captain_amazing

Indefinite New England Patriots Thread

4,466 posts in this topic

Since these annual threads don't seem to get much traction - partly because I personally don't sustain them well as the OP - I figured we could go with an indefinite Pats thread.

After speaking to other Pats fans, listening and reading reaction to the Pats season, the general consensus seems to be that the 2013 season was an overwhelming success. To think that they were one win away from making it to another Super Bowl with the team they had this year is really quite something.

So, like 30 other teams have already begun, it's time to turn the page to 2014. I'm going to assemble some information for reference purposes to get some discussion going on how the Pats should tackle personnel and other issues this offseason.

2014 Offseason Storylines

Gronkowski's recuperation.

Effect on the retirement of long-time OL coach Scharnecchia.

Adding more offensive weapons.

What to do with Talib?

What to do with Edelman?

Resigning, cutting, and restructuring contracts.

2014 Free Agents

Source: KFFL.com

Pos	Player			FA Status	Previous Team		Current TeamRB	LeGarrette Blount	UFA		New England Patriots	Free AgentRB	Cierre Wood		Signed		New England Patriots	Baltimore RavensWR	Austin Collie		UFA		New England Patriots	Free AgentWR	Reggie Dunn		Re-signed	New England Patriots	New England PatriotsWR	Julian Edelman		UFA		New England Patriots	Free AgentWR	Sam McGuffie		Re-signed	New England Patriots	New England PatriotsWR	Greg Orton		Re-signed	New England Patriots	New England PatriotsTE	Michael Hoomanawanui	UFA		New England Patriots	Free AgentTE	Matthew Mulligan	UFA		New England Patriots	Free AgentTE	DJ Williams		UFA		New England Patriots	Free AgentOT	Jordan Devey		Re-signed	New England Patriots	New England PatriotsOT	R.J. Dill		Signed		New England Patriots	Kansas City ChiefsOT	Patrick Ford		Signed		New England Patriots	New York JetsOT	R.J. Mattes		Re-signed	New England Patriots	New England PatriotsOT	Will Svitek 		UFA		New England Patriots	Free AgentC	Braxston Cave		Re-signed	New England Patriots	New England PatriotsC	Nick McDonald		Signed		New England Patriots	San Diego ChargersC	Matt Stankiewitch	Signed		New England Patriots	Jacksonville JaguarsC	Ryan Wendell 		UFA		New England Patriots	Free AgentDL	Danny Aiken		RFA		New England Patriots	New England PatriotsDL	Andre Carter 		UFA		New England Patriots	Free AgentDL	Marcus Forston		Re-signed	New England Patriots	New England PatriotsLB	Dane Fletcher 		UFA		New England Patriots	Free AgentLB	Stephen Larsen	 	UFA		New England Patriots	Free AgentLB	Taylor Reed		Re-signed	New England Patriots	New England PatriotsLB	Brandon Spikes		UFA		New England Patriots	Free AgentCB	Aqib Talib 		UFA		New England Patriots	Free Agent

2014 Salary Cap

Source: OvertheCap.com

Offensive Spend: 31 Players $61,337,209
Defensive Spend: 30 Players $57,379,866
Specials Spend: 2 Players $4,295,500

