2018 Patriots offense

Saints Rest

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In the spirit of the 2018 Pats D thread, and considering all the turnover on O (arguably more substantial than the D turnover), I figured it would be worth a thread to discuss it all.

(returnees in bold)
QB: Brady, Hoyer, Etling (R).
Etling may simply be a PS guy to alleviate reps on two older vets.
No one from last year gone.

RB: Burkhead, Gillislee, White, Develin, Bolden, Hill, Michel (R).
There's a lot of talent there but at least one, probably two, will be cut. (Miguel's patscap.com page doesn't seem to be current, so I'm not sure where to find cap impacts for these guys. Based on talent and experience, I would think that Gillislee and Hill are likeliest to be cut/traded.)
Lewis gone from last year.

WR: Edelman, Hogan, Mitchell, Dorsett, Slater, Hollister, Britt, McCarron, Patterson, Matthews, Berrios (R).
Again, a lot of talent here, but a lot of question marks both for injury recover (Edelman, Mitchell, Hogan) as well as scheme fit (Patterson, Matthews, Berrios). They typically keep 6, with Slater being mostly a WR in name only (WRINO??). Berrios' PR role may give him a spot on gameday. May be the most entertaining and competitive area to watch come training camp.
Cooks, Amendola gone from last year.

TE: Gronk, Allen, Hollister, Tye, Niklas, Izzo (R).
Lots of questions after Gronk: Can Allen justify his contract as is? Does he get re-negotiated to a lower cap hit? Does he get cut? Can Hollister or Tye make a leap? Can Niklas contribute?
Bennett gone from last year (although he was only there for a couple games).

OL: Waddle, Thuney, Andrews, Mason, Cannon, Karras, Croston, Ferentz, Garcia, King, Jelks, Wynn, Brown, Tobin. Once again, a lot of talent, with competitions coming at both tackle spots and possibly LG. Seems like they will leave camp with a strong line with terrific depth.
Solder, Fleming gone from last year.
 
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SMU_Sox

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Ryan Izzo, TE was drafted. He profiles as blocking TE. Not going to move the needle much.
 

bakahump

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Didnt you forget Izzo at TE? Wimann too. But I see where you, probably smartly, avoided listing UDFAs in the depth chart as they shouldnt be counted on for much.

That said I think TE is interesting in that an Allen cut could represent a pretty big savings of 5mil. At this point he seems to only be on the roster as a blocking TE. I have hope that Niklas, Izzo Tye or Wimann in that order can supplant him in that role. I may end up very wrong and after a year in the offense Allen resumes catching 30+ with his admittedly very good blocking. But I am not holding my breath and would love to see (part of) that 5 million used on a Defensive player who is a camp cut.

I also think that its a big year for Dorsett and (as much as it bums me out cause I like the player) Mitchell. I think they are the odd men out if any of the new guys impress. Edelman is a lock and hopefully comes back as at least 90% of what he was, Hogan was down last year IMHO but I think that was due to Cooks taking over the 789 routes. Hopefully if he is asked to do those again like in 2016 he can get back to @15yd/rec and give Edelman and Gronk a little more room underneath. I am really excited about Patterson, Matthews and Berrios. I think at least 1 will contribute significantly (think year 1 Mitchell @ 500yd) Or maybe they combine for that, which for the @5th option is very acceptable.

Gillislee might be a goner. He would save 2+million with no dead money (if overthecap is right). He just seems redundant with Michel as the "Primary 3 down back". Burkhead is a solid 2.5 down next guy up RB. White as the 3rd down guy and "closer" who you want in big games. Devlin stays as the only true FB. Bolden as a break glass RB and STer. Hill as the goal line back. Where does Gillislee fit in? Even if Michel has growing pains Burkhead, White and Hill could all "start".

OL looks loaded. Let Dante and BB come up with the best 7-8 and plug them in most anywhere.
 

