Rebuild - Reboot - Reload or Nuke it?

2020 Patriots Season:
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Oct 4th

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JayNM

In the Starting Line-Up
The more i think about it, the more i feel like it will be time to rebuild...

If Brady stays, without a discount as reported, we would need to get at least 2 more weapons for him (1TE and 1WR) to give him a good chance... And by that i mean someone who can actually beat covers wihtout systematic assistence or a solid group of receivers

I think we can safely say that Dorsett isn't going to become anything more than what he is: A 4th WR at best. Harry, in special, has to surprise me to become one, so I am not counting him either. Meyers, when targeted was decent, but i can't re-watch games and Im not sure he has it, too - My thinking here is that if he had shown something, he would have had more playing time, considering what were putting on the field.

Basically, what Im saying is that, for us to have a competent offense, we gonna need to spend more there, because it will be a lot more costly on its own... and would take some part of the budget for Defense and STs, making our team worse overall
 

Hammer of Thor

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Regardless of the Brady resolution, I think the key to this offseason is rebuilding both lines, which includes the TE position.

- allows you to use Michel who has proven capable enough when given holes, which can help our offense look like the 2018 playoff offense again. And of course it would limit the chances of Brady/other QB getting destroyed out there when passing like Brady was this year .

- allows the team to stop the run better creating more 2nd and 3rd and longs. BB usually tries to be ahead of the curve but this year he was behind the curve - he finally built a defense that could stop/slow down the passing games of 2018 KC and 2017 Philly, but missed the total recommitment to the run and/or QB option that Baltimore and, to a lesser extent, Houston and Tennessee implemented. They lost to all 3. That’s got to eat at BB whose bread and butter for years was stopping the run above all else.

To that end, they need to know if Andrews is capable of coming back and how effective he will be. Same with Develin. If not, they need stud replacements ASAP; Karras and Roberts did admirable jobs but should not be long term solutions. If Thuney goes, they absolutely need a mauler to replace him. They cannot go into the season with that disaster at 3rd tackle again this year, knowing Wynn’s and Cannon’s injury histories and that Cannon is closer to the end than otherwise.

Obviously there’s only one Gronk. But they lost Allen too last year, and the two of them were the best TE blocking duo in the NFL in 2018. Not only were our 2019 TEs terrible in the passing game, but they couldn’t block for squat. Recommit to reloading the TE position with at least capable blockers if they can’t find a decent all around option.

They need upgrades at WR too, but given the huge cap hit with acquiring a veteran and the issues the team has had drafting/integrating young ones, I feel like they’re more likely to succeed in getting players that will succeed here by prioritizing the lines and TE, where they have proven success in drafting/integrating those players over the years.
 

NYCPATS4LIFE

In the Starting Line-Up
Regardless of the Brady resolution, I think the key to this offseason is rebuilding both lines, which includes the TE position.

- allows you to use Michel who has proven capable enough when given holes, which can help our offense look like the 2018 playoff offense again. And of course it would limit the chances of Brady/other QB getting destroyed out there when passing like Brady was this year .

- allows the team to stop the run better creating more 2nd and 3rd and longs. BB usually tries to be ahead of the curve but this year he was behind the curve - he finally built a defense that could stop/slow down the passing games of 2018 KC and 2017 Philly, but missed the total recommitment to the run and/or QB option that Baltimore and, to a lesser extent, Houston and Tennessee implemented. They lost to all 3. That’s got to eat at BB whose bread and butter for years was stopping the run above all else.

To that end, they need to know if Andrews is capable of coming back and how effective he will be. Same with Develin. If not, they need stud replacements ASAP; Karras and Roberts did admirable jobs but should not be long term solutions. If Thuney goes, they absolutely need a mauler to replace him. They cannot go into the season with that crap at 3rd tackle again this year, knowing Wynn’s and Cannon’s injury histories and that Cannon is closer to the end than otherwise.

Obviously there’s only one Gronk. But they lost Allen too last year, and the two of them were the best TE blocking duo in the NFL in 2018. Not only were our 2019 TEs terrible in the passing game, but they couldn’t block for squat. Recommit to reloading the TE position with at least capable blockers if they can’t find a decent all around option.

