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Free agents 2012: Name your mercenary


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#1 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:17 PM

What else am I going to do? Best way to get over the last loss is to look forward to the next win.

http://www.footballs...freeagents.html

Everyone's thinking Mario Williams but that's not BB's style. I'll look for a couple of veteran safeties not named Meriweather.

#2 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:19 PM

How about resign Carter Anderson Welker and just concentrate on the draft

#3 scottyno

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:35 PM

reisgn welker, get bradon lloyd and score 40 pts a gmae

#4 RedOctober3829


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Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:42 PM

Brandon Lloyd seems very likely
Carlos Rogers or Brent Grimes(if he's not franchised)
Carl Nicks(if Waters leaves)
Scott Wells
LaRon Landry
Aaron Ross

FYI: Arian Foster is a RFA.

#5 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:49 PM

Mario or Calais
Bowe or Colston (if can't get Jeffery in draft)
Landry
maybe one of the Hendersons

#6 Bongorific

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:08 AM

Aaron Ross is absolute garbage.

#7 Fishercat


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:09 AM

Bernard Pollard. Then IR him.

Or send him out to injure other team's players. The inverse Beltre if you will.

#8 the1andonly3003

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:17 AM

we need to boost our RBs...how about adding Jason Snelling into the mix or a hard hitting Matt Tolbert

edit: the original 2002 team was able to add hard working guys who "just love football" on the cheap, i would think it would hard to find those guys after a SB appearance

Edited by the1andonly3003, 06 February 2012 - 12:19 AM.


#9 Darnell's Son

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:24 AM

Why the hell do people think Mario Williams won't be franchised? He is the reason why the franchise tag was created. If the Texans don't franchise or resign him then they should be disbanded and sent to LA. He's not coming to the NE.

#10 epraz


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:25 AM

Bernard Pollard. Then IR him.


You've got to keep him away from the AFC East at least.

#11 bradmahn

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:53 AM

I don't think it's a given the Texans retain Williams. They have so many other really good pass rushing talent, maybe it's safer to let him walk or trade him for a pick or two.

#12 jsinger121


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:25 AM

Why the hell do people think Mario Williams won't be franchised? He is the reason why the franchise tag was created. If the Texans don't franchise or resign him then they should be disbanded and sent to LA. He's not coming to the NE.


20 million dollar franchise tag I believe was said earlier tonight.

#13 Judge Mental13


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:39 AM

On the one hand, I'd like to have Bernard Pollard in our secondary. I think he's a very good player and would fit in just fine.

On the other hand, that means he will be practicing against the offense like, 4 days a week.

Pass.

Edited by Judge Mental13, 06 February 2012 - 07:41 AM.


#14 Judge Mental13


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:59 AM

WR Wishlist:

Mike Wallace
DeSean
Main Bro Dwayne Bowe

Realistically:

Meachem
Lloyd
Garcon

Wallace is a restricted FA, so Pitt's likely not letting him go anywhere, even though they do have two excellent young receivers behind him in Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, but he's clearly the star of that offense. If the Pats managed to get him over here, he and Brady might shatter all those Brady/Moss records. Someone will pay DeSean a lot more than the Pats would offer, and Bowe, while nice to have, probably won't be as high or a priority to Belichick as he would be to another team.

I'd be happy with any of the guys on the "Realistic" list, but if Welker and Branch are out the door, and even if they aren't, I think it is very important for this team to reload at WR. Especially when there are a couple of sure things in this year's FA class. Get one of them.

I don't really see anyone at corner or safety that the Pats would or should sign. No studs anyway, might be a couple of pieces in there that could tie a secondary together a bit, but nobody that I think will bump this mediocre to bad group up to a good one.

#15 MarcSullivaFan

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:09 AM

I think Lloyd will be the guy. Wallace isn't going anywhere. Bowe doesn't seem like a BB guy to me. If Pioli lets him walk, that probably also means he won't be coming here, because he's not going to be a bargain.

Garcon will make us all want to kill ourselves. Talented but incredibly inconsistent.

I think Lloyd is a better fit, given Brady's current skill set. If they're going to add the deep pass back into the offense, they need a physical guy who can go up and fight for the ball. I don't mean that snarkily--but that does seem to be an area in which Brady has noticeably declined.

#16 soxfan121


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:13 AM

Why the hell do people think Mario Williams won't be franchised? He is the reason why the franchise tag was created. If the Texans don't franchise or resign him then they should be disbanded and sent to LA. He's not coming to the NE.


Because some of us look into the details. From Rotoworld (among other places):


The franchise tag is not believed to be an option for the Texans in retaining free agent Mario Williams.

