2015 Patriots Free Agency: The Entree Is Always Worth The Wait

NFL: Combine

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick scouts from the seats during the 2015 NFL Combine (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

NEPD Staff Writer: Ken Vetrano

Have you ever gone out to eat with what seems like an insatiable appetite? The type of appetite that makes you walk into a restaurant with an agenda to shut down the entire kitchen, and when the server asks, “Would you like to start with an appetizer?” your only response is laughter. But then after cleaning off a plate of wings or nachos, that insatiable hunger turns into birthing pains constricting you inside a booth? By the time your main course arrives you’ve already tapped out, and a doggy bag is requested as you prepare to walk to the parking lot defeated.

NFL Free agency is a lot like this for most organizations. Fans want teams to sign every coveted free agent available, patience is definitely not a virtue to them. If dollar signs don’t start raining when the clock strikes 4:00p.m. on March 10th, mutinies are formed, allegiances are questioned. Fans don’t care who might become available down the line, and even though the draft is only a couple months away, it might as well be a decade down the line in their minds – results need to happen now.

The appetizers are in bold, while entrees are in fine print.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills

Versatile pass rusher Jabaal Sheard tracking down Buffalo Bills quarter back Kyle Orton last season. (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

Losing Darrell Revis is a hard pill to swallow. The debate will rage on for months as to whether or not New England did enough to retain his rights. Regardless of your opinion, he’s no longer on the roster, it’s time to move on. Losing such a key contributor to last year’s super bowl team has caused fans to clamor for big time, splashy acquisitions. The thing is, no one single player will transform the Patriots defense like Revis did. If they’re going to compensate for his loss, it will be by adding strategic pieces to clog the hole left by his absence. This won’t necessarily come by adding to the secondary – replicating the type of coverage New England was able to deploy with Revis and Brandon Browner, who just signed with the Saints, will be nearly impossible to do. But that doesn’t mean their defense can’t be just as imposing.

The signing of Jabaal Sheard is the first indication of that. Bolstering the pass rush outside and generating multiple rush combinations with Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich is where they will be most disruptive. Adding a versatile big man in the middle – maybe Nick Fairley, Red Bryant or Randy Starks – will complement the outside rush, keeping offensive lines on their heels. As the off season progresses, more and more options will become available. (UPDATE: Per Adam Schefter, Nick Fairely has signed with the St. Louis Rams)

NFL: New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots

Blossoming receiver Kenny Stills catches a touchdown in double coverage during New Orleans 2013 contest against New England (Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports)

 

After the initial frenzy earlier in the week, many players not expected to become available have either been released or put on the trade block. Evan Mathis, one of the league’s best guards and locker room leaders, is currently being shopped by Philadelphia, and New England is rumored to have interest. The Saints are having a fire sale, and a young stud like Kenny Stills or veteran like Marques Colston are now in play. UntitledFans wanted the Patriots to pounce on Andre Johnson when he was released. But if you’re asking me, I’d rather trade for the younger, faster Stills on a team friendlier contract than an aging Johnson who would’ve cost you significantly more. After the draft teams will have addressed most of their needs, and even more veteran talent will be on the open market. (UPDATE: Per Matt Miller, Stills has been traded to Dolphins)

It’s frustrating to be a Patriots’ fan this time of year. The fact we lost a Hall of Famer in Darrelle Revis compounds that feeling. Every off season the Patriots faithful thirst for that one big move out of the gate, and it almost never happens. There’s a reason though why franchises like New England and Pittsburgh  have been successful for so long – they don’t flinch at adversity. If option ‘A’ doesn’t pan out, they have a cabinet with contingency plans ‘B’-‘Z’ ready.

After week one of free agency, a lot teams have prematurely filled their stomachs with massive contracts. And while the Patriots wait for their main course, many of those same teams will be occupying the restroom a year from now, purging  those contracts. I still don’t think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have left the stall yet…

83 Responses to “2015 Patriots Free Agency: The Entree Is Always Worth The Wait”

  1. J H TARBORO says:

    The Jets workout former Buc and Vikings QB Josh Freeman

  2. J H TARBORO says:

    According to reports Tim Tebow worked out for Chip Kelly and the Eagles. Tebow has been working with Tom House, Tom Brady’s quaterback coach for the past 2yrs. House has said Tebow has made tremendous improvement, from throwing inaccurate passes to accurate tight spirals.

