Let’s Get Ready For The Season!!!

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

What an exciting time of year! College football has kicked off and the NFL season is so close we can taste it. The next 24 plus hours are going to be excruciating. Living in the Kansas City area, I have had to put up with a lot of Chiefs talk this week. Of course, every team has optimism going into week one, but Chiefs fans have taken it to another level. As always, I go into this game with quiet optimism. The first game of the season is always hard to predict, but from a talent standpoint, I think we all know who the better team is. Maybe it is funny, or sad, depending on your perspective, but the nerves have already started to set in and I just want the game to get here so I can get into my routine and get my first glimpse of the 2017 New England Patriots. LET”S GO!!!!!!!

Now, this site is nepatriotsdraft.com, so I should talk a little about the college prospects that will hear there name called during the Draft. To be honest, I have only watched a few games and they were live, so I have not really broken down tape of anyone yet. Do not fret, that is coming soon. The best thing though is that this year, my beloved Iowa State Cyclones actually have a pro prospect who could go relatively high this year, so I have an excuse to watch their games this year. And while the Cyclones offense got off to a bit of a slow start, they did get things going after the first quarter and Allen Lazard did not disappoint.

While I do not think Lazard has elite speed, he makes up for it with his route running and hands. He plays with great body control and consistently makes contested catches. He had 8 catches for 108 yards in the first game of the season. This is his fifth time in his last six games he has gone over 100 yards receiving. Lazard did have one drop on a very good pass. It looked like he went to turn up field before securing the ball.

The other game I watched was the Iowa vs Wyoming game. I concentrated on Josh Allen and came away disappointed. He does have the physical skills and showed traits of an NFL Quarterback, but his game is unpolished. He consistently was late on throws and threw into bad situations far too often. He tends to leave the pocket early, not allowing plays to develop. He threw off balance far too often, leading to errant throws. He made bad decisions at critical times. The end of the half might be the most frustrating 30 seconds of football I have watched in some time. If you have not watched, the Cowboys had the ball near the 50 yard line with about 50 some seconds left in the half. Allen then took an intentional grounding while trying to extend a play making it 2nd and 19. The next play he threw what should have been a pick. The drive then ended with the Punter nearly missing the ball completely. Iowa then went and scored a TD just a few plays later to end the half. What should have been a potential scoring drive turned into seven points for Wyoming’s opponent.

Thoughts on the 53 man roster:

Leave it to Belichick and the Patriots to make noise before cuts needed to be made. Obviously, the most surprising move was the trade of Jacoby Brissett to the Colts. One thing that caught my attention was that it was the Patriots who approached the Colts, not the other way around. This tells me that the team did not see Brissett as the future at the QB position and wanted to capitalize on the strong preseason he had. Now, when Phillip Dorsett was drafted in the first round, I don’t think there were too many people who thought that was a great pick at the time, but he does have electric speed and could fill multiple roles in this offense. For those who think Dorsett immediately fills the need for a punt and kickoff returner, be careful. While he does have some experience doing both going back to his college days at Miami, he really only did it on a consistent basis as a Sophomore.

The Patriots made two other trades, but the other one I am most interested in is the one involving Cassius Marsh. Looking back, I had good things to say about Marsh coming out of UCLA. He had a great motor in college and was well balanced in terms of getting after the passer and stopping the run. He is not an elite pass rusher. His stats come from effort rather than physical ability. He is a smart player who does a very good job at setting the edge and making the tackle. He should fit in nicely as a rotational guy. Think in terms of Chris Long last year with a bit more upside because of his youth.

I was surprised that Jordan Richards made this team. In fact, I thought undrafted rookie Kenny Moore played better than he did throughout the summer, but what do I know. After thinking about it further, I understand the reasoning behind keeping Croston over a guy like Karras, but I was happy to see Karras back on the PS. I thought O’Shaughnessy had played well enough to make the 53 man roster, but was also happy to see Jacob Hollister make the team. I think it was obvious from his lack of involvement in the final preseason game that Adam Butler had earned a spot on the final squad and I am hearing the team really loves his potential. He has cut weight and should see some time as a bigger end. It will be interesting to see his role and how much time he gets to play. Outside of that, I think the roster came together about as we expected.

