Pats Roster Planning: Offense

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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I’d rather have Rudolph. Only a year older and won’t cost as much. Granted, I wouldn’t be too upset if the Pats decided Ertz was worth it. Either would make the offense instantly better. As long as there’s a QB that can throw it too them obviously...
 

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SuperManny

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This actually somewhat surprises me, if true. He obviously won't get traded for much, like a 6th rounder or something, but he has a $12.7M cap number for 2021 that will need to be re-structured. But, do you really want a multi-year deal for Ertz's age 31-33 seasons when he has looked pretty blah? Some of that was injury related but I just don't think he has much left.
It looks like his base salary is $8.25M so the rest would be on Philly as dead cap right?
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Ertz is also soft as baby shit as a blocker. Rudolph - off the top of my head - is fine as a blocker.
 

BigSoxFan

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Godwin got franchise tagged by Tampa, so that pipe dream of him in New England has officially sailed.
They can theoretically still trade for him but that obviously isn't going to happen. In any event, I preferred Allen Robinson as my WR white whale anyways but he, too, is likely to be franchised, correct?
 

Cellar-Door

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They can theoretically still trade for him but that obviously isn't going to happen. In any event, I preferred Allen Robinson as my WR white whale anyways but he, too, is likely to be franchised, correct?
That's the rumor. Golladay on the other hand word is will not be tagged.
 

BigSoxFan

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That's the rumor. Golladay on the other hand word is will not be tagged.
Definitely should poke around on him. Last year was a wasted year but the talent is undeniable and only 27 years-old. My guess is bidding gets too high for us though.
 

BigSoxFan

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What kind of contract is he expected to get? BB loves him and he’d be a massive upgrade (as would basically any available tight end)
For point of comparison, Austin Hooper got 4/42 with $23M guaranteed from Cleveland last offseason. Probably a decent comp.
 

E5 Yaz

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As there'll be a lot of names thrown around the next few weeks, splitting out the Roster Planning thread into offense and defense. If need be, we'll create a ST one as well.
 

tims4wins

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I'd be fine with him as a #3 option ... but I dont see him, at his age, as more than he is at this point. He isnt a 1 or really even a 2 any more IMO
Agree, if he is part of the plan that's fine, if he is the plan at WR that's obviously a failure.
 

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I’d rather not be reminded of the fact that we traded for Sanu instead of him. I think he can still help a team in a limited role so would take him for short money.
 

bsj

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I’d rather not be reminded of the fact that we traded for Sanu instead of him. I think he can still help a team in a limited role so would take him for short money.
Agreed. Problems is that while players would take a discount to come here when Brady was here, they arent doing that now, and certainly not without a legit QB option of ANY kind
 

DJnVa

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Agreed. Problems is that while players would take a discount to come here when Brady was here, they arent doing that now, and certainly not without a legit QB option of ANY kind
Of note, he didn't take discount to come here when we had Brady.
 

Cellar-Door

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Agreed. Problems is that while players would take a discount to come here when Brady was here, they arent doing that now, and certainly not without a legit QB option of ANY kind
Is there actually any real indication this ever happened? It's not really clear that any players took discounts to come the NE, and even less so that Brady was the deciding factor.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Is there actually any real indication this ever happened? It's not really clear that any players took discounts to come the NE, and even less so that Brady was the deciding factor.
This.

End of career vets who produced little to none (Fred Taylor, Steven Jackson), or are contributors but essentially fungible (Junior Seau, Shaun Ellis) clearly were attracted by playing for a contender with a great QB.

There was also the Randy Moss unicorn, of course, and the failed Antonio Brown experiment (though he actually got paid pretty well for a make-good deal).

But guys in FA generally chase money, with any number of other factors (team quality, coach, city, weather) as tiebreakers, just like any other job. The Patriots were not getting FA consistently at below market rates. Sometimes they’d get a guy to STAY who didn’t take the best offer (DMC, Hightower), but they’d still get a deal close to the other bidders and it’s not uncommon for a guy to stay with the incumbent team where he is settled if the money is close. But the list of players who walked to get paid by another team notwithstanding the lure of the TB12/BB glow is incomparably long when put against the guys who came or stayed for less money, and even some of them itisn’t clear Tom’s presence really mattered. E.g., Hightower didn’t sign with the Jets for more money because....he didn’t want to play for the shitty Jets. And they paid Gilmore a huge contract - one I recall folks initially expressing surprise at - to nab him in 2018, he wasn’t running to Foxboro to play for Tom Brady.

Also worth noting that the Patriots did not suddenly become the Bengals or Jets in the eyes of the football world because they lost Tom Brady and went 7-9.
 

ehaz

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How do people rank the TE market, including free agents, possible trade targets (e.g. Ertz) and draft prospects?
Pitts might be the best TE draft prospect ever. Draft season always has silly takes but I've already seen reputable writers pondering his HoF chances and saying if he was just a WR and not a TE he'd still be a top 15 pick. He's easily ranked #1 from all FA/trade/draft prospects.