Williams earned $18 million in 2011. The mandatory franchise-tag raise would push his 2012 salary to a prohibitive $22.9 million, leaving Williams with quite a bit of leverage in contract talks.


Mario Williams is most likely going to be a free agent; whether Houston re-signs him to a new long term deal is the question. There is virtually no chance that Houston franchises him without being very close to a long-term extension. And based on reports, his agent wants to test the FA water.

Whether Williams is a good target for the typically frugal Patriots is a different question.

#17 ( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:24 AM

The offense needs a WR in the jabber gaffbey mold, good enough to occasionally win the one on one battle. Most of the WRs named here so far are pipe dreams. Eddie royal is an interesting name in that role.

Other then that I'd like to see them draft a center/gaurd, resign welker and make Ridley the "guy" next year.

On defense I think the biggest need is safety help. But you could argue either way here: the safeties line up 25 yards deep because they stink or they line up 25 yards deep because the corners stink. Pat Chung is a nice player, I think patriots fans over rate him though.

Before tonight I thought they were fine up front if they just resign Anderson but love was outmatched tonight. Which is disaapointibg after the solid year he had. I think another big body is needed (f you Ron brace).

So sign a WR like royal, reup welker and Anderson, draft interior lineman, find a safety and get a DT. Profit.

#18 ivanvamp


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:38 AM

The Pats have a really good core, and among their own key free agents are Wes Welker, Andre Carter, Dan Koppen, BJGE, Deion Branch, Shaun Ellis, and Mark Anderson.

My two cents:

(1) Don't re-sign Koppen - Connolly did a really good job and I think they're fine without Koppen. Let him sign for several million elsewhere. I mean, if he takes a big hometown discount, fine, but they don't need him.

(2) Franchise Wes Welker or try to get him to sign a 2-year deal for less AAV. Anyone that wants this guy gone is nuts. He's a warrior.

(3) Re-sign Carter, but don't do it for too much. Another one-year deal or a two-year deal for less AAV. He was terrific for NE this year but he is on the back 9 of his career for sure.

(4) I'd love to have Lawfirm back, but I have a feeling he's going to be offered a bigger deal from someone else. I don't know that I'd spend a ton to keep him, though, really, his ball security is incredible.

(5) I don't think Branch is a big priority. The one thing that holds me back, though, on that opinion is that he and Brady do have good chemistry together. It's clear that not any new WR can come into this offense and get with it, so there's value in having Branch around. Maybe keep him on a pretty cheap deal as the 3rd WR or something.

(6) and (7) I think it would be good to re-sign both Ellis and Anderson, because (a) they were very helpful this year, and (b) I don't think they'll cost that much.

Now, the Pats are in GREAT shape vis-a-vis the cap. They have at least $20 million to spend, and that's before any cuts are made. They're in the best shape of any AFCE team. They have money to spend. I think getting Brandon Lloyd is almost a certainty. With Josh McDaniels on board, Lloyd will know the offense already, he's proven he can be effective in it, and Lloyd has said he wants to be where McDaniels is. I think they can get him for less than what other teams can. Having a big burner like Lloyd would be a HUGE help to the offense.

I think they can go with Ridley, Vereen, Woodhead, and a cheaper FA running back, unless Lawfirm signs for not that much. They're all set at TE, QB, and OL. Lloyd is really their only FA need on offense, after they re-sign Welker.

On defense, I'd try to add another pass-rusher and a cover guy, preferably a safety. The pass-rusher I'd prefer is Cliff Avril of Detroit. Just 25 years old, he had 11 sacks for the Lions last year. He's a RFA, so they will try to keep him or franchise him. But apparently he isn't interested in the franchise tag (who is?). Nonetheless, the Pats may trade a pick for him. I'd love to have that guy....dominant speed rusher. As for a safety, I'd love to get Goldson from SF. He's a big-time impact player. Teaming him with Chung would be awesome.

I know a lot of Pats fans are fretting today, but really, this team is in GREAT shape moving forward. I mean, great shape. Not too many high-priced free agents on their own team, tons of money, a lot of draft picks, and they're already, right now, one of the very best teams in the league.

Yesterday's loss hurts, but if you step back and look at it objectively, there's every reason for optimism for 2012.

#19 Judge Mental13


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:40 AM

Eddie Royal?

Seriously?

Eddie Royal?

Do me a favor and go look at Eddie Royal's wikipedia page. The 2010-11 and 2011-12 years ARE NOT EVEN MENTIONED.

You have to suck pretty badly to have an encyclopedia omit two of the three years you played in the NFL. And he does. He sucks. Bad. Eddie Royal sucks. Signing him would make me cry.