Thoughts on the Chiefs:

Look, I am one of those people that can talk myself into just about anything. Can the Chiefs come to Foxborough and win, sure. But, if I am being honest with myself without jinxing the team, it is going to take a perfect game along with a little help from the Patriots for that to happen. I think the Chiefs have a good defense, but not as great as people are making it out to be. I also think their offense is limited by its QB and the lack of weapons they have on offense. Many of you know my love affair with Kareem Hunt, but even I will temper my expectations for him with the situation he is going into tomorrow night. If the Patriots offense can play up to the standard we have come to expect and the defense plays a smart and eliminates the big play, then the Patriots should win this game going away. I like the Patriots 34-14.

 

 

 

66 Responses to “Let’s Get Ready For The Season!!!”

  1. Russell says:

    The Chargers cut (injury settlement) LB Joshua Perry 24, 6’4″ 254lbs. (Ohio State). Perry was a prospect I had high on my Patriot draft board two years ago. Worth a look depending on the injury issue??

  2. EdgeX says:

    Well after reviewing this roster and putting some thought into it. I think I see how the Patriots will fix the defense:

    DE: Flowers, Wise, Marsh, Butler (rotate and mix and match)
    DT: Branch, Brown, Valentine, Guy (rotate)
    OLB: Van Noy, Langi
    MLB: Hightower, Harris, Roberts (rotate)

    This allows players to play towards their strengths – maybe they will even have Hightower play the OLB position on some plays. But it relies on some new faces for trying to set the edge. It may not be pretty for a few games until they can coach up some of the players, but in the long term this is what they may have to do.

  3. Philip says:

    Does any of you know what value D.Lewis could have on the trade market?

    I was just thinking about trading him for a pass rusher.

    Let’s say a trade with the Redskins. They have now with Anderson, Smith and Murphy 3 young pass rusher, so Kerrigan, who has a cap hit of 11mio could be eventually come for rather cheap, as the Redskins need some cap space for signing Cousin and the other pass rushers for long term.

    Also Pernell McPhee of the Chicago Bears is underpreforming for his contract and … how is Robert Quinn doing in the 3-4 System?

    I know … It would not be a player for player trade, but maybe BB has some magical power and trade for one of them with Lewis + 4th round pick?

    • EdgeX says:

      Nope.

      Maybe 4th…or 3rd round pick at best?

      Teams are calling the Patriots. Not the other way around. I think the Patriots value him too much still at this point to let him go.

      • Philip says:

        would be interesting to know which teams are calling.

        but yeah, seems that they are, unfortunately, valuing him very high, but I’d trade him if the price is right.
        Don’t want to say he’s a bad player, not at all, but they have two other good options at pass-catching RB

        • steve earle says:

          I see your point but you should point out that if they should trade Lewis Bill could bring up Foster and still have a decent insurance 3rd down back on board. Also BB has never failed to trade someone if “the price is right”. Thing is what would that price be to Bill? I don’t have any idea.

    • steve earle says:

      Oops! Cards sign Foster off our PS. Guess that puts a dent in idea to trade Lewis?

  4. EdgeX says:

    From a live segment on CSNNE with Rob Ninkovich on Sept 7th: “I’m not closing the door. I’m not going to close the door. Just in case, you know, if something happened.”

    When asked if he could see himself playing for another team than the Patriots: “I cannot see myself doing that”.

    Bill on the phone: “Hello Rob – Ya I know, Hightower is hurt again. Can you come back for 1 more season?”