They need upgrades at WR too, but given the huge cap hit with acquiring a veteran and the issues the team has had drafting/integrating young ones, I feel like they’re more likely to succeed in getting players that will succeed here by prioritizing the lines and TE, where they have proven success in drafting/integrating those players over the years.
If they move on from brady and being back the same crap at wr i am gonna feel bad for stidham. That can stunt a growth for a young QB.
 

patriot1136

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
So much of next year I feel like depends on Andrews and Develin coming back, if they can come back.
 

Hammer of Thor

PatsFans.com Supporter
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If they move on from brady and being back the same crap at wr i am gonna feel bad for stidham. That can stunt a growth for a young QB.
I don’t disagree and am not suggesting no attempts at upgrades. But given past history here and the salary needs of a real stud WR, unless somehow another Randy Moss becomes available (no comment, don’t want to derail into another AB thread....), I’d rather see them attempt this with mid-lower level free agents (like LaFell and Hogan) and hope for that outcome, rather than spending big bucks or a day 1/2 draft pick. But that’s my opinion; prioritizing cap and picks on WR is certainly a valid approach but in my opinion likely has a smaller chance of improving the overall offense. I certainly agree that we don’t want them walking into 2020 training camp with the same group of guys (plus udfa’s and injury flyers).
 

mgteich

PatsFans.com Veteran
PatsFans.com Supporter
Agree.

Another factor is when we'll know whether they are able to comeback at anywhere near their former production.

So much of next year I feel like depends on Andrews and Develin coming back, if they can come back.
 
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203Pat

In the Starting Line-Up
Put all your chips in. Draft will not help Brady situation. He won't throw to rookies so let's stop the Draft non-sense. Please don't think even if we Draft a guy, TB will throw to him. The last rookie WR Brady threw to Mitchell was in tears trying to get on the same page as TB. He ignored an open Harry a couple plays the last two games. Meyers? Tom just stopped throwing to him. Edelman led the league in dropped passes. Throwing to the rookies, what's the worse that can happen?

I am moving Burkhead to more WR snaps

Sign both Hooper and Henry as dual TE no matter what. Look at the Ravens. Yes Jackson is slippery, but their two TE (actually three) of Andrews, Hurst and Boyle have 125 catches and 14 TDs in combination. Without them, the Ravens WR core is as mediocre as the Pats.

Next on the agenda is Rishard Higgins who is buried in Cleveland by Jarvis and OBJ. He went from 39 catches and 4 TDs in 2018 almost 15 yards per catch, and through injury 6 games, and OBJ to 4 catches. Cheap to offset two TE big dollar signings.

Alternative? Robby Anderson has killed us. That skinny little dude gets open. 15 yards per catch and averages over 50 receptions a year with the NYJ.

On Defense? Resign Collins, Butler and Shelton. Get a Safety who can cover like Justin Simmons with 93 Tackles and 4 INTs this year. Chung and DMac are long in the tooth. Could a stout DE not named Hightower, like a young Leonard Williams fit?

OL? Please move on from Cannon. Resign Thunney and Karras. How about Bulaga to take Cannon's place? Can Karras play RT?

Trade chips? Hightower, Harmon perhaps Cannon and finally...............trade Sony Michel. Shocking? No. He fades some games. He is not a bell cow as thought. You might get a high third for him. His knees are still an issue. You drafted Harris for a reason. He was a stud at Alabama.

So Rebuild:
Hooper TE
Henry TE
Higgins WR (CHEAP)
Simmons S
Bulaga RT (MAYBE CHEAP)
Williams DE

DW Toys
As far as Brady not throwing to rookies but allegedly wanting the team to get him some help he will need to either take less money to make a move for a veteran, or start utilizing his rookies. I also feel like if they are in position to maybe move up to take one of the Bama receivers in the draft they would instantly be the second (or third if you count AB) most talented receiver Brady has had which should go a long ways to ease the learning curve.

As for moving Burkhead to receiver that is easier said than done. First off he is injury prone so it's not like you could have him in the Edelman role as he would end up on IR after one game of Edelman like usage. Second he is a good receiving back because he is a match up issue for linebackers coming out of the backfield. Line him up out wide as a receiver and have a corner covering him and that is a whole other story. In all likelihood his production is limited if he was a full time receiver.