#20 phragle


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:58 AM

I'd keep Welker, Anderson, Connolly, and BJGE. If Branch wanted to sign cheap I'd keep him too.

Then I'd sign Lloyd, Goldson, and Kendall Langford.

Lloyd is the obvious fit.

I love Goldson. I think he's one of the best safeties in the game. I'd try really hard to get him here.

Langford is a good buy low candidate. He's still young, and was good every year except for this one. I think I read the Miami is switching (or has already switched )to a 4-3, so he doesn't really have a place.

If Carter wanted to come back on the cheap he could add some value as a sub rusher.

we need to boost our RBs...how about adding Jason Snelling into the mix or a hard hitting Matt Tolbert

edit: the original 2002 team was able to add hard working guys who "just love football" on the cheap, i would think it would hard to find those guys after a SB appearance


I'll bet you 10 million dollars we don't sign Matt Tolbert.

http://mlb.mlb.com/t...layer_id=445196

Why the hell do people think Mario Williams won't be franchised? He is the reason why the franchise tag was created. If the Texans don't franchise or resign him then they should be disbanded and sent to LA. He's not coming to the NE.

20 million dollar franchise tag I believe was said earlier tonight.

Because some of us look into the details. From Rotoworld (among other places):


Mario Williams is most likely going to be a free agent; whether Houston re-signs him to a new long term deal is the question. There is virtually no chance that Houston franchises him without being very close to a long-term extension. And based on reports, his agent wants to test the FA water.

Whether Williams is a good target for the typically frugal Patriots is a different question.


Everything above, plus I believe the Texans have huge salary cap problems.

I don't care though. I don't want him. He's going to cost way too much cap space and he doesn't fit our scheme very well. I'd let somebody else over pay him. For the record I do think he is very good.

#21 jsinger121


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:08 AM

I think Williams would fit very well into this scheme. They played 4-3 and 3-4 thoughout this season. He is exactly the type of player they need. Young, disruptive who will command double teams and brings an impact on defense. To me he is the type of guy you invest in to elevate the defense to the next level.

#22 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:10 AM

I'd keep Welker, Anderson, Connolly, and BJGE. If Branch wanted to sign cheap I'd keep him too.

Then I'd sign Lloyd, Goldson, and Kendall Langford.


Langford is a great call. I love Goldson but he is nearly a lock to get franchised or to sign a long-term deal with the 49ers to avoid the tag. The safety tag is only $6.2, which is less than he'd get AAV on the open market given the Eric Weddle contract last year, so using the tag on Goldson is close to a no-brainer. Much better than paying $10M to franchise Carlos Rogers.

#23 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:15 AM

Eddie Royal?

Seriously?

Eddie Royal?

Do me a favor and go look at Eddie Royal's wikipedia page. The 2010-11 and 2011-12 years ARE NOT EVEN MENTIONED.

You have to suck pretty badly to have an encyclopedia omit two of the three years you played in the NFL. And he does. He sucks. Bad. Eddie Royal sucks. Signing him would make me cry.


Aww come on, this team needs a 7th string wideout to come in and push some of these practice squad defensive players.

#24 phragle


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:22 AM

I think Williams would fit very well into this scheme. They played 4-3 and 3-4 thoughout this season. He is exactly the type of player they need. Young, disruptive who will command double teams and brings an impact on defense. To me he is the type of guy you invest in to elevate the defense to the next level.


I mean, yeah he'd fit our scheme, he'd fit any scheme. He is scheme diverse, but I think he'll fit the strictly 4-3 teams better. The team that signs him is going to be a perfect fit, not a good fit.

We didn't really play much 4-3 after Carter went down. I'd expect we revert to the base 3-4.

Langford is a great call. I love Goldson but he is nearly a lock to get franchised or to sign a long-term deal with the 49ers to avoid the tag. The safety tag is only $6.2, which is less than he'd get AAV on the open market given the Eric Weddle contract last year, so using the tag on Goldson is close to a no-brainer. Much better than paying $10M to franchise Carlos Rogers.


I hate it, but you're right.

#25 kenneycb


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:22 AM

Aww come on, this team needs a 7th string wideout to come in and push some of these practice squad defensive players.

I thought that's why we have Ocho?

#26 soxfan121


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:27 AM

Williams is the kind of guy you change the scheme for, if you have to, because he's a difference maker. Besides, he's a natural "elephant" and that's been missing from this defense since Willie left town.

