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Our ridicously early 53s

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Sep 12th

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Kenneth Sims

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It’s never too early for a 53 guesstimate. Reportedly, last year’s liberalized IR and PS rules will continue this year. Vested veterans with 4+ years of experience are not subject to waivers until after the trade deadline. And, two practice squad members can be activated to the 48 player game roster without waivers.

QBs (2) Jones, Stidham - No one can offer any good reason not to start Jones if he gives you as good of a chance to win as Newton which will be clear he does by the end of training camp. Also, there’s no good reason for Newton to hang around as a backup. His $3.5 million is already in his pocket, and he cannot earn his incentives on the sidelines. Hoyer starts the season on the PS, but will be added to the 53 in-season as injuries and as IR moves at other positions opens a spot. He has $100,000 of guaranteed salary coming his way plus his PS salary to keep the Hoyer family solvent until his promotion.

RBs (5) Harris, Michel, White, Taylor, Stephenson - Bolden is waived to get down to 53 but will be resigned when one of the other backs gets placed on IR after the cutdown allowing them to return later. It’s a perilous strategy that the Pats tried in 2018 only to have Bolden escape to Miami. For the IR police out there, because of the physicality of the position, RBs are hurt most of the time but play through it. Sony Michel’s knee would qualify him for the IR at anytime.

WRs (5) Agholor, Meyers, Bourne, Olszewski, Zuber - Harry is traded. It will be one of those Harry and a 6 rounder for a 5th rounder type trades. Nixon and Wilkerson make it to the IR. Zuber gets the 5th spot because of his speed and versatility. He can legitimately back up each of the top 3 receivers and return kicks and punts backing up Olszewski.

TEs/FB (4) Smith, Henry, Asiasi, Johnson - Dalton Keene has been invisible this offseason which does not bode well for him. Plus, I heard somewhere that Keene suffered a pretty serious neck injury last season which is not exactly conducive to a long NFL career.

OL (8) - Wynn, Onwenu, Andrews, Mason, Brown, Karras, Herron, Cajuste - This is a position like QB that will add another roster spot or two as the season progresses. Until then, probably 4 spots on the PS will be filled by OLineman. Ferentz will have a spot, and his $130,000 salary guarantee will help him make ends meet until he’s inevitably promoted to the 53. Marcus Martin or Alex Redmond are other possibilities along with General Sherman.

STs (6) - Bailey, Cardona, Folk, Slater, Bethel, Davis - Nordin will have to clearly beat Folk to win the PK spot because of Bill’s affinity for veteran kickers and Folk’s $1.1 million salary is guaranteed.

DLs (5) - Guy, Godchaux, Anderson, Wise, Barmore - My definition of DLineman are players who primarily will be used in a 3- point stance. I believe we’ll see 3 DLs on the field more on early downs than we have the last couple of seasons. I also see this as another position that could add another roster spot as the year progresses. If 4 “veterans” are allowed on the PS again this year, Adams, Spence and Davis would be candidates for the PS and a future promotion to the 53.

LBs (8) - Hightower, Judon, Van Noy, Uche, Jennings, McMillan, Langi, Perkins - I just don’t see a role for Winovich prompting another trade for a 2022 pick. McMillan and Langi add speed and ST value. Bentley, after a promising start, is someone like Jordan Richards who actually hurts me to watch play. McGrone starts the season on the PUP list.

CBs (6) - Gilmore, Jackson, Jones, Mills, Jackson, Williams - Gilmore’s situation gets resolved either with a ST extension or just a sweetening of his 2021 compensation. I initially left JoeJuan Williams off the list but talked myself out of it. Outside corner depth might be my biggest concern with this D.

S (4) McCourty, Phillips, Dugger, Bryant - Bledsoe starts on the PUP after his wrist surgery.
 