    *crosses fingers*

  5. Ryan says:

    A few notes:

    #1- geez, it was awful to see Kareem Hunt gouge us like that. It’s pretty funny that he fumbled in his first NFL game given his college track record, but not so funny that we traded down when he was on the board. In addition to Hunt, here are some other players that went off the board between #72 and #83: Taywan Taylor, Jordan Willis, Fabian Moreau, Duke Riley, Tim Williams, Tarell Basham, and Carlos Henderson. I have a bad feeling that a lot of these guys will have better careers than Derek Rivers and Antonio Garcia.

    #2 I’ve been saying for the past two weeks- with Edelman out, we needed Carr on the roster. Now, Amendola is injured (as he always is), and Gronk is no longer the miracle worker that he used to be. I would much rather have kept Carr and developed him, and now that we’ve released him we need him most. Heck, with Malcolm Mitchell out, we could even have used Devin Lucien! Disappointing to see those two hard workers cut.

    #3 The defensive end situation is unlucky, with Nink retiring and Rivers getting injured, but I don’t see why a veteran wasn’t signed (and why Rivers was drafted instead of Willis). Belicheck messed this one up.

    #4 With Collins gone, the Pats need a speedy playmaker in the box a la Deone Bucannon. Don’t know how we get him, but the defense will continue to lose us games without a first mate for Hightower.

    • Yohy says:

      I agree with your points and would like to add that I feel this year’s draft was handled very oddly. I understand that competition for roster spots was going to be high, so drafting 6-7 guys only to cut 4-5 doesn’t make sense. I would have been happy with two picks a LT and DE. Go out and get the best two you can, i.e. Willis

      Bill traded down and got McDermott only lose him at final cuts. And

      • Yohy says:

        I was going to say the release of Ealy and o shuaghanessy hurts too

      • Ryan says:

        Yeah, seems like Day 3 picks should’ve been redundant with the depth in this draft and our need for UDFAs. Just grab 2-3 guys on day 2 and trade the rest of the picks.

      • Philip says:

        Pryor has been released by the Browns due to a fight with a teammate … he had his ups and downs with the Jets, but with proper choaching, I can see him as an upgrade to J.Richards.

        Regarding the pass rusher … I’ve read that several teams would be intrested in Lewis. Maybe one of these have a pass rusher which BB would be into.

        • steve earle says:

          Trying not to be too pessimistic but replacing Richards looks like a pretty low bar to aim for. Trading Lewis could gain us a useful player, then bring up Foster. I think that could work, good thinking Philip.

        • Ryan says:

          Pryor went to the jaguars, I think.

        • Philip says:

          Maybe the 49ers are willing to trade A.Lynch for D.Lewis.

          on the FA market, I see only 3 players at EDGE which would be interesting names.
          Jarvis Jones, Lamarr Houston (if healthy) and Devin Taylor.

          J.Jones is an unknown commodity as a pass rusher right now. Maybe working as a 4-3 rusher could help him.
          Houston and Taylor have shown flashes but will never be sack artists, but the are good in stoping the run.

          Veteran options available are Trent Cole and Dwight Freeney.

          An interesting interior pass rushing option would be Ra’Shede Hageman.

    • steve earle says:

      Keeping it short, #1 Agree !!!!!!!, #2 Yea but water under the Dam, #3 Agree !!, #4 Don’t know how either???? Comment: Somewhere out there there must be a guy or two we could get?????

  6. matt says:

    The Pats offence started off with the hurry up they marched down the field and scored. I don’t know why they stopped doing it. I don’t know what McDaniels was thinking or maybe he wasn’t. Also cant make 1st down on 4th and less then 1 yard that’s really sad.

  7. Mike Gerken says:

    Okay,
    So I have finally settled down from last night and wanted to get some thoughts out to you guys. I read through the comments and most of the stuff has been covered, so I apologize if this is redundant, but writing it out will hopefully be therapeutic. I realize that this is one game, so while I may rant, I know that these things can be worked on and hopefully fixed, but there were some concerning trends in that game that we just have not seen from a Patriots team in quite some time.