If I were the GM, I'd basically ignore the offense; I've got McDaniels and a tweak to the system coming in, Gronk-Hernandez-Ridley-Vereen under contract and some fringe guys who might help. A couple new "outside" WR, either through later-round draft picks or cheap FA signings would make sense. Re-signing Brian Waters for another year (while Cannon matures/goes to Dante's Finishing School) and finding a young, developmental center late in the draft (Koppen is an FA; Connolly can be upgraded, but not a priority). The offense is pretty well set - minor adjustments are needed but, mostly, it's an intact group.

On defense, everyone not named Wilfork, Spikes, Mayo, Chung & McCourty should be very afraid for their jobs. I'd re-sign Mark Anderson as a 3rd down pass rusher; he fit well in that role and won't cost a ton. But Andre Carter should go - he had a good season before his injury but his injury will rob him of some speed & power and he's on the wrong side of 30 as it is. Plus, he's limited to 4-3 end; when he went down, it allowed more 3-4 in situations. Kyle Love is a servicable rotation DL; as is Deaderick. I want neither playing significant roles but as depth, they are excellent. Rob Ninkovich has developed a ton since coming here and is a capable, if unspectacular, player. But he's average, at best, and can be upgraded. I make the McCourty to FS move permanent; there are very few quality safeties in the NFL right now and I think McCourty is much better if he does have to turn his head and find the ball. Sterling Moore as a nickel back and Kyle Arrington as depth would be good.

So, two CB (maybe one is Dowling - I hope so, but who knows), a couple back up safeties, an impact OLB/DE, a coverage LB (someone to compliment Spikes/Mayo, who aren't great in coverage), one or two rotation DL (maybe one is Myron Pryor, back from injury). IOW, a shit load of needs on defense, including 4 or 5 new starters. That means some FA acquisitions because the draft will yield, at best, 2-3 starters and some depth.

Oh, and a defensive coordinator. I'm sick of hearing about Matt Patricia's potential. He's had a chance to do something and hasn't produced. I think the DC is likely to be Belichick himself; with McDaniels back on offense, I think Bill will give him free reign to manage the whole operation over there with minimal input or oversight. But defense...that needs to be fixed. Brady doesn't win games singlehandedly very often in the playoffs - he needs a defense to carry him. Last night, they almost did...despite being sub-standard all year long. IF they improve, it makes up for dropoff and/or decline in Brady's game, which will get worse every year from now on.

#27 ( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:27 AM

well at least I made you guys laugh. I believe I am confusing Eddie Royal with a different player. Blame the hangover or blame me for being an idiot.

#28 jsinger121


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:33 AM

Williams is the kind of guy you change the scheme for, if you have to, because he's a difference maker. Besides, he's a natural "elephant" and that's been missing from this defense since Willie left town.


Bingo....this is exactly what the Pats need. He is at the age where you pay him the type of money he will command. As much as everyone wanted Peppers a few years ago he was 30 at the time while Williams is 27 and still getting better and he showed early on that he can play in a 3-4 defense along with a 4-3. This is the time to back up the Brinks Truck because this is not another Adalius Thomas.

#29 shoosh77

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:46 AM

http://espn.go.com/b...ldson-follow-up
Oh how this could have changed things this year....(ok, so they made the SB, but still)

Edited by shoosh77, 06 February 2012 - 09:47 AM.


#30 Shelterdog


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:50 AM

Why the hell do people think Mario Williams won't be franchised? He is the reason why the franchise tag was created. If the Texans don't franchise or resign him then they should be disbanded and sent to LA. He's not coming to the NE.


Because people have zero comprehension of free agency.

#31 drleather2001


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:57 AM

I think they need two impact players on D and one more on O, while also maintaining the Offensive Line. I'm hoping they can get Waters to stick around for another year, but if not they should sign a mid-level guy, at the very least for depth so Cannon can develop.

On D, they need two of either 1) a DL to support Wilfork and help collapse the pocket (like what Seymour used to bring, or Ty Warren); 2) a decent Strong Safety; and/or 3) another top-flight LB who can rush the passer.

I'm hoping one can be procured through the draft (DL?), but they'll need to sign one of the D guys through FA.

#32 phragle


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:58 AM

Williams is the kind of guy you change the scheme for, if you have to, because he's a difference maker. Besides, he's a natural "elephant" and that's been missing from this defense since Willie left town.

Bingo....this is exactly what the Pats need. He is at the age where you pay him the type of money he will command. As much as everyone wanted Peppers a few years ago he was 30 at the time while Williams is 27 and still getting better and he showed early on that he can play in a 3-4 defense along with a 4-3. This is the time to back up the Brinks Truck because this is not another Adalius Thomas.


