount of poise, and never seems to get rattled. He is as comfortable tackling around the line as defending the deep ball. True playmaker

Comparable: Earl Thomas
Honourable mention: OJ Howard TE, Jarrad Davis LB

42nd

Zay Jones WR 6'1 197lbs

Amendola is most certainly going to be released this offseason, but his role is as important as ever. We will need someone who can step in and have the ability to play over the middle, in the slot and outside when necessary, with diverse route tree. Zay Jones is all of those things and more. He has good size at 6'1 197, great feet, and a real feel for soft spots in coverage. He comes back to the ball well, but can find himself open over the top of coverages. Maybe not quite the athlete of some of the other options, but he does all the little things that will let Brady trust him early. He's also on track to end his NCAA career with the most receptions in college history, and possibly the most catches in a single season.

Comparable: Greg Jennings
Honourable mention: John Ross WR, Taywan Taylor WR( keep an eye on him. FREAK)

50th

D'onta Foreman RB 6'1 251lbs

I have us letting Blount go since it's unlikely we can bring everyone back, so finding a pounding back becomes fairly important. Foreman has all the things Blount has, with size and light feet, but Foreman has real speed to go with it. His short yardage ability is destructive, where he is just bigger than most linebackers. He is only a R.S. Soph, so his exposure is pretty low at this point, so his abilities don't match up with his draft position. A year from now, he could be the top back in the draft, but given the backs in this draft, I have him as the 5th RB. Great value, and too good to pass up.

Comparable: Jamal Lewis

Honourable mention: Samaje Perine RB, Wayne galliman RB

64th

Chad Wheeler LT 6'7 305lbs

I will admit it, I loathe this tackle draft. There is not one guy I would consider in the first round. Cam Robinson is the highest talent, but he has a lot of baggage and his feet aren't very impressive. Wheeler is about the only guy i see in this draft that I see with a top two round grade. It would be nice to see more consistency, but his movement skills are legit, can pull like a gazelle, and can seal off his end quite well. I am not thrilled with this pick, but I just don't see anyone else close to worthy. It's why I have Cannon being brought back. He also has some off the field issues that will have to be looked at, but he's got some nasty in him that will work well with Dante.

Comparable: Seb Vollmer
Honourable mention: Pat Elfein C/G (you could talk me in to Eflein Very easily)
 

I.M. Fletcher

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
96th

Kevin King CB 6'3 191lbs

We will need someone either outside or in the slot next year, with Ryan gone and Coleman underperforming, and King gives a lot of flexibility positionally. He has legit outside corner size and strength, but has the movement ability to cover the slot. I think that BB would love a corner he can move around easily and often. If we lose Butler, a corner in the first makes more sense, but I am guessing he stays at least another year.

Comparison: Jonathan Dowling


132

Haasan Reddick OLB/DE 6'1 240lbs

This pick will depend on a couple of our free agents, but this a player that is really intriguing. He's undersized at 6'1 240 for a DE/, but his skillset is very unique for the position. He will surely test out with the best 3 cone of the year, and one of the best you will ever see. He has so much quickness, it's Von Milleresque. With that said, you aren't getting Von Miller at 132. Reddick doesn't have the ideal strength at this stage to hold the edge, so he may play better as a LEO backer, but he is a really interesting chess piece as a backup.

Comparable: Bruce Irvin
honourable mention: TJ Watt DE
170

Pharaoh Brown TE 6'6 250lbs

I am not sure if TE is going to be a draftable need, but the talent at the position will allow some great talent to slide. Pharaoh Brown is a player who two years ago was looking like a first round talent, but ended with one of the most gruesome knee injuries you will ever see. He ended up missing almost 18 months, and most thought he was done. But he is back this year, and being worked in a little slowly to the Ducks offense. The player is an ideal fit in the Gronk/Bennett mould. He is 6'6, 250lbs with soft feet and strong arms. He can really seal the edge for run plays, has no problem inline, but has very soft hands as well. Could be a great red zone option, and someone worth grooming behind two of the best at the position.

