With some high profile Pats heading into free agency, the games begin. Who gets a deal? Who do we tell, "Thanks, but no thanks."? Maybe we have enough depth in certain areas to thin out a bit. Who knows. Belichick and Caserio probably have some sort of a plan...at least I hope so.
The biggest free agency issue is obviously franchising Matt Cassel. Left with little choice, NE has to take a $14.65 million cap hit to insure we can have some semblance of a successful season. As an insurance policy, it's what we have to do. There's so little info coming out of Foxboro that it's almost impossible to tell, but if Brady, with some certainty, projects to be ready, the franchise tag was one shrewd move. Again, if Brady's ready, Matt would be a great bargaining chip to move up in the draft from our first round position of 23rd. I wouldn't put it past Belichick and crew. But, who else should we be worried about?
One of the highest profile free agents is LaMont Jordan. Jordan has been quoted as saying it would be "a business decision" which could translate to, "I want some scratch." It's very likely LaMont will go elsewhere; the Pats simply don't have the cash (2 expensive quarterbacks) to play too many games. Moss? Sure, no problem. 1 of 5 running backs? Maybe not so sure. Maroney and Morris were pretty banged up coming into 2008; Maroney ended up on IR and Morris missed several games. Kevin Faulk jumped in and did a bang up job and guess who we discovered in the process? That's right, "Law Firm". BenJarvus Green-Ellis did a darn good job for an unsigned free agent promoted from our practice squad. LaMont, I love ya man, but I think you'll be packin'.
Another interesting Patriot FA is Jabar Gaffney. I was very down on Jabar at the end of the season for some big drops, but all our WRs had issues, even Moss. In '07 he made some unbelieveable catches and was pretty productive as the third man. I say offer him a 2 year deal.
Safety James Sanders is also a free agent. This may be an important guy to go after if Rodney Harrison decides to call it a career. Sure, we have Brandon Meriweather and Tank Williams may be back, but having Sanders on board would help. If we decide to use a draft pick for safety, Sanders still makes sense until the rookie comes up to speed.
Going back to the backfield, FB Heath Evans is a free agent as well. If, by chance, both LaMont and Heath decide to head elsewhere, I have a suggestion for Bill and Nick: GO...AFTER...BRANDON...JACOBS. The 264 pound NY Giant RB gave me fits when we played against him. Can you imagine "The Beast" in a Patriot uniform? Cool, way cool.