Ross12

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Staff member
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It’s never too early for a 53 guesstimate. Reportedly, last year’s liberalized IR and PS rules will continue this year. Vested veterans with 4+ years of experience are not subject to waivers until after the trade deadline. And, two practice squad members can be activated to the 48 player game roster without waivers.

QBs (2) Jones, Stidham - No one can offer any good reason not to start Jones if he gives you as good of a chance to win as Newton which will be clear he does by the end of training camp. Also, there’s no good reason for Newton to hang around as a backup. His $3.5 million is already in his pocket, and he cannot earn his incentives on the sidelines. Hoyer starts the season on the PS, but will be added to the 53 in-season as injuries and as IR moves at other positions opens a spot. He has $100,000 of guaranteed salary coming his way plus his PS salary to keep the Hoyer family solvent until his promotion.

RBs (5) Harris, Michel, White, Taylor, Stephenson - Bolden is waived to get down to 53 but will be resigned when one of the other backs gets placed on IR after the cutdown allowing them to return later. It’s a perilous strategy that the Pats tried in 2018 only to have Bolden escape to Miami. For the IR police out there, because of the physicality of the position, RBs are hurt most of the time but play through it. Sony Michel’s knee would qualify him for the IR at anytime.

WRs (5) Agholor, Meyers, Bourne, Olszewski, Zuber - Harry is traded. It will be one of those Harry and a 6 rounder for a 5th rounder type trades. Nixon and Wilkerson make it to the IR. Zuber gets the 5th spot because of his speed and versatility. He can legitimately back up each of the top 3 receivers and return kicks and punts backing up Olszewski.

TEs/FB (4) Smith, Henry, Asiasi, Johnson - Dalton Keene has been invisible this offseason which does not bode well for him. Plus, I heard somewhere that Keene suffered a pretty serious neck injury last season which is not exactly conducive to a long NFL career.

OL (8) - Wynn, Onwenu, Andrews, Mason, Brown, Karras, Herron, Cajuste - This is a position like QB that will add another roster spot or two as the season progresses. Until then, probably 4 spots on the PS will be filled by OLineman. Ferentz will have a spot, and his $130,000 salary guarantee will help him make ends meet until he’s inevitably promoted to the 53. Marcus Martin or Alex Redmond are other possibilities along with General Sherman.

STs (6) - Bailey, Cardona, Folk, Slater, Bethel, Davis - Nordin will have to clearly beat Folk to win the PK spot because of Bill’s affinity for veteran kickers and Folk’s $1.1 million salary is guaranteed.

DLs (5) - Guy, Godchaux, Anderson, Wise, Barmore - My definition of DLineman are players who primarily will be used in a 3- point stance. I believe we’ll see 3 DLs on the field more on early downs than we have the last couple of seasons. I also see this as another position that could add another roster spot as the year progresses. If 4 “veterans” are allowed on the PS again this year, Adams, Spence and Davis would be candidates for the PS and a future promotion to the 53.

LBs (8) - Hightower, Judon, Van Noy, Uche, Jennings, McMillan, Langi, Perkins - I just don’t see a role for Winovich prompting another trade for a 2022 pick. McMillan and Langi add speed and ST value. Bentley, after a promising start, is someone like Jordan Richards who actually hurts me to watch play. McGrone starts the season on the PUP list.

CBs (6) - Gilmore, Jackson, Jones, Mills, Jackson, Williams - Gilmore’s situation gets resolved either with a ST extension or just a sweetening of his 2021 compensation. I initially left JoeJuan Williams off the list but talked myself out of it. Outside corner depth might be my biggest concern with this D.

S (4) McCourty, Phillips, Dugger, Bryant - Bledsoe starts on the PUP after his wrist surgery.
I like this list for the most part... but in my head I think "they'll carry 6 RBs, and another TE, and they'll keep Bentley"... but I honestly don't know which 3 players would be gone to make that happen.
 