Comparable: Algie Crumpler


207

Janarion Grant KR/PR/WR/RB 5'11 180lbs

You can't go a draft without a special teams ace, and this is my guy this year. I have mentioned him before, but he is one of the greatest punt and kickoff returners in NCAA history. He was beginning to be worked in to the Rutgers offense this year before an unfortunate injury that ended his season. He has elite speed, elite movement, and has natural hands that could allow him to have an effect on offense as well. The Rutgers connection may be gone with Schiano gone, but you have to believe McCourty and co. Will be whispering in his ears

Comparable: Devin Hester


240: No even going to guess, but OT would be the most likely position of need.
 

manxman2601

Hall of Fame Poster
No Ryan Switzer? :(

Only kidding, that's a nice mock. I really need to get my scouting started because you're way ahead of me. Although, I'm really struggling to get motivated, probably because I'm not really in a position to follow CFB on a saturday and so have no idea what's been going on.

I have to say though, Budda Baker comparing to Earl Thomas is quite the claim.
 

ctpatsfan77

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
Minor point in all likelihood, but the punishment is the earlier of the 2 4ths, no matter whose it is.
 

I.M. Fletcher

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
No Ryan Switzer? :(

Only kidding, that's a nice mock. I really need to get my scouting started because you're way ahead of me. Although, I'm really struggling to get motivated, probably because I'm not really in a position to follow CFB on a saturday and so have no idea what's been going on.

I have to say though, Budda Baker comparing to Earl Thomas is quite the claim.

:D I almost posted a disclaimer about player comparables just being about style. Although, going by my comparables, it would be nice ending up with 8 all pro talents.

I am looking forward to you getting your scouting hat on, cause it's a really really interesting draft, with exceptional talent levels in the secondary rb and defensive line especially.
 
Last edited:

reamer

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Huge amount of work to put this together. Kudos for being on the forefront. I'll have to read it a few times and do some more research before I really comment -- a few of those guys aren't even on my radar.

Excited to dig in deeper this year. Thanks for leading the charge!
 

BobDigital

Pro Bowl Player
Well I am not going to be as detailed as you but i will give a quick general outline of what I'd like.

Pats cut McCellin saving 1.5M & Extend/Restructure Amendola saving 4.5M.

Lets assume the Pats have 75M. Take out 10M for draft picks and emergency fund so 65M

Defense

Hightower 10M/yr (5 year)
Collins 10M/y (5 year)
Sheard 7M/y (3 year)
Ryan 6M/y (3 year)
Long 3M/y (2 year)
Branch 2M/y (2 years)
Mingo 2M/y (2 year)
Coleman 1m/y (2 year)

Offense

Bennett 7M/y (3 year)
Cannon 5M/y (2 year)
Bolden 1M/y (2 year)
Develin 1M/y (2 year)

So that is 55M with 10M more to spend and the team would look like this.

24 Offense

QB - 3 - Brady Jimmy Jacoby
RB - 5 - White Lewis Foster Bolden Develin
TE - 3 - Gronk Bennett Derby
WR - 5 - Edelman Hogan Amendola Mitchell Slater
OT - 4 - Solder Cannon Flemming Waddle
OG/C - 4 - Thuney Andrews Mason Karras

24 Defense

DE - 5 - Sheard Nink Long Flowers Grissom
DT - 3 - Brown Valentine Branch
LB - 5 - Collins Hightower Roberts Freeney Mingo
CB - 6 - Butler Ryan Rowe Coleman Jones Jones
S - 5 - McCourty Chung Richards King Ebner

STs- 3 - Gost Allen Cardona

That is good enough to field a contending team as is. The question is what FAs outside the organization and draft picks you bring in.

I say in this situation Draft an OT high, a Guard, a DT and a FS. Those would be my most important spots under this kind of situation.

Draft

If you trade Jimmy G then you use part of the capital you get this year to draft Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame and Jarron Jones - DT same school if he stays healthy. No I am not a Notre Dame fan just the way it worked out :p

McGlinchey to me is not a top 5 player this draft but maybe top 10. I would love to pick him up about where the Pats picked up Solder ideally.

Jarron Jones is a 315lb DT that can stop the run and pass rush. The Pats will need someone to replace Branch soon and be that 3rd rotation guy.

It would also be a shame not to pick up a CB in this draft but if they sign Ryan which i think they can as long as no teams get crazy which the way Ryan has played this year which is fine (but no insane hot streak like last year) then i wonder how much they need one.
 

