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Looking Ahead to 2022 - Cap Space, Patriots' Free Agents, Draft Picks - A Good Place Start

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goheels22002

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The Patriots finished 10-7, finished 2nd in points allowed in the AFC and 4th in points scored. It is what it is. The Patriots have good to excellent players in every position group, especially RB, QB, OL, TE, DB, WR and special teams. Based on how they finished down the stretch, they need to address issues on defense that will demand some tough decisions.

They have the 13th oldest roster (avg. age 26.73), and they have $17.7 million in cap space accounting for their top 51 player salaries - good for 20th in the league. They have just $3.1 million in dead cap money (compared with $32.4 million in 2021.) New England Patriots 2022 Salary Cap

They have the 21st pick in the draft with a total of five picks. They won't get any compensatory picks this year,

They are light years ahead of last year this offseason.

The cap space will increase as they make decisions about various players and guys decide to retire or move on.

The Patriots have 20 Unrestricted Free Agents - lots of favorites - McCourty, James White, Hightower, Slater, Hoyer, etc. The must-sign guys are Nick Folk, Jakobi Meyers and JC Jackson. Bottom line is they have flexibility to keep value guys and create create cap space.

This is a far more comfortable offseason for making improvements than 2021. They have a playoff caliber team to build on, they have their QB at a bargain rate, and they only have a couple of free agents who will command serious money. My focus will be on the interior lines on both sides of the ball, slot receiver, and LB.
 

Mike the Brit

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They are light years ahead of last year this offseason.

The cap space will increase as they make decisions about various players and guys decide to retire or move on.

The Patriots have 20 Unrestricted Free Agents - lots of favorites - McCourty, James White, Hightower, Slater, Hoyer, etc. The must-sign guys are Nick Folk, Jakobi Meyers and JC Jackson. Bottom line is they have flexibility to keep value guys and create create cap space.

Small correction. Meyers is not a UFA.

Wider disagreement.

There is actually VERY LITTLE room to create new cap space. Jonnu Smith, for example, would create a nearly $13 million cap hit if cut (and $26 million dead money). Where do you see the cap space increasing? Godchaux ($5 million cap space, $5 million dead money) and Agholor ($5 million cap space, $10 million dead money) are possibilities if you're prepared to cut bait and take the dead money hit, but apart from that I don't see much.


So, aside from the fact that they've found a serviceable quarterback on a rookie contract, they are not "light years ahead of last year this offseason", I'm sorry to say. On the contrary: they've got to face the consequences of Belichick's 2021 splurge in which he paid high prices and pushed a lot of the costs into the future. If his judgements on players turn out to have been wrong (Smith, Godchaux, Agholor) the Pats will have to live with that for years.
 
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patsfanfromoversea

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Small correction. Meyers is not a UFA.

Wider disagreement.

There is actually VERY LITTLE room to create new cap space. Jonnu Smith, for example, would create a nearly $13 million cap hit if cut (and $26 million dead money). Where do you see the cap space increasing? Godchaux ($5 million cap space, $5 million dead money) and Agholor ($5 million cap space, $10 million dead money) are possibilities if you're prepared to cut bait and take the dead money hit, but apart from that I don't see much.


So, aside from the fact that they've found a serviceable quarterback on a rookie contract, they are not "light years ahead of last year this offseason", I'm sorry to say. On the contrary: they've got to face the consequences of Belichick's 2021 splurge in which he paid high prices and pushed a lot of the costs into the future. If his judgements on players turn out to have been wrong (Smith, Godchaux, Agholor) the Pats will have to live with that for years.
Exactly, we have some important FA like our number one cb FS staring MLB LG RT and additionally holes at NT DE and WR to fill with not much room to operate in comparison to the holes. Besides spending so much money last year there are still too many holes to fill for my taste
In fact if I look at this I get the fear of a trade down from the first in the second round , this would be a long draft night then for us in Europe :D
 

FreeTedWilliams

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The Cap situation is not good, you figure that they are going to need $20 million in cap space to franchise JCJ and place an original round tender on Jacobi Meyers. Both of those moves are no brainers. Hopefully the Pats can sign JCJ to a long term deal with a smaller than $17 million cap number the franchise tag comes with.

