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Free agents 2012: Name your mercenary


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#101 Shelterdog


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 12:44 PM

Houston is going to sign one of the two. Its more likely its Foster but they better not do it via just a restricted offer tag because Foster will get poached by another team. They are more likely to let Williams go with Watt, Barwin, Reed and Cushing and Ryans on defense.


Assuming they use the first or first and a third tender levels there's almost no chance Foster gets poached. Teams just don't care that much about running backs to give up very high draft picks in order to sign somebody to a big contract.

It's possibly that they orchestrate a tag and trade with one or both of the guys but I'd be shocked if either hit free agency.

#102 Super Nomario


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 12:44 PM

Houston is going to sign one of the two. Its more likely its Foster but they better not do it via just a restricted offer tag because Foster will get poached by another team. They are more likely to let Williams go with Watt, Barwin, Reed and Cushing and Ryans on defense.

I don't know. Ben Tate had 942 rushing yards last year and 5.4 YPC. RB is perhaps the position with the shortest shelf-life in the NFL. The Texans run that old Broncos zone rushing attack that made 1000 yard rushers out of Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary, Tatum Bell, and Reuben Droughns. I'm not trying to take anything away from Foster, who I think is as good as any RB in the league, but I do think he's more replaceable.

#103 Hendu for Kutch

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 12:45 PM

Cool story. He said we need a guy like Williams, and then said we should make a poison pill offer to Foster. He never said either.

QED


He didn't actually say they should make the offer to Foster either, he was responding to Marbleheader saying he wanted another Corey Dillon by giving him a way of getting one. But I guess the cooler story is being a dick for no reason! Kudos!

#104 jsinger121


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 12:49 PM

I don't know. Ben Tate had 942 rushing yards last year and 5.4 YPC. RB is perhaps the position with the shortest shelf-life in the NFL. The Texans run that old Broncos zone rushing attack that made 1000 yard rushers out of Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary, Tatum Bell, and Reuben Droughns. I'm not trying to take anything away from Foster, who I think is as good as any RB in the league, but I do think he's more replaceable.


Foster has also caught over 50 balls each of the past two years out of the backfield as well.

#105 tims4wins


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 12:50 PM

Surprised no one has mentioned Reggie Wayne yet. If Peyton leaves Indy or retires - and I think it's likely one or the other will happen - then I could see him being a great fit, for a few reasons. One, he definitely has the respect of Belichick. Two, he will probably want to play for a winner the last few years of his career, not deal with a rookie QB. Three, while the Colts offensive system is different than the Pats, they do a lot of adjusting at the line, playing hurry-up, etc., so some of those concepts should be familiar to him. Four, it is the chance to not only play for a winner, but play with a great QB.

My ideal offseason (for the WR position) has them bringing back Welker at reasonable money, bringing back Branch as the #3/4 guy, letting Ocho go, bringing in Wayne as the #2, and drafting a WR who will play some and develop into a starter by year 2 or 3.

#106 ivanvamp


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:00 PM

Surprised no one has mentioned Reggie Wayne yet. If Peyton leaves Indy or retires - and I think it's likely one or the other will happen - then I could see him being a great fit, for a few reasons. One, he definitely has the respect of Belichick. Two, he will probably want to play for a winner the last few years of his career, not deal with a rookie QB. Three, while the Colts offensive system is different than the Pats, they do a lot of adjusting at the line, playing hurry-up, etc., so some of those concepts should be familiar to him. Four, it is the chance to not only play for a winner, but play with a great QB.

My ideal offseason (for the WR position) has them bringing back Welker at reasonable money, bringing back Branch as the #3/4 guy, letting Ocho go, bringing in Wayne as the #2, and drafting a WR who will play some and develop into a starter by year 2 or 3.


I like Reggie Wayne a lot, but he's not the deep threat they presumably need. Heck, let both Branch and Ocho go, and sign Lloyd, Wayne, and one defensive guy.

Then use all the draft picks on defense.

:-)

#107 Marbleheader


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:02 PM

Guys, cut the shit with attacking each other. I get that people arent in the greatest moods, but I've seen too much ESPN board like shit in this forum. We don't need that here.

#108 soxfan121


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:10 PM

Assuming they use the first or first and a third tender levels there's almost no chance Foster gets poached.


According to Miguel the top level tender in 2012 is either $3.6M (the old 1st & 3rd level) or $2.8M (the old 1st round level). The first & third tender level was eliminated in the recent CBA - it's just first round now - but I'm not sure if the higher figure or the lower figure is used.

Just a reminder that the RFA tender has to be done before the franchise tag (at least it was in the old CBA) so the Texans will tender Foster before franchising Williams (leading me back to the #'s discussion up thread).

