2023 Pats: Offseason

BaseballJones

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Well with the conclusion of the Super Bowl, the 2023 offseason has officially begun. For the Pats, of course, it really began weeks ago, and in fact, they’ve already checked the most important boxes: figuring out the coaching staff. A+ job by Belichick to move on from Patricia and Judge regarding the offense, and by bringing in O’Brien to run the show. Perfect move (at least it appears to be…we’ll see how it plays out). Now to address the roster.

Free Agents: Who will the Pats look to sign? Either re-signing their own, or snapping up other teams’ free agents? Who will be the most help to this roster?

Trades: What does the trade market look like? Recently, if you can’t draft a #1 WR, you’ve got to trade for him, because you aren’t really getting him on the FA market. What might be reasonable trade targets for the Pats?

Draft: This draft class seems not very deep at WR so I’m not sure that’s where I’d look for a #1 WR. But there are always opportunities in the draft to improve the team, and this draft position is better than what the Pats normally have. I’m eager to see how they use it.


Needs: In my mind, they are primarily OL (specifically tackle), CB, WR, S, and even TE.

I love the offseason and the roster building process. Let’s go BB!
 

Ned Schneebly

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Overall Thoughts:

The Patriots were one win away from making the playoffs in 2022, but the team itself seemed much further away and seemed as if they had taken a step back from 2021. With a new offensive coordinator in place for 2023 the Patriots should focus on improving the supporting cast for 3rd year quarterback Mac Jones. New England has resources to work with this season. They rank 6th in cap space and have one of the lowest cash commitments in the NFL. They can create millions more in cap room with the release of offensive tackle Trent Brown, tight end Hunter Henry and wide receivers Kendrick Bourne and DeVante Parker. The last time they had this ability to spend the team was too aggressive early in free agency signing a number of bad contracts in the first days of free agency so one would expect them to be more calculated this time rather than repeating the mistakes of the past.

On offense the team will likely re-sign wide receiver Jakobi Myers and then look to add at least one more starting caliber player in free agency or via trade. They have to address both tackle positions. They could bring back Trent Brown as either a left or right tackle and bring his cap number down by adding a conditional to his incentive package, but he is not a long term answer. If he were cut then they should re-sign Conor McDermott as an insurance policy if no other players are available. At least one of the tackle spots will need a new face and one of them has to come from the draft. Defensively there are short and long term needs. Matt Judon had an incredible season for New England but they could look at EDGE as a long term need and a position that could be developed in the draft. If Devin McCourty wants to keep playing he should be expected to return. The team could avoid about $6 million in void charges for McCourty if he is extended before free agency. Safety is a position that can be addressed in free agency if he does not return. The team could look to bring back some of their free agent corners but this is another position where they can add in free agency. The team ranks 7th in draft capital and they could use a big draft. The Patriots currently are middle of the NFL in draft picks still on the team and they have really had to turn to free agency to fill out the roster in recent years, ranking 25th in homegrown players on their current 2023 roster.

While they certainly hit a home run with the signing of Judon in free agency, a bit better performance from their drafted players may have allowed them to not feel the need to add so many faces at once a few years ago. This feels like a critical offseason for the Patriots. If they can not find a way to get more out of the offense next season it feels like they are just going to be stuck for some time as a team in QB limbo that wins between 7 and 9 games a season. There are obviously worse places you can be, but for a coach with the track record of Belichick that seems like a major step down from where he would want to be and could begin the clock on his walking away from coaching.

- https://overthecap.com/ Pats Free Agency Report
 

ehaz

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Given the amount of projected cap space after cuts, I actually wouldn't be surprised if there's another Gilmore/Judon type signing this off-season. Jamel Dean is close to a perfect fit--he's 26 (same age Gilmore was when he was signed), long, athletic, and while expensive, will allow the Patriots to focus on the offensive line and other needs in the draft. Jessie Bates, Daron Payne, or Trumaine Edmonds are potential candidates too if they're not tagged.

