I love this picture, I really do. Taken after one of Benjamin Watson's touchdowns in the 2009 MNF season opener against the Buffalo Bills, the photographer captured the pure joy of a man who was "that close" to being cut from the team. 404 yards, 29 receptions, 13.9 YPC and 5 TDs on a team that doesn't really utilize tight ends for their reception abilities. Not too shabby. Benjamin, if 2009 was your last season as a Patriot, thanks for all the great memories. You've been good to us.
If Watson does end up heading for the door, what happens now? Chris Baker was cut, leaving Robbie Agnone and Rob Myers to fill the void (yeah, I had to look it up too, both FA-09 acquisitions from other teams who had cut them - not promising). Sure, this team doesn't necessarily value big men with big hands, but this has got me a little nervous. Have they got there eyes on some FA's? Maybe they saw someone at the combine that could be a good draft candidate. Who knows.
Moving on to defensive ends... Richard Seymour's trade to Oakland, at least to this blogger, no longer seems wise. Yeah, I know he was getting a little injury prone, but comparing his early seasons to his last few as a Patriot is a little unfair, dontcha think? I mean, the guy was in the Pro Bowl like 47 times early in his career. Guys are bound to lose a step as they get a bit older, but his value to the younger guys can't be denied.
IMO, we are hurtin' real bad at defensive end. Jarvis who? Like tight end, it's hard to know what Darth Hoodius has up his sleave. Free agency, draft, you name it. I have no idea what he's going to do. Yeah, Mike Wright has paid his dues and does what he's asked, but is he starter worthy? As The Hill points out, Myron Pryor and Ron Brace also need to step up, but are they capable of jumping in at defensive end? I always thought of them as interior defensive guys, but you never know; Vince "I'm a wealthy man!!" Wilfork showed it could be done this past year and he's gettin' paid for it.
Or is Hoodie, in this world of 3-4 alignments, thinking about 4-3 as a base defense? Wilfork, Pryor, Wright or Brace, and a premier pass rushing end. I can't see them abandoning the 3-4 when it seems to work for them, but what's a blogger to write about?
Yes, "The Ends" have me worried. As usual, we need to wait and see. Anything can happen and often does. No sense in getting worked up about it.