Post by patriotsk1d on Feb 6, 2016 14:39:19 GMT -5
Time for a new thread.
I could see Brandon Browner back in New England next year. Should come on a veteran minimum deal. The Saints did not utilize him correctly at all and it showed. His best skill set in New England was his ability to matchup one on one against big receivers and receiving TE's. There are not that many guys in the league who can cover a good receiving TE one on one, but Browner is one of them and his penalties are not typically an issue against the bigger guys.
I really expect Matt Forte will be a Patriot next season. He has made it pretty clear he is not about the money and his skill set would be a perfect fit for this offense. Forte, Lewis, and White would be a very dangerous RB combo.
I expect Pats will sign Hightower and Collins to an extension by March 9th. I doubt Chandler Jones will get an extension this year and I really think he could be traded either this offseason or tagged and traded next year. Jabaal Sheard is a far superior player, who should be looking at an extension this offseason and the Pats really like Tre Flowers and Geneo Grissom.
Patriots have the 12th youngest team in the league, only second behind Washington(8) out of all playoff teams. Broncos are 25th and Panthers are 28th.
Post by patriotsk1d on Feb 8, 2016 15:11:51 GMT -5
Pats are expected to bring Dante Scarnecchia out of retirement! Not something I expected to happen, but this is huge news. Scarnecchia was by far the best oline coach in the league and just one of the best assistant coaches in the league.
Scarnecchia has still been a part of the team, since his retirement. He was a draft adviser the past two seasons, basically found 4 nice prospects in Stork, Andrews, Mason, and Jackson.
Post by patriotsk1d on Feb 8, 2016 15:37:12 GMT -5
Some thoughts on the receiver position:
Pats could very well add a solid veteran receiver to the group, but I very much doubt they will draft one this year.
Pats will not be cutting LaFell, regardless of what a lot of people seem to think. He missed nearly half the season due to injury and was never close to healthy. Foot injuries are toughest on receivers. His cap hit next year is 3.6 million, we would save 2.5 million by releasing him and there is no receiver on the free agent market who can offer what LaFell offers for that price.
Amendola's contract will need to be restructured. He is a really solid #2/3 receiver, who has developed really good chemistry with Brady. He has a 6.8 million dollar cap hit though, and is making more money than Edelman. I think he understands this is the best situation for him and will take another pay cut like he did last year.
Keshawn Martin developed into a really nice player this season. He is basically what Jabaar Gaffney and Dante Stallworth were, and is what we wanted Josh Boyce to become. Martin developed some nice chemistry with Brady and should really benefit from a full offseason.
Aaron Dobson is the interesting name out of this group. His potential is really obvious on film and his biggest issue has been getting hurt at the worst times. He has yet to participate in a full offseason and has gotten hurt everytime he has a chance to prove himself. If he stays healthy this offseason, I expect he will make the roster and have a consistent role as the deep threat. Contract year for Dobson.
While I could see a scenario in which the Pats add a solid veteran receiver to the group, I do not see any scenario in which they draft one in the first few rounds. It is not by any means a need and Pats could very well go into next year with the same group.
On the RB position:
Pats have Boldin, Lewis, Gaffney, and White under contract. Lewis was simply an incredible player when he was healthy this season, but I am not sure his health can be relied on. White proved he was just as good if not better than Vereen, but like Vereen he offers virtually nothing in the running game. Gaffney is a complete unknown as he has yet to play in even a preseason game. Really good power back at Stanford, and maybe he takes on that role this season. Boldin is a special teams star who offers nothing consistently at RB.
I expect the Pats will try to add a veteran RB to the group. Matt Forte is my top target and he really seems like the perfect fit. Seems like he wants to play for a winner and would be willing to sacrifice some dollars to do so. Forte does everything we ask RB's to due.
Pats could very well draft a RB(or two). Not something they will avoid if the right player is on the board.
A Stevan Ridley reunion is something to watch for. His last season in New England was full of headaches, but do not be surprised if he returns. Pats had interest in bringing him back, but it was not mutual at the time. Ridley has expressed his interest in a return and has been hanging around Patriots players recently. A one or two year deal close to the minimum with some incentives could be perfect for Ridley.
