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Unbearable Lightness of “Agressive“ Narrative

2021 Patriots Season:
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Dec 18th

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Brotherblues

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
I don’t think that NE, as constituted, is the fav - Bills are still in driver’s seat. I do think a competent QB does make the prospect of returning to the playoffs more tangible. Could be some epic battles this season if Cam isn’t in charge...

I don't think the difference between Cam and a rookie QB (other than Lawrence/Wilson) is as big as a lot of people are making it out to be. Not talking long term, just 2021.
 

RIpats88

In the Starting Line-Up
I don't think the difference between Cam and a rookie QB (other than Lawrence/Wilson) is as big as a lot of people are making it out to be. Not talking long term, just 2021.

Yeah, those guys would be learning on the Job. Bill certainly isn't going to play a rookie QB his first year. its not his style. I think we are going to move up in the draft.


this article kind of looks at cam newton from a more rational perspective. He still could be bad this year, but the notion that he cant get receivers the ball if he ends up starting isn't totally accurate.

In Bill's mind maybe the only guy he really wants in FA is Jimmy G. and if hes not available and whomever you have start this year anyway is a one year stop gap then maybe its worth saving that extra money from Cam newton vs. someone else and getting another receiver for the rookie or shoring up another area.
 

Brotherblues

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Yeah, those guys would be learning on the Job. Bill certainly isn't going to play a rookie QB his first year. its not his style. I think we are going to move up in the draft.


this article kind of looks at cam newton from a more rational perspective. He still could be bad this year, but the notion that he cant get receivers the ball if he ends up starting isn't totally accurate.

In Bill's mind maybe the only guy he really wants in FA is Jimmy G. and if hes not available and whomever you have start this year anyway is a one year stop gap then maybe its worth saving that extra money from Cam newton vs. someone else and getting another receiver for the rookie or shoring up another area.

I agree for the most part except I think if a rookie QB impresses him, he'll start the kid. He just won't force it to please the masses.

Thing with Cam is he's firmly around the 14th-16th best qb (middle of the road) when healthy and ranks in the 20s when not (or when he's surrounded with what he had last year). While that isn't good, it's still a tough benchmark for a kid to beat in his first year. Some manage it, but it's really uncommon and those guys are normally picked near the very top of the draft.

I would still rather see a rookie growing on the job than see Newton ever again.
 

1960Pats

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Id like to add some context to counter-balance the insanity of media takes out there “evaluating“ “uncharacteristically“ “aggressive“ start of FA.
(futile, i know :))


take 1 - “Patriots will be uncharacteristically aggressive“

First of all that's tautological. Lets skip the hyperbolic use of “uncharacteristic“ & “aggressive“ ftm and use more measured unusually active.
Of course they would be unusually active - its most cap space they had in ages & the most depleted roster as well (which of corse in itself is correlated) - so there was hardly an option to be anything but unusually active bc they were in unusual situation.

BB is on a “spending spree“ etc. falls in the same hyperbolic tautology category that flooded media and big parts of fan boards.
What is he supposed to do with over 60M cap (+ by far highest effective cap space in 2022 and beyond)?
As Miguel has to repeat and prove over and over - Patriots spend most of their cap space every year no matter how big it is. This year was one of the few times the carryover was bigger - for some obvious reasons within context of the season - and maybe as a tool to make use of projected lower market.

The bunch of silly (selling) takes like “this is bc of Brady SB“, he wants to “prove something“ etc are not even worth the discussion. BB wants to find a way to win every game every year and explore all options and put all the work and all the resources to give him best possible chance.

And what were they supposed to do with 60M cap? Wait a few days and sign 30 players on bargain deals like Guy?
EVERYONE who has 60M+ cap space (esp. w Salary Cap at 180M) will be very active in FA one way or another.

The last time Patriots had bigger chunk of cap space was in 2017. They signed Gilmore at the start of FA for 5y/65M/31gtd - top 5 contract in all of 2017 FA (under 167M Salary Cap). They traded for D.Allen, Ealy and Cooks sending away significant draft capital and using significant cap as well. They later added top LB contract of that FA (Hightower), Branch in the ballpark of Godchaux (higher relative to salary Cap), Harmon, Guy etc. Was that less “aggressive“? Was that more “characteristic“?


@ “aggressive“

Just because they made so many deals in the 1st day it doesn't mean they were “aggressive“.
Everyone knows talks/deals are in the making well before legal tampering opens. So the fact that the deals are announced in a bunch means only so much. If anything doing the majority of first wave FA work quickly is BBs modus operandi. The difference is the deals come a day or two later since without a lot of cap you have to wait that the market is set at the top and then falls down to the range you are targeting with your limited resources. BBs experience, no nonsense approach and great respect + track record he has with agents allows him to work quickly when possible (no fierce competition). Multiple experienced managers are on record saying BB is the easiest/quickest to make business with.

