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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Rhode Island

    Looking Ahead to the 2021 Season...

    Welp, playoff streak is over. Tough year overall. On the positive side, we were competitive in pretty much every game. On the negative side, a lack of talent came back to bite us in pretty much all of the close ones and we fizzled out to a loss in most of them. So it's back to the drawing board.

    Team is pretty devoid of talent all over. But there are a few positives to sift through...

    I'd say the RBs are pretty solid with Harris/Michel locked up. Harris was a huge breakthrough this year and looked to be a real solid option going forward. Michel is disappointing relative to draft status of course, but he's still a quality backup RB. It's very unlikely that the QB position could ever be addressed this offseason to the point where we aren't primarily a power running team next year, so there should be a role for both of them. Becoming respectable in the passing game would help - I have more faith in Harris in that regard than Michel, who seems to kind of just be who he is at this point.

    The OL has been a big strength at times this year. It started tough with Cannon opting out, but Jermaine Eluemunor stepped in and was a capable starter at RT. Mike Onwenu was a huge find though as a late rounder. He excelled as a backup first, both at Guard and RT. It was to the point he seized the starting RT job not because Eluemunor flopped but because Onwenu was just that good. Wynn once again had health issues, but played well at LT when he was available. Thuney/Andrews/Mason remains a great inside trio. Even Justin Herron showed well when injury sprung him into action. The issue here is that Thuney, Andrews, Eluemunor are all FAs and Cannon seems likely to be a cap casualty in his return. Even with Onwenu emerging as a legit starting option, that's only 3 starters with Mason/Wynn (latter which has huge injury concerns). If Herron could cut it as a starter then that still leaves you a starter short and obviously no depth. The position was great when healthy this year and held its own when injured, but looking ahead there are FA decisions to make.

    Jakobi Meyers emerged as a reliable option. Is he a #1? No. Is he a #2? Probably not. But as a #3... he's alright. The fact he's the only good option we have is a huge problem, but nonetheless he emerged as a guy that can be a part of the WR corps going forward IMO. To a lesser extent, Damiere Byrd was decent enough too. He's a FA though so not someone we can just pencil in now. If Meyers/Byrd was your #3/#4, that's solid though. Problem is they're our #1/#2.

    Gilmore didn't repeat his DPOY season but was still great. As was JC Jackson. Jon Jones is still a great slot. Assuming Jackson is tendered at the 1st round level, all 3 should be back next year. Maybe we move Gilmore, but barring that decision the CB position projects to be a strength again. Seems likely Jason McCourty moves on unless he takes low money just to stay where he's comfortable. Not that he was bad, but we have in house options already, especially with Myles Bryant flashing at times as an UDFA.

    McCourty and Lawrence Guy remain good to great players. McCourty has talked retirement before and Guy is a FA so it could one that neither is back. Would make lots of sense to try and retain Guy though and hopefully McCourty tries to go out on a higher note.

    On the positive young player side, Winovich, Dugger and Uche all flashed decently IMO. Not saying either were stars or will be, but all 3 seem like guys we can feel good about playing roles moving forward IMO. How high a level they reach remains to be seen, but I think all of them belong playing in NFL defenses for sure. Joejuan Williams and Anfernee Jennings... less so. Each are being asked to do different things then they got to the league doing so I give room for some growing pains. Their books aren't written yet, but it'd be blind faith to look at them and solidly project great things IMO. Byron Coward and Terez Hall looks guys who might belong on NFL rosters, but really just depth pieces, nothing more.

    I thought Adam Butler really showed out this year at times. Another ascending player. He will be an UFA though. Guy we should try to retain IMO.

    Now, on to the negatives... this team is springing leaks all over. The WR depth chart is pathetic overall and lacks a #1 or a #2. The TE position is nonexistent. Our QB is terrible. We have no real reliable top end talent in the front 7 - the ILB position in particular is terrible. We lack a force inside to control the running game.