#109 Phragle


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:28 PM

Surprised no one has mentioned Reggie Wayne yet. If Peyton leaves Indy or retires - and I think it's likely one or the other will happen - then I could see him being a great fit, for a few reasons. One, he definitely has the respect of Belichick. Two, he will probably want to play for a winner the last few years of his career, not deal with a rookie QB. Three, while the Colts offensive system is different than the Pats, they do a lot of adjusting at the line, playing hurry-up, etc., so some of those concepts should be familiar to him. Four, it is the chance to not only play for a winner, but play with a great QB.

My ideal offseason (for the WR position) has them bringing back Welker at reasonable money, bringing back Branch as the #3/4 guy, letting Ocho go, bringing in Wayne as the #2, and drafting a WR who will play some and develop into a starter by year 2 or 3.


What would Wayne offer that Lloyd wouldn't?

I think who ever gets Peyton will want Wayne more than us.

Guys, cut the shit with attacking each other. I get that people arent in the greatest moods, but I've seen too much ESPN board like shit in this forum. We don't need that here.


That's precisely why I'm being a dick. This isn't PatsFans.com where we all yell loudly until we agree to just sign all the best free agents. Dumb posts should be mocked. It's ok I'm done. The derail is over.

#110 Shelterdog


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:33 PM

What would Wayne offer that Lloyd wouldn't?

I think who ever gets Peyton will want Wayne more than us.


I agree that Wayne (and Saturday if he plays) likely follow Peyton, but theoretically Wayne is a pro's pro while Lloyd has been erratic effort-wise over the course of his career

#111 tims4wins


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:44 PM

I agree that Wayne (and Saturday if he plays) likely follow Peyton, but theoretically Wayne is a pro's pro while Lloyd has been erratic effort-wise over the course of his career


That, and I think Wayne will come cheaper, since he's older.

Edit: I also think he is a better "fit" for the offense... I'm kind of torn on the "deep threat" argument. This crosses the line into the "Can Brady Throw Deep" thread, but if we think Brady is much better suited to the short/intermediate passing game than deep balls - and this is the direction the offense has gone the last two years - then I think Wayne is a better fit for that offense.

Edited by tims4wins, 07 February 2012 - 01:49 PM.


#112 bakahump

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 02:05 PM

I am thinking Lloyd would be a great fit.

He is not terribly young. He hasn't been terribly productive save 2010 (and kinda 2011). (hoping that might impact his price a little...as opposed to Vjax who is younger and had better seasons).

Even in those "breakout" age 29 and 30 seasons he caught "only 70-77 balls".

I think this is important. If you assume (safely I think) that Welker will get his 100+, Gronk will get 80+, SweetLeaf will get another 75+ and an "increased Running game" which I think we all think is a smart strategy. It really comes down to the Branch-Ocho problem this year of "how many targets will New Target X really get?"

I mean Branch "the Bradybinky tm" Caught only 50 balls this year. Would Wayne really come to NE to catch 50 balls? While for Lloyd thats not really that far off what he already catches.

Ideally VJax would be another potential target as he also fits into this box. (though as alluded to above I think will be much more expensive).

Plus as mentioned we need a vertical player as opposed to another horizontal target.

Edited by bakahump, 07 February 2012 - 02:08 PM.


#113 Reggie's Racquet

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 02:41 PM

Having endured quite enough for any 24-hour period, you DON'T want to know how he *performed* in a Redskins uniform. If we sign him, just assume due diligence has been done, write it off to Redskins' dysfunction and go on your merry way.

Re: Brandon Lloyd-Didn't we already try and pick up a player off the Redsinks dysfunction pile? How did that work out with due diligence done?

#114 Morning Woodhead

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 02:45 PM

Re: Brandon Lloyd-Didn't we already try and pick up a player off the Redsinks dysfunction pile? How did that work out with due diligence done?


I thought Andre Carter worked out pretty well. I know thats not who you're referring to, but the Redskins dysfunction pile knows no bounds. Redskins talent evaluation is as bad as there is in football.

#115 pappymojo

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:12 PM

http://www.nepatriot...-agency.html/2/

Defensive Line:

The first order of business for the DL is figuring out if they are going to be playing a 3-4 or 4-3 and what to do with Andre Carter and Mark Anderson.

If there is one name to go hard after for me it would be Arizona FA Calais Campbell. Campbell is one of the best young 3-4 DE in the league. He can rush the passer, hold up against the run and block kicks. He will likely be expensive but the Patriots have been unable to replace Richard Seymour since he left, which was a big reason for switching to the 4-3. Getting Campbell would be a huge upgrade to the front four.