Kenneth Sims

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I like this list for the most part... but in my head I think "they'll carry 6 RBs, and another TE, and they'll keep Bentley"... but I honestly don't know which 3 players would be gone to make that happen.
I can easily see them keeping a 4th TE instead of Jakob Johnson and using a TE or OLineman as the lead blocker on goal line or short yardage. My 53 does have 6 RBs with one of them going on the short-term IR after cutdown. As for Bentley, Raekwon McMillan just gives you more in my opinion.
 

mgteich

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I honestly think if Zuber shows he has more value to the team than Harry, Harry will be gone. The thing is his skill set is overlapped as KR / gadget guy which is something Gunner does and others can do as well, but having size and being a contact receiver is something Harry (allegedly) does but neither of the other guys do. The real issue is the others are pretty good at what they are doing yet Harry has not shown that he does what the team wants (blocking, detailed route running, catching in traffic) at a high level. To me that's the core issue. If Harry doesn't show improvement he's gonna be gone, but the cost will be losing the things the team wanted from Harry. Maybe they'll find a WR some other team cuts at the deadline that has size and can block and both will be gone.


Wow, are those dudes twins? Both have the same nerd gene.
We usually don't carry even one returner-only player; carrying two is just plain silly.
 
Last edited:

betterthanthealternative

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It's not fake injuries. This is a league-wide practice where even minor injuries that can be "played through" in other circumstances are used as the basis for IR. In addition "pre-existing" conditions can also be utilized such as physical therapy or even minor "cartilage cleanup" and the like. It's not breaking the rules, it is interpreting liberally.

I posted this in another thread. I still think this is more fan myth than actual practice, for the reasons below.

IIRC someone wrote a convincing post recently about how the Foxborough Flu is not only untrue, but also not possible in today's NFL. Something like this:
  • It requires a team going to a player and telling them they are injured and going on IR as a way of redshirting them.
  • The alternative is the player is cut and gets a chance to sign on with another team.
  • The vast majority of rookies who go on IR don't ever make it back to have a regular NFL career, so it stacks the odds against them before they even get started.
  • The player, the team, all of the team mates, all of the front office personnel people, the player's agent, and the player's friends/family all have to be on board with the lie.
  • The penalty the NFL would impose for this practice would be very painful...
  • ...especially if it were the Pats.
  • The idea that this could be a regular thing and not a single player or agent would have outed it by now simply isn't possible.
  • When pressed, the proponents of this theory have a difficult time naming players that had fake injuries and were brought back to play a significant role the following year. That pattern would have to be established as a successful pathway in order to get other all these stakeholders to align with it.
 

mgteich

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I can easily see them keeping a 4th TE instead of Jakob Johnson and using a TE or OLineman as the lead blocker on goal line or short yardage. My 53 does have 6 RBs with one of them going on the short-term IR after cutdown. As for Bentley, Raekwon McMillan just gives you more in my opinion.

I can easily see them keeping a 4th TE instead of Jakob Johnson and using a TE or OLineman as the lead blocker on goal line or short yardage. My 53 does have 6 RBs with one of them going on the short-term IR after cutdown. As for Bentley, Raekwon McMillan just gives you more in my opinion.
Over the last decade, a fullback has been used in more than goal-line or other jumbo situations. A fullback has often been a key part of the defense, IMO much more useful on the 53 (or the active roster) than a 4th TE.
 

ctpatsfan77

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It’s never too early for a 53 guesstimate. Reportedly, last year’s liberalized IR and PS rules will continue this year. Vested veterans with 4+ years of experience are not subject to waivers until after the trade deadline. And, two practice squad members can be activated to the 48 player game roster without waivers.
As a quick point: the COVID-related changes to the PS were the size (16 rather than 12) and the number of players with any level of experience (6 rather than 2). The elevation rule is in the CBA. [If they go back to the CBA for 2022, it'll be 14 players on the PS.]