    For roster cuts, I think Cannon and Beau Allen are sure goners. I think Edleman will be as well because he looked DONE when he played this year. Hightower's cap number is too big but if he wants to play again I can see him back at a lower number. Chung might come back to a smaller role but his contract status provides no real benefit to cutting him so I expect him back.

    The good news, we have a ton of cap space even with the covid drop. Should be flexibility to add lots of FA talent. I know our reputation is to not spend on big names, but in the years where things have worked out for us to have tons of cap space (2003, 2007, 2017) we've been aggressive. I[d imagine that trend holds again.

    I don't know that the QB position will be addressed to everyone's liking. Hard to say if we'll like a guy in the draft and not sure who will be available through trade/FA at what salary/draft pick cost. Seems unlikely they believe in Stidham if they think Cam is better. Seems unlikely they would truly view Cam as an answer, but he should be very cheap again so I could see a scenario where they try to run it back with more talent around him over spending money/picks on guys they still think isn't the answer. Factoring in cap rollover from this year and roster cuts and we should get up to like $70-80M to spend.

    The QB position is really it's own discussion and improvement may or may not be coming. But the other positions are extremely realistic to find talent upgrades through the draft/free agency. We have tons of cap space with the projected COVID declined cap. Revenue should jump back up so then we'll see a huge spike ahead of the 2022 season, so spending cap space should not be an issue at all. We have supreme flexibility to go after guys we like.

    Personally, I'd like to see us start by retaining Thuney. I know it will be a huge deal, but I think he's worth it and without any real elite talent on the roster it makes sense to retain one of the few we have. I think JC Jackson and Adam Butler are good young players we should look to lock up long term. Beyond that, I think Lawrence Guy and David Andrews are good vets we should be able to lock in at reasonable deals.

    Beyond that, once again pulling out the QB position, I think ILB/DT/WR/TE are positions we desperately need talent upgrades at. Would be nice to land a legitimate player at two of those spots in FA. Hopefully a blue chip prospect with what should be a higher pick than we usually have too.

    Realistically, this isn't going to be a quick rebuild to this team becoming a super bowl contender. But I think there's a solid path to pushing for the playoffs with the right offseason signings.

    NE Patriots Forum HOF (Class of 2011)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    With the season about to come to an end and big offseason ahead of us for sure what do you realistically want to see happen?

    For me.....WR, TE & future QB have to be addressed.

    We will have to sign a FA wide receiver and although Allan Robinson, TY Hilton, Cory Davis will all be on the market we will be more than likely be priced out of them (especially ARob) with the cap going down.

    Our draft position as it stands right now is pick 15, which more than likely wonít land us one of the top four QBs.....Lawrence, Fields, Wilson or Lance.

    Hoping the off-season goes something like this.

    Sign FA WR Curtis Samuel or Marvin Jones, I prefer Samuel because of his speed and versatility. (Stay far away from AJ Green)

    As hard as it is for me to say it, move Gillmore. It will free up a bunch of cap and with the emergence of JC Jackson, J.Jones and us getting opt out players back we can withstand the loss. The cap space and return will be worth it.

    Draft- Take Kyle Pitts if heís still on the board, heís one of the few offensive skill players in this draft that is NFL ready right now. A more athletic version of Darren Waller, if it translates over to the NFL like expected to then we strike gold. At 6í6 heís matchup nightmare.

    If Pitts is off the board and Devonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle is still available, take them...If both are off the board trade back.

    The next pick is a must where we go QB, trade up if we have to in rnd 2 (the cost is less of hit that making a rnd1 trade up). With this pick take have to take Mac Jones or Trask, they would be first round picks any other year if this draft wasnít QB loaded in the early rounds.

    If we didnít land Pitts or either of the Bama receivers the following pick must be a WR.
    Kadarius Toney, Rondale Moore, Chris Olave, Terrance Marshall or Rashod Bateman all guys that are super talented.