If they look to go cheaper guys like Kendall Langford, Cory Redding and Red Bryant are all names to watch. They all can play 3-4 DE and all can move inside. None of them are very good pass rushers but they can hold up against the run. Out of those three Bryant will be the most expensive, but is someone to watch this off season.



#116 Super Nomario


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:15 PM

Interesting list of free agents:
http://www.cbssports...-on-open-market

#117 Mooch

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:45 PM

http://www.nepatriotsdraft.com/2012/02/who-will-the-patriots-go-after-in-free-agency.html/2/


The Cardinals will use their franchise tag on Campbell. Without a doubt.

#118 RedOctober3829


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 05:01 PM

They need an impact player at every level on defense. I think they need to address the secondary in free agency as the draft is thin esp. at safety. Rodgers and Grimes cone to mind as does Golden and Landry.

#119 sleepyjose03

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 05:27 PM

Anyone else intrigued by Robert Meachem? I'm of the opinion that an outside WR threat is secondary to improving the defense, but I think he'd be exactly the type of signing that fits the Pats MO. He's never caught more than 45 balls in a season, but is a serious homerun threat, averaging over 16 yds/rec for his career. Forget Lloyd - this guy provides what we need - somebody to go deep and stretch the defense while Welker, Gronk, and Hernandez go to work. Somebody who has a knack for making teams pay when he gets behind the secondary (only 7 of his 23 career TDs were for 20yds or less, and 11 of them were for 35yds or more). Somebody who should cost less than other more attractive names.

I honestly have no idea what he'd get on the open market, but in a year with a number of big name FA WRs (both Jacksons, Lloyd, Stevie Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Colston, Wayne, Garcon, Welker, etc) it's likely that he could be had fairly reasonably. I can't imagine a huge contract for someone who averages 2.3 rec for 36.6 yards per game.

I don't know how hard the Saints will press to keep him, but with Nicks and Colston both FAs, as well as the plethora of weapons in NO, it's possible he could be available. If the Pats could sign him to a modest deal, and still target some of the premier defensive FAs, wouldn't this be a better strategy?

#120 RedOctober3829


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 05:55 PM

Raiders released Stanford Routt per NFLN

#121 Phragle


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:28 PM

They need an impact player at every level on defense. I think they need to address the secondary in free agency as the draft is thin esp. at safety. Rodgers and Grimes cone to mind as does Golden and Landry.


Actually the draft is deep at corner.

#122 dynomite

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:37 PM

I don't know how hard the Saints will press to keep him, but with Nicks and Colston both FAs, as well as the plethora of weapons in NO, it's possible he could be available. If the Pats could sign him to a modest deal, and still target some of the premier defensive FAs, wouldn't this be a better strategy?


Absolutely agreed on Meachem -- like Jabar Gaffney, he's got the frame and speed to be a useful piece of this offense -- and on the impossibility of a big free agent splash in the WR market. After resigning/tagging Welker (which seems almost certain) the Patriots aren't going to spend a lot of money on another FA WR.

If we can't draft the all-seeing, all-knowing Sanu at #27, I'd absolutely like to bring in Meachem, and I have a feeling his asking price won't be out of range: the FA crop of WRs is so deep and talented this year that we might be able to steal him.

#123 shoosh77

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:27 PM

Laurent Robinson is a FA, he could be interesting. Ahmad Brooks could be someone for the LB corps.

#124 RedOctober3829


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:16 PM

Actually the draft is deep at corner.


They don't need to draft someone in the middle rounds as much as they would need to trade up early in the 1st round for a #1 corner like Claiborne or Kirkpatrick. They have enough guys that would slot back into normal roles for their abilities. They need a #1 guy. Knowing they won't trade up into the top 10 or 15 to do that, they need to address that in FA.

#125 dynomite

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:59 PM

They don't need to draft someone in the middle rounds as much as they would need to trade up early in the 1st round for a #1 corner like Claiborne or Kirkpatrick. They have enough guys that would slot back into normal roles for their abilities. They need a #1 guy. Knowing they won't trade up into the top 10 or 15 to do that, they need to address that in FA.


Agreed.

CB is actually an area of relative strength on this team -- between McCourty, Arrington, Dowling, and Moore we have 4 playable CBs. Unless we can get a #1, shutdown-type cornerback (which McCourty was and might be again) I would be surprised to see much movement here, especially in the FA market.

I wouldn't be surprised, however, if the Patriots target someone like Rashean Mathis (JAX) who will be coming off an ACL tear as a 32-year-old. Once upon a time Mathis was one of the best coverage CBs in the league: those days are past. That said, he'll come cheap, provide a veteran presence in the defensive backfield, and could still be effective in a limited role (indeed, Football Outsiders ranked Mathis as the 10th most effective CB in the league before he was injured this season).

