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

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DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
It's Brown's name and missed games stat inserted into your quote about Wynn. It's absolutely absurd to hold injuries against Wynn but not Brown.

Wynn only played 16 of 48 games before this year. So Mr Glass only played 33% of games. And this year was very bad/poor while playing 16 games.

Trent is injury prone at RT but how come he somehow started every game and won a Superbowl as a Patriot left tackle? Maybe, just maybe, he's an elite left tackle and an injury prone right tackle who isn't a natural mauler. He's a giant elite pass blocking LT not a nasty physical mauler right tackle.


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DaBruinz

Pats, B's, Sox
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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.
Please stop using Spotrac. They suck.

The Patriots don't have 20 UFA. They have 16 UFA, 3 RFA, and 1 ERFA. You can find the list here:

They have 13M in cap space according to OTC (much better site, per @Miguel ).

There are likely to be several contract restructured to open up money so they can Tag Jackson and put RFA tenders on Meyers and Olszewski.
 

holyredeemer

In the Starting Line-Up
If BB franchised Joe Thuney in 2020 when he thought he was starting Jarret Stidham...

But doesn't franchise JC because the Pats are "more than one year away"...

Then BB should be fired as GM.
I’m prepared to be incredibly pissed that we let JC walk away and get nothing in return but a comp pick, which if that happens, will be insane. They grabbed the guy as an UDFA and helped make him into what he is today. He’s expected to break the bank as he is regarded as one of the best/young cb’s in the league. I know the franchise+trade is frowned upon, but you cannot just let that possible roi never materialize. Being able to net a 1st or another second, maybe a player included would be a huge benefit to the future of this club.
 

Hammer of Thor

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Please stop using Spotrac. They suck.

The Patriots don't have 20 UFA. They have 16 UFA, 3 RFA, and 1 ERFA. You can find the list here:

They have 13M in cap space according to OTC (much better site, per @Miguel ).

There are likely to be several contract restructured to open up money so they can Tag Jackson and put RFA tenders on Meyers and Olszewski.
Agree about Sportrac. And from there, Miguel is estimating just $3.7M which has a few assumptions that OTC doesn’t have:

- The tenders for Meyers (2nd), Jakob Johnson (first refusal). Note he thinks Gunner won’t be tendered and will become a FA.
- DMac’s voidable years - he’s assuming he isn’t resigned by the time free agency opens
- adjustments for LTBE / NLTBE and to Bailey’s contract for making the Pro Bowl last year.




So they’ll need some adjustments and cuts to open up more cap space. As you and others note, quite a few options on that front, but the question is if they’re confident in kicking the can down the road for them (wouldn’t restructure Jonnu, for instance, as he’d be a likely cut after 2022 if his production doesn’t improve compared to 2021).

I’m very skeptical they tag JC. Don’t see them spending the $18m there when there are lots of other holes. I think they sign a cheaper veteran, pair him with Mills, hope Wade shows something in his first full camp, and go down the draft route for additional help. Just my opinion though.
 
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Hammer of Thor

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I’m prepared to be incredibly pissed that we let JC walk away and get nothing in return but a comp pick, which if that happens, will be insane. They grabbed the guy as an UDFA and helped make him into what he is today. He’s expected to break the bank as he is regarded as one of the best/young cb’s in the league. I know the franchise+trade is frowned upon, but you cannot just let that possible roi never materialize. Being able to net a 1st or another second, maybe a player included would be a huge benefit to the future of this club.
In order to tag and trade, you first need to come up with $18m in cap space, and then you need to trade him ASAP so you can actually use the $18m before all the players get signed. That is a huge risk and other teams know it. That’s how we “only” got pick #34 for Matt Cassel in 2009 instead of a 1st rounder like we all hoped — the Pats had no cap space until they unloaded him.
 
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holyredeemer

In the Starting Line-Up
In order to tag and trade, you first need to come up with $18m in cap space, and then you need to trade him ASAP so you can actually use the $18m before all the players get signed. That is a huge risk and other teams know it. That’s how we “only” got pick #34 for Matt Cassel in 2009 instead of a 1st rounder like we all hoped — the Pats had no cap space until they unloaded him.
Yup. What a waste.
 

Sam Bam Cunningham

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Why are the Patriots in this situation. You all know the answer. BB's roster management the last 5 years. I am not sure why he wants to come back. Is it because he thinks he can catch Shula? Is it the 20 million/year. Is it that he thinks he can turn things around and get them back in the Super Bowl in the next 2-3 years? I am pretty sure its the benjamins.
 

1960Pats

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Why are the Patriots in this situation. You all know the answer. BB's roster management the last 5 years. I am not sure why he wants to come back. Is it because he thinks he can catch Shula? Is it the 20 million/year. Is it that he thinks he can turn things around and get them back in the Super Bowl in the next 2-3 years? I am pretty sure its the benjamins.
Or he likes what he does.

Or it could be all of it.
 

Toofy

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Agholor will be extended for one more year to spread the cap hit of 5 million to next year .
Henry Anderson would be cut.
I don't think T brown will be signed. We don't have any money unless we backload a contract for him which is too risky.