I would love to sign both Henry and Hooper but I would be shocked to sign either based on what they likely will cost especially if we want to re-sign a lot of our defensive players. I would love a mid tier TE like Cameron Brate if the Bucs release him or maybe take a shot at a guy like Jack Doyle or Tyler Eifert and pair him with a rookie.

Rishard Higgins is the type of guy I would assume they would be targeting. Young, cheap, and buried on someone else's depth chart. Maybe they try a guy like Geronimo Allison or Nelson Agholor and then sign a couple of veteran journeymen and see who pans out. Robby Anderson is going to get paid by someone and I doubt we will come anywhere near what contract he gets.

As for the guys you're advocating to re-sign I would love to see it happen but I don't know if they will have the cap room. Maybe there's a slim chance Collins is willing to stay here after getting big money from the Browns a couple years ago but I would be very surprised if he doesn't sign with the highest bidder which is traditionally not us. Thuney is likely gone as he is another guy who will probably get near the top of the market in guard money and I would assume one of the guys we drafted last year will get a chance to compete for his spot.

I agree with you on dumping Cannon as it would save about $5 mill and he hasn't been able to stay healthy or even play that well when he's out there. I would assume he will be replaced by a bargain barrel veteran and they will draft a swing tackle who fills in next year. Chung may very well retire this year and his play seemed to slip down the stretch but he is still relatively cheap with a $5.8 million cap hit. Maybe they think more of Brooks than most do and give him a shot to start but as far as Justin Simmons goes I would assume both McCourty and Chung are gone if they are paying that much for a guy like Simmons. Leonard Williams is likely to get overpaid by the Giants as they paid a steep price to acquire him via trade.

The trade chips you mentioned won't be worth much. Hightower would be a very expensive aging rental at $11 million who doesn't fit in most schemes in today's NFL. Hightower is also a "surprise cut" candidate especially if we somehow re-signed Van Noy as cutting DH would save about $9 million. Sony maybe you get a mid round pick for but at that point why bother? He isn't a great RB but he is still cheap. Get what you can out of him and then let him walk or cut him when he gets (even) less productive.

All in all I think most of what we do in the offseason hinges on Brady. He is already going to count $13.5 million against the cap which severely limits what we do anywhere else if we don't have a QB on a rookie contract as our starter. We need to really nail this draft class and find some 2nd or 3rd tier free agents that perform well as this roster desperately needs a youth infusion.
 

QuantumMechanic

Burn it all down!
PatsFans.com Supporter
All in all I think most of what we do in the offseason hinges on Brady. He is already going to count $13.5 million against the cap which severely limits what we do anywhere else if we don't have a QB on a rookie contract as our starter. We need to really nail this draft class and find some 2nd or 3rd tier free agents that perform well as this roster desperately needs a youth infusion.
His dead money hit is $13.5mil in 2020 only if his contract is allowed to void in March (it stays $13.5mil even if he's re-signed, if he's resigned after the contract voids). If he is extended before the contract voids his dead money hit is $6.75mil in 2020 and $6.75mil in 2021. And obviously any cap hit from the new or extended contract is on top of those dead money cap hits.
 

Ring 6

PatsFans.com Wall of Fame Member
Reload. They could've been real close to fielding one of the leagues best teams this year with probably just another good WR, a TE, some OL back up and good health. It might just be a few really good players. Maybe just two.
Best defense in the NFL.
Offense was average but better red zone offense probably would have been enough all by itself to be championship worthy.
12-5 with 4 of the 5 losses within a possession.
Better red zone offense wins at least 3 of the 5.
 

203Pat

In the Starting Line-Up
His dead money hit is $13.5mil in 2020 only if his contract is allowed to void in March (it stays $13.5mil even if he's re-signed, if he's resigned after the contract voids). If he is extended before the contract voids his dead money hit is $6.75mil in 2020 and $6.75mil in 2021. And obviously any cap hit from the new or extended contract is on top of those dead money cap hits.
Then that is good news because it’s another reason to get him re-signed before it voids.
 

ivanvamp

In the Starting Line-Up
I'm undecided if Brady has regressed and has aged... Last season the same thing happened hence 13 points in the Superbowl. We say he had a beat up gronk and not having him this season stunted Brady

We have a plethora of excuses for the subpar offense rangibg from new era to a bad line... No tight ends... And then the injuries but i don't get it. Even the worst teams could get guys open whether man or zone defense. They couldn't even get pick plays right. Im Getting more the feel it might be time to move on unfortunately.