Name			Base			Prorated		Roster		Workout		Cap			Dead			Cap				Salary			Bonus			Bonus		Bonus		Number			Money			Savings	Tom Brady		 $2,000,000.00  	 $12,800,000.00  	$0.00 		$0.00 		 $14,800,000.00  	 $32,800,000.00  	 ($18,000,000.00) 	Vince Wilfork		 $7,500,000.00  	 $3,600,000.00  	$0.00 		 $200,000.00  	 $11,600,000.00  	 $3,600,000.00  	 $8,000,000.00  	Logan Mankins		 $6,250,000.00  	 $4,000,000.00  	$0.00 		 $250,000.00  	 $10,500,000.00  	 $8,000,000.00  	 $2,500,000.00  	Jerod Mayo		 $3,250,000.00  	 $3,600,000.00  	$187,500.00  	 $250,000.00  	 $7,287,500.00  	 $3,600,000.00  	 $3,687,500.00  	Rob Gronkowski 		 $3,750,000.00  	 $1,650,000.00  	$0.00 		 $0.00 		 $5,400,000.00  	 $8,700,000.00  	 ($3,300,000.00) 	Devin McCourty		 $3,920,000.00  	 $1,145,000.00  	$0.00 		 $50,000.00  	 $5,115,000.00  	 $1,145,000.00  	 $3,970,000.00  	Danny Amendola		 $3,000,000.00  	 $1,200,000.00  	 $375,000.00  	$0.00 		 $4,575,000.00  	 $4,800,000.00  	 ($225,000.00) 	Dan Connolly		 $3,000,000.00  	 $1,083,334.00  	0.00 		$0.00 		 $4,083,334.00  	 $1,083,334.00  	 $3,000,000.00  	Stephen Gostkowski	 $2,900,000.00  	 $800,000.00  		$0.00 		 $100,000.00  	 $3,800,000.00  	 $800,000.00  		 $3,000,000.00  	Sebastian Vollmer	 $2,000,000.00  	 $1,750,000.00  	$0.00 		$0.00 		 $3,750,000.00  	 $5,250,000.00  	 ($1,500,000.00) 	Kyle Arrington		 $2,000,000.00  	 $1,625,000.00  	$0.00 		$0.00 		 $3,625,000.00  	 $4,875,000.00  	 ($1,250,000.00) 	Isaac Sopoaga		 $3,500,000.00  	$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $3,500,000.00  	 $1,000,000.00  	 $2,500,000.00  	Steve Gregory		 $2,250,000.00  	 $833,334.00  		$0.00 		 $100,000.00  	 $3,183,334.00  	 $833,334.00  		 $2,350,000.00  	Tommy Kelly		 $1,950,000.00  	 $500,000.00  		 $500,000.00  	 $50,000.00  	 $3,000,000.00  	 $500,000.00  		 $2,500,000.00  	Nate Solder		 $769,806.00  		 $1,177,817.00  	 $769,806.00  	$0.00 		 $2,717,429.00  	 $1,947,623.00  	 $769,806.00  	Rob Ninkovich		 $1,000,000.00  	 $1,250,000.00  	 $250,000.00  	 $100,000.00  	 $2,600,000.00  	 $4,750,000.00  	 ($2,150,000.00) 	Matt Slater		 $1,200,000.00  	 $666,668.00  		$0.00 		 $100,000.00  	 $2,266,668.00  	 $666,668.00  		 $1,600,000.00  	Chandler Jones		 $1,133,045.00  	 $1,096,091.00  	$0.00 		$0.00 		 $2,229,136.00  	 $4,077,511.00  	 ($1,848,375.00) 	Donta Hightower		 $1,092,182.00  	 $1,014,364.00  	$0.00 		$0.00 		 $2,106,546.00  	 $3,120,910.00  	 ($1,014,364.00) 	Adrian Wilson		 $1,500,000.00  	 $333,333.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $1,833,333.00  	 $666,667.00  		 $1,166,666.00  	Tavon Wilson		 $773,444.00  		 $376,891.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $1,150,335.00  	 $753,782.00  		 $396,553.00  	Shane Vereen		 $746,975.00  		 $254,300.00  		$0.00 		 $100,000.00  	 $1,101,275.00  	 $254,300.00  		 $846,975.00  	Stevan Ridley		 $777,750.00  		 $162,000.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $939,750.00  		 $162,000.00  		 $777,750.00  	Ryan Mallett		 $776,976.00  		 $160,969.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $937,945.00  		 $160,969.00  		 $776,976.00  	Jamie Collins		 $575,955.00  		 $278,818.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $854,773.00  		 $1,412,409.00  	 ($557,636.00) 	Aaron Dobson		 $560,835.00  		 $218,340.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $779,175.00  		 $955,020.00  		 ($175,845.00) 	Marcus Cannon		 $693,843.00  		 $50,125.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $743,968.00  		 $50,125.00  		 $693,843.00  	Jake Bequette		 $570,000.00  		 $134,950.00  		$0.00 		 $5,000.00  	 $709,950.00  		$269,900.00  		 $440,050.00  	Logan Ryan		 $495,000.00  		 $140,813.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $655,813.00  		 $422,439.00  		 $233,374.00  	D.J. Williams		 $645,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $645,000.00  		$0.00 			 $645,000.00  	Chris White		 $645,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $645,000.00  		$0.00 			 $645,000.00  	Duron Harmon		 $495,000.00  		 $133,400.00  		$0.00 		 $5,500.00  	 $633,900.00  		 $400,200.00  		 $233,700.00  	Josh Boyce		 $495,000.00  		 $119,250.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $614,250.00  		 $357,750.00  		 $256,500.00  	Nate Ebner		 $570,000.00  		 $24,150.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $594,150.00  		 $48,300.00  		 $545,850.00  	Alfonzo Dennard		 $570,000.00  		 $14,462.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $584,462.00  		 $28,924.00  		 $555,538.00  	Brandon Bolden		 $570,000.00  		 $4,582.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $574,582.00  		 $4,582.00  		 $570,000.00  	James Develin		 $570,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $570,000.00  		$0.00 			 $570,000.00  	Sealver Siliga		 $570,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $570,000.00  		$0.00 			 $570,000.00  	Marcus Forston		 $570,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $570,000.00  		$0.00 			 $570,000.00  	Michael Buchanan	 $495,000.00  		 $13,403.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $508,403.00  		 $40,209.00  		 $468,194.00  	Steve Beauharnais	 $495,000.00  		 $11,898.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $506,898.00  		 $35,694.00  		 $471,204.00  	Markus Zusevics		 $495,000.00  		 $4,334.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $499,334.00  		 $4,334.00  		 $495,000.00  	Mark Harrison		 $495,000.00  		 $1,000.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $496,000.00  		 $2,000.00  		 $494,000.00  	Kenbrell Thompkins	 $495,000.00  		$833.00 		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $495,833.00  		 $1,667.00  		 $494,166.00  	Ryan Allen		 $495,000.00  		$500.00 		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $495,500.00  		 $1,000.00  		 $494,500.00  	Kanorris Davis		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			 $495,000.00  	Justin Green		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			 $495,000.00  	Chris Barker		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			 $495,000.00  	Josh Kline		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			 $495,000.00  	Armon Armstead		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			 $495,000.00  	Brice Schwab		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			 $495,000.00  	Joe Vellano		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			 $495,000.00  	Chris Jones		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $495,000.00  		$0.00 			 $495,000.00  	TJ Moe			 $420,000.00  		 $2,666.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $422,666.00  		 $5,334.00  		 $417,332.00  	Cory Grissom		 $420,000.00  		 $1,333.00  		$0.00 		$0.00 		 $421,333.00  		 $2,667.00  		 $418,666.00  	Taylor Reed		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			 $420,000.00  	Greg Orton		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			 $420,000.00  	Sam McGuffie		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			 $420,000.00  	R.J. Mattes		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			 $420,000.00  	Reggie Dunn		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			 $420,000.00  	Jordan Devey		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			 $420,000.00  	Jonas Gray		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			 $420,000.00  	Braxston Cave		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			$0.00 		$0.00 		 $420,000.00  		$0.00 			 $420,000.00  	

