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Road to TC : Picks & Consequences

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long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
The fog of offseason roster building is slowly lifting - so this might be a good opportunity for first big picture look.
Roster is currently at 88 - but there will be still a lot of traffic after tryouts, OTAs and minicamp.

Before sharing some of my roster building thoughts here is a roster overview. Some position are interchangeable, depth is arbitrary etc..

Note:
in brackets # of players usually carried to TC
violet > FA & trade additions; blue > draftees; grey > UDFAs & futures contracts


QB (4) - 10Jones (23, 2024+1, $3.5), 4Stidham (26, 2022, $1.1), 5Hoyer (36, 2023, $1.8/3g), #Zappe (23,2025,$)

RB (6-7) - 37D.Harris (25,2022,$1.2), 38Stevenson* (24,2024,$1), 28White (30,2023,$1.5/0.5g), #Strong (23,2025,$), #Montgomery* (+WR,29,2023,),
- - - - - - - 42JJ.Taylor (24,2022,$0,9), #K.Harris (21,2025,$), 34Ozigbo (25, futures)

WR (10-11) - #Parker (29,2023,$6), 15Agholor (29,2022,$15/10T/5C), 16Meyers (25, 2022, $4), 84Bourne, (27,2023,$5.7), #Thornton* (21,2025,$) ,
- - - - - - - - - 1Harry (24,2022,$3.2/1.2C), 17Wilkerson (25, futures), 87Nixon (24, futures), 19Perry (25, futures), #King (+QB/RB,24,2024,$)

TE (6) - 81Smith (27,2024,$13.8/R?), 85Henry (27,2023,$15/R), 86Asiasi (25,2023,$1.2), 44Keene (23,2023,$1.2)

OT (6) - 76Wynn (26,2022,$10.4), 77Brown (29,2023,4.5$), 75Herron (26,2023,$1), 70Durant (24,2022,$1), 72Cajuste (25,2022,$1),
- - - - - - #Stueber (RTG+C,23,2025)

OG (6) - 71Onwenu (24,2023,$0,9), #Strange (24,2025+1,$2.2), #Hambright (LG,26,futures), 68Sherman (G+T,23,futures ), #Desjarlais (LG,25,futures),
--------- - #Hines (+C,22,2025,$)

OC (3) - 60Andrews (30,2024,5.4$), 65Ferentz (33,2022,$0.9), #Shanahan (+G,22,2024,$), #Russey (,2024,$)


DL (7-8) - 90Barmore (23,2024,$2), 92Godchaux (27,2022,$10.3/4.4E/5C), 93Guy (32,2024,$4.5/3.3C),98C.Davis (30,$), 95Ekuale (28,2022,$1.1)
---------- - 99Cowart (26,2022,$0,9), #Roberts (24,2025,$), 97Murray (25,futures), #Ray (,2024,$)

ED (7-8) - 9Judon (30,2024,$16.5), 91Wise* (DE,28,2024,$4.3), 55Uche* (24,2023,$1.5), 51Perkins (22,2024,1$), 94Anderson (DE,31,2022,$2.3),
----------- #D.Mitchell (23,2024)

LB (7-8) - 8Bentley* (26,2023, $2.4), 58Jennings* (25,2023,$1.2), 46McMillan (26,2022,$1.1), 45McGrone (22,2024,$0.9), 48Tavai* (25,2022,$1.2),
---------- - #Wilson* (24, 2022, $2.5), 59Hall* (25,2022,$0.8), 52Langi* (29,2022,$1)

S (6-7) - 32D.McCourty* (35,2022, ), 23Dugger* (26,2023,$2.3), 21Phillips* (30,2024,$3.2), #Peppers (26,2022,$), 41Bryant* (24,2022,$0.9),
--------- - 24Bledsoe (23,2024,$0.9), #Schooler* (FS/WR,?,2024,$), Tipett (invite)

CB (9-11) - 2Mills* (28,2024,$6.1), 31Jon Jones* (28,2022,$8.2/6C/T), #Butler (32,2023,2.2$), 33Williams* (24,2022,$2.1/1.4C),
------------- 26Wade (23,2024,$0.8), #T.Mitchell (30,2022,$), #M.Jones* (23,2025,$), #Jack Jones (24,2025,$),


ST - 6Folk (37,2023,$2.2), 7Bailey (25,2022,$4*/E), 49Cardona (30,2022,$1.3/E), 3Nordin (24,futures), #Julien (P,2024,$)
---- - 18Slater (37,2022,$1.3), 29Bethel (SS/CB,32,2023,$2), 22Cody Davis (FS,33,2022,2.3$)

-.-
 
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long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
@ QB

Drafting QB was hardly a surprise - there is always value in that - and 4th round is not out of the norm.
Moreover . Stidham is in a contract yr, he couldn't outplay Hoyer for a backup role in 3 seasons so the writing was on the wall.
He probably did not add much scouting value since his skillset is similar to the other two.