I actually think Williams struggled at the SAM. He has tight hips and is really heavy. He doesn't accelerate that well. His ideal position in either the 34 or the 43 is at DE. The Texans just used him at OLB because of the 3 DEs they had, Williams was by far the best candidate to make the switch to the SAM.

What kind of contract do you guys think he's going to get anyway?



http://espn.go.com/b...ldson-follow-up

Oh how this could have changed things this year....(ok, so they made the SB, but still)


(Smashes face through computer)

#33 Shelterdog


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:59 AM

I actually think Williams struggled at the SAM. He has tight hips and is really heavy. He doesn't accelerate that well. His ideal position in either the 34 or the 43 is at DE. The Texans just used him at OLB because of the 3 DEs they had, Williams was by far the best candidate to make the switch to the SAM.

What kind of contract do you guys think he's going to get anyway?


About 5/80 million after he gets tagged.

#34 soxfan121


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:10 AM

I actually think Williams struggled at the SAM. He has tight hips and is really heavy. He doesn't accelerate that well. His ideal position in either the 34 or the 43 is at DE. The Texans just used him at OLB because of the 3 DEs they had, Williams was by far the best candidate to make the switch to the SAM.

What kind of contract do you guys think he's going to get anyway?


BB has said that when he was the DC under Parcells, they played a 3-4 but LT rushed the passer "85% or more" which makes the 3-4 designation a bit silly. Again, that's BB from a press conference earlier this season when being questioned about the differences between the "3-4" and the "4-3".

If Williams (or another player like him) were to join the Patriots, he be used "85% of the time" to rush the passer, usually off the outside shoulder of the T (either RT or LT). Andre Carter is a good example of a "strict 4-3 DE"; he simply cannot drop into coverage or stunt or move around; he lines up opposite the LT (because he's right handed and is vastly more effective on that side) and plays contain or rushes on 100% of the time. IOW, if your "4th guy" can drop into coverage - even a little - he's not a "strict 4-3 DE". Illustrated nicely by JPP on the Woodhead TD catch last night - that's an "elephant" play, not a "strict 4-3 DE".

As for what Williams gets, I'm not gonna guess right now. I do know that the Pats have more cap room than any playoff team (Tampa has a ridiculous amount, as do some other crap teams, but the Pats are in really good shape, with ~$30M of space, IIRC). The Pats can also sell Williams (or a player like him) on the "you'll be the media reason & superstar" factor; any improvement by the Pats D next season will be credited to the highest-profile player to join the team (it's the media- - they're lazy).

I do think that if any team could justify paying a defensive player as much as a quarterback, it's New England. The need is apparent and a difference maker would, well, make a difference.

#35 soxfan121


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:23 AM

About 5/80 million after he gets tagged.


Jeez, I know we're all a bit on edge today but could you PLEASE do some basic fact checking before playing uneducated contrarian?

Andrew Brandt of NFP on the Houston Texans cap situation


We still do not know where the Cap will land for 2012 and the amount of space teams will have. At last check the Texans had about 5M of room assuming a flat Cap of around 120M, although that was with 47 players under contract.




the Texans are going to have great challenges re-signing their free agents. I specifically talked about Williams and Foster, but there’s players like center Chris Myers, and some other contracts coming down the road that may be issues.



Williams, as a solo discussion point, is probably a mistake. It's likely (not highly likely, not assured, not certain, not guaranteed) LIKELY that Williams re-signs with Houston. But he will not be franchised because to franchise him would require the Texans to renounce other FAs and tender Foster below the top tier. So yeah, they COULD franchise him but it would be counter productive and potentially disasterous.

Instead, Houston will push really hard to sign Williams to another back-loaded contract so they can retain all the important pieces that they may lose in the next two seasons. Williams taking a lot of guaranteed cash in years 4 & 5 of an extension would make some sense, if he thinks his health is failing and he won't get another contract after this one. But more likely is Williams looking at the market for a more balanced deal - maybe someone is willing to pay him more.

However, if the Texans do choose to franchise Williams and renounce their other pending FAs, the Pats should make a call to pro bowl center Chris Myers.

