2012 Patriots Free Agent Preview

DE Mark Anderson
Anderson came into the season as a long shot to make the roster and this was kind of his last shot to prove he was more than a 1 year wonder. Anderson exceeded every single expectation and really increased his value.

The question will be now, how much does Anderson think he’s worth. The Patriots have revived his career and I am sure he would like to come back. It’s extremely tough to find pass rushers and the Patriots need to find a way to keep him. I expect him to sign a contract in the range of 3 years and 10-13 million.

DE Andre Carter
Carter is another player who came in and completely exceeded expectations. Unlike Anderson, Carter is nearing the end of his career. I get the feeling that Carter is much more concerned about winning and playing in this organization than signing another big contract. If the Patriots can sign Carter and Anderson then they will be able to focus on adding pass rushers at the linebacker position.

Carter will also give the Patriots the versatility to play both 3-4 and 4-3. I think Carter will be back next year most likely on a 1 year deal.

DE Shaun Ellis
Ellis was paid somewhere in the neighborhood of 4.5 million this season and came in with much higher expectations than Anderson or Carter. Needless to say Ellis’ production did not match the contract. Ellis did play better in the playoffs, but I think Ellis’ career may be over. Ellis will not be back with the Patriots next season.

DT Gerard Warren
Warren played very well down the stretch and can still stop the run. Warren is on his last legs and if he plays anywhere next year it will be with the Patriots in a reserve roll.

LB Gary Guyton
If you follow me on twitter you know how I feel about Gary Guyton. Guyton was a huge liability in both run and pass coverage. He is a tremendous athlete, but there is a reason why he wasn’t drafted despite running a 4.4 as a LB. Guyton was inactive the last 4 regular season games and throughout the playoffs. I highly doubt and I hope Guyton is not back next year and they should be able to upgrade his roster spot.

LB Tracy White
White was an UFA last year and the Patriots brought him back. White is a very good special teams player and is a key component to all their Special Teams units. I think White is a player the Patriots will value much higher than other teams and for that reason I think they bring him back on a 2 year deal.

LB Niko Koutivides
Koutivides was in training camp with the Patriots and then brought back later in the year to add LB depth and ST depth. Koutivides is a “JAG” and most likely will not be back with the Patriots.

CB Antwaun Molden
Molden was exploited badly in the Super Bowl and throughout the year. He is a player that the Patriots were obviously high on because he made the team despite not being on the roster at all in training camp. He is someone who may be brough back as the #5 CB however the Patriots MUST upgrade their CB depth as he is not someone who should be covering an elite WR in man coverage.

CB Nate Jones
Jones is another one of those “JAGs” who provided depth throughout the season. He won’t be back.

S James Ihedigbo
I really like Ihedigbo…as a special teams player and depth safety. He can not cover to save his life and was continually exploited throughout the year. Safety is a position which the Patriots are definitely going to upgrade in the offseason. If I had to guess I would say Ihedigbo is not brought back, unless it’s in a special teams only capacity.

Exclusive Rights Free Agent

DT Kyle Love
Love is someone who has shown he can play in the league and is a very solid run support player. I like him more as a rotational DT than a full time player. I think the Patriots add a more dynamic interior tackle in the offseason. Love will unquestionably be back next year.

Restricted Free Agents

QB Brian Hoyer
Hoyer is likely to be the free agent who will draw the most interest from other teams. He has shown that he has the tools to be a successful QB in this league. There are going to be a number of teams looking for QBs this offseason and with Matt Flynn’s price tag likely to be sky high they may turn their attention to Hoyer. I expect the Patriots to tender him with at least a 2nd round tender, meaning that they will receive a draft pick if another team signs him.

Hoyer is a great chip to have as he could bring in other draft choices or assets. The Patriots drafted Ryan Mallet last year and if they are comfortable with his progress and development I think we will see the Patriots explore trading Hoyer. On the other end of the spectrum, Coach Belichick believes that Hoyer is that good, they could try to hang onto him and groom him to be the QB after Brady retires.

S Bret Lockett
Lockett is as irrelevant a player as there is on the Patriots roster. I don’t expect the Patriots to tender him and will let him walk.

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Tags: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Brian Hoyer, Dan Koppen, Deion Branch, Free Agency, Wes Welker

10 Responses to “2012 Patriots Free Agent Preview”

  1. Jeff says:

    Good recap.

    I wonder how much interest BJGE will garner in free agency, curious to see if anyone is willing to offer him more than 1-2 years.

    As for Tracy White, key contributor on special teams but he’s looked down right Guyton-esqe at LB at times. I’m curious to see if they bring him back.

    Good riddance to Molden.

  2. tim kavic says:

    hello:
    I like anthony’s thinking with regards to possible new Pats. They need a top flight cornerback and Janoris Jenkins is that- especially at the Senior Bowl, where he dominated. Who knows about Ras I Dowling?- he is an “Xfactor”- if he is healthy. They need safety help- either Barron or Markelle Martin or George Iloka. Offensively 2 wide receivers are needed- Ocho and probably Branch will be gone- ideally someone with GREAT HANDS!- one thing here- did you all notice how the Giants receivers catch the ball- our guys aren’t bad, of course, but we need 2 receivers- one with size and great hands ..ex: Michael Floyd, Mohammed Sanu and speed to stretch defenses..ex: Joe Adams, Kendall Wright and several others. Everything else can be added as needed; a center, Dline help, etc. Finally I think the Pats will choose between Jermaine Cunningham and Markelle Carter. I truly hope we actually use at least 3 of our 4 picks on some of the above players…..Tim

  3. Lundahl says:

    I don’t think Law Firm will leave, he’s a very reliable running back, he scores at the goal line all the time and he’s a tough sob. I think pretty much everyone will be back, except for Faulk. It’s time to draft Hoyer and there are allot of teams with disgusting quarterbacks that can’t throw. You can get something out of him, like a fifth round or a six rounder. I like the kid from Purdue, he’d be a great fit. Plus free agency is coming up, players from other teams could be interested in joining us. The fact that we’ve played in the SuperBowl is excellent to attract good players.