    If we move Gilmore and add in all the comp picks we should have 11-12 draft picks this year pending on the Gilly return.

    QB- This one is tough because although cam didnít look that good he literally had ZERO help as we had by far the worst receiving corps in the entire league. This was a much worse team than Brady had and he couldnít even do it with more. I would be open to
    resigning Cam on the same 1yr deal to bridge the new QB in for next year, if we donít sign Cam the try and sign Fitzpatrick on a 1yr deal.

    Thuney- must be addressed, hopefully we can resign him but I got the feeling a franchise tag is coming.

    As HPF said, I think Meyers is a viable #3 WR

  3. #3
    I can't believe anyone is open to bringing back cam. Help or no help, he sucks. He throws the ball low every time, holds on to it for 15 seconds and they do the same play with him every time (qb draw). This is the worst pats team I've seen in my lifetime. On the bright side at least they got rid of hoyer.

    Honestly the main person that needs to go is Josh McDaniels. One of the worst offensive coordinators in the league.

  4. #4
    To add to my post above; Belichecks stubbornness to keep going with Cam makes me kind of hope he leaves the patriots soon. He can go to the giants or wherever for all i care

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by bosox1899 View Post
    To add to my post above; Belichecks stubbornness to keep going with Cam makes me kind of hope he leaves the patriots soon. He can go to the giants or wherever for all i care
    LOL at the Belichick comment. Didn't know the circus was in town.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by bosox1899 View Post
    To add to my post above; Belichecks stubbornness to keep going with Cam makes me kind of hope he leaves the patriots soon. He can go to the giants or wherever for all i care
    Completely ridiculous take. If Stidham had shown ANY promise he would have played. But BB is not going to hand the kid the job. It's Stidhams job to prove he's better, he didn't. It's not good enough to be AS good but younger so you get to play. No, not how it works.

    Cam was not good. But he came here on an undervalued contract, even as poorly as he played at time, we underpaid him vs what he gave us. His deal was incentive laden. With Stidham not showing he was BETTER and Cam being a vet on an undervalued incentive laden contract, BB paid respect to Cam and kept him as the starter.

    You are way too short sighted. This isn't even just about Cam or BB... If BB benched Cam and screwed him out of his incentives, what does that say to future Free Agents who BB wants to bring in on similar deals. It wouldn't play well with them and they'd take the money elsewhere thinking BB would do the same and bench them for someone who's younger but not better.

    BB made the right call. The only person to blame for Stidham not playing more is Stidham himself. Play better than the starter and you'll get a chance.

    Seasons over. Move on. BB still the GOAT.

    City of Champions

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Go after Watson.
    Offer up
    1st rounders 21, 22, 23
    2nd rounders 22, 23
    Maybe throw in a 4th rounder and a 5th rounder down the road

    You still would have rounds 2-7 this year
    rounds 3-7 for the other 2 years
    You can still build thru the draft
    Go out and get Hunter Henry in FA, you are set at RB, go out and make offers to TY Hilton, JuJu, draft a WR ,
    Anyone who says they shouldn't go after Watson is insane. That gives you your QB for the next decade.
    And if you strike go hard after Jimmy G.
    We had one mediocre year....that should be one too many

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Rhode Island

    I used that link to get a general idea of spending power. One thing to note is that if you release a player, another takes his place in the list of your top 51 salaries against the cap. So if I say below that we save $5M by cutting someone, the net savings I add will be $5,440,000 since they use $660K as the replacement salary. So consider that in if you try to follow the math below. If we do the following:

    1) trade Gilmore
    2) release Marcus Cannon
    3) release Hightower (I've hear the might retire. Even if he does come back, can't be on that cap number)
    4) Release Edelman (I think he's toast.)
    5) Release Beau Allen, Matt LaCosse, Dan Vitale, Brandon Bolden (Not huge savings, but all feel expendable.)

