ESPN's Mark Dominik used to be the general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dominik was let go after the 2013 season, but not after making such ground-breaking transactions like trading Aqib Talib to the Patriots for a 4th round pick, and trading LeGarrette Blount to the Patriots for a 7th round pick.
He should be familiar with the Patriots roster. Yet when asked to construct "The Ultimate 53-Man Roster," where he builds a rookie-less roster while staying under the current salary cap, he includes a whopping zero members of New England. Dumpster fires like the 49ers, Titans, Buccaneers, and (sorry) Saints are the only other teams to miss the cut.
How the heck does a former-GM let this happen?
There are some Patriots players that should be on every ultimate team. Rob Gronkowski is the most unique offensive player in the league. Jamie Collins and his tiny cap hit offers the best bang-for-your-buck at linebacker. Come on.
At tight end, Dominik includes the Chiefs Travis Kelce, which is fine; the tight end is a bargain at $850k. But he goes on to include the Panthers Greg Olsen and his $6.3 million cap hit. Gronkowski's cap hit is $10.65 million, which is considerably greater.
At linebacker, Collins and his $1.03 million cap hit couldn't find a spot, yet the Rams James Laurinaitis ($4.28 million) and the Steelers Ryan Shazier and his 260 snaps as a rookie ($2.16 million) make the squad?
I don't care, you make the space for Gronk and Collins.
Dominik includes Bills running back LeSean McCoy for $5.5 million. Why not use the Dolphins Lamar Miller or the Ravens Justin Forsett at $1.6 million? Or the Bengals Jeremy Hill at $850k? Any of these would offer similar production and considerably more upside.
Heck, Dominik includes Joe Haden at cornerback ($11.7 million) and brags that he had the money for Richard Sherman ($12.2 million). What about the Broncos Chris Harris Jr. and his $3 million cap hit?! Harris was a top five or ten cornerback and that cap hit is a total bargain.
I'm getting heated for Broncos fans.
Put on Gronkowski, Collins, Harris, and Hill. Take off Olsen, Shazier, Haden, and McCoy. I just saved you $10 million of your cap space.
Alternatively, you can keep Haden. Instead, we can flip Gronk, Collins, and Hill for Olsen, Shazier, and McCoy, and upgrade the 4th cornerback on your depth chart, Jason Verrett ($1.79 million) to Chris Harris.
How's that sound? I just upgraded your starting corners, your tight end, and your linebacker spot, all for changing McCoy to Jeremy Hill.