The reality is they signed only 2 big contracts so far - Smith and Judon.
Smith was projected lower by most (incl. Miguel) but came exactly like PFF projected. Smith was obviously NE #1 FA target, there was reportedly fierce competition and unlike last yr with Humphries they were determined to pull it through. It is close to the top of TE market similar to Gilmore in 2017. Gilmore was not considered among top CBs at that point either (& Buye actually got higher apy contract :))
Judon's signing is actually far below edge market - 4y/56M/32g is also well below projected contract (and base will be even lower).
Just a reminder: Trey Flowers signed for 5y/90M/56g. While Flowers was great player for Patriots, Judon was my top Patriot Type edge in this FA. He can actually play on the line, plays stronger as his size would suggest, defends the edge and run very well and will be an upgrade as pass rusher, blitzer, lateral speed & coverage. This is as perfect fit & as versatile as it gets for Pats edge. If he stays healthy and performs as he projects - this deal could be the steal of this FA.

The rest of the signings are typical BB signings of middle class players at their respective positions - and well within “characteristic“.
The real numbers are still not out but judging by the ones that are this will be the case.

f.e. Bourne's contract leaked by agent was announced as 3y/22M & the reality (base) is 3y/15M/5g = 3.1M cap # (2021) = 2.3M cap hit (TOP 51 rule).
Similarly w Wise - reported 4y/30/10g = 4y/22M/10g = 3.3 cap # = 2.5M cap hit


So lets take it with a grain of salt - BB is doing business as usual - while he can be more competitive with the amount of cap space he has.
He was “aggressive“ in one case so far (Smith). They were reportedly pushing for Samuel as well but likely exit the bidding war and signed Agholor.

-.-
This free agency reminds me of 2001. Let's hope it has the same result.
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Looking at contracts as they are coming out - one difference to the business as usual is that roster spots of many new signings are basically guaranteed. Even in lower middle class signings there are significant guarantees even over 2 years.

In a normal year only few players would have roster spot guaranteed by the contract (even most older vet signings/trades did not have that).
It will be really an uphill battle for roster spots for many incumbents that have no significant guarantees left on their contracts and that include rookies, sophomore players..
 

patfanken

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It never gets old to see how BB lives in the heads of the Brady cultists rent free. Where everything that the Pats are doing -- even a year after Brady's departure -- still has to be about Tom. The reality is that most people that have moved on don't give a crap about the Bucs and the constant pot-stirring to create controversy is just annoying. Something that fortunately can get fixed with the "ignore user" feature (or alternatively with a mute on Twitter).



Bingo. There is nothing uncharacteristic about the way they are going about their business this year unless you believed in media narratives that were conveniently created by said media. As every year they are executing an offseason plan like ninjas with the major difference this time being the ability to spend on top end talent that might have not been available in FA if COVID hadn't wrecked the cap space of some teams.

And guess why they can do it this year ? Because they let Brady move on and spared themselves about 50-63M that would have gone his way over the course of that two year deal he wanted from them. All of what went down over 2020 played a role to bring us to where we are right now. COVID affecting the cap and giving them an even stronger position certainly helped.



The only player they signed so far that kinda fits the aggressive narrative would be Agholor to me. But then again we don't know the exact contract structure yet and if you set aside the drops he should be pretty close to what they wanted Cooks to be. Someone that can be used to take the top off (something Cooks is better at) but also someone who can be used on crossers ect. navigating traffic (something Cooks couldn't do at all). So I see the fit and the intention of the signing.

Everyone else.. whether thats Judon (who I think we got slightly below market rate) or Smith is just the cost of doing business when acquiring talented players who are just entering their prime.
I think the shock of this FA signing blitz isn't about the money they paid or the people they signed, but rather that it was all done in about a 24 hour period. :eek: So much to absorb, so I'm going to post an absurdly long post about it. ;)
 

PatsFanInVa

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****IN brilliant Milan Kundera pull!!!! Whatever the thread's about!!!! It's 1985 or something all over again!!!!

"It's alright. I'm a doctor. Take off your clothes."
 

PatsFanInVa

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Qwitcherfrickinbichin, he referenced Milan Kundera

Own thread all day err day twice on Sunday

KUNDERA THREAD FTW

This thread title wins the internet

----
edit: oops, I forgot the quote at the beginning in my excitement, and ended up duplicating my post to make it happen... if a mod can delete this one, thank you
 

PatsFanInVa

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I don't understand why this is it's own thread. It's basically the thread I posted yesterday, that got locked because a mod didn't like the opinion expressed in it. @Ian

Qwitcherfrickinbichin, he referenced Milan Kundera

Own thread all day err day twice on Sunday

KUNDERA THREAD FTW

This thread title wins the internet
 

slam

In the Starting Line-Up
The Jets had more cap space and an equally depleted roster, and they've been much less aggressive with the free agency period. They did three targeted signings and have kept a lot of their powder dry. They'll probably go bargain hunting over the next few weeks. It's actually how we'd normally expect the Patriots to act. Not saying one approach is better than the other, but this is not the Patriots usual MO.