    That leaves us with $86,452,228 to spend. This includes the cap space we're rolling over too (it's factored into the projected cap number - you scroll through and it's different for each team due to that adjustment).

    Another thing to look at is the numbers beyond this year. Notice how the cap space in future years makes a huge jump because revenue is expected to go back up with vaccinations. We have basically nothing committed. We have lots of flexibility to structure deals to push out cap hits into the future. I know it's not a tactic we like to employ, but the covid related decline this year followed by an expected jump back up is a unique scenario. Combined with our overall lack of commitments we're positioned to take advantage.

    So on to some moved we could make. Especially if we're trading Gilmore (I'd expect a 2nd rounder back), you have to tender JC Jackson as a 1st rounder. That's just a no brainer move. On that calculator above that drops us down to $82,239,228 left to spend.

    Jumping back a paragraph, I mentioned kicking the can down the line SOMEWHAT. I see an opportunity to do that with Devin McCourty. If we restructure his salary into signing bonus, that opens up $5,193,750 of cap. Our total is now $88,182,978.

    Another tough cut, that I left out per above is Adrian Phillips because it took some thought. Dugger is the future and probably the present at SS. Chung is coming back and his deal is structured that we don't save cap. Releasing Phillips opens up $3M. He'd be awesome to keep as a 4th safety, but I think it's just too much for that role. That $3M can be reallocated. New total is $90,522,978.

    One more not talked above move is going to be Shaq Mason for me. He's a good player, but Thuney is better. If we trade Mason and push off some of the dead money, we can save $6,812,500. If we allocate that money towards keeping Thuney, then Onwenu can play RG. The fact Thuney can play LT or C in a pinch vs a pure guard like Mason makes building the depth back easier as well. This move brings our available cap space up to $96,675,478.

    That's a loooooooooooooot of cap space. Room to pursue looooooots of talent upgrades. Here's a PFF list of FAs and some price estimates:

    Obviously we're going to hear a lot about the QB position. But hear me out on this one. With Cam, we were competitive in pretty much every game this year despite a void of talent all over on both sides of the ball. Consider the options that have been tossed around. Stafford is off the board. Watson would obviously be tremendous, but it's likely we'd get outbid. Jimmy G is beloved here I know, but trading for him comes with a cap charge of $24M and he really hasn't been good in SF. I'd truly rather run it back with Cam on another cheap deal and actually put talent around him than go get a QB who I still don't think is very good and put less talent around him because he's much more expensive. This site predicts 1 year, $5M for Cam. If we gave him that deal it would only reduce our cap by $4,440,000 down to $92,335,478. Just roll with me here for a minute.

    I'm going to use price estimates from that list. Deals will normally be backloaded so the year 1 cap hit will actually be less than the average value in most cases. I'll go case by case on that.

    Let's start with our own guys outside of Cam. David Andrews is on that list at $6M/year. Let's say it's slightly backloaded so his year 1 cap hit is $5.25M. Again factoring in the $660K player he takes the place of, that reduced cap to $87,745,478.

    I mentioned above I wanted to keep Thuney, hence the Mason move. They have him at $14.25M in average value. Assuming some backloading, let's say that his cap number for this year would be $12M. That reduces our cap space down to $76,405,478.

    Neither Lawrence Guy nor Adam Butler are on that list, but those are two front 7 players I'd like to retain. I'll use a $4M projection for Guy's 2020 cap as he's getting up there in age and not anything special, just solid. Butler has some pass rushing upside, so I'll go a little higher to $5M. That nets out to $68,725,478.

    Jason McCourty isn't on the list either and they talk about how there are tons of CB options. I also think he'd probably take less to play with his brother. So I'll use $3M estimate. That brings us down to $66,385,478.

    With Mason gone and Cannon cut, there's room for Eluemunor to come back. He looked solid enough at RT to get by with. I'll project $4M for him, which brings us down to $63,045,478.