    • steve earle says:

      Hope Tebow does well, he’s a good guy, a leader it was just his throwing and slow decision making before. Best of luck to him.

  3. Dan Sullivan says:

    Day 6 Top free agents for Patriots.
    1 Ahtyba Rubin DT Browns
    2 Pierre Thomas RB Saints
    3 Stevie Johnson WR 49ERS
    4 Charles Tillman CB Bears
    5 Josh Wilson CB Falcons
    6 Adam Snyder G Giants
    7 Randy Starks DT Miami
    8 Charlie Johnson G Vikings

  4. Philip says:

    here are my thoughts …. our 1st + 5th + 7th pick for Cincy’s 21st pick and grab M. Peters.
    With the 64 pick we should take J. Matias.
    96 pick grab J.Shaw.
    our compens. pick for M. Hardison and with the 4rd round pick we grab B. Hart

    • Jim R says:

      Do not think we have a 5th rd. pick

    • steve earle says:

      Many think Peters will slip into the 2nd rd because of issue with coach’s at Wash. Do not think trading up in 1st is a very good idea. We would have to use one of our 4ths as we have no 5th and we have to many critical holes to plug at afford that.

  5. Ryan says:

    One interesting suggestion I’ve seen tossed around is to trade for Keenan Lewis of the Saints, who are in full redesign mode right now. He seems like a solid veteran in his prime who could definitely hold down the #2 CB spot. Any thoughts?

    • Jeff says:

      I like the idea, but I’m not sure what compensation they’d be looking for. A high pick might not be worth it. Here’s an interesting thing to think about that won’t happen – Lewis for Mayo straight up.

    • Jim R says:

      Also heard that the saints get a good size cap hit it they trade or cut him

  6. Dan Sullivan says:

    Still great value out there at day 5 of free agency. Let’s go Patriots!

    1 Rashean Mathis CB Lions
    2 Carlos Rogers CB Raiders
    3 Jaiquawn Jarrett S Jets
    4 Barry Cofield DT Redskins
    5 Stevie Johnson WR 49ers
    6 Pierre Thomas RB Saints
    7 Vladimir Ducasse G Jets

  7. Joe Blake says:

    Pats are handstrung by “dead money” constraints to make a further big splash in free agency. They are carrying about $10.5 million in dead money. That represents about 100% of where they currently are under the cap. I refer to dead money as front office “f” ups…money owed to players not on the team.They need to keep about $6 million for draft picks and go in to the year with as much dry powder $ as they can to sign players during the season to cover for injuries and disappointing player performances. I would love to know who comprises the dead money and where they rank compared to other teams. Look for them to make a trade or two.

    • Russell says:

      Dead money……4 mil. to Mankins.

    • acm says:

      You looking to get Caserio fired and take his job?

      Revis caries a 5 mil hit and Mankins another 4-5, iirc. So that’s that.

      • Joe Blake says:

        If the average team carries $5 million when the Pats are carrying $10.5 in DM, that’s an issue,.

        • td says:

          There are 10 teams carrying more than us. try overthecap.com. At least our dead money is because guys moved on that were actually productive (Mankins & Revis). Everyone always has a bunch of dead money from signing then letting go UFA and emergency signings during the year that don’t work out right away. We had $7.5m from Hernandez release last year. Tampa Bay let go 2 FA signings from last year worth $10m of dead money!!!!

        • brendan says:

          The Pats had 6 million in unused cap money from 2014 that rolled over to this year, so Revis’s 5 million hit on this year is a wash….. The pats were all in for last year and won a superbowl, I will take that type of mismanagement. They only need 4.5 million for their draft picks.

        • acm says:

          It’s not an ideal situation but no place for finger-pointing in this case, imo.