QB Jake Delhomme UFA Houston Texans Free Agent RB Arian Foster RFA Houston Texans Free Agent RB Derrick Ward UFA Houston Texans Free Agent WR Bryant Johnson UFA Houston Texans Free Agent WR Derrick Mason Signed Houston Texans Retired TE Joel Dreessen UFA Houston Texans Free Agent PK Neil Rackers UFA Houston Texans Free Agent P Matt Turk UFA Houston Texans Free Agent C Chris Myers UFA Houston Texans Free Agent C Jonathan Weeks RFA Houston Texans Free Agent DL Damione Lewis UFA Houston Texans Free Agent LB Mario Williams UFA Houston Texans Free Agent CB Jason Allen UFA Houston Texans Free Agent SS Dominique Barber UFA Houston Texans Free Agent SS Quintin Demps UFA Houston Texans Free Agent


Read more: http://www.kffl.com/...2#ixzz1lcETkexL



#36 Fishercat


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:24 AM

By position:

QB: Nope

RB: A few interesting names there. I think they'll keep BJGE: Belichick knows how valuable turnovers are, and how BJGE doesn't commit them. They invested two good draft picks in RBs too. I think that takes them out of the RB race. I'd love Peyton Hillis in a platoon role, but he'll be looking for starting money and a commensurate job. Michael Bush would be fun as hell to have on the team, but unless BJGE is gone I don't see his spot.

The more interesting note on RBs is that Arian Foster is an RFA, and if his compensation is only a first round pick, that puts the Texans in a tough position. They'll either franchise him to put it to a higher compensation, or they'll have to match some serious offers. It seems to me that could open up Mario Williams unless they decide Ben Tate is the future.

WR: Lloyd seems like the obvious name: McDaniels, the right skillset to complement our other receivers, and so on. Dwayne Bowe has played with some of our old coaches and QB, but you figure KC will pay to keep him even if they franchise him. Vincent Jackson is the gamebreaker, putting him in this offense with Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Welker would be mind blowing, but if they keep Welker as I expect, it's a lot to invest in a luxury. Actually, WR has a lot of available, great players for all kinds of needs. I'd love to see them pick up Mark Clayton on cheap money to see if he can be healthy, or if they're sticking with the inside pass game and Early Doucet could be convinced...

TE: Not exactly necessary, but they should be trying out some third TE candidates.

OL: The Pats have done a good job fixing this from within. If Waters leaves, maybe you go big for a Nicks-Grubbs or bring in some project, but honestly? I think the Pats are good there. Koppen and Connelly look like FA, so you want to keep one or both of them, probably Connelly. As was mentioned, Chris Myers would be nice too with Houston's situation, but that seems a bit of a Plan B.

P/K: We're set

DL: Not a great field. Obviously, Mario Williams is the prize and I'd love to have him, but his price may be too steep. Calais Campbell will likely be franchised. I love Cliff Avirl but he seems like a DET mainstay. With Kyle Love's emergence and Vince Wilfork's stomach, NT seems like a non-need, which is too bad with guys like Garay and Soliai out there. I expect the Pats to pay to keep Anderson and to bring in an additional DE (but probably not Mario Williams, no matter how drool worthy a Williams-Wilfork front would be). Kendall Langford, as was mentioned, is an interesting name.

LB: I can't pretend to know enough about LBs to comment with any authority, and as much as Bill likes his vets, there are a lot of homegrown and scrapheap LBs on this team. Perpetual binky Manny Lawson is a FA, so some Pats fans will be excited about that when he inevitably signs elsewhere. Every time I see Jarret Johnson I'm impressed and he has the size for this team in a limited role.

CBs: There seem to be four really strong CBs out there and we're a team that could really use one. The Pats haven't really developed a #1 CB (McCourty's jury is out) in years and despite spending a lot of draft stock on guys, little has panned out. The Niners can't franchise Golson and Carlos Rogers, Finnegan's a punk but damned good, Carr is young and talented, and Grimes could be the best of the four.

S's: I doubt Goldson or Branch make it to the open market, but it would be nice. McCourty looked really good in the FS spot, but he's also needed at CB, so this may depend on what personnel come in and how many games we can depend on Patrick Chung for. I've always like Jim Leonard too but who knows how his injury will play.

Really, if the Patriots can use their financial sway to come out of FA with one of those four corners and Brandon Lloyd, then supplementing with solid pieces elsewhere, I'd be very happy.

Edit: It seems most of this was just me listing the top FAs, fair enough. Still think it was a decent exercise.

Edited by Fishercat, 06 February 2012 - 10:27 AM.


#37 Seels

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:36 AM

Who was the last superstar FA the Pats brought in? Adalius Thomas? I know this was in part due to trying to figure out the Richard Seymour / Vince Wilfork situation, but I just don't think it's realistic they bring in a big name like Bowe / Williams / Nicks.

#38 phragle


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:37 AM

BB has said that when he was the DC under Parcells, they played a 3-4 but LT rushed the passer "85% or more" which makes the 3-4 designation a bit silly. Again, that's BB from a press conference earlier this season when being questioned about the differences between the "3-4" and the "4-3".