For FA, I'm very interested in Jonnu - I think he could be a really interesting playmaker (not much of a blocker though). BB likes Hunter Henry and he's far more of a complete TE than Jonnu, but the injury history is concerning. Ertz's best days are potentially behind him - still plenty of value but more of a GFIN type than someone a rebuilding team with limited resources would want to acquire. Obviously if you get a young QB through the draft/trade/FA a veteran option like Ertz would be very nice to have but there will be fringier guys like Rudolph available that can fill the steady vet presence role (albeit without Ertz' game changing potential).

Kyle Pitts will not make it to #15. But if he starts to fall a little, he might be the only non-QB I'd consider trading up for.
 

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Pitts might be the best TE draft prospect ever. Draft season always has silly takes but I've already seen reputable writers pondering his HoF chances and saying if he was just a WR and not a TE he'd still be a top 15 pick. He's easily ranked #1 from all FA/trade/draft prospects.

For FA, I'm very interested in Jonnu - I think he could be a really interesting playmaker (not much of a blocker though). BB likes Hunter Henry and he's far more of a complete TE than Jonnu, but the injury history is concerning. Ertz's best days are potentially behind him - still plenty of value but more of a GFIN type than someone a rebuilding team with limited resources would want to acquire. Obviously if you get a young QB through the draft/trade/FA a veteran option like Ertz would be very nice to have but there will be fringier guys like Rudolph available that can fill the steady vet presence role (albeit without Ertz' game changing potential).

Kyle Pitts will not make it to #15. But if he starts to fall a little, he might be the only non-QB I'd consider trading up for.
This mock aggregator is still showing Pitts as going to the Pats at 15 at a 24% consensus.
They also list him as #8 overall prospect on their consensus big board.

The following mock drafts feature Pitts being selected by the Patriots at pick 15. So I'm not giving up hope.
And 101 More...
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Fun article at ESPN.com where beat reporters fashion offers for all the significant free agents and Dan Graziano decides which is most appealing to the player. All very takey, of course, but Mike Reiss is one of the most cool-headed and well-informed reporters at ESPN or on the Patriots generally, so I was interested.

Reiss came up with enormous offers for Golladay (5/105, 50M guaranteed), Jonnu Smith (4/42.5, 25M guaranteed), and Ngakoue (4/60, 30M guaranteed) and "won" all three.

Mike, maybe step away from the chardonnay... (I would like Smith though)

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/31037927/simulating-nfl-free-agency-2021-signs-where-why-patriots-big-winners
 

OurF'ingCity

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Is there actually any real indication this ever happened? It's not really clear that any players took discounts to come the NE, and even less so that Brady was the deciding factor.
Yeah this myth needs to be put to bed once and for all. I can't think of a single pass-catcher who turned down materially better offers to play for Brady (other than perhaps people who were on the team already, but that's a totally different scenario). Granted we don't have full insight into what each player may have been offered but I can't even think of who that could have been. Most of Brady's top targets were either (a) drafted by the Pats, (b) players who were never going to get big money on the open market (think Welker, for example), or (c) traded to the Pats and thus didn't have a choice.

Maybe Amendola turned down better offers when he came to the Pats in 2013? That's about the only guy that could even plausibly fall into this category.
 

Phil Plantier

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Are we sure that A. J. Green is cooked? He didn't appear on Gregg Rosenthal's top 100 free agents. I know he didn't mesh with Burrow, but I wonder if the Patriots would bring either him or T. Y. Hilton in.

On the other hand, this draft is so stacked with wide receivers that maybe this is a bad use of even discount free agent contracts.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Are we sure that A. J. Green is cooked? He didn't appear on Gregg Rosenthal's top 100 free agents. I know he didn't mesh with Burrow, but I wonder if the Patriots would bring either him or T. Y. Hilton in.

On the other hand, this draft is so stacked with wide receivers that maybe this is a bad use of even discount free agent contracts.
I think hes cooked. Dudes had recurring toe issues throughout his career. Missed 7 games in 2018 for it. 4 in 2013. Hes torn his hamstring, fucked up his ankle, had concussions, shoulder/back issues, gets plenty of muscle pulls...and hes gonna be 33 by next season. For reference, Randy Moss was 30 when he came to New England. I dont think we ever saw, or will ever see, his actual peak.

I wouldnt want him.
 

Super Nomario

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Are we sure that A. J. Green is cooked? He didn't appear on Gregg Rosenthal's top 100 free agents. I know he didn't mesh with Burrow, but I wonder if the Patriots would bring either him or T. Y. Hilton in.

On the other hand, this draft is so stacked with wide receivers that maybe this is a bad use of even discount free agent contracts.
Among qualifying WR, A.J. Green finished dead last at 5.0 yards per target (FWIW, N'Keal Harry was 3rd-worst at 5.4; Zach Ertz trailed all TE at 4.7).
 