          As for the average team out there carrying only 5 mil in dead money, I’d be very surprised if it’s the case considering all the blockbuster signings come March every year only for those players to be cut 2 years down the road. Just too many a team have bought into the illusion that they are 1,2,3 big signings away from glory.

    • qwerty says:

      almost all teams have some dead money. rough average is between $7 to $10 million.

      • Joe Blake says:

        Right, but the Pats are at 1:1 in dead money compared to the under the cap current number. Wonder how this compares league wide….

  8. out west says:

    Need to trade for Justin Gilbert cb .
    Draft 32 Peters cb
    64 Stephon Anthony ILB
    96 Gabe Wright Dt
    100 Jamil Douglas OG/OT
    102 Eric Rowe CB/S
    134 Goodley WR
    176 Adam Shead OG
    210 Trey Williams RB

    • Dylan.C says:

      Lol trade for justin gilbert? Wasn’t he awful last year?

    • Ryan says:

      Honestly, I’d rather take a guard like Tre Jackson at 64 and then go for a less-hyped inside linebacker like Taiwan Jones at 100. When everyone is healthy, guard is a bigger need than linebacker and though I like Stephone Anthony a lot I cannot endorse picking him in the second round.

      • Russell says:

        Don’t be surprised if LB Anthony goes to Green Bay in the first round!!

      • out west says:

        Mayo coming off patellar tear, Hightower shoulder and we need to get faster. We had a thumper got rid of him because he couldn’t cover. So taking a new one isn’t that helpful. Jamil Douglas was very impressive at guard this year and tackle last.

      • steve earle says:

        I agree we need a guard but I question Tre Jackson, he didn’t have a great year it was suggested. Old saying is drafting seniors who do not play up to expatiations is a bad idea. Still his over all carrear has been good but I’d rather one or two other guys.

  9. Collin says:

    How about they trade Chandler Jones, the 4th round pick, and the 6th round pick to Atlanta for the 8th pick, and draft a corner, then with the 32nd pick take a DT, and pick up Greg Hardy for cheep to replace Chandler Jones.

  10. Dan Sullivan says:

    Latest Free Agents I like for Patriots.
    Brandon Spikes ILB Bills
    Vince Wilfork
    Dan Connelly
    Alan Ball CB Jaguars
    Antwan Blake CB Steelers
    Jacquizz Rodgers RB Falcons
    Dwayne Bowe WR Chiefs

  11. J H TARBORO says:

    We must get DT Terry Williams-E.Carolina 6’1 353lbs. at back of this draft or UDFA, even if we draft a DT in earlier rounds. Buffalo pro day is Monday, they must see DT/3-4 OLB Kristjan Sokoli 6’6 297lbs.

    • steve earle says:

      Oh yea, I like Terry Williams very much around the 4th rd. Sokoli is a guy I’ll have to check out. Not much heard about him before.

  12. Ryan says:

    I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that our first-rounder has to be a #1 CB or a pass-rusher of some sort. If we don’t have another dynamic player in either of those areas by the time the season begins, our defensive will be once again treading water. Jabaal Sheard is part of the solution and I would consider the addition of an interior disrupter to make him a threat in his own right. Free agency is clearly running out of our favorite entrees, so the Pats better hurry up and order unless they want to wait until the draft (which would be fine, as we are expecting to have about 10 picks).

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      Tend to disagree. We may have 10 picks but only three in the top three rounds, and at the bottom of each round at that. Only the first couple of picks will likely have a chance at being productive starters. One of which is bound to be a D. Easely type bust.

      Not attempting to play semantics. I just don’t see how we shore up the interior of the offensive line, get a solid edge rusher, an interior d-lineman to collapse the pocket, a NO. 1 caliber running back, and almost completely rebuild our defensive back field in one draft. Hopefully we can. But, that would be one hell of a draft.

      • ReneKicker says:

        Even if Pats get all those answers in the draft the picks wont have an immediate impact, belichick will make more moves, remember last year, wait for the last cuts before the kickoff and make the final adjustments in the trade deadline.