I.M. Fletcher

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Well I am not going to be as detailed as you but i will give a quick general outline of what I'd like.

Pats cut McCellin saving 1.5M & Extend/Restructure Amendola saving 4.5M.

Lets assume the Pats have 75M. Take out 10M for draft picks and emergency fund so 65M

Defense

Hightower 10M/yr (5 year)
Collins 10M/y (5 year)
Sheard 7M/y (3 year)
Ryan 6M/y (3 year)
Long 3M/y (2 year)
Branch 2M/y (2 years)
Mingo 2M/y (2 year)
Coleman 1m/y (2 year)

Offense

Bennett 7M/y (3 year)
Cannon 5M/y (2 year)
Bolden 1M/y (2 year)
Develin 1M/y (2 year)

So that is 55M with 10M more to spend and the team would look like this.

24 Offense

QB - 3 - Brady Jimmy Jacoby
RB - 5 - White Lewis Foster Bolden Develin
TE - 3 - Gronk Bennett Derby
WR - 5 - Edelman Hogan Amendola Mitchell Slater
OT - 4 - Solder Cannon Flemming Waddle
OG/C - 4 - Thuney Andrews Mason Karras

24 Defense

DE - 5 - Sheard Nink Long Flowers Grissom
DT - 3 - Brown Valentine Branch
LB - 5 - Collins Hightower Roberts Freeney Mingo
CB - 6 - Butler Ryan Rowe Coleman Jones Jones
S - 5 - McCourty Chung Richards King Ebner

STs- 3 - Gost Allen Cardona

That is good enough to field a contending team as is. The question is what FAs outside the organization and draft picks you bring in.

I say in this situation Draft an OT high, a Guard, a DT and a FS. Those would be my most important spots under this kind of situation.

Draft

If you trade Jimmy G then you use part of the capital you get this year to draft Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame and Jarron Jones - DT same school if he stays healthy. No I am not a Notre Dame fan just the way it worked out :p

McGlinchey to me is not a top 5 player this draft but maybe top 10. I would love to pick him up about where the Pats picked up Solder ideally.

Jarron Jones is a 315lb DT that can stop the run and pass rush. The Pats will need someone to replace Branch soon and be that 3rd rotation guy.

It would also be a shame not to pick up a CB in this draft but if they sign Ryan which i think they can as long as no teams get crazy which the way Ryan has played this year which is fine (but no insane hot streak like last year) then i wonder how much they need one.

Some good thoughts here. One thing that's come out lately is that McGlinchey is coming back next year.

A lot of kids say that before the draft season, but apparently this one is being taken seriously.

Beyond that, Jones is definitely someone I am interested in. I really like this tackle class for its diverse skillsets.

I think if we had a top ten pick and Allen was there, it would be really hard choosing anyone else. His football smarts just don't exist in college football these days, and I think BB would gravitate towards that. In the same way he did with Mayo and Hightower.
 

I.M. Fletcher

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Last year draftniks were saying that 2017 draft will be loaded with OTs and RBs that will be much better than 2016.

Running back has held up, but tackles are going to be scarce. They will still get drafted high, but that's just a function of teams needing offensive line help.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
As of now I only have 2 T's with a mid-late first and no QB worthy of one yet.

They'll get over drafted like Fletch said but it's just a bad class for both.

Wr, T, QB are definitely thin.
 

MSPatsFan28

On the Roster
Interesting Thread. Guess I'll have a go. First, I'd like to mention who we currently have under contract for 2017:

QB(3) - T. Brady, J. Garoppolo, J. Brissett
RB(3) - D. Lewis, J. White, D. Foster
WR(4) - D. Amendola, J. Edelman, C. Hogan, M. Mitchell
TE(2) - R. Gronkowski, A. Derby
OT(2) - N. Solder, L. Waddle
G(4) - J. Thuney, T. Jackson, S. Mason, T. Karras
C(1) - D. Andrews
DE(2) - R. Ninkovich, T. Flowers
DT(2) - M. Brown, V. Valentine
LB(3) - S. McClellin, J. Freeny, E. Roberts
CB(3) - C. Jones, E. Rowe, J. Jones
S(4) - D. McCourty, P. Chung, N. Ebner, J. Richards
ST(4) - M. Slater, S. Gostkowski, R. Allen, J. Cardona