    1. From a Patriots perspective, there is nothing you can point to that you could hang your hat on and think that the team can build off that. I think the game plan was terrible and the execution was just as bad.

    2. Losing Edelman is a bigger loss than anyone wants to admit. I will say it, he is more important to this offense than Gronk. You could see that Brady just did not look comfortable going to these other guys. The offense started with Jules and it worked its way to others after him.

    3. Gronk did not look good tonight. He looked slow and lumbering. If he is healthy and that is what he is now, that could be a huge concern.

    4. I don’t think Jordan Richards deserved to make this team, and then to have him out there for as much as he was playing Linebacker makes no sense to me whatsoever. If BB thought he needed a LB, keep a LB, not a Safety who struggled to tackle and make correct reads consistently.

    5. Going back to the game plan. The offense they ran tonight will not work consistently. These lob passes down field are just not what Brady does well and to just keep chucking it up was so frustrating. Get the ball into Cooks’ hands on some short or intermediate routes and let his speed and athleticism take over.

    6. The Hightower experiment on the outside should stop. Now that he is hurt it is a mute point, but he was ineffective from that spot all not and it created issues in the middle that never were solved.

    7. It was concerning hearing TB12 talk about attitude and urgency in his press conference last night. That has rarely been an issue for a Patriots team and could be a major factor going forward if it isn’t handled quickly. I think that is one aspect that should be squashed early.

    8. On defense, there was so many missed tackles and miscommunications out there tonight. I am not sure if Butler is sulking because of the contract, but he has not looked good all preseason and now it has moved into the regular season. The team just seemed to lack that spark.

    9. On the other side of the ball- Kareem Hunt- was spectacular. Aside from the fumble, which he never does, he was exactly the player I scouted and fell in love with. The only thing his game lacks is home run speed. His combination of vision,patience, balance, hands, and ability to make people miss may be the best I have scouted at the position. I have said if for a year now that he is going to be a star in the NFL and we saw up front that tonight.

    • EdgeX says:

      Geez Mike I think you’re angrier than anyone else here – lol – what you are typing you sound like my Dad in my head!

      I’m going to chalk it up to an overall bad game plan, bad play calling, bad execution, and bad coaching.

      You don’t see this often. I’m sure they will figure this out and recover. What happened when the Patriots played the Cheifs on week 4 of 2014? How did that season end up?

      🙂

      • Mike Gerken says:

        I was mad, but cooler heads have prevailed. This team is still talented, this team still plays in a terrible division, and honestly, watching games yesterday, no one really looked good. I expect a bounce back performance this week.

    • esther heyman says:

      “The only thing his game lacks is home run speed…”

      As Hunt was outrunning the Pats secondary during that 75 yard touchdown reception, I was thinking, “Either this guy’s speed has been dramatically underrated or our secondary is glacial.” Let’s hope it is the former – Arian Foster never tested well in shorts but consistently outran defenders in pads.

  8. Jeff says:

    Why was Richards on the field so much? I was surprised he made the roster, but I’m even more surprised he was so heavily used. He really didn’t seem to show up positively.

  9. Russell says:

    The Patriots got caught in their own game by K.C. of “mis-matches”. Except for K.C. ‘s drive before the half, I thought the Patriots played well. The O-line did well, & the run blocking was a plus, and pass blocking was good tho be it a 3 man rush many times. Brady was not sharp, the first pass of the game to a blown coverage, over thrown set the tone for the game. Two missed 4th downs (and each a foot !!) was dumb play calling. Bunch up and run into a pile? Spread the D with 3 wide-outs,/ and or split Gronk out; and then run. I thought Marsh looked good for just 5 days in camp. A bad D call had him on Hunt, resulting in a long TD Pass. Richards looked lost out there, and took him self out of the play ; stepping up on Hunts TD pass. DT Branch had a hard time getting off blocks, he would get one hand on Hunt behind the line, but missed the tackle.
    The second half was tough to match, 3 , three and out , to a D that was struggling. 3 Big plays, all resulting in TD’s , Hill’s being the worst, just like preseason. TE’s Gronk and Allen non factors, Hogan a non factor.
    VERY troubling to hear WR Mitchell on IR, BB had to know this at the cut down; GEEE we could (should) have, kept WR Carr !!
    Patriots NEED to sign LB Antwione Williams, and cut S Richards. Amendola & Hightower have trouble staying healthy. DT M. Brown was a non factor, DT Butler played better.