McCourty's contract was voided, he will be a post June 1 cut (like Chung was) to lower his cap hit. He has been useless for a few years now, he is not coming back.

Unfortunately Hightower is done too.

They are not cutting either Agholor or Jonnu.

I could see them cutting almost the entire 2019 draft class (Harry, Slowjuan, Asiasi, Keene, and Winovich). Harry Anderson is also going to get cut.

But all these moves are more than washed out by the JCJ and Meyers tags.

I would expect them to try and bring back Folk, Trent Brown, and Karras.

So bottom line, don't expect a great improvement in the Pats, because they just don't have the cap space. Hopefully the red shirts McGrone, Perkins, and Bledsoe can help the defense.
 

Lagaffe_07

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The Cap situation is not good, you figure that they are going to need $20 million in cap space to franchise JCJ and place an original round tender on Jacobi Meyers. Both of those moves are no brainers. Hopefully the Pats can sign JCJ to a long term deal with a smaller than $17 million cap number the franchise tag comes with.
I don’t think franchising JC is a no brainer. If Bill estimate that they are more than one year away and he can get two or three good player for those 17M, he will not franchise him. As far as an extension, i would be very surprised he sign for less than 17M. IMO that’s just homer hope. I think his market in FA will be huge. You could clearly see in the playoff game he was avoiding getting injured at all cost before FA.

McCourty's contract was voided, he will be a post June 1 cut (like Chung was) to lower his cap hit. He has been useless for a few years now, he is not coming back.
Isn’t McCourty a free agent this year? Chung was still under contract if a remember correctly
 

masterbouncer

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It depends on what they do in the Draft, if they hit again 3-4 players taht are immediately going to contribute like this year with Mac, Barmore, Stevenson etc they get kind of an improvement on the roster and there are a lot of holes to fill, but it won't be for sure by signing big time contracts with veteran players like last year.

Also regarding the Cap, next year is quite tight but in 2023 ist above 100M, and you have your core young talent still under rookie contract like Barmore, Dugger, Stevenson, Mac etc.

The Pats are just at the end of the 2010er cycle with the vet players, they have to get rid of them and get fresh young talent on the team.

From Contract view, Jonnu won't be moved, nor Agholor because it does not help much with the dead cap they bring with them, only thing I can think of are contract extractions with the likes of Agholor for a year to reduce the cap and move it further into the future (might not be likely). Same is valid with for instance with Wynn, you can extend him (and use him as a LG) reducing his Cap hit next year and into the future, but you can also trade him with no dead money, the team which takes him is on the hook for his next years cap thats 10M in cap savings with only moving on from Wynn here.

Wise is not wirth 6M for me, cutting him after June 1 you gain 5 M with only 1,25M dead cap. Anderson is a no brainer to gain 2,5M cap sapce, Guy is also a 4M saving, not sure if he is needed if we can get a better younger DT for same money, even better if we can draft one or two NT.

For cap saving reasons I would not cut any of the guys on rookie contract unless they are really useless like Harry (try to trade him for a 6 or 7 pick) or SlowJuan etc.

Isn’t McCourty a free agent this year? Chung was still under contract if a remember correctly
he has 3 voidable years, if he is not resigned he will be in the books with 6,4M in the books (signing proration from the previous contract)


I think you can create quite some cap space when you get rid of old balast and some smart restructures, but in general the draft has to be the main source when it comes to injecting young talented blood to the team.
 

Lagaffe_07

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he has 3 voidable years, if he is not resigned he will be in the books with 6,4M in the books (signing proration from the previous contract)
So he is a free agent and he can’t be cut post June 1 like Chung like the poster I was responding to stated. and I am almost sure that those 6.4M are on the books anyway even if he resign. The same way Brady’s 13.5M were if he had resign or not after 2019.
 