Edit: Added link

Edited by dynomite, 10 February 2012 - 12:03 AM.


#126 Judge Mental13


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 06:55 AM

Pass on Mathis. Even if he comes cheap, he's old, banged up, and not named "Charles Woodson".

I'll go ahead and pass on Reggie Wayne too. That's great that he is so respected by Belichick, but so was Ocho. Reggie's old and should be relegated to WR2 or Slot duties. If he's cool with that, go get him, but some team will probably pay him to be their #1.

#127 ( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:22 AM

Am I still shell shocked or does Cortland Finnegan look intriguing to anyone else?

There is a glut of good to decent CBs on the market, so he could possibly be overlooked because he is kind of a douche. But he can play. Rodeny Harrison had a rep as a dirty player before the Pats signed him, so does Finnegan. Now I think it's fair to say that Rodney's reputation came more from playing through the whistle some times, while Finnegan's comes from both that and being annoying, chirppey and childish. But would it be a bad thing to have a player on the Pats defense that gets under their opponents skin some? I generally don't like arguments about swagger or attitude and how it relates to play on the field, but the Pats defense just seems so flat all the time. Mayo and Vince are their two best players, but they are seem so level headed all the time. I don't see how it could hurt to bring in another player (like Spikes) that would give the Pats defense more of a presence and a physical edge.

Tenn migth very well franchise him, but could move on as well. The guy is 28 years old, is it unreasonable to expect him to grow away from the stupid silly things he has done and become more of a calculated aggitator? I would think Grimes, Rogers and maybe Carr and Routt get targeted by other teams needing CB help before Finnegan, so maybe the Pats get their price.

Besides what's wrong with brining another Irishman to Boston? :blink:

Edited by ( . ) ( . ) and (_!_), 10 February 2012 - 09:23 AM.


#128 ( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:23 AM

oops

Edited by ( . ) ( . ) and (_!_), 10 February 2012 - 09:23 AM.


#129 jsinger121


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:57 AM

Raiders released Stanford Routt per NFLN


NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported Routt has free-agent visits scheduled with the

Buffalo Bills

and

Tennessee Titans

, according to a league source


http://www.nfl.com/n..._headline_stack

#130 Shelterdog


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:19 AM

They don't need to draft someone in the middle rounds as much as they would need to trade up early in the 1st round for a #1 corner like Claiborne or Kirkpatrick. They have enough guys that would slot back into normal roles for their abilities. They need a #1 guy. Knowing they won't trade up into the top 10 or 15 to do that, they need to address that in FA.


Why do they "need" to get a guy like Claiborne? He's awesome, sure, but isn't building a team with lots of good players an equally viable way to build a team? Remember the cost for Julio Jones was the 27, 59th, and 124th picks in 2011 and the 22nd and roughly the 120th picks in 2012-so we're talking Jimmy Smith, Greg Little, Owen Marecic, somebody like Nick Perry from USC and some random fourth round pick.

EDIT: To put it differently, this team doesn't have a lot of holes but is average at a lot of spots; maybe going from average to above average at a bunch of spots is more beneficial than going from average to way above average at one spot and treading water elsewhere.

Edited by Shelterdog, 10 February 2012 - 10:33 AM.


#131 RedOctober3829


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:32 AM

Why do they "need" to get a guy like Claiborne? He's awesome, sure, but isn't building a team with lots of good players an equally viable way to build a team? Remember the cost for Julio Jones was the 27, 59th, and 124th picks in 2011 and the 22nd and roughly the 120th picks in 2012-so we're talking Jimmy Smith, Greg Little, Owen Marecic, somebody like Nick Perry from USC and some random fourth round pick.


Can't you agree they need an elite corner? The elite corners in this draft are Claiborne and Kirkpatrick. You could also make a case that Janoris Jenkins can be one. I said in a previous post that they weren't going to acquire one in the draft because of the acquisition cost. Therefore, you address this need in free agency.

#132 Shelterdog


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:40 AM

Can't you agree they need an elite corner?


No. Other than QB I don't think you need an elite-by which I mean top five or ten at his position-player at any particular position to win a superbowl. Elite corners are also really expensive; Cromartie is just a little below elite and he got a 4 year 32 million contract. With what the Pats have I'd rather add an ok safety, an ok corner, and an ok LB than an elite corner.

#133 Dogman2


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:47 AM

No. Other than QB I don't think you need an elite-by which I mean top five or ten at his position-player at any particular position to win a superbowl. Elite corners are also really expensive; Cromartie is just a little below elite and he got a 4 year 32 million contract. With what the Pats have I'd rather add an ok safety, an ok corner, and an ok LB than an elite corner.