  10. EdgeX says:

    Some thoughts:

    1. R-E-L-A-X – take a deep breath. The season is not over. I’m actually thankful we got that 1 loss in the season done with so I don’t have to hear anymore of that 19-0/16-0 talk.

    2. If you watched the preseason games – how often did the first team offense and defensive play together? Answer: not enough to establish any rhythm or cohesiveness. Which I was worried about. Too bad it was a justified worry.

    3. They had some bad playing and putting players in positions they don’t usually play due to injuries – hello DE Marsh starting after only being with the team for 5 days?? – the Patriot’s will be able to figure this out as the season goes on.

    4. Mike the next time you spot a talent like Kareem Hunt you need to drive down to 1 Patriot Place and camp outside with a sign until Bill Belichick personally sees you and you can convince him draft said player. YOU MUST DO THIS!!!

    • D. Martin says:

      He was in my mock…LOL

      • EdgeX says:

        Mike Gerken was banging the table for him allll off season. I wasn’t on board at first, but the more film I watched the more impressed I was.

        • D. Martin says:

          Wait a second…..I was wrong. I wanted the Foreman running back out of Texas. This WAS the guy that Mike wanted drafted. Apologies. I give back all the credit I unintentionally usurped.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      I hate being right on a player when they are playing the Patriots, but what he did tonight is exactly what I saw of him on film and what I thought he would do in the NFL. I have no idea why he wasn’t thought of higher in other circles. My only guess is that he played at a smaller school and he does not have break away speed. Outside of that, his game is a complete as anyone I have ever scouted.

  11. D. Martin says:

    I am still scratching my head concerning the release of Kony Ealy.

    I am also remembering why I was so big on the Pats drafting Kareem Hunt.

    I am most concerned about the lack of pass rush, and wonder what others think of the O-Line this year.

    The last time the Pats were upset early in a season by the Chiefs and the sky was falling, they came back and won the SuperBowl. Patriots are still the best team in the league. I hope they win it all (of Course), especially considering this is most likely Brady’s last year playing.

    • D. Martin says:

      Not pass rush, per se. But the front seven in general seems weak. With little depth also.

      And am I wrong in seeing this game as early proof suggesting we way overpaid for the services of Stephon Gilmore?

      • Jeff says:

        I thought they mostly stayed away from Gilmore, and he broke up a couple of passes nicely. I think he was credited as in coverage on the big play TD, but I wonder if that’s a communication/positioning error that can be fixed.

    • EdgeX says:

      Kony Ealy wasn’t able to grasp there defensive schemes or be used the way they wanted.

      It was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

      Patriots figured that out after preseason and that’s why they released him.

      1 miss-communication call between McCourty and Gilmore does not make a season.

      • D. Martin says:

        I am reminded of his SuperBowl play with the Panthers. I am sure the guy could have gotten in sync with the team eventually. After trading a 2nd and 3rd round pick for him and paying whatever was guaranteed of his contract, it may have been worth it to give him a few more weeks to try. He couldn’t have done much worse than what was on the field during the 2nd half of last nights game.

        • macspak says:

          they made a personnel mistake and immediately moved on as they should after exchanging a late 2nd for an early 3rd.

    • macspak says:

      The Patriots are 0 and 1 and had their lunch handed to them at home. They are far from the best team in the league. In fact they were putrid in every facet of the game last night. They have lots of work and team building to do.

