2020 Pats: General/Non-QB Off-Season Discussion

Super Nomario

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tims4wins

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Eliot Wolf is an interesting add. The Patriots don't usually add guys at that experience level who haven't been in the system, and Wolf has only worked in Green-Bay-type scouting systems, so it's a leap of faith on both sides. But probably six or seven teams have GMs that came up through GB / similar, so Wolf can give them a pulse on what those teams are doing.
Ron Wolf's son, right?
 

SMU_Sox

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The team definitely needs to get younger, so I’d be plenty happy with them drafting all the best available players in the 3rd. I’m no draft expert, but I feel like you still get pretty decent players in the 3rd. Minor caveat to the above is they MUST draft either a WR or TE (if not both) in the first three rounds, in my opinion.
Pet peeve: I strongly object to saying something as an absolute like must. They don't have to draft a WR or TE this year in the first 3 rounds. 4 reasons for why they actually shouldn't:

1) This is a weak TE class. You have 2 guys who profile as potential TE1's (inline but can also move around and do everything): Cole Kmet and Adam Trautman. Both are raw and have question marks. I think the value for TE is on day 3 when you have some nice complimentary players like Deguara, Harrison Bryant, Asiasi, etc. Don't reach for guys who have low floors like Kmet or Trautman. Next year will have better options - no really we mean it. You really can't get much worse than this TE crop.

2) WRs though is loaded. I disagree with needing to take one in the first three rounds because there are so many good WRs that many will slip into day 3. WR has the most depth we've seen in 10+ years. That's not just my take that's pretty much everyone's take including guys like DJ, Bucky, Mel Kiper, the Matt Waldman's of the world, etc.

3) Edge, LB, DT, and FS are all shallow classes without a lot of depth. If you look at who the Pats are primed to lose: Collins, Van Noy, Hightower is on the last year of his contract, DMC, possibly Shelton, and Chung is aging, they need to build up the defensive pipeline. There are some great prototypical Patriots who fit those roles: Zach Baun, Julian Okwara, Malik Harrison, Xavier McKinney, Antoine Winfield Jr. (FS), Ashtyn Davis (FS), Jeremy Chinn, Kyle Dugger (more of a project), I will stop there without getting into the list of DTs and other edges.

4) If they bring Brady back they need to spend some FA dollars on veteran options who can immediately help at WR and TE. That means they should use their draft capital on defense because they are going to have to let some very good players go there.

With all the depth on offense later in the draft it really works out for them. Quick edit: the only exception is if a guy like Michael Pittman or an amazing WR slips to the third round go ahead and pounce. Or if say Trautman is there at 98 go ahead. But round 1 or if they trade back into 2? I am leaning no.
 

NomarsFool

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I completely agree it's highly unlikely the Patriots should draft a TE given how weak this class is seen. I remember last draft the TE position was seen as very strong. I have no idea how that actually turned out, but I remember thinking it was a little bit surprising they didn't draft anyone given that it was a position of need and that it was a strong class. Even if they were sure Gronk was coming back, "given his age and contract situation" I might have thought they'd look to bring in Gronk's future replacement.

So, if they want to improve at TE, it's probably going to have to be through free agency. If they sign an impact TE in free agency, I don't think they can sign two impact WRs (not even sure they can sign 1 - but maybe they can). Given how weak the WR corps is for the Patriots, I don't see how you get what you need at WR drafting only after round 3. Should they draft someone who slips? Absolutely. But, I think they need one "high likelihood" impact WR they draft in the 3rd, and then take a chance on somebody on day 2 so that they have one in bag, with an upside of having two good receivers.
 

sezwho

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Should they draft someone who slips? Absolutely. But, I think they need one "high likelihood" impact WR they draft in the 3rd, and then take a chance on somebody on day 2 so that they have one in bag, with an upside of having two good receivers.
I may sound defeatist, but I have watched so many drafted receivers come and fail that I wouldn’t Draft any given the current configuration of Brady and Bill.