Dead Money

Name			Cap			NumberAaron Hernandez		$7,500,000.00Ras-I Dowling		$589,382.00Daniel Fells		$333,334.00Lavelle Hawkins		$75,000.00Zach Sudfeld		$8,000.00Ben Bartholomew		$6,667.00Justin Francis		$4,667.00Kanoris Davis		$3,334.00Chris McDonald		$3,334.00Josh Kline		$2,667.00Brandon Jones		$2,334.00Brandon Ford		$2,000.00Stephon Morris		$1,667.00Matt Stankiewitch	$1,667.00Mike Zupancic		$1,334.00Dewayne Cherrington	$667.00

2014 Coaching Changes

LB Coach - Vacant (formerly Pepper Johnson)

Offensive Line Coach - Dave DeGuglielmo (formerly Dante Scarnecchia)

Defensive Assistant - Brendan Daly

Edited by captain_amazing
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To start with the basics - I believe the Pats should franchise Talib, unless they think they can get a favorable deal. He's proven himself on the field, and is looked at as one of the leaders in the locker room. He brings that intangible swagger that this defense has desperately needed for the past 3+ years.

Unlike last year, I think Edelman will receive a high amount of interest from other teams. So, if the Pats want to keep him, they're going to need to sign him to WR2 kind of money. Given that Edelman has proven himself in that Welker/slot role AND managed to stay healthy throughout the season, I'd say he deserves it, and I'd give it to him.

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This offseason:

*Pass rush, pass rush, pass rush-I have beaten this drum for about eight years now and I will continue it...until the Pats get a legit disruptive pass rush they will not win another title...pretty much every playoff loss involves a QB without any duress carving their D up...the Pats need to get better in this area but for some reason BB doesn't seem to want to commit to it...you can talk exotic coverages all you want but they mean squat in 2014 without a QB being rushed...I also don't care if the Pats add a one-dimensional pass-rusher...diverse players are great but when it's 3rd and 10 who cares if the other team knows you're bringing it...just get the damn QB...

*O-Line-In good shape but could use some help in the interior...looked shaky at times this year...getting Volmer back at RT will be a welcome addition...

*Talib-Gotta have him back...their D is simply a lot better with him...with Dennard, Arrington and Ryan this unit is the best it has been in quite some time but there is little doubt it all starts with Talib...

*Spikes-Would like to see the Pats move on from him...he's too one-dimensional...

*WR-The x-factor is what the Pats think about Dobson, Thompkins and Boyce...all three look like they have potential but the Pats can't spend a lot of time waiting for them to develop...the Brady window is starting to close...I love Edelman but I find it hard to stomach having real big money invested in both him and Amendola...something's gotta give here...Edelman is the better player and I want him back but this unit needs another playmaker and I don't know how you do it if you are paying both Edelman and Amendola good money...I do not want to waste a high pick on a WR...the Pats already have three youngsters...

*TE-Whether it's a high-pick or a quality veteran adding one is a must...

*Playmakers-The Pats have enough depth...this year they proved they can withstand almost any non-QB injury and still flourish in the regular season...yet, if they are to win another title they need more playmakers on both sides of the ball but especially on defense...when the Pats were winning titles that unit was loaded with playmakers...Willie, Bruschi, Law, Vrabel, Rodney and even guys like Otis Smith all had the ability to make game-changing plays...right now they are very thin in that area and it's something that tends to rear it's head come playoff time against a quality opponent...

Overall the Pats are in very good shape...you can pretty much pencil them in for between 11-13 wins next year...yet, if if they want to win another championship BB the GM needs to give BB the Coach some legit playmakers who can make plays when the x's and o's may not be working...do that and maybe they can get over the hump and get out of this Utah Jazz/Atlanta Braves rut they are currently in...

Edited by Boston

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You think Brady will redo his contract again to keep Edelman and maybe go after a receiver like Decker or Nicks? I would also like them to give Britt a run if he can be had at a fair price. I think he still has talent and maybe the Patriots can motivate him and if not he should be easy to cut.