This is a total of 37 contracts. Hopefully, this changes during the season as we sign some of our pending FAs. That said next up Our Free Agents as of 10/19:

Woodrow Hamilton
Michael Williams
Anthony Johnson
Geneo Grissom
Brandon King
Justin Coleman
Malcolm Butler
Cameron Fleming

Greg Scruggs
Barkevious Mingo
James Develin
LeGarrette Blount
Jamie Collins
Brandon Bolden
Duron Harmon
Logan Ryan
Chris Long
Alan Branch
Marcus Cannon
Martellus Bennett
Sebastian Vollmer
Jabaal Sheard
Donta Hightower

I have placed the RFA in Bold and Underlined the players I would tender. Including the practice squad, total 10 players (I project them to sign futures contracts for the team), that brings the total contracts to 54. The following are the players currently on the practice squad:

G - Chris Barker
WR - Shaquelle Evans
G - Chase Farris
RB - Tyler Gaffney
FB - Glenn Gronkowski
WR - Devin Lucien
RB - Bishop Sankey
G - Jamil Douglas
SS - Vinnie Sunseri
WR - DeAndrew White

With all those signing, here is how the roster stands:

QB(3)
RB(5)
FB(1)
WR(7)
TE(2)
OT(3)
G(7)
C(1)
DE(3)
DT(4)
LB(3)
CB(5)
S(6)
ST(4)

The following is a list of our UFAs I hope BB signs:

Greg Scruggs* - Sign for Veteran Minimum
Barkevious Mingo - Sign for $1-$2M/YR for 3 Years ($5M)
James Develin - Sign for $1.25M/YR for 2 Years ($2.5M)
Jamie Collins - Sign for $11M/YR for 5 Years ($55M)
Brandon Bolden - Sign for $1.25M/YR for 2 Years ($2.5M)
Duron Harmon - Sign for $7.5M/YR for 4 Years ($30M)
Logan Ryan - Sign for $8-$9M/YR for 3 Years ($25M)
Chris Long - Sign for $4M/YR for 2 Years ($8M)
Marcus Cannon - Sign for $5M/YR for 2 Years ($10M)
Martellus Bennett - Sign for $8M/YR for 4 Years ($32M)
Donta Hightower - Sign for $12M/YR for 6 Years ($72M)

Bear in mind that these are only estimations. I am comparing Mingo to Freeny as depth at the LB position and has special teams value. There is also the possibility that Mingo leaves if a team values him higher than I do, BUT with the resigning of Hightower and Collins, I would let him walk if he wanted more than 5M. I am comparing Develin to Bolden as they both have special team value and BB places a lot of emphasis on Specials teams where depth players are concerned. Also our rush offense is much better when Develin is leading the charge. Take 2015 for example. Our run game was inconsistent without Develin as our pure fullback. He also serves as an emergency tight end since he practices with the tight end group during practice. I should not have to explain the signing of Collins. He compares to Lavante David of TB. Nor should explain the signing of Hightower. He compares to Luke Kuechly of Carolina. I gave Hightower an extra year and higher average per year due to his value as team captain and the better player vs Collins in Run Defense. After reading a few other posts, I agree that Vollmer retires. So I did not want our team heading into next season without 2 of our top 3 tackles in Vollmer and Cannon. I saw Cannon as a depth signing to compete with at least 2 rookies and Fleming for a roster spot. With the resigning of Bennett, I would also give Gronk a raise like they did with Chung last season. I see the signing of Long as a value signing. I would rather pay $8M for 2 years than $100M multi year deal to Sheard. I believe that is what he will get on the open market when FA begins. If he comes back for $12M/Year, I would be willing to give that but nothing more. I don't want to give him more than Hightower or Brady. I'll discuss Logan Ryan first. Ryan is an excellent corner. He has solid coverage skills and great technique. He get a lot of crap online but he is routinely match up against opposing #1s with safety help over the top. He rarely gets burned; he may allow the completion but 9/10 he makes the tackle to limit YAC. I would probably even be willing to $10/YR with his contract. Duron Harmon is great insurance for McCourty. That is why I would offer $7.5M/YR. If either player wanted more, let them walk.

Wow. That is a lot. I usually begin researching the draft in Dec. and researching FA in Feb. I know BB will probably shop the bargain bin for FA. Like bring in a handful of FA @ the WR, OT, DT & CB position. So I'll stop here and address FA and the draft later.
 

I.M. Fletcher

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Good job. Some interesting thoughts.

It is always a bit of a guessing game to try and figure out free agent values.

A couple thought to add to yours.

1. I doubt very highly they bring back Harmon at those dollars. It would be a hard sell to give him almost double chungs dollars, when he's playing half as much. He is a good and important player, but it's why I have safety as an early round pick.

2. I think if they pay Ryan those dollars, it's because they are planning to let butler go. 9-10mil is a lot for a number 2 corner, so they will have to be confident he can play like a 1. I think Rowe probably makes him replaceable on the outside, but that's just my best guess.

3. I don't think sheard will be priced out to 12+mill a year. Pass rushers are always needed, but he's maybe the 5-6 best on the market, and has never been over 8 in a season. He might price out of the Patriots comfort zone, but would be surprised if he gets much above 10 a year. Vernon got way more than anyone expected, but that was also the Dolphins stupidity, a superior player, and a weak pass rush market.

4. I am expecting one of our linebackers get tagged. Both should get contracts, but the tag will give them an extra year to figure out if they want that much money going to a position where both have missed a lot of football the last three years. I could be wrong, but I would think one would be signed by now if they were going to try and have both contracts done by summer.

5. I know we have a lot of money and a lot of free agents, but Kraft has always bee really good at spreading out signing bonuses. I just don't know if we will see the team hand out 80+mil out in signing bonuses in one summer. It's easy to say that he can and the dollars are free, but there is no historical precedent under Kraft. I can be proven wrong, but having 4-5-6 guys getting top of market contracts in the same summer creates a lot of immediate pressure on payments out.
 

Ochmed Jones

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
I absolutely love the vea pick. This kid is a beast. In his first year in New England he will be the 4th guy, but by year 3, a pro bowler.

He needs to learn technique really bad, but athletic dt's like him are impossible to find. Total wrecking ball.
 

MSPatsFan28

On the Roster
Good job. Some interesting thoughts.

It is always a bit of a guessing game to try and figure out free agent values.

A couple thought to add to yours.

1. I doubt very highly they bring back Harmon at those dollars. It would be a hard sell to give him almost double chungs dollars, when he's playing half as much. He is a good and important player, but it's why I have safety as an early round pick.

2. I think if they pay Ryan those dollars, it's because they are planning to let butler go. 9-10mil is a lot for a number 2 corner, so they will have to be confident he can play like a 1. I think Rowe probably makes him replaceable on the outside, but that's just my best guess.

3. I don't think sheard will be priced out to 12+mill a year. Pass rushers are always needed, but he's maybe the 5-6 best on the market, and has never been over 8 in a season. He might price out of the Patriots comfort zone, but would be surprised if he gets much above 10 a year. Vernon got way more than anyone expected, but that was also the Dolphins stupidity, a superior player, and a weak pass rush market.

4. I am expecting one of our linebackers get tagged. Both should get contracts, but the tag will give them an extra year to figure out if they want that much money going to a position where both have missed a lot of football the last three years. I could be wrong, but I would think one would be signed by now if they were going to try and have both contracts done by summer.

5. I know we have a lot of money and a lot of free agents, but Kraft has always bee really good at spreading out signing bonuses. I just don't know if we will see the team hand out 80+mil out in signing bonuses in one summer. It's easy to say that he can and the dollars are free, but there is no historical precedent under Kraft. I can be proven wrong, but having 4-5-6 guys getting top of market contracts in the same summer creates a lot of immediate pressure on payments out.

I agree...it is a crap shoot with roster projection for our team. So many different things like market value of the player, the FA market, team valuation of the player; not to mention what the player is looking for and so on and so on.