BaseballJones

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I'd like to see Allen cut and his $$ used to pick up defensive help. I think they have enough at TE otherwise. Of the WRs, man it's going to be very stiff competition. I see the obvious keepers being Edelman and Hogan. That leaves the competition for like 3-4 spots between Dorsett, Britt, Berrios, Matthews, Patterson, and Mitchell. And that doesn't even include Slater.

At RB I see Michel, White, Develin (BB loves him), and Burkhead making it, with likely one spot available and a battle between Hill, Bolden, and Gillislee.

The OL is stacked, with the top guys being Brown, Thuney, Wynn, Andrews, Mason, Cannon, and Waddle, with good depth behind that group.

Of a 53 man squad right now, 3 are devoted to special teams: LS, K, and P. I'd then put 25 on offense and 25 on defense. So of the 25 man offensive group, man it would be hard to decide right this moment (thankfully nobody has to), but I'd go with:

QB - Brady, Hoyer (Etling to PS or cut)
RB - Michel, White, Burkhead, Develin
TE - Gronk, Tye, Niklas (or instead of Tye, Izzo if that helps for salary cap purposes)
WR - Edelman, Hogan, Matthews, Berrios, Patterson, Mitchell, Slater
OL - Brown, Thuney, Wynn, Andrews, Mason, Cannon, Waddle, Garcia, Karras

Patterson, Berrios, Slater, and Patterson all play on special teams. Seems heavy on WR but still. I know injuries will eat into this depth but man, they're gonna have to cut some pretty solid players.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Who is out there for defensive help that cutting Allen would be worth?
I don't know that Allen as a player is worth all that much (obviously BB might disagree and I defer to him). But cutting him would free up like $6 million, something like that. There are always guys that get cut from now till the start of the season and some decent players at that. Having $6 million would give them some ammo to make a move.
 

SMU_Sox

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Gronk is an injury risk. Allen is the only tight end on the roster who in theory is a two-way threat with his blocking and receiving. Maybe he improves his receiving next year. His blocking last year was excellent and Belichick singled him out for his outstanding blocking in games on Pats recaps.

I think they brought in veteran TEs this offseason to straighten up TE2 and 3. Allen could be cut or end up being the 2nd best tight end on the roster by week 1. Another interesting area of competition for the roster.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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It's $5M in space that cutting Allen would save. Here is the list of available free agents on defense:
http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/defense/available/

Pats have about $13M in space for the Top 51 per Spotrac.
That doesn't include their draft pool. With projected pool signings, it drops to $5.22M.

I don't think they should be cutting Allen in anticipation of a helpful defender shaking loose elsewhere. If that player hits the streets, then consider it, sure; otherwise I think it's hard to criticize his performance last season based purely on catches, as he wasn't utilized in that fashion.
 

Super Nomario

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Gronk is an injury risk. Allen is the only tight end on the roster who in theory is a two-way threat with his blocking and receiving. Maybe he improves his receiving next year. His blocking last year was excellent and Belichick singled him out for his outstanding blocking in games on Pats recaps.

I think they brought in veteran TEs this offseason to straighten up TE2 and 3. Allen could be cut or end up being the 2nd best tight end on the roster by week 1. Another interesting area of competition for the roster.
Izzo, too, was one of the best-blocking TE in the draft class. I think Niklas and Izzo were brought in with an eye towards finding a cheaper TE2 option.

FWIW I don't think Allen is a receiving threat even in theory at this point. He's averaged a little over 20 receiving yards a game for his career.

I don't think they should be cutting Allen in anticipation of a helpful defender shaking loose elsewhere. If that player hits the streets, then consider it, sure; otherwise I think it's hard to criticize his performance last season based purely on catches, as he wasn't utilized in that fashion.
There were two games Gronk missed (plus the AFCCG where he missed a half) and Allen played the primary TE role and he was still a total zero in those games. Allen has the 18th-highest TE cap hit and is tied for the seventh-highest cap hit on the team. That is just way too much money for what he brings. Even if they don't use that money to fortify the 2018 team, they can roll it over to 2019.