If we can trade Wynn while absorbing 3 or 4 million, we can use that to sign T brown

Because of voidable years in mccourty contract, he should be back with smaller hit this season and we spread out the cap hit again for next year.

5 million agholor + 4 million mccourty dead cap will be pushed out to next year.

Can we cut wise and save some money. Not sure if there is some leeway. His contract also seems excessive now.

With whatever we have it looks very difficult to cough up the cash to franchise tag JC. We just need to figure out a way so that we can at least get a second and 4th for him and use the first rounder on a a CB , two seconds on line backer, 3rd on DT and 4th on slot WR.
 

jdlboot14

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
almost all of the recent contracts seem excessive now - Wise, Wynn, Judon, Smith, Agholor - massive errors in evaluation or execution, and massive chunks of cap space being eaten up by average play. (many will fight on the Judon thing - but he didn't last, and he doesn't seem like a real leader). Seeing that our top 2 offensive producers are UDFA's, maybe just go that route from now on. geesh!
 

jdlboot14

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Good news about Ekuale - if true. I thought he brought a spark of urgency and strength when he was in there. He could be a solid part of the DL, replacing Davis and maybe even Guy?
 

203Pat

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
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)
I was hoping they wouldn't pick up Wynn's option with his injury history and up and down performance but from what I understand (I may be wrong) once it is picked up we are fully on the hook for the whole thing. As far as Mason goes I think he was elite but now is probably above average but I won't pretend to be Dante Scarneccia as I don't know much about O-line play. Either way $10 mill is a lot of money on a guard.
 

goheels22002

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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.
Patrick Chung's remaining dollars are dead cap money and end in 2022.
Please stop using Spotrac. They suck.

The Patriots don't have 20 UFA. They have 16 UFA, 3 RFA, and 1 ERFA. You can find the list here:

They have 13M in cap space according to OTC (much better site, per @Miguel ).

There are likely to be several contract restructured to open up money so they can Tag Jackson and put RFA tenders on Meyers and Olszewski.
You're correct that the cap situation is entirely fluid at this point. The good news on the cap is the relative lack of dead money in 2022. Last year, they ended the season with $28M in dead cap money. The Patriots can offer some restructures to veterans with a cap hit, and if they don't agree, the Patriots will release them. I suspect those conversations are underway.

My guess on re-signings are Nick Folk, James White if healthy, Ted Karras and Bentley. They'll tender Jakob Johnson and Jakobi Meyers.

Gunner Olszewski is interesting. I think there are better options out there in the mold of Welker or Amendola who can play in the slot and return kicks. Olszewski did not develop as a slot receiver. Mac Jones' development against the blitz can accelerate with a go-to slot receiver who he trusts to be there.

I hate to make any reference to Tom Brady when commenting on Mac, but Brady's development as a passer was entirely possible because of the work that Troy Brown, Welker, Edelman and Amendola did in the slot. The Patriots don't have that guy. I have wondered all year how the offense might have looked had James White had been healthy.
 

DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Good morning pat fans...good read by Reiss...cleaning out the notebook....some interesting points: Last game played by J. Williams, biggest injury loss Jonathan Jones, What happened to Uche?


SloJuan is another bust. That 2019 draft is one of the worst ever. NKeal and SloJuan.
 

goheels22002

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Aside from HOF Randy Moss, the Pats offense has never been about a deep threat. Cooks was here but he made his production mostly via medium/short routes here.

It makes zero sense to pay big$ for a non-HOF deep threat or for a 2nd TE when you know that your current OC only wants to do the same stale 15 year old option-route spread shotgun over and over and over.

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They must add another dependable receiver to the mix, but the early picks and serious money should go to the OL and DL. Both had serious issues against better teams.

The Randy Moss approach makes sense to me - trading the 4th round pick for some team's #1 or #2 receiver that they need/want to go for cap or fit reasons. Clearly Harry has to go. A proven slot receiver is the most needed player in my opinion. In the draft, I like Khalil Shakir out of Boise State in the 4th or 5th round.
 

DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
They must add another dependable receiver to the mix, but the early picks and serious money should go to the OL and DL. Both had serious issues against better teams.

The Randy Moss approach makes sense to me - trading the 4th round pick for some team's #1 or #2 receiver that they need/want to go for cap or fit reasons. Clearly Harry has to go. A proven slot receiver is the most needed player in my opinion. In the draft, I like Khalil Shakir out of Boise State in the 4th or 5th round.

No more new toys for this crappy OC. Not with talented players like Onwenu benched inexplicably for 9 weeks, or zero clue how to use Jonnu Smith or Agholor all season long. Go defense with the first 3 picks in the draft.
 

Spiral

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I wouldn't look at it solely from a cap perspective. One of the admirable things about BB is that he doesn't over-value his own players, and after that game against the Bills, I think the Pats are going to tear that defense down to the studs. This is at least a two-year rebuild. From that perspective, any defensive player who isn't likely to be part of the team in 2024 could be gone--sooner rather than later. I'm thinking there are 4-5 rookies/developmental players, plus Jones, Dugger, Phillips, and a few others. Maybe ten total. That leaves about fifteen guys who may not be around next year. Back up the truck--I think it's going to be moving day for a lot of players.
 

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