      OL sucked on 3rd and 4th and short
      TB was off
      WR no separation
      No pass rush
      Couldn’t stop the run
      No return game

      etc etc etc etc

      PUTRID

      what a disappointment and the injuries mount.

      • EdgeX says:

        The worst part I think was the 4th down short yardage plays. Any idiot could see KC stacking the box with players yet the Patriots still ran right up the middle – of course those plays weren’t going to get you the yards. Really poor play calling.

  12. steve earle says:

    Disappointment after all the preseason expatiation. Where we were thin we got hurt by injuries. Concerns with the OL and DL were not releaved. So now can BB reorganize and find a defense. He did last year, but?

    • GM-in-Training says:

      I’m concerned that this roster is not what it was hyped to be.

      What happened to the run defense?

      The DE got 3 sacks, but didn’t apply pressure in the 4th quarter.

      The CB got burned big, by speed.

      Brady was not on the same page as his receivers. If he doesn’t expand the circle of trust, 3rd downs are going to suck. Cooks 54-yard catch was nice, though.

      The Pats have always been a team with a complex offense that got better as the season went on. There’s hope there. I don’t know where the new #4 and #5 receivers are coming from. I suspect Jacob Hollister is going to get to play some slot receiver next week.

      The Defense is where I’m worried. KC ran about 55 offensive plays, and after Hightower went out, the D looked out of sorts.

      Bottom line is, the Pats lost a lot of veteran leadership on both sides of the ball, and it’s going to take time to rebuild the skills, mindset, and reliable roles.

      There could be a silver lining to all of this. Talk of 19-0, and stupid repeat pressure just went away. Not everybody cares about the Pats now. The Pats can say they’re being disrespected and get motivated.

      • Philip says:

        What pisses me the most on offense is, that they cut Carr. Mitchell is now on IR (something not very suprising) and Amendola left the 1st game with an injury.

        On the defensive side, idk why they didn’t jumped on Ward, Richardson or a better know DE than Marsh with a contract dispute with his club.

        • steve earle says:

          Don’t blame you. Mitchell has been banged up as often as not and was again going into the cuts. Why wasn’t he put on IR/return status? Amendola I understand, but Mitchell not so much. We could see it coming, the chance of slipping Carr past wavers was slim but possible not Mitchell. Well hind sight is 20/20 and it now is just so frustrating.

        • Philip says:

          It is … but I think Lucien is still a free agent … he spend last year on the practise squat and so he knows already the offense … could see him as a proper WR right now as Amendola is bange

      • steve earle says:

        Can’t really say much positive about the def front. Def has been neglected in favor of offensive splash and sparkle. The OL needed help going in but it too has been depending on Scar turning pigs ears into silk purses. How frustrating! Maybe next draft we address the Def line/LB and OL early? Also perhaps pay a few of our key players to stay?

  13. macspak says:

    QB thoughts:

    as long as Brady is healthy and producing at or close to his current level he will be the starting QB. That could be 41 or 45. I have no reason to not believe him when he says he wants to play until 45.

    JG is insurance, which sucks having to buy until you need it. BB obviously considers him high level insurance after the likely ransom he declined for JG this offseason. I would imagine BB would like this situation to work out on its own but I can’t see them letting him walk after this season with no return. I would have thought they would have tried to sign him to a 2 year contract giving him $10 Mill or so this year and next but their salary cap speaks against that. He will not sign a “team friendly” contract so presuming it is too expensive to extend him the only thing that makes sense is tag him and trade him this upcoming off season – unless TB dramatically declines, which I don’t see.

    JB – he didn’t and doesn’t have the recognition, reaction and accuracy that elite QB’s must have. Once BB saw/realized this they tried to get value for him and while Dorsett is a gamble he can fill that 4th WR slot with Mitchell out and maybe be a KR but not a PR. That apparently will fall to Amendola, which is scary. I hope there is a better answer but he will field punts expected to fall near the goal line.