Another QB - King - was added after the draft - and he does provide useful skillset for scout team purposes.
I have him listed as WR bc i think his way on the 53 team leads possibly through receiving (WR or RB).

Both additions put Stidham on the way out. It doesn't mean this move is imminent but imo it is likely.
It would be nice if there would be some interest in him as a backup elsewhere and get a low round pick in return but thats probably not the reality.
It is true the Draft QB class was historically underwhelming so maybe there's a chance but straight release at convenient time is real option.

Hoyer will most likely stay on the roster not only bc of his mentorship and some backup capacity but bc of his new guaranteed contract.
 

Ivan

Hall of Fame Poster
QB-Stidham is a goner. Boyer will be kept and replace MacDaniels as the voice on the bench beside Jones during games. Zappe may stick as the 3rd, or they may try to slide him to the PS.
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Yes, there is a minimum but no maximum.

So you pay a guy 3M guaranteed $ in March (guaranteed salaries in 2022 and 2023) and then cut him in August - losing additional 1M cap space in a tight cap situation - then adding him to PS paying him additional $ and losing more cap - then elevating him back to 53 paying additional $ and cap .. - just to make some fans happy saving a roster spot?

BTW - elevations are limited - and one major point of keeping Hoyer esp. this season wo McD is to be with him on the bench during games.
Not to mention BB will prob trust Hoyer over Zappe as a backup in Sep.. Hence the contract.
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
“S-KILL“


Upgrading WR position this offseason was clinical - decisively addressing two weak points relatively on the cheap:
outside #/contested - Parker - trade 2023 3rd for 2022 5th - 2x6M cap - no guarantees
speed/slant - Thornton - draft #50

Harry is on his way out by the looks of things. They could try/use him as TE backup esp. since they lack TC depth there atm but i dont think practice squad/backup receiver/blocker is acceptable for the Harry camp.

For the moment they kept all the solid WR depth from last yr and possibly added King so this looks like a solid position on all levels ready to compete for roster/PS spots. Special Teams will be the key for depth guys.

-

Adding two RBs was the biggest surprise and while on closer look there is some reasoning for it - it still remains iffy use of resources.

At first glance Strong would project as insurance for White coming back from nagging inj. (might not be fully ready for TC - prob start on PUP) and replacement of JJ Taylor who was not able to really step up so far. BB usually keeps 4th rounders on 53 roster so it will be interesting to see how the math works out with Montgomery a strong candidate to fill Bolden spot + backing up WR position.
White has only 500k guaranteed so he is not a lock in any case.

K.Harris is prob PS addition for this yr - who they must really liked - and possibly next in line if they dont/cant extend D.Harris.
This might also mean the end of the line for my boy Ozigbo.

-

Not adding ANY TE depth was surprising as well.
They usually carry 6 TE + 1-2 FBs to TC. Atm. they only have 4 TEs signed.
UDFA is the cheapest way to fill the bottom of the roster so maybe there will be additions from there yet.

On the other hand the Top 51 cutoff cap number for NE is currently at over 1M - which means minimum vet contracts will not count against cap anyway. That could mean they intend to bring back Fumagalli.

There are some nice experienced depth options still available in FA: Pruitt, Kroft, Bell, Ebron, Griffin..
 

40yrpatsfan

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
I hope we can get some return on Harry. I don't see how he makes the team this year.
 

holyredeemer

In the Starting Line-Up
Isn’t it awful to think that we’re most likely dropping a 1st & 4th rd pick (still on rookie deals) before this season starts and getting nothing in return?! I really do hope this class can show up like last years. We can’t afford misses like that anymore, or at least not for a long while.
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Isn’t it awful to think that we’re most likely dropping a 1st & 4th rd pick (still on rookie deals) before this season starts and getting nothing in return?! I really do hope this class can show up like last years. We can’t afford misses like that anymore, or at least not for a long while.

Its a bummer no doubt - but the following period (at least 2-3 years) - will be the easiest to compensate for Draft misses.
Of course, hitting on starters in the Draft - esp most expensive positions - helps immensely and prolongs the good cap period.

As long as Mac confirms he is the guy - roster around him will start falling in place quickly after this season.
 
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holyredeemer

In the Starting Line-Up
Its a bummer no doubt - but the following period (at least 2-3 years) - will be the easiest to compensate for Draft misses.
Of course, hitting on starters in the Draft - esp most expensive positions - helps immensely and prolongs the good cap period.

As long as Mac confirms he is the guy - roster around him will start falling in place quickly after this season.
I’m really intrigued by the options at slot. Nearly all of our guys from last year can play admirably out of the slot, but if we can somehow find a diamond in the rough at the slot to fit what we’re all so accustomed to, Mac will start fires. Someone who just gets open quickly and churns out first downs all over the field. Guys like Parker, Agholor, & Thornton will have to be respected down the field. If Bourne gets better in yr. 2 & Smith can figure it out, here we go!
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
@OL

Putting aside fans wishes and evaluations - this (spec. G) was the only real hole in NE roster going to the Draft - as you can see from the scheme.
After trading Mason - G was the only position on the team returning only one player with adequate starting experience.
So OL was always the first selection of this Draft in my book.