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You think Brady will redo his contract again to keep Edelman and maybe go after a receiver like Decker or Nicks? I would also like them to give Britt a run if he can be had at a fair price. I think he still has talent and maybe the Patriots can motivate him and if not he should be easy to cut.

Why should he...when he did it last year it was pretty much assumed it was done to keep Welker...that did not happen and they really didn't do much with that money...if there's a contract to be done it will be Vince Wilfork...that's the one that is staring at everyone...

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I've said this for years regarding the Patrs and a pash rush - adding pass rushers won't do much because the Pats defensive scheme isn't one that lends itself to pass rush personnel.

Edited by Spike

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Article in the globe i believe saying that if they cut Amendola by march 10th or 11th they have 2.8 million this year and 2 million next off the cap. Money they could use towards Edelman.

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I don't see them cutting Amendola. He was hobbled the entire season and gutted it out to play week to week. So I would not look at his on field performance as indicative as to what he could do if healthy. I know, I know he could easily get hurt again. He struggled to get separation and get open, but I think he will do better next year.

As far as Edelman goes, I am not as high on him as others are. He clearly benefited from all the other injuries and getting force fed the ball. So I would not consider him for big money WR. He got Welker-like targets (151) and did not put up quite the numbers that Wes did before him. The free agent market should be kinder than last year for Edelman, but I still don't see him getting big dollars. I don't see him getting a ton of money no matter where he goes.

If he does return to NE, I don't see him getting similar production if the other guys stay healthy. Based on that, it will be interesting to see how much the Pats offer him. I do think they look to bring in other receivers like they did between the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

Edited by Anarchy99

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Aqib Talib

I dont care what they do with the rest of the team. If they dont resign Talib (or some very equal caliber corner) they can light the rest of any cap space they have on fire because it wont matter.

Dead serious about this. Second most important player on this team other then Brady.

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This offseason:

*Pass rush, pass rush, pass rush-I have beaten this drum for about eight years now and I will continue it...until the Pats get a legit disruptive pass rush they will not win another title...pretty much every playoff loss involves a QB without any duress carving their D up...the Pats need to get better in this area but for some reason BB doesn't seem to want to commit to it...you can talk exotic coverages all you want but they mean squat in 2014 without a QB being rushed...I also don't care if the Pats add a one-dimensional pass-rusher...diverse players are great but when it's 3rd and 10 who cares if the other team knows you're bringing it...just get the damn QB...

*O-Line-In good shape but could use some help in the interior...looked shaky at times this year...getting Volmer back at RT will be a welcome addition...

*Talib-Gotta have him back...their D is simply a lot better with him...with Dennard, Arrington and Ryan this unit is the best it has been in quite some time but there is little doubt it all starts with Talib...

*Spikes-Would like to see the Pats move on from him...he's too one-dimensional...

*WR-The x-factor is what the Pats think about Dobson, Thompkins and Boyce...all three look like they have potential but the Pats can't spend a lot of time waiting for them to develop...the Brady window is starting to close...I love Edelman but I find it hard to stomach having real big money invested in both him and Amendola...something's gotta give here...Edelman is the better player and I want him back but this unit needs another playmaker and I don't know how you do it if you are paying both Edelman and Amendola good money...I do not want to waste a high pick on a WR...the Pats already have three youngsters...

*TE-Whether it's a high-pick or a quality veteran adding one is a must...

*Playmakers-The Pats have enough depth...this year they proved they can withstand almost any non-QB injury and still flourish in the regular season...yet, if they are to win another title they need more playmakers on both sides of the ball but especially on defense...when the Pats were winning titles that unit was loaded with playmakers...Willie, Bruschi, Law, Vrabel, Rodney and even guys like Otis Smith all had the ability to make game-changing plays...right now they are very thin in that area and it's something that tends to rear it's head come playoff time against a quality opponent...

Overall the Pats are in very good shape...you can pretty much pencil them in for between 11-13 wins next year...yet, if if they want to win another championship BB the GM needs to give BB the Coach some legit playmakers who can make plays when the x's and o's may not be working...do that and maybe they can get over the hump and get out of this Utah Jazz/Atlanta Braves rut they are currently in...

I agree with everything you said, with the exception of the bolded.

First, I thought the pass rush was actually significantly improved this year. Since 1990 (i didn't go back any farther), the Pats had more sacks this year than any other year in that time span.

Year	Sacks	League Avg2013	47	40.52012 	37	36.52011 	40	37.12010 	36	35.32001 	39	38.6	2002 	33	36.7	2003 	41	34.12004 	45	37.4

While not being the sole or necessarily even the most important measuring stick of a pass rush, it certainly lends some credit to what was an improved pass rush this year.

Granted, I think they could improve by adding a pass rush veteran, and having that player sub in for Jones or Ninko on passing downs. Down the stretch, Jones was really quite, which I think had something to do with him running a bit on fumes.

Second, and this is just a personal opinion - I'd really like the Pats to keep Spikes. I know the more likely (and almost certain) situation is that the Pats and Spikes part ways, especially after the incident that occurred near the end of the year. But, I think he brings a tremendous swagger to the defense (much like Talib), and I think he had a much more impressive season than, say, Hightower. But, I know he's very like a goner.