  14. macspak says:

    with Mitchell now out for the season I felt it appropo to repost this and wonder why to the IR now and not a week ago – what changed:

    While roster building for the future is interesting and important the focus now is on this year. Losing Edelman will not be easy to overcome. He is fairly unique in the underneath quick hit routes, is fearless and TB’s go to 3rd down guy. None of the Patriot’s WR’s can duplicate his skill or impact. But, the offense must and will adjust. I expect White and Lewis and even Burkhead to take on that third down clutch slot.
    The Patriots and most, if not all, winning S Bowl teams have luck, health and quality on their side. I don’t like the way luck and health has marked us so far. Two top rookies of scant draft resources are gone (Garcia and Rivers) and Edelman is down for the count for this year. (I have every confidence he will successfully return next year due to modern medicine and his work ethic) Let’s hope that bad luck and severe impact injuries are done for the year. But, I can’t help recall and fear the way the Celtics 1987 season began with Walton breaking his foot riding the stationary bicycle. It was downhill from there.

    Nervous about tonight’s night. No game in the NFL is a gimmee, especially opening day when the other team is talented and sky high and both teams are somewhat unknowns presently compared to what they will become. KC is a tough team as proven in 2014 and recent playoffs. Can our D and ST stop them? Can our offense so soon and simply overcome Edelman’s loss and can our newest offensive weapons, be weapons? Tomorrow night will tell but I am not taking this game for granted as so many seem to be.

  15. Russell says:

    I felt the Patriots could not hold a roster spot for QB Brissett. However trading him puts the Patriots in an interesting QB position. BB always talks about what is best for the team. It’s hard to believe The Patriots go into the 2018 season, with a rookie backing up Tom. Paying Jimmy G. “tag” money to keep him another year, while a rookie gets into the system also, seems hard to believe.
    I’m hearing the Patriots like QB Alex Torgerson who was cut by Atlanta. Getting him or another QB prospect on the P-Squad, to get into the system would seem like the best move. It’s VERY likely the Patriots draft a QB either-way. Watching a lot of QB tape, QB Luke Falk stands out, along with QB Mike White. But I don’t see ANY college QB to be ready to back-up Tom going into 2018.
    I also feel BB trades CB Malcolm Butler by mid-season, same as LB Collins last year. He will be to costly to sign ( $10 mil.+ a year??) and to valuable to let walk. I think paying Jimmy G, (harder to replace) is more likely then M. Butler.
    Solder is making $10 mil. this year, to stay a Patriot he will need to take less, approaching 30 years old, or I think they let him walk. But Tom’s blind side needs a solid player at LOT.

    • Russell says:

      Trading CB Butler for a high pick (early 2nd round), would save $3.9 mil. cap space.

    • EdgeX says:

      It’s possible. But…

      I don’t think Jimmy G will agree to a short term deal because he wants to start and he can make a lot of money out there. Given that, the Pats would have to franchise tag him if they want to keep him.

      Playing devil’s advocate which seems more likely?

      Option A – They pay both Brady and Jimmy something like ~$40 million combined for one position for a year….

      OR

      Option B – They keep Brady, let Jimmy walk, and draft another QB banking on their scouting department to find another quality backup QB?

      I think I would be thrilled with option A, but option B seems more likely to me knowing the Patriots history for contracts, salary cap space, and how they value players.

      • Russell says:

        I just can’t see BB putting the back-up QB role to any Rookie with just a training camp , it’s not in the best interest of the team. I think paying both for one year, even at $40mil. gives a rookie QB a year in the system. Brady may retire after 2018, giving Jimmy G. the job; with a 2nd year QB to back-up. Jimmy G. then signs a 4 year deal; OR Brady plays on with a 2nd yr. back-up QB, & BB drafts another QB in 2019, to carry 3 QBs.

