Part 1: Free Agency
*Disclaimer: This article is not grounded at all in reality and is subject for fallacies and looney ideas. However it does contain information from walterfootball, bleacherreport, ESPN, overthecap, NFL.com and from the mind of JustaPhan.
I originally wanted to do a couple articles that related to the Star Wars theme. When the Broncos played the Patriots in the AFC Championship game, I was going to write two articles. The first was going to receive the title of "Peyton Manning, Return of the Jedi" and how he’s gotten "Star Wars numbers." The other would showcase the wonderful mind of Bill Bellichick aptly named, "Kill Bill 8: Revenge of the Sith."
However, the writers and fans on here have done a incredible job of writing articles that are both insightful and interesting that got at everything I wanted to say so I held off on writing them. I have also looked at many of the fanposts dealing with the upcoming draft (also very interesting) and free agency and I thought I would offer some of my personal thoughts on what the Patriots should do this offseason.
Will reality match this fantasy, I can say with 100% certainty that it will not. I know basically the same amount of information as the average fan and barely anything about the cap or draft profiles. Nonetheless I wanted to hear some feedback on some of these proposed ideas especially with the salaries and draft profiles because everything here is basically a shot in the dark.
This first article will be what the Patriots should do in Free Agency; the second will deal with the Draft, and finally a couple tweaks and next season’s projections in the third article.
• Isaac Sapoaga, DT
• Adrian Wilson, S
Just some cap saving moves.
• Aqib Talib, CB: 4 years less than 30m
If I had to pick a free agent to resign, I would put Talib as priority #1. I believe he makes the defense into what Coach Bill envisions. Isn’t that right Coach? You can answer in the comments, It’s ok.
• Michael Hoomanawanui, TE: 2 years min
The Patriots need someone that is reliable at TE and Hoo-Man seems to be the guy.
• Will Svitek, OL: 1 year min
• Ryan Wendell, C: 2 year min*
I have no clue how to gauge Wendell at all, whatsoever, none, I mean I didn’t even know he was the center, right, ok.
Clay Danny Aiken, LS: 2 year min
The Patriots probably need a long snapper not a singer but I wouldn’t know.
• Julian Edelman, WR: 3 years less than 13m
The WR that Brady is most comfortable with and a premier punt returner, but I think he’s the luxury item on this list.
• Maurice Jones-Drew, RB: 2 years min
I think he might want to win a championship and what better chance than the Patriots, accounting for fit with team.
• Unnamed Center at this time
They might get a center in FA but I have no idea or even if they will, so I’ll leave this here.
• Vince Wilfork, DT: 3 years less than 10m
• Dan Connelly, OL: 4 years less than 10m
• Matt Slater, ST: 3 years less than 3m
• Stevan Ridley, RB: 4 years less than 10m
• Stephen Gostkowski, K: 4 years less than 5m
• Devin McCourty, S: 4 years less than 15m
Wilfork has to be restructured as do Connelly and Slater. I think Wilfork can play at a solid level for 2 more years and Slater is an ace so it makes sense to extend his contract. I think the Patriots should extend their young and solid running back, Ridley. I chose Stevan instead of Vereen because Shane hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Ghost and Connelly could be expendables but I think they restructure.
*I want to stress this again, I know almost nothing about the cap situation or the salaries so I looked at players that were roughly perceived to be of same value and assigned salaries based off of that. I also do not like Star Wars.
5. Trade [Crazy but is it really?]
• 2014 R3 pick
• 2015 R1 pick
• 2016 R1 pick
• Ryan Mallet, QB
• Steven Gregory, S
This is probably where I will lose most of you. I think the Patriots should trade all of the aforementioned items to the Texans for their First and Second round picks. This might seem a little crazy but I will list why this makes sense, at least to me. The Texans need a QB and if I recall, Bill O’Brien likes Ryan Mallet but I don’t think he’s worth a 2nd round pick. They might also be hesitant to pick a QB with their first pick. The Texans also need some safety help and Gregory could provide a solid contribution.
The Patriots don’t really need any top talent however I think this draft has the exact players that Coach Bill needs and he should be in the perfect position to get those players. Unfortunately there are so many variables that can’t be accounted for like how much the Patriots actually value Mallet, or how much the first pick is worth, or even is Jadeveon Clowney worth that pick (spoiler) so this trade idea is way, way, way, way off base. The caveat here also is the Texan’s cap space so that could play a factor.
•2014 R6 pick for 2015+2016 R7 picks
This move is basically because I didn’t know what to do with one of the 6th round picks.
6. Conclusions, Cap Projection, and Upcoming attraction
• Edelman is not resigned; no real reliable receiver
• Edelman is not resigned; no real reliable returner
• The trade that mortgages first round picks and Mallet
• No real backup QB
• Did not address OLine
I believe teams should be built inside out meaning starting from the lines. I did not address the OLine at all and will not address it because it’s so important that I’m going to ignore it. In all honesty, I have no clues on what to do with the OLine. I think it takes take to make a great unit and unfortunately Brady doesn’t have that luxury. So I will go out and upgrade the DLine and have a great running game, while rolling with the guys they have to see what the new OLine coach can do. This way, at least Tom is accustomed to this line and the guys upfront are pretty good at run blocking.
• Cap space
• Solid unit
• Stocked draft
There is not a ton of pros with these free agency moves; however it does give the Patriots some freedom. Not only will they have enough cap space to move around a little, they will also be in prime positions to pick players that could be a major factor for years to come.
Accounting for the trades, resignings(besides Edelmen), cuts, and the new cap but not the situation with Voldemort, I think that equals out to be right around 4-8m which, correct me if I’m wrong, is enough for the draft.
• Check out my thoughts on the upcoming draft in my next article.