      • Ryan says:

        We seem to disagree on our needs. I don’t think that we need a #1 RB in our offense when we have a few different types of running back and I don’t think that we need an edge rusher when we have Ninkovich, Sheard, and Jones on the edge. Unless we go with an edge rusher or running back round one they will probably not play much next year because of the depth of our team and refusing to pick a CB round one seems like the nail in the coffin for our defensive backfield. For this reason I only consider CB, OG and DT to be our true needs, so successfully filling them in the draft could be done.

        • td says:

          Agree; our backfield has been game plan specific, not run it down teams throats except for Indy.

      • Bmp1113 says:

        You know, teams win with out having a top player at every position. the pats don’t need any drastic changes. The need an interior olinemen which can be had in the 3rd or later and a solid db. They will continue to add players at other possitions. The pats have been a top team for 16 years and its not because they throw superstars at every position. It’s usually the opposite. I can’t imagine how some of you fans would be if the pats were ever actually bad in the last 16 years.

      • steve earle says:

        Maybe we get ten picks unless the comps have already been awarder and I missed it, which could happen. Your observation that our top three rounds are most likely to yield any starters is accurate but hopefully our two 4ths can add a couple of contributors. After that it’s just a crap shoot as well spent on trying to move up in in 2-3-or 4th rds as taking the picks. Bill usually finds a couple UDFA types that are every bit as good as guys drafted in the bottom two rounds. This year should be no different.

  13. Adam says:

    I have faith in Belicheck when it comes to tailoring his defenses to the strengths of his players. Constantly evolving you should know that by now. Well put about Revis/Browner. It was an investment worth it. Got the Patriots their 4th ring. Belicheck will change to more a zone scheme and probably draft players to put more of a pass rush from the front seven. With the AFC East increasing all their defenses I think Patriots definitely need to improve their lines both offense and defense in the draft. Or get a short term thing with Connolly if he can be had for cheap enough.

  14. Joe Blake says:

    Parity has come to the AFC East. Forget about any Division winner getting a number 1 playoff seed. The teams will beat each others brains out and split records will abound. So glad the Pats got another SB ring this year. We had a great run with 12-4 records being the the norm. I would not expect that as commonplace in the future.

    • acm says:

      Damn … R-E-L-A-X, mate … it’s only March 😉

    • Charles Champagne says:

      Amazing let me introduce the master prestidigitator his name is Bill Belichick! You think parity has arrived but please name the three other QB’s on each of the division rivals. Matt Cassel Bills,
      Tanneyhill with all of his wide receivers now on other teams Dolphins, sorry I forgot the Jets QB’s name Geno Smith! Everyone thinks because BB let Revis and Browner walk that their defense is doomed ! Think again!! He added Sheard to reek havoc along the D-line, and he’ll add more to the mix as the offseason progresses. He’s also given TB more toys including another 6’7″ TE in former Bills TE Chandler, add in a former Josh McD pupil Brandon Gibson, and who knows who or what other tricks BB has up his sleeves!! He’s talked with as many potential targets as he could , and he hasn’t even drafted anyone yet!

    • ReneKicker says:

      wait until the 3 teams spending money get in a cap hell situation tomorrow and the order will be restored OL

    • GM-in-Training says:

      This can all change, of course, but who plays QB for the other teams in the AFC East?
      There are some fierce defenses in the AFC East, and that will require great plans and execution. There will be more rushing next year, I think.
      It’s not clear to me that passing is going to get better next year.
      Bills, Jets and Dolphins are trying to raise their game. We’ll see what the result is.

      • steve earle says:

        Good points GM I just wonder if we can elevate our running game enough to get the pressure reduced coming up inside on Brady? That’s been my concern all winter.

  15. Kevan says:

    Sign Reggie bush. Sign Wilfork/red Bryant. Trade for G Mathis. Draft a CB 1st Rd. There are other moves to make but these are the most important. Maybe trade for a decent CB I don’t know but pats need a 1 guy, depth isn’t bad. For the moment Butler,Dennard would play outside and Arrington/ryan would play inside. Jones,Ninko,Sheard are a nice trio. I like the Chandler pick up. More moves to make to get this team better for sure, free agency didn’t start off great but that’s the name of the game. Pats will repeat Again!

