It is good see us on the same page with regard to extending VanNoy and Roberts. These extensions, Bentley, Sam and a couple of draft choices give us an OK corps if Hightower loses another step next year.
For me, the status of Hightower isn't tied to any other player, except that keeping him would be critical in the absence of extensions to Van Noy and Roberts. Either Hightower is worth his new money or he isn't. I think that he is.
To me, whether we sign Flowers or someone else to be our top DE doesn't affect our decision regarding Hightower. Flowers or his replacement will likely cost about $10M in the 2019 cap. Whoever comes in will benefit from Hightower being here.
You stated that we would save $5.4M by trading Hightower. I understand that you didn't recommend this. For me, I try to oppose the presentations of such ideas.
whether they are "proposals" or not. Your conclusions were
"So, there are some reasons to trade HT, too. But I don't think the Pats would make that move until Flowers is signed."
"If Flowers goes to another team for a ridiculous payday, I think the Pats keep HT (and possibly even Claiborne)."
So, to be clear, I strongly disagree with this analysis. Unless the team simply believes that Hightower isn't worth the money, and that the $5.4M can be used toward finding someone else, there is NO reason to trade Hightower. I would NOT think that there were reasons to trade Hightower if Flowers i signed.
And, sure if Flowers goes, it would be even more reason to keep Hightower.
And yes, my bottom line is that considering whether to trade Hightower without first at least extending VanNoy and Roberts is indeed a discussion of breaking up our LB corp and rebuilding within a year.
Sue our LB needs young help. For me, Hightower, VanNoy, high draftee, Bentley, Roberts is a good start. And yes, I'm fine with an additional upgrade.
There is more helped needed here, and I agree that Clayborne should stay until we get an upgrade, which may not happen.
DE: Flowers (or another top DE free agent), Clayborne, high draft choice, Wise, Rivers
DT: Guy, Butler, high draft choice, Brown (or Shelton or a free agent)
As I've noted in many previous posts, the cap savings for cutting Clayborn is the same whether it happens in March or at the end of August, ergo, he's likely to be kept through Camp or until the Pats feel they have an adequate replacement under contract (sorry that I didn't explicitly reiterate that point in this particular post) . That replacement could be another experienced free agent, I suppose, although I can't name anyone specific (so there's a chance such a free agent isn't yet available, and may not be this year). It might also be a rookie draftee. Lotsa different ways that could go.
I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with. I didn't recommend anything wrt the contracts of KVN or Roberts one way or the other. I merely stated that both their contracts expire at the end of 2019, carrying the implication (I hope) that a decision will need to be made, and I mused that such a decision may (or may not) relate to the expense of HT's contract which, in turn, may relate to what happens with Flowers (IOW, if Flowers' bolts for another team, that may - or may not - increase HT's value to the front-7 roster.
Again, I'm exploring possibilities and possibly interdependent variable, NOT making any recommendation.
I never said anything of the sort (wrt the bolded part), and I'm not even sure how you read that into what I wrote.
Personally, I would also extend both KVN and Roberts, but that was kinda outside the scope of what I was originally trying to address in the post I was responding to ("pay cut or cut" various players).
Just to be clear, I am not advocating for breaking up the current LB corps in my post. I am merely leaving the door open to the possibility that the Pats may have a different view, by speculating on various ways things could go.
Apparently, I need a refresher course in how to write clearly, since my posts seem to be misinterpreted so frequently by so many people.