Edited by captain_amazing

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I don't see them cutting Amendola. He was hobbled the entire season and gutted it out to play week to week. So I would not look at his on field performance as indicative as to what he could do if healthy. I know, I know he could easily get hurt again. He struggled to get separation and get open, but I think he will do better next year.

As far as Edelman goes, I am not as high on him as others are. He clearly benefited from all the other injuries and getting force fed the ball. So I would not consider him for big money WR. He got Welker-like targets (173) and did not put up quite the numbers that Wes did before him. The free agent market should be kinder than last year for Edelman, but I still don't see him getting big dollars. I don't see him getting a ton of money no matter where he goes.

If he does return to NE, I don't see him getting similar production if the other guys stay healthy. Based on that, it will be interesting to see how much the Pats offer him. I do think they look to bring in other receivers like they did between the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

I agree - I don't see them cutting Amendola either.

However, I'm curious about how you compare Amendola and Edelman. Do you think they bring the same qualities and could produce similar results if put in similar situations?

For instance, suppose Edleman had the groin injury this year and Amendola was completely healthy. In your opinion, would Amendola have produced the same, less, or more than Edelman had? I know it's hard to predict the results of such a supposition, especially given the fact that we have seen what a healthy Amendola can do in this system. But I'm curious about how you view the two players in comparison to one another.

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I don't see them cutting Amendola. He was hobbled the entire season and gutted it out to play week to week. So I would not look at his on field performance as indicative as to what he could do if healthy. I know, I know he could easily get hurt again. He struggled to get separation and get open, but I think he will do better next year.

As far as Edelman goes, I am not as high on him as others are. He clearly benefited from all the other injuries and getting force fed the ball. So I would not consider him for big money WR. He got Welker-like targets (173) and did not put up quite the numbers that Wes did before him. The free agent market should be kinder than last year for Edelman, but I still don't see him getting big dollars. I don't see him getting a ton of money no matter where he goes.

If he does return to NE, I don't see him getting similar production if the other guys stay healthy. Based on that, it will be interesting to see how much the Pats offer him. I do think they look to bring in other receivers like they did between the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

I agree - I don't see them cutting Amendola either.

However, I'm curious about how you compare Amendola and Edelman. Do you think they bring the same qualities and could produce similar results if put in similar situations?

For instance, suppose Edleman had the groin injury this year and Amendola was completely healthy. In your opinion, would Amendola have produced the same, less, or more than Edelman had? I know it's hard to predict the results of such a supposition, especially given the fact that we have seen what a healthy Amendola can do in this system. But I'm curious about how you view the two players in comparison to one another.

Yes, I think Amendola with 150+ targets would have produced what Edelman did, maybe slightly better.

Using ESPN target data, there have been 59 players that had 150 or more targets in a season since 2006. Of those, Edelman's 2013 season ranked 54th in receiving yards, 58th in yds/rec, and tied for 40th in TD. In summary, he got a lot of help based on volume of targets and short receptions. One could argue that the lack of other threats depressed his totals as teams could focus more on him, but I still think he will lose a fair amount of production if NE can field other receiving options.

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Can we now stop calling Edelman a PR and more a legitimate WR2? I think he did a great job and wonder how both he and Amendola could flourish together.

I'd think they let Amendola go, but you homers know best. Why pay Amendola WR1 numbers when you can pay Edelman less to perform the same?

By the way, I know I fish a lot about the Pats and Brady vs. Manning, but I must say that what they did this year with everything that went on is really terrific! Brady and BB are exceptional.

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Excellent OP.

Can the Pats afford to not take a TE in the first two rounds? Prospects not looking great outside the 2nd.

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Can we now stop calling Edelman a PR and more a legitimate WR2?

I still don't think that is the case. Edelman would not be a WR2 on the majority of NFL teams. He would not get 150+ targets anywhere else. I also don't think that one healthy year out of five cements him as a lock to suit up every week. I sort of agree with BB that a lot of guys could do well playing the slot in NE, and Edelman just illustrated that this season. I don't really think he is a fit to play on the outside on a regular basis, so he is predominantly a slot receiver. I think Amendola can be used in more ways than Edelman and could play more on the outside or run deeper routes than Edelman.

If NE goes and signs a bigger name free agent WR (possible to probable), maybe invests another early pick on a WR (probably not) or TE (more likely), Gronk and Amendola come back healthier (we can all dream), Dobson continues to progress and all of a sudden Edelman is back to being a situational guy and the 4th or 5th option after FA WR, Gronk, Amendola, Vereen, and maybe Dobson. (I'm not sure that Thompkins or Boyce will be back.)

I have heard talking heads say he will be able to get a $5 year, $30 million deal in free agency, and I don't see it. If so, great for him, but I don't think the Pats will give him that much per year or that many years.

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Can we now stop calling Edelman a PR and more a legitimate WR2?