If we had average offense we would have a legit shot at a sb. Take away the defensive and special teams scores I bet the offense was at the bottom
Brady *has* regressed and aged. But he's regressing from elite status to merely pretty damned good. The numbers are definitely down but those need to be taken into context, so he's better than the numbers indicate. That said, he's not as good as he used to be.

But this team was really good this year. Schedule be damned, they were 12-4, got COMPLETELY screwed by the refs in one game (KC), and honestly should have beaten Miami. I'm not saying 14-2 is their true level, but 13-3 is probably more like it. Put them up against a difficult schedule and they're probably an 11-5 team, which is still in the small group of best teams in the league.

They have a great foundation. Sure they have holes to fill. Every year, every team turns over about 1/3 of its roster. Whichever team wins the Super Bowl will experience that when the season ends. They'll all lose key players to free agency and trade and just getting cut (maybe for financial reasons). Everyone will try to find new players via free agency, trade, or the draft (or UDFAs) to fill those holes. Is there any franchise that's been better about managing the cap, acquiring the right players, coaching them up, and putting a team together than the New England Patriots under Bill Belichick?

The answer is NO. Never in the history of the sport has there been such a franchise. Ever. That's not to say they should win it all every year; that's absurd for anyone to suggest that. Winning it 6 out of 19 years, while simultaneously being GREAT every year they don't win it, is just an out-of-this-world accomplishment. They just constantly reload. Even a "down" year is like this year: 12-4 and losing in the WC round. Or going 10-6 in 2005 or 2009, winning the division, and losing in the first round of the playoffs. Those are DOWN years for this franchise.

Absolutely reload and run it back. See what happens.
 

Ring 6

PatsFans.com Wall of Fame Member
What happens when this team slips is it makes philosophical/scheme changes along with personnel
2002 the defense stank. 2003 the changed from 43 to 34 brought in players and won a Sb on the strength of a great defense.
2006 offense slipped as passing game became more critical due to rule changes. In come moss and welker and the slot-revolving scheme is created.
2009 offense struggled without welker and the scheme became exposed. In comes the creation of the 2 TE base and gronk and the murderer.
2011-12 pass defense issues, leads to switch switch over to nickel base then acquire revis and browner and win a Sb

So I think what we are going to see this off season is a combination of scheme and personnel changes on offense designed at correcting the flaws that have been exposed in the current personell and schemes as well
as being ahead of the curve of league wide changes. My instinct is that this will be a move toward a more efficient, less big play oriented offense that is good in the red zone. That may include a return to the 2 TE base with at least one being a great blocker, shoring up the OL as a priority, or it could be something else. In any event the 2020 offense is going to look very different schematically than 2019 did. That’s a very safe bet if you are paying attention to the history.
 

ivanvamp

In the Starting Line-Up
Best defense in the NFL.
Offense was average but better red zone offense probably would have been enough all by itself to be championship worthy.
12-5 with 4 of the 5 losses within a possession.
Better red zone offense wins at least 3 of the 5.
In their 5 losses:

- They out-gained their opponents in 2 of them (Hou, Ten).
- They got screwed by the refs in one of them (KC).
- The opponents recovered all five fumbles they lost in two of them, a 1-in-32 chance of happening (Mia, Ten).
- An Edelman drop likely cost them one game (Ten).

I mean, they lost those games. Plain and simple. This isn't whining. It's simply pointing out that they were REALLY close to going like 14-2.
 

holyredeemer

In the Starting Line-Up
Regardless of the Brady resolution, I think the key to this offseason is rebuilding both lines, which includes the TE position.

- allows you to use Michel who has proven capable enough when given holes, which can help our offense look like the 2018 playoff offense again. And of course it would limit the chances of Brady/other QB getting destroyed out there when passing like Brady was this year .

- allows the team to stop the run better creating more 2nd and 3rd and longs. BB usually tries to be ahead of the curve but this year he was behind the curve - he finally built a defense that could stop/slow down the passing games of 2018 KC and 2017 Philly, but missed the total recommitment to the run and/or QB option that Baltimore and, to a lesser extent, Houston and Tennessee implemented. They lost to all 3. That’s got to eat at BB whose bread and butter for years was stopping the run above all else.