You got me thinking...sorry its been over a week been busy at work. We use a lot of nickel and dime formations and with that most times it's the big nickel (3rd safety) formation. Enter Duron Harmon. Harmon has value beyond defense (50% snap count) since he plays in over 40% of special team snaps per Pro Football Reference. He also provides versatility in that not only does he play SS but he can back up McCourty without a drop off in talent at the position. His versatility extends to the fact that he has played at the RCB position as well. All this said is why I placed his value as high as $7.5M. I also agree that if he is not willing to give us a discount he most likely is gone.

As for Ryan, I used Chris Harris Jr. of Denver as a comparable player to Ryan. I believe they are similar in that they are both #2s on their respective team, play very well and have similar snap percentages per Pro Football Reference. Harris signed a 5YR/$42.5M contract w/ $24M Guaranteed. This is where I got my numbers for Ryan's deal. I hope we do not lose 2 players from our secondary. But it is not unheard of. With Cyrus Jones a healthy scratch for the 2nd week n a row, I think it is becoming more clear to me that Ryan needs to be resigned if the numbers work out.

You said it "Pass rushers are always needed". Have you checked out the FA pass rush market this year. It is not looking great and the best pass rushers do not make it to the market. They get tagged or resigned. I agree the Vernon deal was a knee jerk reaction. But the best defenders are getting $17M a season, $100M long term deal with virtually half guaranteed. I could not find a comparable defender to Sheard like I did with Ryan. So I went with giving him more money than the $10.5M contact given to JPP. I hope I am wrong and he can be retained for less, but that seems unlikely.

As far as Collins and Hightower, I hope Hightower is signed mid season to lower his cap number and spread his signing bonus on this year to keep his cap number low for next season as well so that Collins can be tagged and we can work out a long term deal with him.

To your point, I invite you to read the following blog post on this site by Miguel Benzan:
Explaining the 89% cash spending floor’s impact on Super Bowl Champs Patriots

I believe this blog was posted in response to this article by Shalise Manza Young:
Patriots must spend this year to reach payroll minimum - The Boston Globe

Benzan runs a site dedicated to the Patriots salary cap. I only mention this b/c One - I like his articles and Two - He has a point. His point is that at the time of the article, we were under the minimum floor. So we have to spend money or we will be forced to pay anyway. He goes on to state that any claim that “the [Patriots] don’t want to spend the money” is simply not supported by the facts.

The following article by Mike Reiss elaborates:
Pats have spent on free agents, but not wisely

Reiss points out that the Patriots spent more than 100% of the cap in cash for 2 straight years (2011,2012). He goes on to add that "It's not that the Patriots aren't spending money, it's how they're spending it."

Do I believe that we will sign all the players I listed? NO. Not possible. I have faith in BB that we will sign the most important. Isn't fun to project who will stay and who will go. It's an emotional roller coaster for me all year long as the roster is adjusted and reshaped from free agency to the draft to roster cut downs, injuries and practice squad. Well you got me thinking too much, so let me wrap this up. I know it seems like I am ranting and I don't mean to and I really like your response. Any other thoughts on roster projections? Would love to hear them. I am digging deeper into our FAs and the more I dig; I am thinking we will be lucky to sign 1/2 our FAs.
 

I.M. Fletcher

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
I agree...it is a crap shoot with roster projection for our team. So many different things like market value of the player, the FA market, team valuation of the player; not to mention what the player is looking for and so on and so on.

You got me thinking...sorry its been over a week been busy at work. We use a lot of nickel and dime formations and with that most times it's the big nickel (3rd safety) formation. Enter Duron Harmon. Harmon has value beyond defense (50% snap count) since he plays in over 40% of special team snaps per Pro Football Reference. He also provides versatility in that not only does he play SS but he can back up McCourty without a drop off in talent at the position. His versatility extends to the fact that he has played at the RCB position as well. All this said is why I placed his value as high as $7.5M. I also agree that if he is not willing to give us a discount he most likely is gone.

As for Ryan, I used Chris Harris Jr. of Denver as a comparable player to Ryan. I believe they are similar in that they are both #2s on their respective team, play very well and have similar snap percentages per Pro Football Reference. Harris signed a 5YR/$42.5M contract w/ $24M Guaranteed. This is where I got my numbers for Ryan's deal. I hope we do not lose 2 players from our secondary. But it is not unheard of. With Cyrus Jones a healthy scratch for the 2nd week n a row, I think it is becoming more clear to me that Ryan needs to be resigned if the numbers work out.