BigSoxFan

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Among qualifying WR, A.J. Green finished dead last at 5.0 yards per target (FWIW, N'Keal Harry was 3rd-worst at 5.4; Zach Ertz trailed all TE at 4.7).
Yeah. Burrow forced a ton of balls to him and they never connected. 45% catch rate. I think he’s cooked.
 

tims4wins

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Nugget from Reiss

3. Cannon's future: When the Patriots agreed to a trade for offensive tackle Trent Brown, it sparked questions about offensive tackle Marcus Cannon's future with the team. One source close to Cannon believed the "writing was on the wall" for him to be cut, which would save the team about $6.3 million in salary-cap space. A factor in the decision-making process could be that Cannon, because of COVID-19 concerns, has yet to return to New England for a physical examination/workout like others who opted out of the 2020 season.
 

bsj

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I’m on board with saving the cap if we can. Was playing around with a FA sim and 2 good WR and a TE almost ate the whole cap already
 

BigSoxFan

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I’m on board with saving the cap if we can. Was playing around with a FA sim and 2 good WR and a TE almost ate the whole cap already
Yeah. Would really help if we could rely on Cajuste to be the swing tackle. Don’t think we can at this stage but we do need the money. I will say that I don’t expect them to add 2 WR in FA. Some of that money has to go to defense. Wonder if a trade is coming at WR. Kind of fits with BB’s m.o. at the position.
 

bsj

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Yeah. Would really help if we could rely on Cajuste to be the swing tackle. Don’t think we can at this stage but we do need the money. I will say that I don’t expect them to add 2 WR in FA. Some of that money has to go to defense. Wonder if a trade is coming at WR. Kind of fits with BB’s m.o. at the position.
I was thinking a top WR and a Humphries type...although IF Edelman is coming back, they may not. Either way, I was thinking the 2nd WR being a low cost and/or reclamation type. I just dont want to, yet again, be in his position where we have 1 good WR and no depth and then suddenly, an injury, and we are relying on NKeal Harry again
 

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Yeah. Would really help if we could rely on Cajuste to be the swing tackle. Don’t think we can at this stage but we do need the money. I will say that I don’t expect them to add 2 WR in FA. Some of that money has to go to defense. Wonder if a trade is coming at WR. Kind of fits with BB’s m.o. at the position.
I think Herron is the swing tackle until proven otherwise. Last year, he filled in for Wynn at LT in Week 3, started at RT in Week 4, played both LT and RT in Week 6, and finished by playing both RT and LG in Week 7. Finished up weeks 16 & 1pm 7 with more time at LT.
I was thinking a top WR and a Humphries type...although IF Edelman is coming back, they may not. Either way, I was thinking the 2nd WR being a low cost and/or reclamation type. I just dont want to, yet again, be in his position where we have 1 good WR and no depth and then suddenly, an injury, and we are relying on NKeal Harry again
Potential depth chart at WR:
  1. WR1 (free agent most likely, but maybe first round pick)
  2. Edelman
  3. Meyers
With Henry, Lee, Olszewski, and a later round draft pick fighting it out for the bottom couple of slots, including PR/KR.

I'm OK with that WR room, if (BIG IF) they can legitimately upgrade the TE room, be that Pitts or Henry.
 

BigSoxFan

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I think Herron is the swing tackle until proven otherwise. Last year, he filled in for Wynn at LT in Week 3, started at RT in Week 4, played both LT and RT in Week 6, and finished by playing both RT and LG in Week 7. Finished up weeks 16 & 1pm 7 with more time at LT.

Potential depth chart at WR:
  1. WR1 (free agent most likely, but maybe first round pick)
  2. Edelman
  3. Meyers
With Henry, Lee, Olszewski, and a later round draft pick fighting it out for the bottom couple of slots, including PR/KR.

I'm OK with that WR room, if (BIG IF) they can legitimately upgrade the TE room, be that Pitts or Henry.
Good call on Herron. It’s been a while but I don’t remember him being a disaster. I think I would prefer the cap space at this time.
 

Beomoose

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I think Herron is the swing tackle until proven otherwise. Last year, he filled in for Wynn at LT in Week 3, started at RT in Week 4, played both LT and RT in Week 6, and finished by playing both RT and LG in Week 7. Finished up weeks 16 & 1pm 7 with more time at LT.

Potential depth chart at WR:
  1. WR1 (free agent most likely, but maybe first round pick)
  2. Edelman
  3. Meyers
With Henry, Lee, Olszewski, and a later round draft pick fighting it out for the bottom couple of slots, including PR/KR.

I'm OK with that WR room, if (BIG IF) they can legitimately upgrade the TE room, be that Pitts or Henry.
Jonnu Smith's going to be a bit more affordable and Bill has holes to fill, would you be OK with him in the TE room in this WR scenario?
 

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Offensive needs, prioritized in my opinion:
  1. WR 1
  2. TE 1 (this is almost 1A)
  3. C (I pray this is a re-signed Andrews)
  4. Pass-catching RB (could be White, but I think he signs in TB; could be Burkhead, but he's likely a PUP candidate; so I expect a FA signing)
  5. Backup interior OL who can backup C
  6. Road-grading TE2/3
The top 3 slots probably take up about half the cap space (I'm guessing cap-hits of something like $16M, 10M, 7M). #4 is likely not much above $4M and 5 & 6 are either later-round draft picks or vet min signings.

The rest of the cap space would to draft picks and front-7 D help.