I know everyone's talking about OT, but I'm not sure if I see clear FA fits. Orlando Brown will get the tag and he's the only real premium LT. I've seen reports of extension talks between McGlinchey and the 49ers, and in any event, he's a RT. Then you have guys like Jawaan Taylor and Kaleb McGary who I'm not sure you want to overpay for after career years (also at RT). And we all know about WR--there's no real upgrade out there in FA beyond re-signing Meyers. So perhaps the best move is to fill your defensive needs in FA and build the line/give Mac weapons through the draft (or trade). For WRs, it's true that it's a bad draft year for a certain type of WR. But it's a deep class in terms of slot types and they could use a dynamic player like Flowers regardless of what happens with Jakobi. TE is also very deep this year.
 

katnado

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I know everyone's talking about OT, but I'm not sure if I see clear FA fits. Orlando Brown will get the tag and he's the only real premium LT.
I've heard this in a few other spots as well, he was franchised last season, so I believe on a 2nd franchise he gets an automatic 20% raise, that will put him around 20mil. Do the Chiefs want to spend that on him? Although as you said he is the only premium LT available.
 

worm0082

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Except for Brady, that ties Grogan most seasons played. Glad he’s coming back.
 

BigSoxFan

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5th round pick long shot ST player.

16 years. $30M in career earnings. 10 Pro Bowls. Talk about beating the odds.
 

RG33

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Probably a good topic for a different thread, but Slater has to be near the Mt. Rushmore of “best humans” for Boston athletes that have been here for a long haul (Russell? Bergeron? ???)

Welcome back Captain!
 

54thMA

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Very happy to hear this; the bond he has with his Dad is pretty special, he's a terrific human being as well.

Plus, who would step up to lead the "Awwwww YEAH!!" after each win?
 

Bowser

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Probably a good topic for a different thread, but Slater has to be near the Mt. Rushmore of “best humans” for Boston athletes that have been here for a long haul (Russell? Bergeron? ???)
That list begins with Bobby Orr.
 

Cellar-Door

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The list should really begin and end with... We don't know any of these people despite the parasocial relationship fans create with their favorite celebrities
 

SMU_Sox

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I am toying with the idea of trading Uche for a 2nd or 3rd round pick (some teams might see him as a starter) and replacing him via a draft pick in a super deep edge class.
I’m only 5 deep right now but you could add a BJ Ojulari who would fit in right away or go with a guy who can play ILB or OLB and has a lot in common with Hightower in Isaiah Foskey. To me if you can trade Uche for a pick sometime in the middle of day 2 do it.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I am toying with the idea of trading Uche for a 2nd or 3rd round pick (some teams might see him as a starter) and replacing him via a draft pick in a super deep edge class.
I’m only 5 deep right now but you could add a BJ Ojulari who would fit in right away or go with a guy who can play ILB or OLB and has a lot in common with Hightower in Isaiah Foskey. To me if you can trade Uche for a pick sometime in the middle of day 2 do it.
To what end? That feels like running in place.
 

Cellar-Door

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To what end? That feels like running in place.
unless something major happens at QB this team isn't a real contender, and Uche is a really good but limited player that Bill probably won't want to pay market rate for after this year. It's trade 1 year of Uche for 4 of someone else, those deals make a lot of sense for teams that aren't going to win a SB.
 

BaseballJones

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I am toying with the idea of trading Uche for a 2nd or 3rd round pick (some teams might see him as a starter) and replacing him via a draft pick in a super deep edge class.
I’m only 5 deep right now but you could add a BJ Ojulari who would fit in right away or go with a guy who can play ILB or OLB and has a lot in common with Hightower in Isaiah Foskey. To me if you can trade Uche for a pick sometime in the middle of day 2 do it.
I think Uche turned a corner this past season and he's got a very bright future, particularly as a pass rusher. Those guys cost $$$. He's a great fit on THIS team, but......of course you would be wise to feel out offers. If they get a good offer for him, then yeah, moving him makes sense.
 