Lagaffe_07

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The Patriots are going to restructure contracts to “borrow” cap space from future seasons. Really, every team should do that with the the cap expected to increase so much in a few years.
Teams that have a window open to win a championship are doing that. I don’t think it make too much sense doing that when your window is not open.
 

1960Pats

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It depends on what they do in the Draft, if they hit again 3-4 players taht are immediately going to contribute like this year with Mac, Barmore, Stevenson etc they get kind of an improvement on the roster and there are a lot of holes to fill, but it won't be for sure by signing big time contracts with veteran players like last year.

Also regarding the Cap, next year is quite tight but in 2023 ist above 100M, and you have your core young talent still under rookie contract like Barmore, Dugger, Stevenson, Mac etc.

The Pats are just at the end of the 2010er cycle with the vet players, they have to get rid of them and get fresh young talent on the team.

From Contract view, Jonnu won't be moved, nor Agholor because it does not help much with the dead cap they bring with them, only thing I can think of are contract extractions with the likes of Agholor for a year to reduce the cap and move it further into the future (might not be likely). Same is valid with for instance with Wynn, you can extend him (and use him as a LG) reducing his Cap hit next year and into the future, but you can also trade him with no dead money, the team which takes him is on the hook for his next years cap thats 10M in cap savings with only moving on from Wynn here.

Wise is not wirth 6M for me, cutting him after June 1 you gain 5 M with only 1,25M dead cap. Anderson is a no brainer to gain 2,5M cap sapce, Guy is also a 4M saving, not sure if he is needed if we can get a better younger DT for same money, even better if we can draft one or two NT.

For cap saving reasons I would not cut any of the guys on rookie contract unless they are really useless like Harry (try to trade him for a 6 or 7 pick) or SlowJuan etc.


he has 3 voidable years, if he is not resigned he will be in the books with 6,4M in the books (signing proration from the previous contract)


I think you can create quite some cap space when you get rid of old balast and some smart restructures, but in general the draft has to be the main source when it comes to injecting young talented blood to the team.
Maybe the Pats can turn those 5 draft picks into 7.
 

zimmy

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The cap space situation is not ideal. Once escalators are taken into account my understanding is that they have about $8m. And once you then tender Meyers at the 2nd round level, you have less than $5m. You therefore then need to find $30m+ worth of savings at least in order to make some moves in free agency (not to mention sign the rookie pool and have spare for the season). That says to me this isn't going to be a big offseason in terms of free agency acquisitions and that we will have to rely on the development of some younger players. It also means some difficult decisions are going to have to be made with some veterans on the roster and the free agents.

Some possible cap savings:

Cuts: Godchaux - $5m ($5m dead money); Agholor - $5m ($10m dead money); Van Noy - $5m ($2.5m dead money); Mason - $7m ($3m dead money); J.Jones - $6m ($2m dead money; Anderson - $2.5m ($1m dead money)

Restructures Henry - saves $4m; Judon - saves $6.5m; Smith - saves $5m; Mills - saves $2m; Andrews - saves $2.5m

Extensions: Wynn - could save $7m with an extension; J. Jones $3.5m

My initial thinking is that I would cut Godchaux, Van Noy and Anderson, saving $12.5m; I would restructure Henry and probably Judon, saving $10.5m, see if I could get Jones and Wynn to sign reasonable extensions, saving around $10m; and see if I could convince Agholor to take a paycut that he could earn back in escalators, saving say $4m. All that would save around $36m but easier said than done.

I would then franchise JC but I would be open to trading him if we couldn't get a long term deal agreed. I don't see the real benefit of renting him for a year. You would have to hope McGrone and Perkins can step up and replace Hightower and Van Noy; probably resign Bentley; shift Mills to free safety and try and find a better CB2 and beef up the D line. On offense there isn't going to be much available but try and keep one of Karras or Brown and try and bring in a speedy slot receiver.
 

patsinthesnow

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Regarding draft picks the are likely to get a 4th rounder for Sony Michel once the comp. picks are announced. They may also get a 3rd round pick if Mayo is hired as a HC.