    One area we obviously need to improve is TE. We know BB loves Hunter Henry from his press conference this year. That list has him at 4 years, $48M. If we use that $12M AAV and adjust down to a $10.5M year 1 cap hit, then we have $53,205,478 to spend.

    One are of struggle we don't talk about enough was the struggle vs the run. I think we need to prioritize big bodes up front to help there. They have Dalvin Tomlinson as a run stuffing nose tackle for $13.125M average value. We really need to target a stud there. I'll adjust that AAV down to $11M for the year 1 cap hit. That would leave us with $42,865,478 to spend.

    We could also use a thumper at ILB. We love to use lots of DBs, but there's room for a thumper too. They have Denzel Perryman at $6.5M AAV. I'll adjust to a $5.75M year 1 cap hit, so if we got him for that now it's $37,775,478 to spend.

    One guy who intrigues me is Leonard Floyd. He's not a pure sack artist, but he's capable of dropping in coverage and he plays the run. I just think that's a good compliment to Uche/Winovich on the edge who each are more specialist types. Big improvement over Deatrich Wise who was that every down kind of role for us last year. They have Floyd at $13.33M. If we adjust to a $12M year 1 cap hit, we're down to $27,435,478 left.

    I'm going to take a chance on Curtis Samuel as a gadget receiver. He can bring some explosion plays to the offense as we go year 2 in the the more RPO, gadget style. They've got him at $8.33M AAV. I'm going to leave as is since I wonderer if receivers might be a little reluctant to sign here over other places for same money. So cap space down to $19,762,145.

    I'm going to go back to the defensive side of the ball now. We were using Adrian Phillips as a linebacker for most of 2020. The idea was to get coverage. It makes sense, but it'd work even better if it was a real coverage linebacker doing it. Enter Matt Milano. He doesn't have the typical size we go for at LB, but game is changing. He's someone who can cover and rush. He isn't the best run defender, but I've added 3 plus defenders for that already and the baseline is a safety playing linebacker so it's not like he's a downgrade. They have him at $11.25M AAV, and I'll hold steady at that to draw him back to Boston where he went to college from the upswing Bills. Down to $9,172,145 left to spend.

    Lastly I'll fill in with some depth. Malik Hooker has had injury issues but would be awesome in the Duron Harmon backup FS role that we never really filled. They have him at 1 year $2M. I have us dealing Gilmore... Jackson/McCourty/Jones is still solid at CB but Gareon Conley could be an upside play as a man coverage CB. They have him at $2.5M. Those moves combined leave us with $5,992,145.

    That gets us down to the probably just signing picks and filling out the roster with minimum guys. We'd go into this draft with our one 1st, our own 2nd and presumably another for Gilmore, a compensatory third for Brady, our own 4th and two more compensatory 4ths for Collins/Van Noy. Maybe Mason could return a 4th as well in the trade I forecasted? But point is, we'd have more draft capital too.

    If you just go position by position...

