FanPost

Who Should the Patriots Re-Sign?

As we wait on the Miami game, the bye week, and then the playoffs, it's never too soon to think about working the roster for next year. Thanks to this excellent and helpful listing by Mike Rodak, published on Mike Reiss's blog, we have a glimpse of the Patriots roster by length of contract. Several things stand out: first, the great balance the Patriots have in terms of not having all the key players coming up at the same time and the way they spread out the roster between 2010 and 2014; second, the last group of contracts expiring after 2014 includes Brady, Wilfork, Gostkowski, and---McCourty. Those are arguably THE key guys, and while it's probably coincidence, it says something that McCourty is grouped with that company.

But what about the players whose contracts expire after this 2010 season? Who should be re-signed? Who should be let go? More after the jump.

Let's run down this list player by player:

1) CB Kyle Arrington- struggled yesterday but had a key pick-six against the Packers and has started regularly this year. He's young, talented, and has picked up valuable experience this year. He'd be an even better backup corner than a starter next year.

Re-signing priority: Medium to High

2) S Josh Barrett - picked up on waivers from Denver but was already on IR. I'm thinking the Pats must have seen potential in him and knew they had time to wait until he healed. He's hardly a priority but since they sought him out, it wouldn't surprise me to see him kept while other safeties are let go.

Re-signing priority: Low

3) RB Kevin Faulk - the toughest call on this list. Few players have meant more to the Patriots over the years. I think he could still perform, in spots, in his usual clutch ways. But would I keep him over Woodhead? Do we need two backs who play essentially the same role? Doubtful. Maybe he comes back for one more year just to have around for insurance. But it wouldn't surprise me to see him featured at a Bruschi-style retirement press conference in the off-season. And, as with Bruschi. I'd have moist eyes as the conference unfolded. This decision will be a classic case of reality versus sentiment.

Re-signing priority: Low

4) K Shayne Graham - he's done a great job this year, and I'll admit I was very worried when Ghost went down. However, a team only needs one kicker at a time and I expect the Patriots will turn him loose with appreciation for a job well done when #3 returns.

Re-signing priority: Low

5) RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis - a no-brainer. He's given the Patriots the kind of consistent back who can score (12 TDs), gain yards (900+ with an outside chance at 1000), and not fumble (his next fumble will be his first). Even with a running-back-by-committee approach, he stands out. Plus, he's already here, he's familiar with the system, he can catch passes, he's young....and on and on and on.

Re-signing priority: High

6) OL Matt Light - he's aging but he's still near the top of his game and is worth bringing back for a veteran presence. He may be phased out over the next several years, but I think the Patriots need him.

Re-signing priority: High

7) S Bret Lockett - this team is stocked with safeties so a lot of these guys are going to be gone. Despite his ability to play special teams, I don't see Lockett sticking next year.

Re-signing priority: Low

8) OL Logan Mankins - a few players really are crucial and are worth the money. Not to the point where it would wreck the salary cap (if and when that returns), but Brady, Wilfork, and probably Mankins are sound investments. I expect the Patriots to try very hard to get a deal done, despite the nastiness of last summer. He's shown his worth and value to the team once again. And the worst-case scenario for the offensive line would be if Neal retires and Light and Mankins leave as free agents. That's a lot of patch work for Coach Scar to do.

Re-signing priority: High

9) S Brandon McGowan - a starter at the beginning of 2009 who has talent but was on IR this year. Whether he comes back probably depends partly on his asking price and where he fits with Barrett, Lockett, Jarrad Page,  and Sergio Brown who are likely all competing for the 4th safety spot behind Chung, Sanders, and Meriweather. McGowan has starting experience but might lose out to Page and/or Brown because they add special teams value.

Re-signing priority: Low

10) RB Sammy Morris - he's been a solid guy since coming over from the 'phins in 2007. And he can run, can catch passes, and play on special teams. But I'd be surprised if he didn't give way to a younger back, either in the draft or an undrafted free agent.

Re-signing priority: Low

11) Quinn Ojinnaka - hasn't played much but has managed to stick around even with a revolving door of O-linemen on and off the roster and the practice squad. He had experience in Atlanta so he's something of a veteran presence. His value will rise if Neal retires and Mankins isn't re-signed. But he's hardly indispensable

Re-signing priority: Low

12) S Jarrad Page - has really come on these last several games. He's young, experienced, adds good special teams value, and might be the most likely to succeed of the Barrett/Lockett/McGowan group. If Page is our 4th safety, we're in really good shape since he could probably start for a lot of teams. But if starting is his goal, he might not want to stay since it would hard to see him beating out Chung, Sanders, or Meriweather.

Re-signing priority: Medium

13) DL Darryl Richard - has been around for a couple seasons but has mostly been hurt and has probably been passed by Deaderick, Love, Pryor, Brace and all the other young D-linemen. Unless Mike Wright (he's been out since the Colts game over a month ago) or Myron Pryor have career-threatening injuries, I don't think Richard has a very good chance of sticking.

Re-signing priority: Low

14) RB Fred Taylor - a great pro, seemingly a nice guy, but I think there's no chance he comes back in 2011. His roster spot will go to a younger back, even if it's a slightly younger NFL veteran.

Re-signing priority: Low

15) DL Gerard Warren - has done a very good job this year. I suppose a lot depends on whether the coaching staff saw him as a one-year fill in for Ty Warren or as a potential starter and contributor even when Ty returns next year. He adds a solid veteran presence on a mostly young D-line.

Re-signing priority: Medium

16) OL Ryan Wendell - a typical Patriots o-linemen story: uncelebrated guy signs, gets coached up by the best line coach in the business, and becomes a solid linemen. I think the Patriots will bring him back because he provides experienced depth and he becomes even more valuable depending on what happens with Mankins and Neal. Plus, he's not likely to be expensive. Now, if Dan Connolly can teach him to return punts, he becomes even more valuable!

Re-signing priority: Medium to High

17) LB Tracy White - another no-brainer. He's a special teams ace and made an immediate impact and kept it up all year. He does good work although I'm not sure he's much of a linebacker. He might get caught in a numbers crunch eventually, but Bill Belichick values good special team players and that's what White is.

Re-signing priority: High

The views expressed in these FanPosts are not necessarily those of the writers or SBNation.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Pats Pulpit

You must be a member of Pats Pulpit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pats Pulpit. You should read them.

Join Pats Pulpit

You must be a member of Pats Pulpit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pats Pulpit. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker