There has been a lot of activity in the AFC East so far this off-season. Some teams try and retain their talent, others have a fire sale. Tom Curran does a good job of reviewing this current off-season and all of its moves. How do the New England Patriots stack up against the rest of the AFC East?
New England Patriots:
Pick-Ups: ST Marques Murrell (New York Jets), WR David Patten
Re-Signed: OLB Tully Banta-Cain, G Stephen Neal, NT Vince Wilfork, CB Leigh Bodden, RB Kevin Faulk
More after the jump!
New York Jets:
Pick-Ups: S Brodney Pool, CB Antonio Cromartie, RB LaDainian Tomlinson
Re-Signed: TE Ben Hartsock
Lost: RB Thomas Jones, CB Lito Sheppard, S Kerry Rhodes, CB Donald Strickland
Pick-Ups: LB Karlos Dansby
Re-Signed: NT Jason Ferguson, QB Chad Pennington
Lost: CB Nathan Jones, LB Joey Porter, S Gibril Wilson, LB Akin Ayodele
Pick-Ups: OT Cornell Green
Re-Signed: OLB Bryan Scott, TE Joe Klopfenstein
Lost: OT Jonathan Scott, OT Brad Butler, TE Derek Fine, WR Justin Jenkins, S John Wendling, DT Marcus Smith, LB Ashlee Palmer, C Marvin Philip
Team Betterment in Respect to Last Season:
1. New York Jets - I have the Jets first. Why? I think Poole and Tomlinson are downgrades under Rhodes and Jones, respectively. However, Cromartie is an upgrade over Sheppard and if there's a small chance that he retains his 2007 form, it would be hell for QBs everywhere. So while the Jets lost some quality players, they adequately replaced them, while improving the CB position.
2. New England Patriots - We're second in team betterment due to us only retaining players and not signing new players. We are left with a gaping hole at TE after this Free Agency, which is why I gave the edge to New York on team betterment. We're left with a team in the same position as last season- not better, not (really) worse.
3. Miami Dolphins - Dansby is a good pick-up, but the fact that they lost their other players drops their team betterment rank. Porter can still play and Dansby is just a marginal improvement over Ayodele. Their safety position got worse, as did their OLB position.
4. Buffalo Bills - They sold the house and got a 34 year old OT, who played on the Raiders, in return. Terrible, in my opinion. Then again, they didn't lose much in terms of quality since they're already starting from the bottom of the barrel.
1. New England Patriots - Wilfork, Bodden and TBC were all in the top 2 of their respect Free Agency position. Neal is still excellent as a starter, although he's a health concern, and Faulk is still the best 3rd down back in the league. Watson and Baker had limited utility on our offense, while Green will be replaced by Mike Wright and Myron Pryor. No brainer.
2. New York Jets - Cromartie is a good pick-up, but I can't overlook the downgrade from Thomas Jones (quality locker room player who is coming off his best season ever) to LT (me-first player, coming off his worst season ever). I'd say that their player quality retention is neutral in respect to last season.
3. Miami Dolphins - They got Dansby, who is good, but lost Porter, Ayodele and Wilson. While Phans may not mourn the loss of these players, they provide depth and experience on a young team that can use everything it can get.
4. Buffalo Bills - Once again, they sold their house and got nothing in return so far.
What are your thoughts?