Also, one other COVID change, which the Patriots apparently didn't take advantage of: teams can "protect" up to four PS players a week from poaching.
 

ctpatsfan77

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
I posted this in another thread. I still think this is more fan myth than actual practice, for the reasons below.

IIRC someone wrote a convincing post recently about how the Foxborough Flu is not only untrue, but also not possible in today's NFL. Something like this:
  • It requires a team going to a player and telling them they are injured and going on IR as a way of redshirting them.
  • The alternative is the player is cut and gets a chance to sign on with another team.
  • The vast majority of rookies who go on IR don't ever make it back to have a regular NFL career, so it stacks the odds against them before they even get started.
  • The player, the team, all of the team mates, all of the front office personnel people, the player's agent, and the player's friends/family all have to be on board with the lie.
  • The penalty the NFL would impose for this practice would be very painful...
  • ...especially if it were the Pats.
  • The idea that this could be a regular thing and not a single player or agent would have outed it by now simply isn't possible.
  • When pressed, the proponents of this theory have a difficult time naming players that had fake injuries and were brought back to play a significant role the following year. That pattern would have to be established as a successful pathway in order to get other all these stakeholders to align with it.

I'm going to come down somewhere in the middle here: there is no Foxboro flu of putting healthy players on IR, but players with significantly less-than-season-ending injuries do get placed on IR at cutdown time.

Example: Ryan Izzo. He suffered a high ankle sprain in the 2018 preseason. Initially, he still made the 53.

Unfortunately, someone in the FO whiffed badly at cutdown time, and they got two useless WRs off waiver claims—Chad Hansen, who lasted about a week, and Amare Darboh, who went on IR himself.

To make room for them, they had to put Izzo on IR with no possibility of return.
 

Ochmed Jones

Pro Bowl Player
It’s never too early for a 53 guesstimate. Reportedly, last year’s liberalized IR and PS rules will continue this year. Vested veterans with 4+ years of experience are not subject to waivers until after the trade deadline. And, two practice squad members can be activated to the 48 player game roster without waivers.

QBs (2) Jones, Stidham - No one can offer any good reason not to start Jones if he gives you as good of a chance to win as Newton which will be clear he does by the end of training camp. Also, there’s no good reason for Newton to hang around as a backup. His $3.5 million is already in his pocket, and he cannot earn his incentives on the sidelines. Hoyer starts the season on the PS, but will be added to the 53 in-season as injuries and as IR moves at other positions opens a spot. He has $100,000 of guaranteed salary coming his way plus his PS salary to keep the Hoyer family solvent until his promotion.

RBs (5) Harris, Michel, White, Taylor, Stephenson - Bolden is waived to get down to 53 but will be resigned when one of the other backs gets placed on IR after the cutdown allowing them to return later. It’s a perilous strategy that the Pats tried in 2018 only to have Bolden escape to Miami. For the IR police out there, because of the physicality of the position, RBs are hurt most of the time but play through it. Sony Michel’s knee would qualify him for the IR at anytime.

WRs (5) Agholor, Meyers, Bourne, Olszewski, Zuber - Harry is traded. It will be one of those Harry and a 6 rounder for a 5th rounder type trades. Nixon and Wilkerson make it to the IR. Zuber gets the 5th spot because of his speed and versatility. He can legitimately back up each of the top 3 receivers and return kicks and punts backing up Olszewski.

TEs/FB (4) Smith, Henry, Asiasi, Johnson - Dalton Keene has been invisible this offseason which does not bode well for him. Plus, I heard somewhere that Keene suffered a pretty serious neck injury last season which is not exactly conducive to a long NFL career.

OL (8) - Wynn, Onwenu, Andrews, Mason, Brown, Karras, Herron, Cajuste - This is a position like QB that will add another roster spot or two as the season progresses. Until then, probably 4 spots on the PS will be filled by OLineman. Ferentz will have a spot, and his $130,000 salary guarantee will help him make ends meet until he’s inevitably promoted to the 53. Marcus Martin or Alex Redmond are other possibilities along with General Sherman.