While it was hard to see passing on Karlaftis f.e. - Strange was a solid pick fitting the expected profile.
Green (15), Zion (17) and Penning (19) - fitting similar profile - all went just before - so it will be interesting to see 4y down the road how they compare to Strange + Jack Jones + Zappe + 2023 3rd.

Strange projects to fill the starting LG spot in 2022 - and will be able to back up LT & C as well. That alone is worth the pick.
His future could be any of those positions - so he is also option at LT going forward. He is stronger, more athletic and longer (arms) than Thuney.

Pats were reportedly high on Vera Tucker last yr (fortunately Mac fell into their laps) who had similar traits to Thuney as well (slightly more polished but less athletic) so this pick should've made sense for people who were paying attention and following Senior Bowl.

-

After punting FA (aside from returning Mount Brown), Pats loaded on additional OL on Saturday . adding 2 more draftees and 2 UDFAs:
Hines is IOL best suited at RG with some C versatility and looking at the roster has legitimate shot at making 53.
I would not be surprised if the last draft pick Stueber also makes the roster - with his size, toughness, experience, leadership and versatility to back up at least 4 positions (LT might be a stretch).

The 2 UDFAs - Shanahan and Russy - are adding some center depth for TC and id be surprised if anything more than PS comes out of it - perhaps Shanahan has an outside chance to replace Ferentz if need be.

-

Looks like these positions are more or less set for TC. There are some decent options still available in FA but older and prob too expensive to make sense at this point. Hambright, Desjarlais and maybe Sherman should be competitive to earn a backup spot.
Durant and Cajuste were major disappointments last yr imo and this could be the end of the road for at least one of them.
 
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zimmy

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Initial takeaways:

Stidham and Harry are gone at some point before or during training camp. They will likely try and wait and see if they can get a late pick for Stidham. Think they would prefer to have Harry gone sooner - to avoid him being a distraction. Agholor should be feeling nervous. If Thornton has a good camp, they will be looking to save some money, particularly if Wilkerson or Nixon looks like they've also taken a jump.

There are lots of intriguing options down the OL depth chart for what should be an interesting camp battle.

There is a real opportunity for Perkins, Uche and dare I say it Jennings to step up and take the OLB spot across from Judon. Although most realistic scenario is they bring in a Trey Flowers type.

Joejuan Williams is also a certain cut. With two incoming rookies, the depth chart feels full there and there might even be a roster battle for Shaun Wade . He'll be a guy to watch - I wouldn't rule out him running with the 1sts come early training camp or a cut candidate. Feels like he has a wide range of outcomes.

With James White still recovering, there is an opportunity for Pierre Strong or JJ Taylor to grasp the 3rd down back role.

Still feels like the DT spot is a little light and could use a real established nose tackle to stop the run. Godchaux and Guy seem to be better as a 3-4 ends and just a little light as a true nose. I doubt Carl Davis is the answer.

I'm looking forward to seeing these young linebackers - McGrone, Wilson, Uche even Tavai and Jennings - show up and compete and show we don't need to bring back a Hightower/Collins/Van Noy type veteran. Hope they get a chance.

Safety feels the strength of the team. McCourty, Dugger, Philips, Peppers must be competing for the best safety room in the league. I kind of like Josh Bledsoe too but it's going to be tough for him to sniff the field without injuries.
 

goheels22002

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
With 3M guaranteed contract?
Agreed. I think it's time to let Hoyer go as a player and consider keeping him as a coach, especially in the context of Josh having left with the QB coach. Hoyer knows this system cold, is dug in here in Boston and by all accounts a great teammate-QB room guy.

Stidham more than had his chance to move into a prominent position with Brady leaving, a weird transition to Cam Newton, and the Patriots desperately in need of young leadership. Stidham missed his chance in 2020, frankly, and last year was placeholder as a guy on a rookie contract who worked hard at being the scout team QB.

It's Zappe time!
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Think they would prefer to have Harry gone sooner - to avoid him being a distraction. Agholor should be feeling nervous. If Thornton has a good camp, they will be looking to save some money, particularly if Wilkerson or Nixon looks like they've also taken a jump.

I dont think Harry will be a distraction since he is not participating atm and could sit out minicamp as well.
Unfortunately there is not much cap to be gained by cutting him either (i made a mistake) some 200k (incl replacement on Top 51).
Trading him would add additional 600k+ so they might even go for slightly unfavourable swap of late picks.

Agholor is banking 5M of his salary in any case so that should calm some nerves : )
It is hard to see they will move on. Less than 4M cap gained by cutting him makes little sense imo for the insurance/upside he provides.
Of course BB has done stranger things..
Finding trade partner at 10M is unlikely imo unless again is some kind of salary dump arrangement which i dont see.
 

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