If Williams (or another player like him) were to join the Patriots, he be used "85% of the time" to rush the passer, usually off the outside shoulder of the T (either RT or LT). Andre Carter is a good example of a "strict 4-3 DE"; he simply cannot drop into coverage or stunt or move around; he lines up opposite the LT (because he's right handed and is vastly more effective on that side) and plays contain or rushes on 100% of the time. IOW, if your "4th guy" can drop into coverage - even a little - he's not a "strict 4-3 DE". Illustrated nicely by JPP on the Woodhead TD catch last night - that's an "elephant" play, not a "strict 4-3 DE".


I think you think I said something I didn't, because you're making my point for me. A 3-4 SAM in Bill's defense does rush the passer 85% of the time. Which means if you play Williams there you're only using him to 85% of his ablility. So like I said, he will be best at DE regardless of what scheme he's playing because then he can rush 100% of the time.

You keep putting strict 4-3 DE in quotations for some reason. I never said that. In fact I said he was scheme diverse, and I said he'd fit a strictly 4-3 team best. And he would, because at 43 end he would only play to his strengths. Meaning, of course, that a 4-3 team will pay more for him than a 3-4 team. Bill won't change his scheme for anyone.

#39 drleather2001


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:38 AM

Who was the last superstar FA the Pats brought in? Adalius Thomas? I know this was in part due to trying to figure out the Richard Seymour / Vince Wilfork situation, but I just don't think it's realistic they bring in a big name like Bowe / Williams / Nicks.


Well, they did trade for Moss, Haynesworth, and OchoCinco.

If the price is right, they'll go for it. It's not like they're against signing big names per se.

#40 Jungleland

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:38 AM

How logistically feasible is it to franchise Welker, sign Lloyd, and draft a WR?

#41 dcmissle


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:41 AM

IMO, you need to continue building this team with a view of going toe-to-toe with a hypothetically healthy Houston squad. That's do-able. In no particular order, they need --

1. One playmaker to join Wilfork/Mayo/Chung/Spikes. Ideally, the guy can bring pressure.

2. Dowling to remain healthy and play as they projected.

3. Replace Waters if he retires, and generally fortify the o-line.

4. A potential game breaker at RB. If he's not on the roster, get him.

5. A WR. This is the spot that concerns me most because filling it appears to be, relatively, an organizational weakness.

In sum, this group needs to be fortitied, not blown up. If Brady remains healthy and productive., we're potentially looking at another 4-year run.

I'm in a comfort zone here because this is what I think BB does best -- refrain from overreacting and overpaying. He's just not going to mess with the chemistry of this group.

#42 Three10toLeft

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:51 AM

I think Williams would fit very well into this scheme. They played 4-3 and 3-4 thoughout this season. He is exactly the type of player they need. Young, disruptive who will command double teams and brings an impact on defense. To me he is the type of guy you invest in to elevate the defense to the next level.


Bingo.

The Patriots have positioned themselves well... With some smart moves, they can continue to buffer themselves for the future and stay an elite team in the present. You throw money at Williams, sniff around Lloyd and maybe make a deal. If Welker is willing to come back at a team friendly rate, go for it. But after that, pound the draft. If they see a pass rusher that they love, trade up and get him.

You can rebuild this defense overnight if you just add some pressure to the QB. We had Troy effin' Brown as a CB when we won a SB a while back. You can stash some less then stellar players in your defensive backfield if you are consistently getting to the QB. You could have a Revis, Asomugha and Rodgers all lined up as your CBs, but their is only so long they can cover their man without getting burned. This league is designed to allow the QB to succeed. The only way to prevent that from happening is to put the QB on his ass several times throughout the game.

I've already tried to block out a lot of what happened last night, but if memory serves correctly, the only time I can remember seeing consistent pressure on Eli when we needed it was on the Giants opening drive. Their may have been one other sack in the mix throughout the game, but not anything close to a consistent pass rush that would rattle him.

#43 gammoseditor


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:13 AM

I think they should make a run at Vincent Jackson while franchising Welker. The offense didn't score in the last 25 minutes of that game. We need a WR whose a difference maker, and he's by far the best one out there.

#44 soxfan121


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:15 AM

I think you think I said something I didn't, because you're making my point for me. A 3-4 SAM in Bill's defense does rush the passer 85% of the time. Which means if you play Williams there you're only using him to 85% of his ablility. So like I said, he will be best at DE regardless of what scheme he's playing because then he can rush 100% of the time.

You keep putting strict 4-3 DE in quotations for some reason. I never said that. In fact I said he was scheme diverse, and I said he'd fit a strictly 4-3 team best. And he would, because at 43 end he would only play to his strengths. Meaning, of course, that a 4-3 team will pay more for him than a 3-4 team. Bill won't change his scheme for anyone.