    • Adam says:

      – Bush might ask for too much but if he can be had on the cheap for a 1yr/2yr deal I don’t see harm in taking a shot. I think he still has some good football left.

      – As a Pats fan I would love to see Wilfork back but I think they’re better off drafting a replacement. He’s rotational run stopper now at best.

      – They need to be adding talented youth to their OL not age. Mathis is great, no denying that but 33 is too old and too expensive. I like Cameron Erving out of FSU for their 32nd pick in the first round unless they trade back which I think they will.

      – Really stoked to see what Brady & McDaniels think up with Scott Chandler alongside Gronkowski. A 6’6″ and 6’7″ TE set makes for one mean redzone look. Plus Chandler always seemed to burn us when he played us which is incredible thing to do against a Belicheck scheme.

    • Kevan says:

      Bush is a 49er and from what I hear, pats are out of the running for Mathis.

  16. Russell says:

    HOW ABOUT A TRADE???
    DE- Chandler Jones and the Patriots 4th (#128) 6th (#162) To Atlanta for thier 1st (#8)

    Then Draft;
    1st- Atlanta….. OL Brandon Scherff
    1st…………….. DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa
    2nd……………. CB Steven Nelson
    3d………………OLB Davis Tull
    3d comp……… DT Xavier Williams
    4th Tampa…… CB Justin Coleman
    7th……………..OL Larence Gibson

    • acm says:

      Wouldn’t mind a trade like that but don’t see much of a reason why the falcons would do it. And BB not trading down that 8th pick? Yeah, right …

      • Adam says:

        You would give up a -proven- pass rusher in Chandler Jones for an unproven offensive lineman in Brandon Scherff plus a 4th and 6th round pick? First of all, Belicheck would never give up 3 picks for 1. I like OL in the first round but I would rather they go after Cameron Erving out of FSU. Or if you go for DL to pick up slack from Wilfork wouldn’t mind them taking a shot on Malcom Brown out of UT although I am biased as a Longhorn fan. Plus with the loss of Vereen and Ridley I feel they should look for a mid round RB to replace Vereen unless they sign Bush on the cheap. I like the idea of a couple CBs though.

    • sco508 says:

      Are you Insane Russel ? lol Trade C. Jones for the #8 pick lol i wouldn’t trade C.jones for the # 1 pick in this years draft unless it had Ndamukong Suh . or Reggie White in it !

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        Since BB clearly has developed a reluctance to pay people past their rookie deals, Chandler Jones might be playing elsewhere in a year or two anyway. Unless he has already been extended and I missed it.

        • AM says:

          Not entirely true–productive players get extensions from their rookie deals: McCourty, Gronkowski, Vollmer, Mayo, even Aaron Hernandez before that situation blew up. The team is also picking up Solder’s fifth-year option, which counts, and extended Marcus Cannon as a (perhaps overpaid) backup. I would be surprised, though not shocked, if Jones didn’t get an extension, unless he has additional injury-shortened years that lead to a serious difference of opinion in value.

    • td says:

      Trade our best pass rusher for #8 and then draft an OT??? We already have an elite RT and a very good LT.

      IMO, BB is letting Connolly and Vince test market and then he will match it with team friendly cap hits.

      Crazy cap hits on Suh’s contract; $6m this year and then kaboom, $28m next year. All our AFCEast foes have added major talent, but still did not close the gap between Brady and their QB’s. Miami needs to decide if they are all in with Tannehill as his contract is up after this year.

    • steve earle says:

      I don’t like the idea Russell. Jones is far to young to be giving up on him imo. Filling one hole and creating another seldom works.

  17. Ryan says:

    Obviously Logan Ryan shouldn’t be our number 1 CB next year, but would you feel comfortable with him as our number 2? Hopefully he learned something behind Revis and Browner last year. If he is up to it, we could draft a CB in round 1 but then wait a round to draft our number 3 CB.