  4. Bruschi54 says:

    The guy that may be shown the door is Ron “Bust” Brace, he Guyton & Ocho Cinco seem to have no chance of returning.

    • mARK DAVIS says:

      i WAS AMAZED GIVEN ALL THE OTHER ROSTER CUTS THAT OCHO CINCO WAS AROUND AT THE END…….NO PRODUCTION….HELL UNDERWOOD WOULD HAVE BEEN A BETTER wr

  5. Ryan says:

    What it comes down too is Welker and Love. Got to have them back.
    BJGE would be nice to have back, I just don’t see them giving him 6-7 million a year.

    Deion won’t go anywhere else. He was an terrible in Seattle. The other DL guys really depends on what we plan on running next year. Andre Carter is obvious but I dont think it will be tough to get him back, he hasn’t had this type of success since……. It would make a lot of sense to go 3-4, but its anyone’s guess now. A lot of guys have really improved this year, Spikes, Deadrick, Ninko, Love to name a few.

    Not sure whats up with Markell Carter and Cunningham, I hope we can use or start one of them next year. It would be nice.

    Ellis, Guyton, Underwood, Hoyer, (maybe Ocho), Koppen, Barrett, Brown, Jones, Warren, I don’t think we need any of them to be honest.

  6. iceman says:

    I think people on here over value Hoyer. He has never started a game in the NFL. He hasn’t proven a thing. Matt Cassell started and went 11-5 and we got a 2nd round pick for him and Vrabel.

    • Ryan says:

      Agreed, my guess is we could probably get 5th at most for him. People have seen what happens when you try and take back ups.

    • Anthony DiCenso says:

      I agree I probably overrated Hoyer but a 4th or 5th rounder is definitely possible. Or maybe shop Mallett. Bottom line is we need to get some late round draft picks accumulated.

  7. Anthony DiCenso says:

    Great article, I agree with basically everything. I think a lot of teams with a dynamic RB will be lining up for Benny as a compliment short yardage/goal line back. A bunch of teams like the Eagles and Giants ( assuming they let B. Jacobs walk) would love to have Law Firm as a steady backup to their dynamic starting backs. My wish list for resigning and releasing players is as follows; sign Andre Carter and Mark Anderson to short term deals (1 year for Carter, 2 for Anderson) and of course get Kyle Love signed Try to keep Slater, White and Ihedibo for special teams and backup roles. Sign Welker and if Branch is willing to take a 1 or 2 year deal for short money then great, sign him as a 3rd or 4th WR for sure. I would like to see Koppen back on a 1 year deal and sign Connolly if possible. Warren and Molden are sub par but could be depth guys for cheap short term deals. We need to release Ocho Cinco and let Guyton and Ellis walk.

    What’s up with Cunningham? Either let him play or show him the door! I hope we can get a good draft pick or 2 for Hoyer, I am thinking a 3rd and 5th rounder possibly? If we did get a 3rd and 5th then we would have 2 picks each in the first 3 rounds and then a 4th and a 5th. The needs we have to address is as follows. We need 3 DB’s in the draft and free agency. #1 on my wish list is Janoris Jenkins in the 1st round of the draft. He is legit: great speed, coverage ability and ball skills. He is similar to Rasheed Mathis but better. I also love Mark Barron from Bama at safety. He is head and shoulders above every other safety in the draft and can probably start right away. I would love to keep both first round picks and use them for once and truly upgrade our secondary with real legit talent. If you add Jenkins and Barron to Chung, Arrington, McCourty, Dowling and Moore and now we are talking. Add a veteran in free agency and we could go from one of the worst defensive backfields to on of the best in one offseason. In the second and third round we can look to improve the front seven as well as adding a young playmate at WR.

    One guy I really like is Joe Adams out of Arkansas. He is 5-11 and has great speed and I would equate him to a guy like Victor Cruz or Stevie Johnson. The fact that he played with Ryan Mallett in college should only help his chances of landing in Foxboro. Speaking of Stevie Johnson I think he would look great in a Pats uniform, although I don’t think Bill would put up with his antics. Either way we do need to add a veteran WR in free agency. As far as the pass rush I think a lot depends on the signing of Carter and/or Anderson and the decision on J. Cunningham. If we bring back Carter and Anderson then we can look at drafting an athletic DT to compliment Wilfork, Love and Deaderick. A guy who can bring some pressure up the middle. On top of that we need a young DE and 1 or 2 OLB via draft or free agency. Bottom line is we need to sign back Wes Welker, Kyle Love, Andre Carter and/or Mark Anderson. Aquire 2-3 DB’s, a playmaking outside WR, and add 2 or 3 more playmakers for the front 7. If we can do that we will be right back in the Superbowl with an even better chance to win.



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