First, Bill did change his scheme this season and it was largely because of Haynesworth & Carter, two 4-3 DL who had a stated preference for that alignment. And Carter did rush ~100% of the time; he wasn't asked to drop in coverage very often, if at all. The Pats went to more 3-4 looks late in the season, but when Anderson was on the field, he was ~100% rushing, as well.

My point with "strict DE" is that BB prefers to have a guy who can do more than just rush the passer from the DE/OLB spot; he'd prefer a Willie McGinest or Lawrence Taylor who CAN rush ~100% of the time, and probably does in most games, but can also drop into coverage to mix things up.

If Williams were to come here, I have no doubt he'd be used 95%+ to rush the passer, i.e. do what he's best at/play to his strengths. But his experience - even limited - in 3-4 under Wade Phillips makes him more versatile and more likely "BB bait".

In any case, we're saying the same thing - pass rush is a need, Williams would fit that need, the Pats scheme requires a pass rusher who can rarely drop into coverage when necessary and one who can reliably set the edge. Williams can do all that, which makes him a better fit in BB's scheme than Andre Carter, for example.

#45 jsinger121


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:18 AM

And the best part about Mario Williams is he only will cost you cash. You won't have to give up any draft picks for him.

#46 soxfan121


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:18 AM

I think they should make a run at Vincent Jackson while franchising Welker. The offense didn't score in the last 25 minutes of that game. We need a WR whose a difference maker, and he's by far the best one out there.


$9.4M is the franchise tag number for WR.

You are suggesting that the Patriots use ~$18-20M/season on Wes Welker and Vincent Jackson.

Look, you spend $20M of cap space on a real need, not on WR in an offense that sets records nearly every year and has two top-notch pass catching threats already on the roster.

#47 Three10toLeft

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:24 AM

I'm not sure I'm too in love with the idea of Brady heaving the ball downfield 4+ times a game. It doesn't really seem to be his strong suit at this point, and seems to be where most of his INT's come from.

#48 gammoseditor


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:35 AM

$9.4M is the franchise tag number for WR.

You are suggesting that the Patriots use ~$18-20M/season on Wes Welker and Vincent Jackson.

Look, you spend $20M of cap space on a real need, not on WR in an offense that sets records nearly every year and has two top-notch pass catching threats already on the roster.


The Patriots have one of the worst #1 outside WR's in football. I'd say it's a real need.

Edited by gammoseditor, 06 February 2012 - 11:37 AM.


#49 gammoseditor


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:36 AM

I'm not sure I'm too in love with the idea of Brady heaving the ball downfield 4+ times a game. It doesn't really seem to be his strong suit at this point, and seems to be where most of his INT's come from.


A big part of the reason for that is they don't have a WR who can get open and make plays downfield.

#50 Fishercat


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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:38 AM

$9.4M is the franchise tag number for WR.

You are suggesting that the Patriots use ~$18-20M/season on Wes Welker and Vincent Jackson.

Look, you spend $20M of cap space on a real need, not on WR in an offense that sets records nearly every year and has two top-notch pass catching threats already on the roster.


I agree with your general point, but let me play devil's advocate.

If you're a team who has high level players in the necessary positions (I'd argue those are the "up the middle" positions in this NFL, meaning QB, OL, DL, and ILB, but you can throw and remove other non-QB positions as needed), it seems that the next best way to spend money would be to improve your weakest spots. On the Patriots, it seems like the weakest spots are at WR (in terms of having a man who is a legitimate threat 20 yards down field), CB, and FS.

The great thing about Vincent Jackson is that he would realistically improve every other offensive skill position. Gronkowski and Hernandez would probably draw less safety coverage, Welker may have the #2 CB dedicated to him. Heck, safeties being deeper would make the run game more viable as well. I think this could be said for lesser FA WR, but not to the level that Jackson could provide. Unless the OL is getting beat, it seems like it would be exceptionally difficult for any defense in the league to defend a set that was Brady-RB-Welker-Jackson-Gronkowski-Hernandez. There's just so many mismatches. It seems nutty to put more money in an already ultra-efficient offense when the defense had Julien Edelman playing NB, but I see the argument.

Edit: Brady is no longer his 2007 self who could take the best advantage of a target like Vincent Jackson, and my opinion is skewed by how he tore us up this year, but an upgrade from Deion Branch as the #1 outside WR to Vincent Jackson is substantial.

Edited by Fishercat, 06 February 2012 - 11:40 AM.