I'd add an elite DE or down lineman. This will allow for single coverage on Wilfork at times during the game as well as free Carter/Anderson (depending on who is signed) to get after the QB. IMO, this makes the corners play a bit better than they may be. I love the Spikes/Mayo LB.

#134 soxfan121


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:49 AM

The problem with the "add an OK safety" idea is that both the FA pool and the draft are lacking "OK safety" prospects. And the Pats need at least two, if not three.

I'd look at the CB market and add there, shifting one of the existing players (McCourty or Arrington) to start opposite Chung in 2012, and draft the best available safety at #48. Then you can target an "OK safety" (better than Ihedigbo, but the guy would need to be a ST contributor) in FA to round out the group.

#135 Dogman2


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:58 AM

The problem with the "add an OK safety" idea is that both the FA pool and the draft are lacking "OK safety" prospects. And the Pats need at least two, if not three.

I'd look at the CB market and add there, shifting one of the existing players (McCourty or Arrington) to start opposite Chung in 2012, and draft the best available safety at #48. Then you can target an "OK safety" (better than Ihedigbo, but the guy would need to be a ST contributor) in FA to round out the group.


The Pats need to add 2-3 safeties? Moves like that seem like complete wastes of roster space. Are people forgetting about I-Dowling and McCourty's excellent rookie campaign?

#136 RedOctober3829


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:58 AM

No. Other than QB I don't think you need an elite-by which I mean top five or ten at his position-player at any particular position to win a superbowl. Elite corners are also really expensive; Cromartie is just a little below elite and he got a 4 year 32 million contract. With what the Pats have I'd rather add an ok safety, an ok corner, and an ok LB than an elite corner.


They need a corner who can slot down players like Arrington to play the roles that their talent level says they should. If they can acquire a Grimes, a Carr, or a Finnegan type, they can concentrate on getting better depth CBs in the draft instead of still looking for a top corner which would cost them way too much to get. Besides Golden, the safety market in both the draft and FA is weak but as 121 says if you get a real good CB you have your other starter on the roster already in McCourty.

#137 tims4wins


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:59 AM

The problem with the "add an OK safety" idea is that both the FA pool and the draft are lacking "OK safety" prospects. And the Pats need at least two, if not three.

I'd look at the CB market and add there, shifting one of the existing players (McCourty or Arrington) to start opposite Chung in 2012, and draft the best available safety at #48. Then you can target an "OK safety" (better than Ihedigbo, but the guy would need to be a ST contributor) in FA to round out the group.


Yeah, given how Moore looked down the stretch, and how Dowling looked early on, I like this approach. I'd definitely consider moving McCourty to safety opposite Chung, and then before you even add a corner in free agency or the draft you could have Dowling and Moore starting, with Arrington at nickel. Add in a couple guys through the draft and/or free agency and you should have good depth and good skill, IMO.

#138 soxfan121


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:04 AM

The Pats need to add 2-3 safeties? Moves like that seem like complete wastes of roster space. Are people forgetting about I-Dowling and McCourty's excellent rookie campaign?


2011 Patriots Safeties: Chung, Ihedigbo, Sergio Brown, Ross Ventrone, Matthew Slater, Josh Barrett
2010 Patriots Safeties: Chung, Merriweather, Sanders, Brown

Dowling & Moore have only played CB; McCourty & Arrington played emergency S this season after Chung got hurt and Ihedigbo/Brown/Slater/Barrett turned in the single worst performance by a position group in recent NFL history.

Yeah, they need 3 new safeties and a CB OR they need Ihedigbo/Brown to improve by at least 1000000%, a depth S and another CB to get to usual roster levels (5 CB, 4 S)

EDIT: Forgot Barrett. Blocked out his suckage and since he's due to make $1M next season, almost certainly will not be back.

Edited by soxfan121, 10 February 2012 - 11:06 AM.


#139 Shelterdog


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:15 AM

EDIT: Forgot Barrett. Blocked out his suckage and since he's due to make $1M next season, almost certainly will not be back.


If Barrett isn't back it will be because he sucks or is hurt, not for the money. $1m is nothing. Ihdegibo is a perfectly reasonable backup safeties.

Look, nobody's disputing that they couldn't get better in the defensive backfield. I'm just not so confident on the talent evaluations of Mel Kiper and Todd McShay or whoever to agree with their claims that the draft or free agent class is strong in X or crappy in y. There's no way I feel confident that I can formulate anything like a real plan for how I was going to attack free agency and the draft, and the team is balanced enough that I'm not positive which areas you'd fair the best improving.