Eddie Jurak

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unless something major happens at QB this team isn't a real contender, and Uche is a really good but limited player that Bill probably won't want to pay market rate for after this year. It's trade 1 year of Uche for 4 of someone else, those deals make a lot of sense for teams that aren't going to win a SB.
Kicking the can down the road as to when you have to pay for the production?
The Pats have invested a second round pick and 3 years in Uche and have gotten back... basically one good half-season of production (during which he got 11.5 of his career 15.5 sacks).

If they trade him now so that they can draft a second or third round edge rusher, I don't see what that accomplishes. That feels like a net negative. Unless they think his second half was a fluke.

If they play out the string with him, then - assuming they choose not to pay him - they can get another full year out of him and then a comp pick. I don't see why that isn't preferable.
 

Shelterdog

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The Pats have invested a second round pick and 3 years in Uche and have gotten back... basically one good half-season of production (during which he got 11.5 of his career 15.5 sacks).

If they trade him now so that they can draft a second or third round edge rusher, I don't see what that accomplishes. That feels like a net negative. Unless they think his second half was a fluke.

If they play out the string with him, then - assuming they choose not to pay him - they can get another full year out of him and then a comp pick. I don't see why that isn't preferable.
Comp pick would be maybe a late third more likely a late fourth in 2025; there’s a big difference in value between a second or third now and a later pick two years from now
 

Eddie Jurak

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Comp pick would be maybe a late third more likely a late fourth in 2025; there’s a big difference in value between a second or third now and a later pick two years from now
Of course. But you are trading a season of production for that difference. Is the plan to throw in the towel on 2023?
 

DJnVa

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Of course. But you are trading a season of production for that difference. Is the plan to throw in the towel on 2023?
I think that poster is assuming the Patriots can get the same production from a draft pick, not throwing in the towel.

I don't know if I agree, but I'm pretty sure that's his point. Instead of paying Uche after this season, you replace his production with a draft pick that we don't have to give bigger contract to.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I think that poster is assuming the Patriots can get the same production from a draft pick, not throwing in the towel.

I don't know if I agree, but I'm pretty sure that's his point. Instead of paying Uche after this season, you replace his production with a draft pick that we don't have to give bigger contract to.
Define "the same production."

If we view Uche's production as 788 defensive snaps and 15.5 sacks over three years, with some backloading of that production into the laster years, then, yes. I agree, we can probably get that.

If we view it as getting the production Uche would likely provide in 2023 from a newly drafted rookie, it seems like a long shot.
 

DJnVa

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Define "the same production."

If we view Uche's production as 788 defensive snaps and 15.5 sacks over three years, with some backloading of that production into the laster years, then, yes. I agree, we can probably get that.

If we view it as getting the production Uche would likely provide in 2023 from a newly drafted rookie, it seems like a long shot.
Absolutely.

I guess I'm just saying that it's easy to see what's SMU's point was about all that and in no way meant he thought trading Uche was throwing in the towel.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Absolutely.

I guess I'm just saying that it's easy to see what's SMU's point was about all that and in no way meant he thought trading Uche was throwing in the towel.
Fair enough.

I'd be wanting to see the Pats getting a 1 or an early 2 or multiple picks starting with a 2/3 to be willing to trade him. Otherwise I'll take the 2023 production and the (lower) comp pick. I'm happy to keep the player and take the comp pick.
 

joe dokes

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Hopefully they get a lot better players and McDermott gets cut.
Was he that bad? I know he was only replacing Wynn, but he seemed to do pretty well down the stretch. At least I dont recall hearing his name too often, which is good for the RT.
 

BaseballJones

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Was he that bad? I know he was only replacing Wynn, but he seemed to do pretty well down the stretch. At least I dont recall hearing his name too often, which is good for the RT.
For the NFL level, he's just not very good. He did ok for the Pats but he's probably not the best long-term answer for them. He was on the Jets PS for a reason. The Pats definitely should seek to improve on him, but it's nice to have him around just in case.
 

DJnVa

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For the NFL level, he's just not very good. He did ok for the Pats but he's probably not the best long-term answer for them. He was on the Jets PS for a reason. The Pats definitely should seek to improve on him, but it's nice to have him around just in case.
We are adding a real OL coach...and guys sometimes are able to improve or find a scheme that fits them.
 