To that end, they need to know if Andrews is capable of coming back and how effective he will be. Same with Develin. If not, they need stud replacements ASAP; Karras and Roberts did admirable jobs but should not be long term solutions. If Thuney goes, they absolutely need a mauler to replace him. They cannot go into the season with that disaster at 3rd tackle again this year, knowing Wynn’s and Cannon’s injury histories and that Cannon is closer to the end than otherwise.

Obviously there’s only one Gronk. But they lost Allen too last year, and the two of them were the best TE blocking duo in the NFL in 2018. Not only were our 2019 TEs terrible in the passing game, but they couldn’t block for squat. Recommit to reloading the TE position with at least capable blockers if they can’t find a decent all around option.

They need upgrades at WR too, but given the huge cap hit with acquiring a veteran and the issues the team has had drafting/integrating young ones, I feel like they’re more likely to succeed in getting players that will succeed here by prioritizing the lines and TE, where they have proven success in drafting/integrating those players over the years.
Agree completely. We have to start in the trenches on both sides of the ball. As you stated, if we lost Thuney, a dire situation becomes even worse. Throw the Andrews uncertainty in the mix, and you have some serious concerns. I wouldn’t be surprised if we target OL & DL heavily in the draft. Even with the 2 rooks coming back from injury, our depth will need some improvement. On the DL, we need some BEEF!!!
 

holyredeemer

In the Starting Line-Up
What happens when this team slips is it makes philosophical/scheme changes along with personnel
2002 the defense stank. 2003 the changed from 43 to 34 brought in players and won a Sb on the strength of a great defense.
2006 offense slipped as passing game became more critical due to rule changes. In come moss and welker and the slot-revolving scheme is created.
2009 offense struggled without welker and the scheme became exposed. In comes the creation of the 2 TE base and gronk and the murderer.
2011-12 pass defense issues, leads to switch switch over to nickel base then acquire revis and browner and win a Sb

So I think what we are going to see this off season is a combination of scheme and personnel changes on offense designed at correcting the flaws that have been exposed in the current personell and schemes as well
as being ahead of the curve of league wide changes. My instinct is that this will be a move toward a more efficient, less big play oriented offense that is good in the red zone. That may include a return to the 2 TE base with at least one being a great blocker, shoring up the OL as a priority, or it could be something else. In any event the 2020 offense is going to look very different schematically than 2019 did. That’s a very safe bet if you are paying attention to the history.
It’s going to be interesting to follow this offseason. The direction we go is going to have to start with #12. He stays, he goes, two completely different ways to build.
 

Ring 6

PatsFans.com Wall of Fame Member
In their 5 losses:

- They out-gained their opponents in 2 of them (Hou, Ten).
- They got screwed by the refs in one of them (KC).
- The opponents recovered all five fumbles they lost in two of them, a 1-in-32 chance of happening (Mia, Ten).
- An Edelman drop likely cost them one game (Ten).

I mean, they lost those games. Plain and simple. This isn't whining. It's simply pointing out that they were REALLY close to going like 14-2.
Right it’s not saying they didn’t lose them it’s saying the margin is thin.
Even with the screwing by the refs they were at the 5 and could t punch it in and also settled for a 29 td fg.
Any of 100 things could have beaten Miami
Red zone offense all by itself cost them the tenn game

They got beaten badly in a few games in 2018 and pulled it together to win it all. I think the real difference this year was the offense never establishing an identity and figuring out how to use its players best. The OL issues made that harder to do but as the ol improved it seemed like they still ran an offense designed with no confidence in the ol.
 

203Pat

In the Starting Line-Up
In their 5 losses:

- They out-gained their opponents in 2 of them (Hou, Ten).
- They got screwed by the refs in one of them (KC).
- The opponents recovered all five fumbles they lost in two of them, a 1-in-32 chance of happening (Mia, Ten).
- An Edelman drop likely cost them one game (Ten).

I mean, they lost those games. Plain and simple. This isn't whining. It's simply pointing out that they were REALLY close to going like 14-2.
And the two Bills games and the Cowboys game they could have lost. The Texans game they outgained them with a bunch of plastic yards at the end when Houston went into a very crappy prevent defense.

You can say they could've ended up 11-5 just as easily as they could've ended up 14-2.
 
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