On the offensive line:
Pats offensive line was really bad in the season finale. Its really not fair to look at one game and use it to rate the entire groups success throughout the year. Overall the line was beat up, we had a lot of backups and guys playing out of position. When healthy Solder, Mason, Stork, Jackson, and Vollmer have potential to be a really solid group and as the interior guys continue to develop it has a chance to be one of the better groups in the league.
I do expect Pats will release Marcus Cannon and go after another swing tackle. We save almost 4 million in cap space by releasing Cannon and he just hasn't been consistent enough for us to bring him back. Pats could add a veteran tackle, but I think it is more likely we will draft one in the first two rounds.
Post by patriotsk1d on Feb 9, 2016 22:01:02 GMT -5
Pats should get a 3.25 million dollar cap credit this year, assuming Hernandez is convicted in the 2012 double murder case. They would be eligible to receive the full 12.5 million if they can get Hernandez to pay back his signing bonus(assuming he has any money left).
Post by patriotsk1d on Feb 15, 2016 13:26:00 GMT -5
Wouldn't shock me if the Pats try to trade Chandler Jones this offseason. Probably looking at a second rounder for him and would save 7.8 million in cap room. He will be a free agent next season and I don't see a scenario where he returns in 2017.
Between Jones, Butler, Hightower, and Collins, Jones will be the most expensive because of his position and yet he is by far the least important of those four. Pats can easily resign 3 of those 4 guys, 4 would be trickier and just not worth it IMO.
Jones has disappeared virtually every year in the second half of the season.
Post by patriotsk1d on Feb 19, 2016 14:15:18 GMT -5
There is increasing thought that the Pats will sign Mitchell Schwartz or a similar talent RT to a long term deal this year, release Cannon, and let Vollmer walk in 2017.
Schwartz will get a big deal, likely in the range of Brian Bulaga's contract. Pats would probably be willing to pay him that type of cash, as it would secure a long term RT, would cost 2-4 million in cap space after releasing Cannon, and would be an upgrade over Vollmer at RT, and Vollmer would be a significant upgrade over Cannon as the swing tackle.
Pats will have 13.3 million in cap space if the cap hits 155 million. This is based off the top 51 rule and includes Mayo's retirement.
Pats offensive line should be a lot better next year from experience alone. Pretty much no consistency after Solder's injury. Vollmer and Cannon missed multiple games as well, and we had center Brian Stork playing tackle at one point.
Post by patriotsk1d on Feb 22, 2016 16:01:10 GMT -5
Pats probably will make a decision between Branch and Hicks. Branch has a march 9th contract option, while Hicks is scheduled to be a free agent. Hicks will cost more, but is younger and has a ton of upside. Hicks will also be looking at a free agent contract that should net a 2017 compensatory draft pick, while Branch is unlikely to receive that type of deal on the open market. Dline is still by far the deepest position on this team heading into 2016.
I don't anticipate many changes to the oline this upcoming season. I think something will be done with the RT position, likely cutting Cannon and upgrading the swing tackle spot. Also possible we cut Cannon, upgrade the position over Vollmer, and let Vollmer be the swing tackle. Either way it is a pretty solid offensive line that should get better with experience. Mason, Jackson, and Stork have legit star oline potential, but they won't get there without experience.
Pats will likely target good LB depth. They are not going to pay big money to add a 3rd starting LB, because this is truly a 4-2-5 base defense and the 3rd LB is as valuable as the 4th CB. They went after Rolondo Mcclain and Brandon Spikes last year and while Spikes didn't work out, I wouldn't be shocked if they target McClain again this year.
The RB position will likely be targeted in free agency. I think there is a pretty good chance Blount is brought back on a one year deal, near the minimum with some incentives. Blount's free agent value should be hurt by his season ending hip injury and that his success has really been limited to New England. I think Matt Forte is an extremely likely free agent signing, just a great fit as a RB who can do a little bit of everything. We really need someone like Forte, who isn't just a one dimensional back.
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