The pats should avoid any significant FAs & only restructure players like Judon or Henry. They will not have much cap room even after restructuring these players when accounting for tagging JC, tendering Meyers & the draft class.

This offseason is straightforward IMO. Draft well again, develop Mac Jones & play youth in the front seven. Then you can get aggressive in the future with Agholor, Godchaux, Jonnu money getting off the books & hopefully a franchise QB on a rookie deal. More midlevel FAs is not the answer.
 

UrbanCowboy

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My rule for this off-season would be "no more ex-Pats." Stop bringing back former players at the end (thinking Flowers) and really commit to turning over the roster and getting younger for the next run.
 

Lagaffe_07

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Personally, I wouldn't take a wr with the 21st pick.....would probably focus on cb or OT, but I could see if a top wr slipped, it might be an enticing pick,


I agree. I would focus on CB If one is there around 21. We have so many needs on defense. In my opinion, it’s possible to find an explosive WR in round 2 or 3.
 

DropKickFlutie

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A lot of great thoughts by multiple people in this thread.

1. Agree JC Jackson, Meyers, Trent Brown are priorities to keep/extend.
2. By all the posts here, agree not a lot of $ left. Where are the frauds from before saying the Pats had plenty of cap or cash?
3. These terrible contracts will look worse over time: Godchaux 10M, Agholor 14M, Jonnu 12M, Wynn 11M. Also get rid of Bentley.

This thread deserves a Content Sticker, but maybe that's only reserved for the crybaby construction guy who asked for this hilarious sticker type to be created.
 

DropKickFlutie

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I agree. I would focus on CB If one is there around 21. We have so many needs on defense. In my opinion, it’s possible to find an explosive WR in round 2 or 3.

Ahmad Gardner is the CB who fits this team. Elite man corner out of Cincy who never gave up a TD in college. Move Mills to FS and draft Gardner to play CB2. No more soft zone or cover-3 too much.
 

203Pat

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Agholor has a $15 million cap hit.
Mason $10 million dollar cap hit.
Jonnu Smith $13.75million dollar cap hit.
Van Noy $7.5million dollar cap hit.
Godchaux $10 million dollar cap hit.
Wise $6.2 million dollar cap hit.

That is roughly $62.5 million dollars for some pretty underwhelming players. That is over 25% of next years cap on a bunch of JAGs.
 

resdubwhite

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Now before anyone gets personally offended by what I'm about to type. I'm not trying to upset you.

I dunno guys. I'd be hyper aggressive with 22 cap space. Unless I am mistaken and I very well could be. there's 110 million free for 2023 and 185 in 24. Mac is in year two of deal. Not the time to be conservative.

I mean they could generate 50 million if they wanted to.
Agreed that there's some regrettable contracts. IT would mean pushing money for the likes of Smith (who if used correctly could be still a weapon.) into years 3 and 4. that's if they want to jettison him then.
lots of opportunities to cut dead weight.
go for it. Godchaux/Agholar/Anderson/Harry/Williams= Goodbye.
Stock LB/CB/OT in draft.
look for the go to WR in FA and bring in more DLINE in FA. I know it sounds simple but we need to do more than just tinker with this roster. We have the bones of a roster than can complete very well regular season now is time to build for post season.

some really difficult cap positions for teams like packers (who have to tag adams) and Saints next year too but they'll do it. Maybe its time for a different approach.
 

DropKickFlutie

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Agholor has a $15 million cap hit.
Mason $10 million dollar cap hit.
Jonnu Smith $13.75million dollar cap hit.
Van Noy $7.5million dollar cap hit.
Godchaux $10 million dollar cap hit.
Wise $6.2 million dollar cap hit.

That is roughly $62.5 million dollars for some pretty underwhelming players. That is over 25% of next years cap on a bunch of JAGs.

Would also add mediocre Wynn at 11M. Absolutely horrible. This is what bad teams do. Atrocious and crippling over time in a game with forced hard salary caps. Teams who win the most derive the most aggregate value on efficient cap spend.

Mason at 10M isn't bad as an elite guard (I personally would not spend big $ on guards)
 
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