I still don't think that is the case. Edelman would not be a WR2 on the majority of NFL teams. He would not get 150+ targets anywhere else. I also don't think that one healthy year out of five cements him as a lock to suit up every week. I sort of agree with BB that a lot of guys could do well playing the slot in NE, and Edelman just illustrated that this season. I don't really think he is a fit to play on the outside on a regular basis, so he is predominantly a slot receiver. I think Amendola can be used in more ways than Edelman and could play more on the outside or run deeper routes than Edelman.

If NE goes and signs a bigger name free agent WR (possible to probable), maybe invests another early pick on a WR (probably not) or TE (more likely), Gronk and Amendola come back healthier (we can all dream), Dobson continues to progress and all of a sudden Edelman is back to being a situational guy and the 4th or 5th option after FA WR, Gronk, Amendola, Vereen, and maybe Dobson. (I'm not sure that Thompkins or Boyce will be back.)

I have heard talking heads say he will be able to get a $5 year, $30 million deal in free agency, and I don't see it. If so, great for him, but I don't think the Pats will give him that much per year or that many years.

I get your points. I still think he HAS proven he is capable to be a slot WR for a full season where I don't believe Amendola has played a full season. I also think the slot WR is the #2 target in NE, so to me it seems very valuable. It's easy for BB to say anyone can do it, but he let a great one go and Amendola is a glass house.

Time will tell I guess.

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Excellent OP.

Can the Pats afford to not take a TE in the first two rounds? Prospects not looking great outside the 2nd.

I'd love to see Ebron or ASF on this team. I just don't know if we can count on Gronk anymore. He's fantastic when he's on the field, but I think he just plays with a violence that his body cannot handle. Call it whatever you want, but I do think he's injury prone. If Gronk comes back, I'm sure Brady can figure out how to get them both involved. I also do not think opposing defenses could figure out how to keep them from being involved ;) I think it would be a thing of beauty for Gronk and Ebron to be destroying defenses. I doubt it will happen, but it would be so cool to see that.

What I'm worried about most is CB. Talib, even if he comes back isn't the most healthy guy in the world. Can he gives us 18 or 19 games? Even so, in this game we need several competent DBs that are smart and athletic enough to make big plays and we just don't have them. I know Ty Laws don't grow on trees, but we need one. I have faith McCourty will get better, and he needs to get us to make get over the hump. Darquesse Dennard would be cool. I think we could get some mystical Dennard^2 luck if we go that route.

I feel fine with our LBs, even when Spikes goes away. I really like Spikes, but it seems that BB doesn't. BB > Spikes, so that's that.

We NEED Edelman back. I don't think his position is plug and play. Remember, Edelman has been on this team for several years now, and I think as much as anything that the QB-WR chemisty is the one that requires the most time to make competent. Brady needs a slot WR to make the offense go, especially without a great outside WR. We throw a guy in there that is new and who knows if he'll be as dependable as Edelman. That's not something I want to gamble on. I believe that among our 3 rookie WRs, there will be some playmaking guys starting next year. I'm especially a huge fan of KT, because I love guys that overcome difficult conditions to make it, and I think BB appreciates those types of players. Amendola isn't going to be cut, he just costs too much money for that to happen. Plus I think he deserves another shot, since the wheels just came off his season and it's hardly a good barometer to judge him. I never wanted him, but he's on the team now. I like Welker and wish he was on the team. I think if we would have signed Welker, we'd be on the Super Bowl but that's water under the bridge. I don't think we are going to see much change at WR anyway.

Question for you guys: Anyone nervous about Wilfork? I am. 32 years old. Extremely heavy, but athletic enough to move quickly makes me think that a chance for some type of additional injury will happen because of the extreme stresses he puts on his tendons and ligaments. He's as good of a defensive player as there is in the league, but we all know that BB pays players for what they will do, not what they did do. Considering his current and possible future condition, will BB extend him this offseason? Will 2014 be the last season for Wilfork? As amazing as it sounds, the defense can live without him, but I don't want to see it. I still miss Seymour too though.

I think 2013 was successful, not because we overcame injuries (because everyone deals with it and I hate making excuses), but because getting to the AFCCG is pretty freaking good. There can only be one, and we weren't it this year. It was still a great run, better than every team but 2. We still have a handful of shots with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

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From what I've seen of Edelman and Amendola their entire careers, my opinion has only changed slightly after this season. I don't think Edelman is as good of a receiver as Amendola, in any respect.

That being said, Edelman surprised the hell out of me this season -- I was convinced that he was nothing more than a special teams player, after being given several opportunities in the past to impress and failing to do so every time. He proved me wrong consistently this year, he has that quality that Welker had in spades to go out there on a route over the middle and blow up the defender twice your size and then get up and back into the huddle, the dudes tough.

Amendola unfortunately had a pretty bad injury week 2, that I'm confident pretty much ruined his seasons potential. Dude tore his groin and opted not to have surgery and then played through it.

I agree with everyone here, we need to get Talib locked up for next year, either franchised or a team friendly multi-year deal, however unlikely it might be -- but you never know, BB seemed like the only guy in the league willing to give Talib a shot and it paid dividends.

Also agree with prioritizing the pass rush, Jones and Ninkovich have been lights out, who knows what the defense would have looked like if Wilfork and Mayo could have been there.