You said it "Pass rushers are always needed". Have you checked out the FA pass rush market this year. It is not looking great and the best pass rushers do not make it to the market. They get tagged or resigned. I agree the Vernon deal was a knee jerk reaction. But the best defenders are getting $17M a season, $100M long term deal with virtually half guaranteed. I could not find a comparable defender to Sheard like I did with Ryan. So I went with giving him more money than the $10.5M contact given to JPP. I hope I am wrong and he can be retained for less, but that seems unlikely.

As far as Collins and Hightower, I hope Hightower is signed mid season to lower his cap number and spread his signing bonus on this year to keep his cap number low for next season as well so that Collins can be tagged and we can work out a long term deal with him.

To your point, I invite you to read the following blog post on this site by Miguel Benzan:
Explaining the 89% cash spending floor’s impact on Super Bowl Champs Patriots

I believe this blog was posted in response to this article by Shalise Manza Young:
Patriots must spend this year to reach payroll minimum - The Boston Globe

Benzan runs a site dedicated to the Patriots salary cap. I only mention this b/c One - I like his articles and Two - He has a point. His point is that at the time of the article, we were under the minimum floor. So we have to spend money or we will be forced to pay anyway. He goes on to state that any claim that “the [Patriots] don’t want to spend the money” is simply not supported by the facts.

The following article by Mike Reiss elaborates:
Pats have spent on free agents, but not wisely

Reiss points out that the Patriots spent more than 100% of the cap in cash for 2 straight years (2011,2012). He goes on to add that "It's not that the Patriots aren't spending money, it's how they're spending it."

Do I believe that we will sign all the players I listed? NO. Not possible. I have faith in BB that we will sign the most important. Isn't fun to project who will stay and who will go. It's an emotional roller coaster for me all year long as the roster is adjusted and reshaped from free agency to the draft to roster cut downs, injuries and practice squad. Well you got me thinking too much, so let me wrap this up. I know it seems like I am ranting and I don't mean to and I really like your response. Any other thoughts on roster projections? Would love to hear them. I am digging deeper into our FAs and the more I dig; I am thinking we will be lucky to sign 1/2 our FAs.

I understand your points, I think we might see different things as priorities.

A couple things to add

1. I think Harmon will get that money, I just don't see a way he gets it from us. The Pats have never given top 10 money at a position for a backup. It's great to have good backups for insurance, but not at that amount of cost.

2. I think there is a good chance that Ryan gets that money, but I would probably compare it more with Byron maxwell. Harris situation is actually identical to butler, since both were number 1 corners on their team that were undrafted RFAs. The reason I doubt Ryan gets signed is because butler is the significantly better player, and will require all of those dollars to be brought back. The only way I see Ryan being signed is if they ride out butlers qualifying offer, expecting someone to sign him, and need someone to hold an outside corner role.

3. I am not one who believes that the Pats are cheap with their money, just that they are very smart on how they spend it. I don't doubt that they will spend money, just that they would do so with so many players on long term deals. If we signed all of the expected players mentioned, you are talking about 250+mill in extensions, in the vacinity of 80-100mill in signing bonuses and guarantees. That would be very out of the norm for the team, that has always done a very good job of spreading out payments to never have too much fall in any one season.

It's why I see the franchise tag being used, and making some tough decisions on players looking at long term deals. Players that are comfortable taking shorter term deals will get prioritized, with only super stars like DH and Collins possibly getting long deals. Even then, I imagine the deals for those two will max out at 5 years, with the pats pushing for 4.

4. The big reason I see the team trading garoppolo this summer is the additional flexibility it gives the team long term financially. For him to be on the team next year means they will plan on franchising him next summer, which means having enough dollars for a franchise tag. That may seem like a small thing, but for that to happen, they will have to have 18+mill in cap space that they cannot use for anything else. If he's not traded this summer, it will severely diminish the amount of players they can sign this summer. If he's not traded, that's the difference of a Bennett, Collins and cannon potentially. I think they get a good enough offer and spread the wealth with the players they have.
 

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