Everyone keeps saying that he can’t ID talent there, but I think it’s the opposite. Bill the coach is failing Bill the GM in these cases. It’s like the Browns with quarterbacks: you can’t tell me that everyone they pick is just terrible it’s actually that they just can’t develop them (or anything else).

Draft for positions that you can develop, like linemen and linebackers, and sign free agents to the secondary and wide receiver because you’ve demonstrated an almost humorous failure rate in your system and you just waste your draft capital.
 

j-man

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assumeing brady is not back they have to play like the 01 pats to have a shot and they need upgrades and speed at LB DT maybe bring in a will parks from denver that have his best football ahead maybe trade edelman to Detroit for darlus slay or det 2nd rounder
 

Mooch

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$14M for Thuney says to me that Brady ain't coming back unless something drastic happens.
 

steveluck7

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$14M for Thuney says to me that Brady ain't coming back unless something drastic happens.
Zolak and Bertrand think the opposite. Zolak said he just texted someone from the team asking if that made things more or less likely for a Brady return. He was told "it's good for a Brady return"
Not sure where they think they're gonna get cap space but maybe they're close to a long-term deal with Thuney, are gonna re-structure or cut some others.
 

sodenj5

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Soooo...it feels like they spent all of the Brady money unless they start slashing costs elsewhere.
 

Dr. Gonzo

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Thuney can still somewhat dictate where he goes though, right? He can't be traded until he signs the tender.
 

E5 Yaz

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Zolak and Bertrand think the opposite. Zolak said he just texted someone from the team asking if that made things more or less likely for a Brady return. He was told "it's good for a Brady return"
Not sure where they think they're gonna get cap space but maybe they're close to a long-term deal with Thuney, are gonna re-structure or cut some others.
Yeah, I don't think Zolak's thinking cap space when he says that
 

bankshot1

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I usually don't keep up cap stuff, but with DMC and Thuney (barring trade) getting paid, what kind of cap voodoo has to be performed or who gets restructured for TB12 to sign with the Pats?
 

EL Jeffe

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View: https://twitter.com/MikeGiardi/status/1239576762637520896

Giardi: Feeling around the league was that the #Patriots couldn't afford to keep Thuney. With the tag, he will be getting paid LT money. I'm skeptical that this is anything but a sign and trade situation so the team can get something of value for the player who their best OL last yr.
Hmm, maybe this is how they plan on filling the 2nd round draft hole. All three AFC East competitors were supposedly very much interested in signing him. He'll definitely have a good trade market.
 

sodenj5

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Hmm, maybe this is how they plan on filling the 2nd round draft hole. All three AFC East competitors were supposedly very much interested in signing him. He'll definitely have a good trade market.
Big difference between signing him as a free agent and trading a top asset AND giving him a market setting contract.
 

DJnVa

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If we trust Miguel (PatsCap) then right now the Pats only have about $5.4M available and this DOES NOT include McCourty's contract.
 

EL Jeffe

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Big difference between signing him as a free agent and trading a top asset AND giving him a market setting contract.
Definitely. But he was always going to get a market-setting contract; this way a team can ensure they're the one who acquires him. This sort of scenario certainly plays itself out from time to time.
 

bakahump

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Salary Cap Chicken.

We know that they know that we know we have to make some room. So Any Thuney return is going to be leveraged against that.
 

kelpapa

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If we trust Miguel (PatsCap) then right now the Pats only have about $5.4M available and this DOES NOT include McCourty's contract.
Getting AB's money off the books would be helpful. That's about $9M. Maybe they are confident that will happen soon?
 

DJnVa

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Getting AB's money off the books would be helpful. That's about $9M. Maybe they are confident that will happen soon?
Not by Wednesday. And they may be confident but unless it's a done deal I doubt they'd operate like it is.
 

Zososoxfan

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Gotta think that BB is a bit energized by the challenge of losing Brady. It's still going to come out in a grumbly, perpetually-annoyed BB kinda way, with him saying the offense has tons to work on, but it's going to put his process-oriented approach to the test and will require him to pay attention to QB play and its trickle-down effects with a level of detail he hasn't needed for over a decade.
 