I will say that the Patriots did not act like, say, the MacCagnan Jets in massively overbidding against themselves for non-premium positions. The signings are each individually defensible even if you like some signings more than others. They didn't reset the receiver market throwing a truckload of money at Golladay or JuJu to be a #1 WR, for instance.
 

venecol

The FRG has a little ****
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The Jets had more cap space and an equally depleted roster, and they've been much less aggressive with the free agency period. They did three targeted signings and have kept a lot of their powder dry. They'll probably go bargain hunting over the next few weeks. It's actually how we'd normally expect the Patriots to act. Not saying one approach is better than the other, but this is not the Patriots usual MO.

I will say that the Patriots did not act like, say, the MacCagnan Jets in massively overbidding against themselves for non-premium positions. The signings are each individually defensible even if you like some signings more than others. They didn't reset the receiver market throwing a truckload of money at Golladay or JuJu to be a #1 WR, for instance.
Yea, definitely odd. It's almost like they expected a lot more competition, so they moved fast and furiously to sign a bunch of players before other teams, and no one else budged. Either that or Drew got Bill to PE.
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
The Jets had more cap space and an equally depleted roster, and they've been much less aggressive with the free agency period. They did three targeted signings and have kept a lot of their powder dry. They'll probably go bargain hunting over the next few weeks. It's actually how we'd normally expect the Patriots to act. Not saying one approach is better than the other, but this is not the Patriots usual MO.

I will say that the Patriots did not act like, say, the MacCagnan Jets in massively overbidding against themselves for non-premium positions. The signings are each individually defensible even if you like some signings more than others. They didn't reset the receiver market throwing a truckload of money at Golladay or JuJu to be a #1 WR, for instance.

Douglas is BB sort of school so its not surprising. They also have much higher draft capital so they need more there. They went higher on two prime positions - WR, EDGE - some top markets are still developing so too early to tell. But like Bills, Jets got much better at FO and after two decades of one team dominance it could soon be one of most competitive divisions in the League.

BB signed 4 bigger deals, the rest is mid to low-mid class and minimum territory. He just likes to do a bunch of deals he wants/needs quickly no matter which day of FA it is.

Jets could also be in play for some bigger trades..

We'll see. Some GMs like to keep space for later/next years but in this situation that would be a mistake.
As posted above BB spends annual cap to the 2-5M margin.
 

venecol

The FRG has a little ****
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Still seeing 5 teams over the cap w/ an hour to go.

What actually would happen to any team (doubtful) over the cap?
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
-
"It's like investing in the stock market," Kraft said, according to the "Football Morning In America" column. "You take advantage of corrections and inefficiencies in the market when you can, and that's what we did here. We'll see. Nothing is guaranteed, and I'm very cognizant of that. But we're not in the business to be in business. We're in this business to win."
-
 

venecol

The FRG has a little ****
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-
"It's like investing in the stock market," Kraft said, according to the "Football Morning In America" column. "You take advantage of corrections and inefficiencies in the market when you can, and that's what we did here. We'll see. Nothing is guaranteed, and I'm very cognizant of that. But we're not in the business to be in business. We're in this business to win."
-
Lol, how did they take advantage of corrections and inefficiencies in the market? That would mean they got a bunch of "under value" deals. There is no evidence of that at all. Quite the opposite.
 

long distance

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Lol, how did they take advantage of corrections and inefficiencies in the market? That would mean they got a bunch of "under value" deals. There is no evidence of that at all. Quite the opposite.

I really dont know what is so hard to understand here. Its economy 101.

1. Patriots are one of the very few teams that managed to sign multiple young vets at/near the top of FA on multiple year contracts.
a) they signed them below top of the market or projected market price and well below expected market (if Cap would go up to 210M+)
b) they signed them on multiple years contracts. with cap projected to rise to 260M over next 3 years (and that could be conservative) you can do the math what the contracts for similar players will look like next year or in 2023 and how low these contracts will look in comparison.

Some 90% of contracts signed this year will be 1y contracts. This means teams will be hunting on the much more expensive and much more competitive market (more teams w enough cap space) for these same players again next year.

Signing 14 players on multiple year contracts in this market is major achievement and major value no matter what you think of certain players.
5 x 4y contracts + 3 x 3y contracts + 6 x 2y contracts w most players well under 30 will make this FA class a major bargain in 2022 and beyond.
For players who will end up producing as expected - the bigger question will be if their contracts are not too much “under value“ like its happening with Gilmore for two years now. I bet you didn't think his contract was a bargain then ;)

Its not just Pats. Everyone who managed to sign top young players on 3-4y contracts is a winner in this situation.
 
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