      • steve earle says:

        How about option C Edge? Tag JG then trade him? I agree with Russell that a rookie backup for Brady in 18 is not BB’s best plan so consider who are or will be the available vet QB’s this time next year? I suggest Bill will draft a rookie and sign a vet., carry three for the year until the rookie shows he can back up in 19.

        • EdgeX says:

          It’s possible that they tag Jimmy and trade him, but if you really think about it….

          The chances are probably slim that happens (hey I would LOVE if this happens as you know I’ve been beating that drum for a long while now)…but still will they find a partner that wants to trade all those picks for Jimmy…I dunno?

    • Jeff says:

      They could also look for a backup in free agency like Tom Savage or Sam Bradford.

    • steve earle says:

      Trading Butler before the deadline is possible, depending on the health of Gilmore and Rowe of course. It would also be good idea to get another starting cal CB to replace him unless Jones shows he can be that player. Lots to consider.

  16. Turbo says:

    If we’re talking about Iowa, i’m on the Josey Jewell train since last year. He doesn’t have elite physical traits, but he has high football IQ, he’s always around the ball and he’s a real leader. It would be nice to pick him up next year.

    • steve earle says:

      Good tip Turbo. I googled him on Draft Scout and he sounds impressive. They have him as a 4th or 5th rd pick but with his stock rising. I’ll be keeping an eye on him, thanks.

  17. GM-in-Training says:

    Have you looked at OverTheCap.com lately?

    I had been checking after every major trade in the offseason, and the Pats had ~$18M in space a week ago.

    Now they have $7.4M.

    That surprised me. I’m not totally sure how it happened. I guess it’s enough to do emergency deals before the trade deadline, but it’s not a comfortable amount. The most cap space they could free up by restructure would probably be for Solder, but it would be a 2-year commitment at minimum. He hasn’t been super durable, so I don’t know how they feel about that. Any veteran they sign after the first week doesn’t get their salary guaranteed for the season, so if they are going to do any more near-term moves, it’s probably after that.

    I don’t really know of a player they’d part with to free up cap space. Maybe if McClellin is looking good when he’s eligible to return, they’d drop an LB? Maybe if Dorsett is good at go routes but doesn’t get the offense, they’d move him. Dunno.

    Who do you think is most available as a chip if they want to either get a pick, shed some cap hit, or upgrade a position?

  18. EdgeX says:

    Some random thoughts:

    As far as Lazard goes, while you might have picked up a good prospect, related to the Pat’s I’m not sure they need another WR at this point with other pressing needs.

    I’ve read some really good things on Josh Allen from Matt Miller – who’s pretty high on him. So maybe it was just a bad game and need to give him another chance? He’s definitely more in the mold of Brett Farve (gunslinger) than Tom Brady.

    I’m not sure what to think of Dorsett, maybe a change of scenery will be good for him – we can only hope – but my expectations are low to start.

    I know a lot of people were seeing Antonio Garcia as the future replacement for Solder after the season, but with the injury to Garcia who’s out for the season, I find that now highly unlikely. Either they work out a short term, 2 year deal with Solder or….maybe franchise tag him? Just throwing that out there because trying to replace his production on a rookie is going to be hard to do, while you want to protect Brady the best you can to finish out his career this adds extra importance.

    Reading some articles online, podcasts from Michael Lombardi, and as evident from all the players recently cut from the 2015 draft class one interesting take is that draft picks are not as valued as they once were and more stock is being put into proven commodities. As this relates to the Patriots maybe that explains why they did not trade Jimmy G in the off season in addition to that they love the cheap “insurance backup” they have in place for Brady for this year. Considering how high Jimmy’s G franchise tag number would be, maybe this lends credence to letting Jimmy walk after the season and the Pats are banking on being able to find another cheap “insurance backup” in next years draft. They could then allocate their resources towards CB Malcolm Butler and LT Nate Solder.

    Call me crazy, but when we expect the Patriot’s to do one thing (like franchise tag Jimmy) they tend to do the opposite!

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