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They added 3 young WRs last year through the draft, while their contributions were fairly limited last year I think they view that as their investment in the position. I doubt they do much beyond signing 3-4 cheap veteran guys with the hope 1-2 stick.

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Problem is, they could never take on the associated cap hit.

They could if he restructured.

He would have to restructure first and then get traded. You have to be able to fit the player in under the cap at the time he gets acquired. I suppose it could be possible if they did it on like Day 1 of the new football season, but they would probably be hamstrung to make many other moves until he got a new deal.

Fitz does not strike of the type to throwaway money, as he has been asked multiple times to take one for the team and help the Cardinals out. And what do people actually think he would agree to play for? He's not going to play for cheap. He's due to get $13 - $16M a year the rest of the way in Arizona.

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Problem is, they could never take on the associated cap hit.

They could if he restructured.

He would have to restructure first and then get traded. You have to be able to fit the player in under the cap at the time he gets acquired. I suppose it could be possible if they did it on like Day 1 of the new football season, but they would probably be hamstrung to make many other moves until he got a new deal.

Fitz does not strike of the type to throwaway money, as he has been asked multiple times to take one for the team and help the Cardinals out. And what do people actually think he would agree to play for? He's not going to play for cheap. He's due to get $13 - $16M a year the rest of the way in Arizona.

I think alot depends on if they get some relief on the cap from Hernandez's 7.5 million. I wouldn't expect Fitz to take less but they could structure the contract so he only counts 12-14 against the cap instead of 18. Gotta figure if they keep Edelman, he'd be atleast 4 against the cap. If they could get a few million in relief for Hernandez. Those two alone and they would be half way there. I don;t know any of those numbers for sure so just speculating.

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I doubt they do much beyond signing 3-4 cheap veteran guys with the hope 1-2 stick.

aka, what they do every year.

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Problem is, they could never take on the associated cap hit.

They could if he restructured.

He would have to restructure first and then get traded. You have to be able to fit the player in under the cap at the time he gets acquired. I suppose it could be possible if they did it on like Day 1 of the new football season, but they would probably be hamstrung to make many other moves until he got a new deal.

Fitz does not strike of the type to throwaway money, as he has been asked multiple times to take one for the team and help the Cardinals out. And what do people actually think he would agree to play for? He's not going to play for cheap. He's due to get $13 - $16M a year the rest of the way in Arizona.

I think alot depends on if they get some relief on the cap from Hernandez's 7.5 million. I wouldn't expect Fitz to take less but they could structure the contract so he only counts 12-14 against the cap instead of 18. Gotta figure if they keep Edelman, he'd be atleast 4 against the cap. If they could get a few million in relief for Hernandez. Those two alone and they would be half way there. I don;t know any of those numbers for sure so just speculating.

I doubt they would get cap relief from AH as 31 other teams would cry bloody murder. The only way to try that would be if they didn't release him and rode it out until he got suspended. But they didn't do that. They might get some cap credit from a guy they signed who I can't remember his name. IIRC, there was a lineman or a linebacker they signed to a multi year deal but he later failed a physical and they cut him before he even played a game. They had to eat the cap hit and asked for relief, but last I knew there had not been a decision rendered or announced.

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I doubt they do much beyond signing 3-4 cheap veteran guys with the hope 1-2 stick.

aka, what they do every year.

Except 2007 when they loaded up on receivers (kept Gaffney, added Stallworth, traded for Moss and Welker). I do think they trade for or sign a bigger name (Roddy White?) and somehow add another TE.

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Problem is, they could never take on the associated cap hit.

They could if he restructured.

He would have to restructure first and then get traded. You have to be able to fit the player in under the cap at the time he gets acquired. I suppose it could be possible if they did it on like Day 1 of the new football season, but they would probably be hamstrung to make many other moves until he got a new deal.

Fitz does not strike of the type to throwaway money, as he has been asked multiple times to take one for the team and help the Cardinals out. And what do people actually think he would agree to play for? He's not going to play for cheap. He's due to get $13 - $16M a year the rest of the way in Arizona.

I think alot depends on if they get some relief on the cap from Hernandez's 7.5 million. I wouldn't expect Fitz to take less but they could structure the contract so he only counts 12-14 against the cap instead of 18. Gotta figure if they keep Edelman, he'd be atleast 4 against the cap. If they could get a few million in relief for Hernandez. Those two alone and they would be half way there. I don;t know any of those numbers for sure so just speculating.

I doubt they would get cap relief from AH as 31 other teams would cry bloody murder. The only way to try that would be if they didn't release him and rode it out until he got suspended. But they didn't do that. They might get some cap credit from a guy they signed who I can't remember his name. IIRC, there was a lineman or a linebacker they signed to a multi year deal but he later failed a physical and they cut him before he even played a game. They had to eat the cap hit and asked for relief, but last I knew there had not been a decision rendered or announced.

I believe and im not 100% sure, Hernandez prolly won't help this year since the trial won't be over yet. But if he's convicted, they get his cap 7.5 million added to next year as well his his number taken off the cap as well. I believe thats what i read.