    • I left Cam at QB. But now he has more time in the offense and a legit TE plus one more playmaker at WR.
    • The RB position I left James White go because on a power running team and they like JJ Taylor. Harris/Michel should be a nice power running tandem.
    • WR still needs an outside, down the numbers threat. Samuel is a gadget playmaker type and Meyers is a solid inside/out possession guy. But hey, Rome wasn't built in a day. It's also somewhat mitigated by an actual TE threat. Definitely need to look to the draft here.
    • At TE we now have Henry as a legit option as I mentioned so Asiasi/Keene can fight for reduced roles vs main ones.
    • The OL returns 5 guys who played well in Wynn/Thuney/Andrews/Onwenu/Elmenuer. Still need to add depth in the draft or with low cost FA signings and definitely be looking for a RT to hopefully grab that spot in time.
    • Interior DL should be much more stout with Tomlinson. A run stuffer will go a long way for us, which has really been a huge weakness for 2 years now. I'd still be looking for another guy in the draft, but we have a good start.
    • On the edge, Floyd should be a good stabilizing player. Uche/Winovich will be asked to play more 3 down roles, but having a proven guy in that role lets them do it to somewhat of a lesser degree. I think Jennings is best in this spot too so he can hopefully grow into a John Simon role.
    • At LB, Perryman is a thumper to help the run D and Millano is a guy we can play on 3 downs thanks to the improved run coverage up front. We were terrible here in 2020 with so many young guys and now they can play more appropriate depth roles.
    • We're definitely worse at CB without Gilmore. Hope would be that Joejuan Williams can play somewhat of a role. Jackson struggled as a #1 when called upon, but a true lockdown CB really is a luxury. We should have a better pass rush with front 7 additions, even those that are for the run which would let us be able to plat some specialists more). That helps CBs. Jon Jones is still solid in the slot and J McCourty continues to hang on. Definitely a spot you'd be looking for high upside youth int he draft though.
    • At safety, you hope Dugger blossoms and Chung comes back solid. Hooker would be nice depth if healthy. McCourty is still solid.
    • On special teams, I went cheap. I think Folk will get paid by a contender. We have two kickers not he practice squad. Maybe it's an issue, but I feel like a team not seriously expecting a Super Bowl still doesn't need to splurge on an old kicker. I didn't re-sign Justin Bethel because I expect someone to sign him for a STs ace price, and we have Slater. I know BB's history, but I'm sorry, a team devoid of talent on offense and defense needs to spend it there.

    Still not a perfect team. I think we'd be better but not great throwing the ball with a more experienced Cam and a couple more solid players. The STs might take a step back without as much allocated to it. I think the secondary would fall back without Gilmore, but the front 7 would be MUCH better. I think the power running game should be in tact as something we can lean on and now we'd have a defense to compliment it better.

    Ultimately, not a full fix. But I think it lays good foundational improvement. With a strong draft class, which no matter what we do we really need to start getting back to, it sets us up well to make further improvements next year.

    I'll just clarify that if Watson is attainable then shift gear entirely to go get him. But short of that, I think another transitional year at QB with Cam and addressing the incredible lack of talent across the rest of the roster is a better bet than splurging on a QB who is better, but not a great answer himself, IMO.

    NE Patriots Forum HOF (Class of 2011)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Rhode Island
    For the draft, Iím going to suggest a move up for LB Micah Parsons. Obviously if thereís a QB you want at 15 or to move up for that has to be top priority, but otherwise I think Parsons has the type of skill set to handle the multifaceted MLB role for BBís schemes and would be a good foundational piece. Willing to move up because I think itís an important role and BB asks a lot of it so Iíd make it a priority.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by hugepatsfan View Post
    For the draft, Iím going to suggest a move up for LB Micah Parsons. Obviously if thereís a QB you want at 15 or to move up for that has to be top priority, but otherwise I think Parsons has the type of skill set to handle the multifaceted MLB role for BBís schemes and would be a good foundational piece. Willing to move up because I think itís an important role and BB asks a lot of it so Iíd make it a priority.
    I love Parsons for this team. Outstanding skill set. I don't think we have the ammo to move up to get him without shipping off too much. I think I'd rather stay and draft Zaven Collins. 6'4 250-260ish that can literally do it all. Coverage, pass rush, run defend. Parsons would be good but I think hes a top 8 guy.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Rhode Island
    Quote Originally Posted by C-ross12 View Post
    I love Parsons for this team. Outstanding skill set. I don't think we have the ammo to move up to get him without shipping off too much. I think I'd rather stay and draft Zaven Collins. 6'4 250-260ish that can literally do it all. Coverage, pass rush, run defend. Parsons would be good but I think hes a top 8 guy.
    He's a guy I like too. I want elite cornerstone players if we can have them so that's why I'd target Parson if possible.

