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

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DaBruinz

Pats, B's, Sox
PatsFans.com Supporter
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.

The Pats situation (13.5M) right now makes it extremely limited on what they can do. They MUST redo some of the contracts, converting Salary to SB just to have enough money to put tenders on Jackson and Meyers. I love Jakob Johnson, they'll put a low tender on him if they don't flat out re-sign him prior to the start of Free Agency.

Tom had Troy Brown, David Patten, David Givens and Deion Branch by his 2nd season. Branch was the goto guy more than Brown by the 3rd season and Branch played on the outside and in the slot. Just like Welker, Edelman and Amendola.

We don't know what Olszewski can do yet. The few plays he had, he got open and made the catch. With the likes of Bourne, Meyers, and Agholor in front of him this year, He wasn't going to get a chance regardless of how well he did in practice because of those 3. It took Edelman 5 years before he earned a full-time starting position. People will point to the year that Welker went down and what Edelman did, but that scenario hasn't happened for Olszewski.

You said you think there are better options out there that can return Punts and be the Slot receiver. That may be, but we've already established that the Pats don't have a lot of wiggle room this year in regards to salary. So, who are the prospects from the draft that would fit this bill? A primary slot receiver who can move outside when needed ala Edelman, Branch, Welker, etc?
 

ashley1992

Moderator
Staff member
PatsFans.com Supporter
Good read by Cox...analyzes every defensive player and grades them for 2021...he doesn't hold back...I sometimes wondered while reading the piece, if he didn' t post on here occasionally.

 

Chevy

Huh?
PatsFans.com Supporter
2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
We really made good progress roster wise last year imo despite still having some hoes to fill.
He did fail with those DM's.

I would take a conservative approach this offseason , absorb some of those less than ideal cap hits , get some of the unknowns (perkins, mcgrone, Bledsoe, McMillan, uChe, wade) some action to see if they are a solution, and go all out in ‘23. Resign jcj, meyers, white, karras.

The unknowns could be solid contributors. JC may chase the dollars - sucks but it's the nature of the business. Meyers and White are dependable and set a good example - the type of core players we need to keep around.

One FA WR (Restricted) I'd like to see NE go after is Allen Lazard from Green Bay. He's come a long way over the last two seasons and could be that reliable guy Mac needs.
 

patsfanfromoversea

In the Starting Line-Up
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner

ashley1992

Moderator
Staff member
PatsFans.com Supporter
SloJuan is another bust. That 2019 draft is one of the worst ever. NKeal and SloJuan.
Yeah, that was a real bad class(at least the first two picks) Wino in the 3rd round is up in the air, Damien Harris in the 3rd is a steal and Jake Bailey was a great pick as well....we also signed Meyers, Gunner and Johnson as undrafted free agents....but missing on our first two picks always hurts.
 

jdlboot14

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
The further we get into FA, the more I doubt JC will be back. It's sad, and I hate when we make homegrown CB stars and then they leave for big $ - Law, Samuel, Butler, Ryan... although none of them became better than when they were here. And, I have to assume the same for Jackson. The money he'll get is too much for us when we need fixes at multiple positions. We're banking on Mills, Jones returning, and Wade developing - which will be a steal if he can play up to his potential. And also a high draft pick CB?
 

WinstonSmith

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Good read by Cox...analyzes every defensive player and grades them for 2021...he doesn't hold back...I sometimes wondered while reading the piece, if he didn' t post on here occasionally.


Good stuff and perhaps he does post here, although Captain Cox sounds like a porn name...
 

DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
The Pats situation (13.5M) right now makes it extremely limited on what they can do. They MUST redo some of the contracts, converting Salary to SB just to have enough money to put tenders on Jackson and Meyers. I love Jakob Johnson, they'll put a low tender on him if they don't flat out re-sign him prior to the start of Free Agency.

Tom had Troy Brown, David Patten, David Givens and Deion Branch by his 2nd season. Branch was the goto guy more than Brown by the 3rd season and Branch played on the outside and in the slot. Just like Welker, Edelman and Amendola.

We don't know what Olszewski can do yet. The few plays he had, he got open and made the catch. With the likes of Bourne, Meyers, and Agholor in front of him this year, He wasn't going to get a chance regardless of how well he did in practice because of those 3. It took Edelman 5 years before he earned a full-time starting position. People will point to the year that Welker went down and what Edelman did, but that scenario hasn't happened for Olszewski.

You said you think there are better options out there that can return Punts and be the Slot receiver. That may be, but we've already established that the Pats don't have a lot of wiggle room this year in regards to salary. So, who are the prospects from the draft that would fit this bill? A primary slot receiver who can move outside when needed ala Edelman, Branch, Welker, etc?

Where are those other ppl before claiming we had a ton of cap room to keep JC? We don't. Too many horrible expensive contracts and many are hard to move.
 

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