BaseballJones

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Gotta think that BB is a bit energized by the challenge of losing Brady. It's still going to come out in a grumbly, perpetually-annoyed BB kinda way, with him saying the offense has tons to work on, but it's going to put his process-oriented approach to the test and will require him to pay attention to QB play and its trickle-down effects with a level of detail he hasn't needed for over a decade.
As I said in the other thread, I think that this may have been BB's plan all along. I agree with you here, that he's going to be focused and energized, and we're going to see him at his very best. I think the downgrade from the GOAT to Stidham (or whoever else it is) is going to be monumental, and the Pats may be in for a rough couple of years. But I expect them to turn back around and be very good relatively soon. Especially if he gets to draft near the top of each round for a couple of years. People tend to forget that when criticizing his drafting.
 

DJnVa

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Well, it's going to be fascinating to see how they build this roster now.

I'm sad, but I can compartmentalize.
 

Saints Rest

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As I said in the other thread, I think that this may have been BB's plan all along. I agree with you here, that he's going to be focused and energized, and we're going to see him at his very best. I think the downgrade from the GOAT to Stidham (or whoever else it is) is going to be monumental, and the Pats may be in for a rough couple of years. But I expect them to turn back around and be very good relatively soon. Especially if he gets to draft near the top of each round for a couple of years. People tend to forget that when criticizing his drafting.
I wonder if BB (and Josh) are going to turn this offense into a completely new direction. Maybe following the trend set by QBs like Mahomes and Jackson. Bring back Michael Bishop!
 

NomarsFool

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BB doesn't like to tip his hand, but we should have some idea what the Pats are going to do based on what they do at TE. It certainly seems like they have to either sign a FA TE, or trade for one, given the perceived weak TE class this year (although BB may have his own ideas on that). If they go for a more run-blocking TE, it might signal that their plan is to be more of a running/defense type of team with their upgraded OL. If they go for pass catching TE, maybe not as much. I just hope they get someone - because their TEs were pathetic last season. I also feel like they need a veteran receiver to go along with 1-2 from the draft.
 

Dotrat

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How attractive are the Pats as a FA destination now that Brady has moved on? Obviously not as attractive as they were, but how sizable a hit does the organization take in this context?
 

tims4wins

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How attractive are the Pats as a FA destination now that Brady has moved on? Obviously not as attractive as they were, but how sizable a hit does the organization take in this context?
Seems somewhat moot for 2020 since they don't have much space. If Stidham plays well in 2020 they'll still be pretty attractive I would think.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I don’t think there is much of a sense in the general media about how cap strapped the Patriots are at the moment. They are not in position even to have a draft or get through the year without making a significant move. Any cap relief for Antonio Brown is uncertain and won’t be decided upon for at least a couple of months, and in any event won’t be credited until 2021. They are in pretty good position for 2021 in terms of cap liabilities at the moment.

I think this is a significant philosophical question right now. Do they stand largely pat in a year they are unlikely to be playing at the very highest level or do they borrow against 2021 to make short term moves? I hope the former is the choice. If they trade Thuney they open enough flexibility to get through the year and potentially add some value using some draft capital. More significant restructures designed to shift cap to future years would be potentially compounding an already difficult cap situation.
 

Mystic Merlin

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How attractive are the Pats as a FA destination now that Brady has moved on? Obviously not as attractive as they were, but how sizable a hit does the organization take in this context?
I’m not sure they’ve really had a notable advantage attracting FA. FA are generally looking for top dollar, and if other factors like team competitiveness come into play the Pats aren’t the only game in town (see: Chiefs, Eagles, Packers, Saints, Niners, etc.).

And they really haven’t convinced their own FA to take considerably less (see: DMC, Hightower).
 

Dotrat

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But they've been a regular destination for veterans who 'get it,'--guys willing to take less for a shot at a ring, such as Chris Long. I know that Brady's departure lessens the attractiveness of NE for this already small pool of FA's, so I suppose I should have instead asked how much weight does the chance of playing for the coaching GOAT carry, especially knowing how demanding and challenging he is? And let's assume for the moment that Stidham (or whoever the next QB is) is competent to good.