    I wouldn't mind moving back take Collins. Then packaging that return with our second round pick to try and move back into the first. Netted out, instead of picking at 15 and 45, we pick at like 25 and 30, for example.

    NE Patriots Forum HOF (Class of 2011)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Whatever they do...they better get down to business fast and start fixing this and fix it fast...because if they are 7-9 again next year and Tampa is winning a second title in a row...things are going to get UGLY...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Rhode Island
    Over the cap updated their numbers a bit from when I posted earlier. They're still basing projections on a $175M cap, but rumors are coming out that it could go as high as $190M with the league borrowing from future years.

    I made a very detailed post earlier. I'm going to update for OTC's new numbers and also add in $10M of cap room because of the updated cap projections (not adding the full $15M extra to be somewhat conservative). Starting point:

    Moves to make:

    1) Release Dont'a Hightower, Marcus Cannon, Julian Edelman, Adrian Phillips, Beau Allen, Brandon Bolden, Matt LaCosse, Dan Vitale, Akeem Spence. That brings us up to $86,891,569 of cap space on their projections.

    2) Trade Shaq Mason and Jon Jones. Solid players, just preserving cap space to keep better ones. Updates cap space is $92,615,319

    3) Restructure D. McCourty's base salary and roster bonus to signing bonus. That brings us up to $99,519,069 of cap space on their count.

    4) Extend a 1st round RFA tender to JC Jackson and an ERFA tender to Jakob Johnson. That brings us down to $94,156,069 to spend.

    Now I add in the extra $10M mentioned above. So we're up to $104,156,069.

    Let's start with re-signings. Last time I traded Gilmore. This time, I'm going to preserve the elite talent and keep the CB play a major strength. I would re-do his deal to bump him up to an $11,343,750 cap hit. That adds $4M to what he's at now. I'd do a new 2-3 year deal that pays him good money to finish his career here, not a 1 year bump. We need established players to help maintain culture. Since he's not replacing anyone, that full $4M extra cap hit gets adds so we're down to $100,156,069 in cap space.

    Last time I let Hightower walk. I then added Denzel Perryman in FA. Instead I am going to just keep Hightower. His current number was too high so I cut him earlier, but he can be re-signed to a new 2-3 year deal that pays him more money in 2021 than he was set to make but reduces his cap number to about $6.5M. I value his leadership. Factor in the top 51 rule and we're down to $94,316,069 in cap space.

    Same logic as I listed above in my last post for the other re-signings... Re-sign the following players to the following 2021 cap hits: Joe Thuney ($12M), David Andrews ($5.25M), Cam Newton ($5M), Adam Butler ($5M), Lawrence Guy ($4M), Jason McCourty ($3M). Factoring in those cap hits and also the top 51 rule, our updated cap space number heading into FA is $64,026,069.

    Now let's go back to the FAs I added above and their cap hits:

    TE Hunter Henry - $10.5M
    NT Dalvin Tomlinson - $11M
    EDGE Leonard Floyd - $12M
    LB Matt Milano - $11.25M

    Those 4 players at those 2021 cap hits, again applying the top 51 rule and the guy they'd displace, would reduce our available cap space down to $21,916,069.

    Last round I had us sign Curtis Samuel. He's a good gadget player, but not a real outside the numbers guy. Using the same link for projections on contracts (,, this time I'm going to spend extra on Corey Davis from TEN. He had a breakout year in TEN and is the big frame outside the numbers skill set we need. They project $16.25M/year. I will translate that down to a $15M year 1 cap hit. So now we're down to $7,756,069 of cap space.