Bowser

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I am toying with the idea of trading Uche for a 2nd or 3rd round pick (some teams might see him as a starter) and replacing him via a draft pick in a super deep edge class.
Uche is a nice piece, but 9 of his 11.5 sacks last season came in a 5-week span during which he sacked Sam Ehlinger 3 times (Pats had 9 that game) and Colt McCoy another 3 times (Pats had 6). He's got one year left on his deal, can't really set the edge, and so if someone wants to give us a Day 2 pick for him, great. @BaseballJones may be right that Uche's turned a corner, but he's nevertheless a niche player in our defense and won't likely be worth the $$$ he'll command.
 

Cellar-Door

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The Pats have invested a second round pick and 3 years in Uche and have gotten back... basically one good half-season of production (during which he got 11.5 of his career 15.5 sacks).

If they trade him now so that they can draft a second or third round edge rusher, I don't see what that accomplishes. That feels like a net negative. Unless they think his second half was a fluke.

If they play out the string with him, then - assuming they choose not to pay him - they can get another full year out of him and then a comp pick. I don't see why that isn't preferable.
What you invested in him is already gone, it shouldn't impact your thinking going forward.

The equation is basically... 1 season of Uche... potential comp pick (maybe, but we're going to be active in FA the next few seasons likely so maybe not).
vs. 4 years of player X.

I also think, it heavily depends what you think Uche is.
To me he's not a 3 down player, he isn't good against the run. He got a lot of sacks last year, but maybe a misleading number for projection based on stacking a couple big games against 2nd/3rd string QBs, his pressure rates are good but not as good as his sack numbers, so I'd expect some potential for regression.

I can see the case for keeping him, but if you see a more well rounded player you like, shipping him out makes sense as well, he's a specialist for one year on a team that probably isn't a real SB threat, and you can't count on a comp pick at all let alone one of the better ones.
 

Eddie Jurak

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What you invested in him is already gone, it shouldn't impact your thinking going forward.
The suggestion was to trade him for a draft pick similar or lesser in value than the one used to take him. That means the realistic good scenario is that you'r egoing to have to wait a couple of years before the one good year of Uche you have to trade returns any on field value at all.
 

Cellar-Door

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The suggestion was to trade him for a draft pick similar or lesser in value than the one used to take him. That means the realistic good scenario is that you'r egoing to have to wait a couple of years before the one good year of Uche you have to trade returns any on field value at all.
Except, that's not how player drafting and development works. Uche developed slow, some guys in the 2nd and 3rd round step right in and perform well as rookies or 2nd year guys.

Edit- also, I'd argue that next year is the year you are least worried about production in, unless you think they are a Super Bowl quality team. Especially when you're talking situational passrushing like Uche.
 

lexrageorge

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For the NFL level, he's just not very good. He did ok for the Pats but he's probably not the best long-term answer for them. He was on the Jets PS for a reason. The Pats definitely should seek to improve on him, but it's nice to have him around just in case.
McDermott is strictly depth. They do need a 3rd or 4th tackle, and he's probably fine in that role. If someone beats him out in training camp for the reserve role, fine, but that's not a given.
They need a starting LT regardless; I am of the opinion that Trent Brown is fine as RT but he is at best average at LT. And Brown's spot on the roster is anything but a given.
 

ehaz

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Tennessee cut both Robert Woods and Taylor Lewan today. Each could fill a need. Woods could be a somewhat inexpensive Meyers replacement. If healthy, Lewan could be a short term solution at LT, and if you draft a RT like Darnell Wright or Dawand Jones, you could free up more cap space by cutting Trent Brown too.
 

Cellar-Door

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Tennessee cut both Robert Woods and Taylor Lewan today. Each could fill a need. Woods could be a somewhat inexpensive Meyers replacement. If healthy, Lewan could be a short term solution at LT, and if you draft a RT like Darnell Wright or Dawand Jones, you could free up more cap space by cutting Trent Brown too.
Woods looked like he was burnt toast post ACL, there is no real reason to think he'd be anything better than our 5th WR.