#140 Phragle


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:29 AM

They don't need to draft someone in the middle rounds as much as they would need to trade up early in the 1st round for a #1 corner like Claiborne or Kirkpatrick. They have enough guys that would slot back into normal roles for their abilities. They need a #1 guy. Knowing they won't trade up into the top 10 or 15 to do that, they need to address that in FA.


What team does need a middle round player more than a top 10 pick?

The point about the draft is that there are about 12 potential shut down guys projected to go in the top 100 picks. That is rare depth. Claiborne is the only guy that is basically a guarantee to come in a be a stud from day one.

And then there's this: What are the deepest positions in the NFL draft? -Wes Bunting

1. Cornerback
With the number of early entries declaring at the cornerback position, it allowed some of the top ranked senior corners to slide down boards a bit and create not only a very solid class toward the top end of round one, but improved the overall depth throughout rounds two/four. Therefore, you can now find solid corners capable of playing in both man and zone concepts throughout the top-100 picks.


http://www.nationalf...-NFL-draft.html

CB is actually an area of relative strength on this team -- between McCourty, Arrington, Dowling, and Moore we have 4 playable CBs. Unless we can get a #1, shutdown-type cornerback (which McCourty was and might be again) I would be surprised to see much movement here, especially in the FA market.


Not really. We might have some warn bodies at corner back but none of them are good and proven. McCourty is a huge wild card, Arrington is solid, but not good, Dowling is unproven and Moore is too. You're asking a lot of variables to work out to even be decent at corner next year.

And then there's this: Biggest need: Cornerback? -Mike Reiss

In a "Football Outsiders" piece now posted on ESPN.com (Insider content), the greatest need for each AFC East team is examined. Writer Sean McCormick picks cornerback for the Patriots.


http://espn.go.com/b...need-cornerback

#141 Phragle


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:33 AM

I'd add an elite DE or down lineman. This will allow for single coverage on Wilfork at times during the game as well as free Carter/Anderson (depending on who is signed) to get after the QB. IMO, this makes the corners play a bit better than they may be. I love the Spikes/Mayo LB.


Yeah, a good 5 tech is my number one need.

#142 soxfan121


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:36 AM

If Barrett isn't back it will be because he sucks or is hurt, not for the money. $1m is nothing. Ihdegibo is a perfectly reasonable backup safeties.

Look, nobody's disputing that they couldn't get better in the defensive backfield. I'm just not so confident on the talent evaluations of Mel Kiper and Todd McShay or whoever to agree with their claims that the draft or free agent class is strong in X or crappy in y. There's no way I feel confident that I can formulate anything like a real plan for how I was going to attack free agency and the draft, and the team is balanced enough that I'm not positive which areas you'd fair the best improving.


1. Mike Mayock has become as reliable as they get with regard to personnel evaluation; I think that when all the pundits say generally the same thing, it's probably true and CB is "deep" and safety is not in this coming draft. It's all a guess anyway and it's a discussion board, so I see no harm in consulting multiple sources, getting a consensus and then using that to foster discussion. Ultimately, you're right - nobody knows nothing. So we can either ALL be full of shit or we can shut down the board.

2. There is a clear lack of "impact" safeties in the NFL at this time. Surveys of experts (coaches, scouts, FO, etc.) last season had Merriweather as a borderline "top 10" safety and Adrian Wilson/Eric Berry in the top 10. Safety is, across the NFL, a shallow pool of talent at this particular point in time.

3. I respect your opinion more than most in this forum and I curious as to how you can justify the team is "balanced enough". I saw a defense that was unacceptable last season; improvements must be made on that side of the ball, and in particular, in defending the pass. Yes, scoring defense was average but I'm swayed by the "yards = TOP = field position" argument that was so clearly demonstrated in the SB. An occasional 3-and-out would do more to help the offense (and team balance) than any one player they could acquire. It is my opinion that the defense, as constructed in 2011, put enormous pressure on the offense and Tom Brady to be "perfect" and that when Brady was not perfect, they had trouble securing wins. That's not sustainable; a game plan based on "Brady is GOD" is bad long-term planning. Yeah, more than likely he will continue to be Tom Brady but the defense must improve to take the burden off Tom Brady & the offense to stellar.

#143 RedOctober3829


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:39 AM

What team does need a middle round player more than a top 10 pick?

The point about the draft is that there are about 12 potential shut down guys projected to go in the top 100 picks. That is rare depth. Claiborne is the only guy that is basically a guarantee to come in a be a stud from day one.

And then there's this: What are the deepest positions in the NFL draft? -Wes Bunting



http://www.nationalf...-NFL-draft.html



Not really. We might have some warn bodies at corner back but none of them are good and proven. McCourty is a huge wild card, Arrington is solid, but not good, Dowling is unproven and Moore is too. You're asking a lot of variables to work out to even be decent at corner next year.

