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What should the Patriots do with $16M burning a hole in their pocket?

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That was one nutty weekend, fer shure dude.  Friday night, Matt Cassel was rumored to have been traded to the Bucs; Saturday it was confirmed he was heading to Arrowhead Stadium with OLB Mike Vrabel.  Sunday, it was reported he was part of a failed three way (get your mind out of the gutter) which had Cassel going to Denver for a high first rounder, McDaniels dealing Cutler to Tampa Bay, and Vrabel to KC.  I won't dredge up whether or not this was a successful weekend; everyone has their opinions and they're all worthwhile.  I would, however, like to focus on the future, on what is needed in Foxboro TODAY.  And what to do with ~$16 million in cap space.

We were in trouble before this weekend, serious trouble.  So much so that we tweaked Randy Moss' deal:

The Patriots took $1.5 million of what Moss was to earn in 2009 and guaranteed that figure by turning it into a bonus. That freed up about $750,000 on the 2009 salary cap, and will increase Moss's salary cap charge in 2010.

That strikes me as a "we're eating macaroni and cheese to pay the electric bill" kind of move, but whaddya gonna do?  We needed to free up cap space and quickly.  Again, I won't go into whether or not the Cassel/Vrabel trade was a good one, but let's get a move on and figure out how we should spend the money.

In a recent poll on this site, DBs spanked every other position with a whopping 54% and second place going to LBs with a respectable 28%.  I'm working on a far more detailed analysis (depth charts, etc...), but here's a few random thoughts to get this pahty stahted:

Cornerback - With Ellis Hobbs as our top option and 2nd year guys Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite the next best options, Hoodie should think about paying for a star corner.  We tried the veteran route in 2008 with Deltha O'Neal and look where that got us.  We have youth with the Wheatley/Wilhite duo and Hobbs isn't in a wheelchair just yet, so let's pay for a top 5 free agent veteran.

Safety - S James Sanders agreed to a 3 year deal and, at 25, has a lot left in his tank.  He is projected to start next to Brandon Meriweather who had a good year in 2008.  Beyond that, it's anyone's guess.  I've heard zilch about Tank Williams, one of my preseason favorites, and his contract was a one year deal for 2008.  Sure, we still have Rodney Harrison (may retire), Raymond Ventrone, and Mark Dillard, but we could still use a solid third guy or a hybrid safety/linebacker for nickel and dime packages.

Linebacker - With Mike Vrabel's trade to KC, it was vital to tie up Pierre Woods and the Patriots did just that.  Starting at OLB with Woods will be Adalius Thomas.  He had a rough 2008 injury-wise, so I'm hoping he's good and rested for 2009.  At ILB, DROY Jerod Mayo will hang alongside Tedy Bruschi.  I love my man Tedy, but we need some youth here and quick.  I would think another Jerod-like ILB would be Priority 1 for the Patriots.

Ok gang, fire away.  Where would you put our money?  Are there any FA's or potential draftees you're interested in?  What do we do with our draft picks, specifically the first 2: 1st round 23 and 2nd round 2, 34th overall?