  18. Dylan.C says:

    Probably some combination of Randy Starks, BJ Raji, Red Bryant, Ahtyba Rubin, Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Tramon Williams, and Evan Mathis at this point?

    • acm says:

      I think Pats would do well to reinforce the DT, OL and RB (passing, 3rd down variety) from free agency – Bryant and Rubin at DT for me; Bush would be a solid replacement for Vereen; At OG, Connolly and/or Mathis would be nice for vet leadership.
      adding a talented LB like McCarthy could also be an option.

      There are some interesting, not great but interesting, vet CBs out there – Williams, Mathis, etc – but ultimately think they’d still eat up too much cap space relative to the marginal improvement, if any at all, they’d bring to the secondary (will be new to the system). A team friendly contract for a CB is something like 1year, 5+ mil (Mathis) and T. Williams will be looking for a lot more, imo.
      I’d leave loading up on CB for the draft.

      Depending on how BB/Kraft feel about Greg Hardy’s legal issues, he could be a great value on a prove-it 1-2 year deal as he’d be desperate to re-establish his value in the NFL. Doesn’t hurt Drew Rosenhaus is his agent – he is very close to BB and Pats already have many clients of his on the roster, including new signing J. Sheard.

      • acm says:

        Forgot to add WR as another position Pats may well be looking to improve thru FA-cy rather than the draft. With harvin seemingly off to the Bills, I’d keep an eye on Dwayne Bowe and Stevie Johnson.

  19. Jeff says:

    Getting to be slim pickings in the FA CB market. What about Tarrel Brown from Oakland? Seems like a serviceable starter with a much better track record than the youngsters currently on the Pats roster (with the exception of Arrington of course!).

    • acm says:

      At this point, I don’t think it makes much sense to go to FA for a CB. Not many players out there who’d add much to the team, while also would require a sizable investment.
      Best to focus on the draft when it comes to CBs, imo.

      • Jeff says:

        I’m with you, don’t like it, but not much quality out there – Brown is the last name available that looks like a potential upgrade, and even with him I’m not sure.

  20. howie horvath says:

    Losing Revis was about Pats not wanting to set a precedent of “guaranteed” contracts past two years (plus signing bonus). Other players (outside of Brady and Gronk) wouldn’t expect the gross $$ to match HOF Revis but they and their agents would argue for the three year guarantee of their contract offer’s and point to Revis contract. Don’t get me wrong, his $39 or $40 over three years is a lot but clearly worth it if only the first two years were guaranteed.

    As it is – this contract, with its extended guarantees, from the Jets is not going to please the other 31 owners league wide. The players and their agents, well that’s a whole ‘nother story……guaranteed;)

  21. Dan Sullivan says:

    Brady has earned a stud lineman like Evan Mathis that would be a great trade for
    Patriots. Tight End Mitchell just signed will be great in Red Zone with Gronk.

    Free Agents I like.
    Reggie Bush RB
    Cecil Shorts WR
    Ryan Harris OT
    CJ Mosley DT
    Parrish Cox CB

    Draft
    1 Quinten Rollins CB Miami (Ohio)
    2 Steven Nelson CB Oregon St.
    3 Jaquishi Tart SS Samford
    3 Grady Jarrett DT Clemson
    4 Tyrus Thompson OT Oklahoma
    4 Gabe Wright DT Auburn
    6 Mark Glowinski G West Virginia
    7 Dres Anderson WR Utah
    7 Marcus Murphy RB Missouri

    Stay aggressive Patriots now is the time.

    • Adam says:

      Mathis would be expensive and he is 33. Don’t get me wrong, if the Patriots want to win, keeping #12 upright would be the best chance for winning. I like Cameron Erving out of FSU for our pick at the bottom of the first round. Like usual though I feel Belicheck will trade back to get more picks. I feel drafting CBs won’t happen until the mid rounds 3-5. I feel OL and DL should be their first couple of picks. Picking up for Conolly’s slack and Wilfork’s slack will be crucial. Especially Wilfork because we need to sure up Run DEF and increase our pass rush to make up for lack of shut down CBs.