And then there's this: Biggest need: Cornerback? -Mike Reiss



http://espn.go.com/b...need-cornerback


I think we both agree on the same things, but are saying it differently. The biggest need of this team is at corner and yes this draft is deep with them. But, my thinking on this is that if they take care of that top corner position in free agency they can concentrate on upgrading other areas of need(such as D-line) early in the draft then picking up a corner or 2 in the middle rounds that may have grades above their slot. This strategy would improve the overall talent and depth of the position because as you said the position is lacking quality talent and depth at this point.

#144 ( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:47 AM

I think what's make this discussion about relative needs of a position like CB over another is that we are all blind (or at least mostly blind) to the "untapped" potential on the roster. Arrington has played quite a bit now, he has almost 30 career starts in the NFL and has played in well over 30 games. Can any of us say with confidence that Kyle Arrington has reached the peak of potential and will not show reasonable improvements? The Pats have a lot of young players in their defensive backfield in McCourty, Arrington, Moore, Dowling, even Chung. To me any reasonable projection of the defense going forward would need to include an assumption that the production from at least some of these players at the end of the 2012 season will be greater then the production at the end of the 2011 season.

I think we could more reasonably project improvement to other positions (DL, OL, RB are fairly easy to see on the TV) but defensive backs are often hidden from our view and we have the other disadvanatge of often not knowing who is responsible for what on any given play.

I don't think anyone does not want to see more "talent" in the CB groups, but I think we have a natural tendency to discount or under value young players.

#145 RedOctober3829


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:56 AM

I think what's make this discussion about relative needs of a position like CB over another is that we are all blind (or at least mostly blind) to the "untapped" potential on the roster. Arrington has played quite a bit now, he has almost 30 career starts in the NFL and has played in well over 30 games. Can any of us say with confidence that Kyle Arrington has reached the peak of potential and will not show reasonable improvements? The Pats have a lot of young players in their defensive backfield in McCourty, Arrington, Moore, Dowling, even Chung. To me any reasonable projection of the defense going forward would need to include an assumption that the production from at least some of these players at the end of the 2012 season will be greater then the production at the end of the 2011 season.

I think we could more reasonably project improvement to other positions (DL, OL, RB are fairly easy to see on the TV) but defensive backs are often hidden from our view and we have the other disadvanatge of often not knowing who is responsible for what on any given play.

I don't think anyone does not want to see more "talent" in the CB groups, but I think we have a natural tendency to discount or under value young players.


I'm not discounting the talent at the position because there just isn't enough of it on the roster right now. I do know that Houston went from a bad defense to a really good one and I think you can put most of the difference on adding Jonathan Joseph. Adding a shutdown corner will allow Arrington to play the slot where he looks to be most effective and Moore doesn't have to play the #1 guy. They also need to get rid of guys like Molden, Nate Jones, etc. I'm sorry, but relying on street free agents isn't going to get it done. Hopefully, Dowling can add value as well.

#146 quint


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:02 PM

I'm not discounting the talent at the position because there just isn't enough of it on the roster right now. I do know that Houston went from a bad defense to a really good one and I think you can put most of the difference on adding Jonathan Joseph. Adding a shutdown corner will allow Arrington to play the slot where he looks to be most effective and Moore doesn't have to play the #1 guy. They also need to get rid of guys like Molden, Nate Jones, etc. I'm sorry, but relying on street free agents isn't going to get it done. Hopefully, Dowling can add value as well.


I'd argue that most of the difference came from adding JJ Watt in last year's draft. As dogman, and I believe phragle stated, adding a difference maker up front to pair with Wilfork could have a fairly sizable ripple effect on the play of the defenders they have in the back seven (or eight, I suppose) currently.

I would tend to agree.

#147 Phragle


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:03 PM

I think we both agree on the same things, but are saying it differently. The biggest need of this team is at corner and yes this draft is deep with them. But, my thinking on this is that if they take care of that top corner position in free agency they can concentrate on upgrading other areas of need(such as D-line) early in the draft then picking up a corner or 2 in the middle rounds that may have grades above their slot. This strategy would improve the overall talent and depth of the position because as you said the position is lacking quality talent and depth at this point.


I agree with this, but only if you're assuming McCourty to safety if we sign a guy like Carr. I think the biggest need is either corner or safety, depending on where McCourty plays. If Goldson and Carr are both free agents I'd rather sign Goldson, because I think McCourty will ultimately be best at corner, and because the draft is so deep at corner and so thin at safety.