STs (6) - Bailey, Cardona, Folk, Slater, Bethel, Davis - Nordin will have to clearly beat Folk to win the PK spot because of Bill’s affinity for veteran kickers and Folk’s $1.1 million salary is guaranteed.

DLs (5) - Guy, Godchaux, Anderson, Wise, Barmore - My definition of DLineman are players who primarily will be used in a 3- point stance. I believe we’ll see 3 DLs on the field more on early downs than we have the last couple of seasons. I also see this as another position that could add another roster spot as the year progresses. If 4 “veterans” are allowed on the PS again this year, Adams, Spence and Davis would be candidates for the PS and a future promotion to the 53.

LBs (8) - Hightower, Judon, Van Noy, Uche, Jennings, McMillan, Langi, Perkins - I just don’t see a role for Winovich prompting another trade for a 2022 pick. McMillan and Langi add speed and ST value. Bentley, after a promising start, is someone like Jordan Richards who actually hurts me to watch play. McGrone starts the season on the PUP list.

CBs (6) - Gilmore, Jackson, Jones, Mills, Jackson, Williams - Gilmore’s situation gets resolved either with a ST extension or just a sweetening of his 2021 compensation. I initially left JoeJuan Williams off the list but talked myself out of it. Outside corner depth might be my biggest concern with this D.

S (4) McCourty, Phillips, Dugger, Bryant - Bledsoe starts on the PUP after his wrist surgery.

this is very well thought out. I like it a lot.

I had not read that keane had a neck injury. Those are very scary indeed.
 

betterthanthealternative

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Why is it a lie? There is an actual injury addressed so there is no lie. You do realize that over the course of the season EVERY player in the league has medically relevant trauma to their bodies - right? Why have trainers otherwise?????

Because Foxborough Flu is defined as a player either not having an injury at all, or the injury not actually requiring IR but being exaggerated by all involved to accommodate roster manipulation.
 

betterthanthealternative

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PatsFans.com Supporter
I'm going to come down somewhere in the middle here: there is no Foxboro flu of putting healthy players on IR, but players with significantly less-than-season-ending injuries do get placed on IR at cutdown time.

Example: Ryan Izzo. He suffered a high ankle sprain in the 2018 preseason. Initially, he still made the 53.

Unfortunately, someone in the FO whiffed badly at cutdown time, and they got two useless WRs off waiver claims—Chad Hansen, who lasted about a week, and Amare Darboh, who went on IR himself.

To make room for them, they had to put Izzo on IR with no possibility of return.

Every team does what you cite here, and it is within League rules, as long as the injury is reported as it is, not exagerated.

The line here on Patsfans is that "X Player is going to get Foxborough Flu" in reference to a perfectly healthy player, faking an injury, and thus extending the roster. By definition, Foxborough Flu refers to players that aren't yet injured, to manufacturing an injury. There's no "middle" to be had.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

NFL Expert / Tone Setter
PatsFans.com Supporter
My take on Winovich:

The team signed Judon. Van Noy’s best season here was at EDGE & they got him on a great deal. Uche flashed as a pass rusher (his reps vs. Orlando Brown & the Chargers are silly), went to Von Miller’s camp & has been one of the players on the rise from a good amount of reporters. On top of all that they drafted a 2nd round EDGE at pick 96.

I think alot fell into their lap at the position (notably Van Noy getting released & Perkins falling in the draft) that Winovich doesn’t have a clear path to playing time. I’d still rather experiment him at ILB before trading him for a day 3 pick:


He’s too good an athlete & has produced in the NFL to not be useful here. Might have to get creative.
Been watching tape on players and we're definitely seeing more Uche. Sudden, heavy hands, makes it very difficult on tackles. He had some nice reps vs Houston, Bills too. I'll post some clips soon but it's time to "unleash Uche"
 

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