    • steve earle says:

      Agree Brady deserves a stud linemen, even two, yet Bill has not made any moves in that direction yet in FA’cy. Also your mock doesn’t address that concern until late mid at soonest. That shortsightedness of waiting until mid or late rounds to draft o-line is why we are in this position now. Year after year Bill drafts some make do linemen down the line the guy hangs around on Sp-teams or p-sqd for two or three then gets replaced by another of the same and get the same results again. So what possibly could be wrong with this practice?

  22. Russell says:

    For me I was disappointed the Patriots missed DT Dan Williams, and I could see where WR Harvin could fit in, ( maybe they get him). Sheard looks like an interesting player, and CB Chekwa looks interesting, (from Oak.) but time will tell how they work out.

  23. Daniel R. Martin says:

    We finally get a good defense, a cornerstone of which being a great defensive backfield, and we win the Superbowl! In response, we dismantle that very same defense a month later! I’m baffled. We lost Revis, Wilfork, Browner, Ayers, and Vereen. We’ve added just one linebacker. Meanwhile, each of the divisional rivals have improved considerably from where they were last year.

    Well, we did just sign Scott Chandler. Only 497 yards last year and I like Tim Wright more, but he could do well paired with Gronk. I would like a Greg Hardy signing. And this secondary went from a weakness to a strength and back in two years.

    • Russell says:

      Chandler is a solid pick-up, the Patriots showed interest in him in the past.

    • td says:

      IMO, BB knew and accepted that Revis would only a one year guy due to money and attraction to NYJ. With that he brought in Browner also for that one year maybe two. A man press defense requires 2, not 1 really good/elite CB’s and last year the stars and the moon aligned for us to get Revis and Browner.

      Also, sitting in BB’s chair he made it to the super bowl with both a top notch DBackfield and a really bad DBackfield, only to both win and lose by a hair. The win came via a play by an undrafted FA not an elite player at the end. The loss came by a top WR not making a play. From where I’ve been sitting we have been SB contenders every year with combinations of: elite Offenses, Poor defenses, elite defenses, average offenses, offenses that ran the ball, offenses that pass the hell out of the ball, etc, etc. IMO, it comes down to Brady, BB and how well the rest of the roster comes together at the end of the year because the coaching staff is always elite.

      On the other hand, it makes it much more comfortable especially to fans when we have elite players in the DBackfield to complement Brady and the Offense.

  24. Russell says:

    Miami gets WR Still, for LB Ellerbe (and his 8.5 mil. deal) and thier 3 round pick (#78). The Saints now own #13, #31 in the 1st round, #44 in the 2nd, and #75 ,#78 in the 3d , so I would say they are going younger to rebuild.
    I think the Patriots are doing similar and will most likely trade out of the 1st round of the draft,for extra picks this year, along with a 3d ? Compensatory for the loss of Talib.
    The Patriots MAY get Compensatory picks for the loss of Revis ,Browner, Vereen, Ayers, and Casillias in the 2016 draft.. #2 3d’s, #2 4th’s ??

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      I’d say the better response would have been to rebuild after you STOP winning Superbowls, not a month after hoisting the Lombardi Trophy! Brady is still good enough to cement his legacy atop the NFL mountain with another ring.

      • Russell says:

        BB has always been one to look ahead like a chess player, and the future of the team is ALWAYS in his thinking. Remember our Oline was a mess to start last season,…yet we win the Super Bowl. BB believes in the Talent each player has, and there ability to fit his system, other wise they are gone. Browner, Ayers, Casillias……Played OK but not long term team builders.

        • Daniel R. Martin says:

          I agree. To a point. However, we didn’t need them long term. The Pats were obviously a Superbowl team with them. I don’t yet know where the team is now. But we certainly aren’t stronger at this early point in the season.