#148 pappymojo

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:06 PM

2. There is a clear lack of "impact" safeties in the NFL at this time. Surveys of experts (coaches, scouts, FO, etc.) last season had Merriweather as a borderline "top 10" safety and Adrian Wilson/Eric Berry in the top 10. Safety is, across the NFL, a shallow pool of talent at this particular point in time.


I think that this also ties in to the increased importance of Tight Ends in the offensive game plan. I have to assume that more teams will be trying to emulate the success of New England/New Orleans. You often hear that tight ends like Gronk are too fast for linebackers to cover and too big for cornerbacks to cover. Looking for a way to counter a tight end, I think the best solution is a talented safety.

When I look at the Patriots, I want another stud defensive lineman as a top priority and a safety as a second priority.

I shudder to think of what would happen to this team if Wilfork were hurt. In my opinion, he's probably the most valuable player on the team, based on the quality of his replacement player if he can't play. A second stud d-lineman to play alongside Wilfork improves on Wilfork's play if Wilfork is healthy and acts as insurance if Wilfork can't play.

#149 Shelterdog


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:18 PM

1. Mike Mayock has become as reliable as they get with regard to personnel evaluation; I think that when all the pundits say generally the same thing, it's probably true and CB is "deep" and safety is not in this coming draft. It's all a guess anyway and it's a discussion board, so I see no harm in consulting multiple sources, getting a consensus and then using that to foster discussion. Ultimately, you're right - nobody knows nothing. So we can either ALL be full of shit or we can shut down the board.

2. There is a clear lack of "impact" safeties in the NFL at this time. Surveys of experts (coaches, scouts, FO, etc.) last season had Merriweather as a borderline "top 10" safety and Adrian Wilson/Eric Berry in the top 10. Safety is, across the NFL, a shallow pool of talent at this particular point in time.

3. I respect your opinion more than most in this forum and I curious as to how you can justify the team is "balanced enough". I saw a defense that was unacceptable last season; improvements must be made on that side of the ball, and in particular, in defending the pass. Yes, scoring defense was average but I'm swayed by the "yards = TOP = field position" argument that was so clearly demonstrated in the SB. An occasional 3-and-out would do more to help the offense (and team balance) than any one player they could acquire. It is my opinion that the defense, as constructed in 2011, put enormous pressure on the offense and Tom Brady to be "perfect" and that when Brady was not perfect, they had trouble securing wins. That's not sustainable; a game plan based on "Brady is GOD" is bad long-term planning. Yeah, more than likely he will continue to be Tom Brady but the defense must improve to take the burden off Tom Brady & the offense to stellar.


Hey bullshitting about whether we should draft a corner and pick up a wide receiver in free agency or vice versa is fun and the purpose of this board, I'm just saying we have to be a little careful about believing our own bullshit.

As to what I mean by balanced enough: right now your weak positions aren't that terrible (with the exception of WR-Ocho and Edelman are our two starters if the season today-and center) but you are only really comfortable at a handful of places (QB, 2 TEs, LG, Wilfork, Spikes, Mayo, Chung, Solder, and-if they are back-Vollmer, Waters, Light). You could get better everywhere. Yeah you need help at corner and safety but if a great center and a great five technique DL were the first two available picks, you might go in that direction.

EDIT: Here's the starting roster if the season started tomorrow and Vollmer/Light/Dowling/Waters are healthy and playing football. I'm hard pressed to say if C, S, CB, WR1, WR2, OLB, or just "one more really good DL" is our biggest need, and we have more need on the OL if we lose people to retirement or injury:

QB: Brady
HB: Woodhead (Vereen/Ridley)
WR1: Ocho, Underwood
WR2: Edelman

LT: Light
LG: Mankins
C: Wendell or McDonald or Ohrnberger or Thomas
RG: Waters
RT: Vollmer or Solder

TE1: Gronk
TE2: Hernandez

DL: Wilfork
DL: Deaderick (or Brace or Pryor)
DL: Love

OLB/DE: Ninkovich
ILB: Spikes
ILB: Mayo
OLB/DE: Carter or Cunningham or Silvestro or maybe Fletcher?

CB: Dowling
CB: Arrington or DMC
S: Chung
S: DMC or Barrett or Brown?

Edited by Shelterdog, 10 February 2012 - 01:21 PM.


#150 bowiac


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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:18 PM

I shudder to think of what would happen to this team if Wilfork were hurt. In my opinion, he's probably the most valuable player on the team, based on the quality of his replacement player if he can't play.

The love that Brian Hoyer continues to get is pretty amazing to me. Hoyer has now shown enough that the dropoff from Brady to him is more managable than the dropoff from Wilfork to some combination of Brace/Warren?

Or maybe it's just Brady disrespect.

EDIT- Brainfart on Hoyer's name.

Edited by bowiac, 10 February 2012 - 01:00 PM.