    That's it for my spending. Heading into the draft, we'd have the following depth chart (weak spots/problem areas in bold):

    QB: Newton, Stidham
    RB: Harris, Michel, Taylor
    FB: Johnson
    WR: Davis, Meyers, Harry, Olszewski
    TE: Henry, Asiasi, Keene
    OL: Wynn, Thuney, Andrews, Onwenu, Herron, Cajuste
    Interior DL: Tomlinson, Guy, Butler, Cowart
    EDGE: Floyd, Uche, Winovich, Jennings
    ILB: Hightower, Millano, Hall, Maluia
    CB: Gilmore, Jackson, J. McCourty, Bryant
    FS: D. McCourty, Williams
    SS: Dugger, Chung
    STs: Rohrwasser, Bailey, Cardona, Slater, King

    The 3 main weaknesses are highlight. Cam obviously isn't a great answer at QB. But he should be cheap again nd we were competitive in every game with him last year. I think this would be a much better situation for him as a stop gap. This team has actual talent around him.

    Harry is not good enough to be a #3 WR right now. Maybe he emerges, but that's still a weak spot. This is supposedly another deep WR class though so look for that to be addressed in the draft. Need to hit on a guy.

    I went cheap at RT. Herron I thought showed some potential last year. This is also a deep class at OT where some think you can get a starter on day 1 or even day 2.

    I didn't spend money on a kicker. Just not where I think a team can afford to devote resources when the cupboard is so empty.

    Come away from the draft with a day 1 starting RT and #3 WR, which aren't outlandish expectations, and I think think this is a team that will push for playoffs. This time next year, players like Stafford, Watson or other QBs on the block will look at us as a team they'd be happy to move to. Between that or the draft we can target a QB then.

    NE Patriots Forum HOF (Class of 2011)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Rhode Island
    Another idea I had at the WR position...

    The Rams are in a tight cap situation. There are rumors though that a guy like Marvin Jones would take less to join Stafford in LA.

    The Rams can save $11.9M of cap space by trading Robert Woods. They could then dip into maybe half of those savings and get Marvin Jones for a cap hit of like $6M. So they maintain a good level of production with a familiar target for Stafford, pick up some draft compensation, and get $5.9M of cap savings (using my $6M projection for Jones).

    The Pats have their own 4th and are expected to get two comp picks for Jamie Van Noy and Jamie Collins in that round. Do people think I am being unrealistic in trade value and/or willingness to trade on that one?
    Woods would carry a $12.5M cap hit for us in 2021 which is all guaranteed. On his current deal he'd have cap hits of $13.5 in 2022, $13.75 in 2023, $13.75 again in 2024 and $17M.5M in 2025. None of that money beyond the 2021 season is guaranteed though. 2021 will be his age 29 season. If that scenario I outlined above is plausible I think this would be a good play. He's not a #1 but he's a quality option that would bring an extremely respectable threat at WR. Cheaper than the top FA WRs (Godwin, Galloway, A-Rob) who even if we do pay top dollar might prefer a better QB situation. Same for guys like Will Fuller or Corey Davis who carry risk as neither has been consistent and might want to go to a better QB room if things are close.

    We have crappy WRs which might chase away any of the QBs that become available. But not having a QB could hurt us in pursuit of the WRs we need to sign to make a QB want to sign here. It could be kind of a vicious circle. Obviously the draft could address it but that will be well after the top FAs sign so doesn't really help us there.

    Trading for a WR, even someone not a #1 like Woods, would be something we can do right off the bat on our own to try and give us some respectable talent to offer other QBs in FA.

    NE Patriots Forum HOF (Class of 2011)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Rhode Island
    Just continuing to look around the league for teams in cap space trouble that might need to trade players, DT Grady Jarrett in ATL is another target. The Falcons are about $30M over the cap now. Trading Jarrett clears $9.8M vs cutting him which only saves $5.3M. If that's one of the tough calls they need to make, maybe he can be had for a mid round pick. His contract with us would be $13.5M in 2021 ($5.5M guaranteed) and $16.5M in 2020 (no guarantees).

    We're getting a projected 3rd rounder comp pick for Brady, then we have our own 4th and projected picks from Van Noy and Jamie Collins. So we have mid round ammo to swing deals.

    NE Patriots Forum HOF (Class of 2011)

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