          The Pats didn’t need Revis and Browner for five more seasons. We won’t have Brady for five more seasons. There are a lot of teams that have just gotten better. Including the NFC representative of the last two Superbowls, who just added TE J. Graham. And facing Cameron Wake and N. Suh twice yearly won’t be fun for Brady either. The team we all love has regressed. I just don’t understand any strategy that effectively equates to dissolving a team that just won it all a month ago.

        • Adam says:

          I understand the concern about Revis/Browner departure. It’s undoubted that those two were key pieces in the SB victory but Belicheck is arguably the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) Coach of the NFL. Like previously stated, it’s a chess match to Belicheck and he is always looking long term. Being to 6 Super Bowls in the span of 14 seasons is unheard of. Not to mention -winning- 4 of them. They’ve been to the AFC Championship game the past 4 consecutive AFC Championship games. Since 2001 when Brady really started playing QB, they’ve been AFC East Champions 12 out of 14 years possible. That kind of domination doesn’t come from being a bad GM/Coach, have faith in Belicheck. He always configures his defense around the strengths of his players and evolves the defense every week to best play against their opponents weaknesses. #InBillWeTrust #GoPats.

      • sco508 says:

        Oh and you Dare say he is Not their Now ? lol some people just Amuse me SMH.

        • Daniel R. Martin says:

          sco508 you’re going to need to be more specific. If you were referencing the comment I made about Brady cementing his legacy as the GOAT with another ring, I’ll clarify that I already believe Brady to be the absolute very best, and have said so on countless occasions. But, before his last win people were still clamoring that one ring Manning was his equal if not superior, and comparisons to Montana still persist.

          Hope that helps with your amusement induced laughing out loud and head shaking.

      • steve earle says:

        Your points are well taken Dan but remember how we felt after last years draft? Both of us were highly critical, (with good reason) of our draft and general situation. Don’t get depressed yet, we have a long way to go this year and Bill was even able to pull guys in during the season started and they got the job done. Okay to be critical just don’t let yourself get down my friend.

  25. Jeff says:

    The biggest problem for Pats fans at this point in free agency is that most of the highest upside/highest impact talents are no longer available at this point. The best signings are those that get good talent for a low price so you can use resources on the rest of your team, but at the same time, no one can deny that having proven, high impact talent makes roster building much easier and less risky.

    For example, at DT, you’re hoping at this point that Wilfork comes back, because without him, you’re banking on Starks who is coming off a back issue, a lower-tier tackle who might be good, a jump in the play of Easley, Siliga, or Jones, or a rookie who can make an impact right away. If you get enough of those pieces, the chances that at least one or two of them work out is pretty good, but you’re introducing much more risk. At 4-5 million for a year, hard to see why the Pats didn’t go after Knighton or Fairley, or keep Browner for that matter.

    At this point, I’m hoping for the following free agents:
    CB – Brown
    LB – Hayes
    DT – Wilfork
    G – Connolly
    RB – Bush (pass-catching back is one of the few positions where there are still several guys worth taking fliers on)

  26. Joe E O says:

    What’s the consensus on the two JETS DL Kenrick Ellis and Damon Harrison. Ellis is unrestricted while Harrison is tendered at a 2nd round level. They are both well under 30. I’d prefer either compared to a re-tread like Red Bryant or Randy Starks

    Peace

    Joe E O

  27. bob says:

    I don’t get all this nonsense about Revis. He didn’t change the quality of the defense. Just the style. It was still a bend but don’t break defense. And what good is he in the red zone? Once an offense gets in the red zone then all 11 players have to be accountable. And when it’s all said and done we got to the playoffs and we will again this year (unless, heaven forbid, Brady gets injured) and then the offense will again get the lead in the 4th qtr. of any playoff game and the defense either gets a tremendous play by Harmon or by Butler or some other no name guy who doesn’t make 16mill per game. So please get off this garbage about how great Revis is or was and how he made our defense so great. It was just another mediocre defense. And by way notice how all our main competitors are looking to do more ground and pound. Dallas, Eagles, Indy, Broncos. So we had better shore up our run defense first.

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