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I doubt they do much beyond signing 3-4 cheap veteran guys with the hope 1-2 stick.

aka, what they do every year.

Except 2007 when they loaded up on receivers (kept Gaffney, added Stallworth, traded for Moss and Welker). I do think they trade for or sign a bigger name (Roddy White?) and somehow add another TE.

No, they did it that year too. It just happened to work that year.

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This was reported this week . . .

Complicating matters is Aaron Hernandez, who is on the books for a $7.5 million cap charge next season. The Patriots are in an awkward position of having to root for Hernandez to be officially charged in the 2012 Boston double murder, which would thwart his grievance against the team and give the Patriots recourse to recoup his entire $12.5 million signing bonus. The Patriots will likely be able to reduce his cap charge by $3.25 million once they avoid paying him his final bonus installment in March (which he is fighting), but any other cap relief will only come if they can recoup dollars already paid to him, which seems unlikely given his legal costs and other bills.

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Pats are going to save a bunch on Wilfork's contract and 11.6 million cap hit. He's gonna have to take a team friendly deal or risk being cut imo as crazy as that sounds. He wasn't the same player last season before suffering a season ending injury and he's reportedly put on a lot of weight.

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Can we now stop calling Edelman a PR and more a legitimate WR2?

I still don't think that is the case. Edelman would not be a WR2 on the majority of NFL teams. He would not get 150+ targets anywhere else. I also don't think that one healthy year out of five cements him as a lock to suit up every week. I sort of agree with BB that a lot of guys could do well playing the slot in NE, and Edelman just illustrated that this season. I don't really think he is a fit to play on the outside on a regular basis, so he is predominantly a slot receiver. I think Amendola can be used in more ways than Edelman and could play more on the outside or run deeper routes than Edelman.

If NE goes and signs a bigger name free agent WR (possible to probable), maybe invests another early pick on a WR (probably not) or TE (more likely), Gronk and Amendola come back healthier (we can all dream), Dobson continues to progress and all of a sudden Edelman is back to being a situational guy and the 4th or 5th option after FA WR, Gronk, Amendola, Vereen, and maybe Dobson. (I'm not sure that Thompkins or Boyce will be back.)

I have heard talking heads say he will be able to get a $5 year, $30 million deal in free agency, and I don't see it. If so, great for him, but I don't think the Pats will give him that much per year or that many years.

I think Boyce could be the one that surprises in 2014. Came into camp injured and then fought injuries all season. Great, great athlete. If he can overcome the injury bug I think he may end up being the best of all the rookie WR's the Pats brought in last year.

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I think Boyce could be the one that surprises in 2014. Came into camp injured and then fought injuries all season. Great, great athlete. If he can overcome the injury bug I think he may end up being the best of all the rookie WR's the Pats brought in last year.

They were all hurt all season. Boyce was the one that did the least when on the field.

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I think Edelman unfortunately is gone. Houston will pay him to be their slot guy and it'll be a great signing by them. Better hope Danny A can stay healthy.

I'd LOVE to see them go low risk/high reward to try to get Justin Blackmon. If he and Gronk are on the same team playing 13-16 games Pats are the #1 seed in the AFC.

I'd also like to see upgrade to interior of OL. Every playoff exit since 2007 has stemmed from the fact their OL has been tossed around like rag dolls.

And while I don't think they can totally turn the D over, much like Rodney Harrison wrote today, they need a few attitude players. Ironically, they are going to let their best one walk in Spikes. But would love a mean safety and/or LB who can just lay the wood.

Not to be too copycat, but like the fans of the 31 other teams watching last night, I couldn't help but think "Man, why isn't my teams defense this fast and tenacious and hard-hitting?" It's not really a physical skill thing either, it's a habit/attitude thing, and the Pats have been missing it since Rodney, Brian Cox, et al.

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It would not surprise me if they made a run at signing Decker to essentially trade Welker for Decker. It would strengthen their own team while weakening their biggest competition.

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It would not surprise me if they made a run at signing Decker to essentially trade Welker for Decker. It would strengthen their own team while weakening their biggest competition.

I haven't watched enough of him to know how I'd feel about him being a #1 outside guy. I mean I guess he's #2 behind Gronk anyway, and potentially even #3 behind the slot guy. If he can be had for a decent contract I'd be all for it, but I think he capitalizes on the 2013 Bronco hype and gets a ton of money by the Rams or someone and disappears.

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Not sure how many of you listen to - or are aware of - the radio show PFW in Progress, but I'd highly recommend it as a way to stay informed on Patriots news during the off-season. They're also a great source of information during the season as well.

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It would not surprise me if they made a run at signing Decker to essentially trade Welker for Decker. It would strengthen their own team while weakening their biggest competition.

I haven't watched enough of him to know how I'd feel about him being a #1 outside guy. I mean I guess he's #2 behind Gronk anyway, and potentially even #3 behind the slot guy. If he can be had for a decent contract I'd be all for it, but I think he capitalizes on the 2013 Bronco hype and gets a ton of money by the Rams or someone and disappears.

Decker had 1 catch for 6 yards on Sherman's side.

This guy has bust written all over him outside of Denver.

No thanks.

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