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2013 Patriots top FA targets
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Tzimisce


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:11 pm    Post subject: 2013 Patriots top FA targets Reply with quote

The top-5:

1. Jairus Byrd, FS, Buffalo Bills

Basically like Ed Reed only younger. Byrd, since being taken in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft, has quietly worked his way to becoming one of the top coverage safeties in the league, despite playing on what has typically been a dreadful defensive unit. Byrd would not provide quite the level of veteran savvy that Reed would bring to the table, but at 27 years of age, he would represent a long-term solution at a position that has been in near-constant flux for this team for the last five seasons. The big question is, will the Bills use the franchise tag on Byrd, or guard Andy LeVitre, who has been playing at a pro bowl level for the last three seasons, and will also be on the radar for Buffalo's division rivals?

2. Henry Melton, DT, Chicago Bears

Over the past two seasons, the former Texas Longhorn running back has turned into a devastating force as an interior pass rusher for the Bears, hearkening back to the early days of Tommie Harris' career, before the injuries hit. Melton would provide the sort of penetration from the 3-tech spot that the Patriots have lacked since the days of Richard Seymour, and has the athleticism to also flex out to 5-tech in 3-man fronts. As with Byrd, the big question is whether he will be franchised by his current team. The Bears' other big-name pending UFA is Brian Urlacher, who is likely to take a hometown discount, or potentially retire.

3. Cliff Avril, DE, Detroit Lions

With 37 sacks since the start of the 2010 season, Avril will be the top pass rusher on the market. The Lions are unlikely to use the franchise tag on him a second time, and long-term talks broke off months ago at an impasse. Adding Avril across from Chandler Jones, and with Jermaine Cunningham, Rob Ninkovich and Dont'a Hightower also in the stable would instantly give the Patriots one of the most formidable pass rush combos in the NFL.

4. Ed Reed, S, Baltimore Ravens

Still one of the most feared and respected defensive backs in the league, and for good reason, Reed, should he not opt for retirement, would be highly sought-after and unlikely to be franchise tagged. His skill-set is well-known, even though his athleticism is expected to diminish, his wisdom and experience would be invaluable to a young, struggling unit. A two or three-year deal would give the Pats a chance to allow young players like Ras-I Dowling and Tavon Wilson to soak up Reed's wisdom, perhaps bypassing the need to throw more good draft picks after bad in an effort to repair the secondary.

5. Randy Starks, DT, Miami Dolphins

A lower-priced option than Melton, Starks is not even 29 yet, but already a 9 year veteran of the NFL who has really flourished into a quality all-around lineman over the last three years in Miami. Starks has shown to be effective as both a gap-control 3-tech and a penetrator [albeit less so], with the ability to also play 5-tech, a-la Melton. Starks has also shown good durability, having played in 135 of a possible 139 games since the start of his rookie year in 2004. Dolphins fans claim Starks is not expected to be retained by Miami, given the draft picks allocated to the DT position in recent seasons.
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Last edited by Tzimisce on Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tzimisce


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

6. William Moore, S, Atlanta Falcons

I would have had Moore lower on this list before I saw him have an absolutely stellar game on national television against one of the top QBs in the league, picking him off twice and also registering two tackles for losses. Moore has not been the consistent career-long performer that Byrd and Reed have, but his emergence as a top player at his position makes him an attractive 3rd option behind those two. Dashon Goldson probably covers a bit better, but Moore is younger and, with his size/speed combo would be more of an enforcer who would work well in tandem with the cover safety McCourty [should he remain at FS].

7. Dashon Goldson, S, San Francisco 49ers

Less of a 'thumper' than Moore, but better in coverage, Goldson has really blossomed into a great player under Jim Harbaugh and Vic Fangio. The question is, is it Goldson himself who has made the jump, or has the jump he's made been magnified by the elite play of the unit around him? Probably a bit of both, frankly, so if he prices himself out of San Fran, potential suitors will need to exercise some caution, lest he fails to adapt to the new environment. Still, Goldson has been an elite safety over the last couple of years and is an attractive 4th option at safety behind Byrd, Reed and Moore.

8. Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers

Of the draft missteps the Patriots have made over the years, none stings more than trading up 16 spots with the Packers in 2006 to draft Chad Jackson, giving Ted Thompson the pick he'd use to draft Jennings, who'd have been an ideal fit for the New England offense. Jennings has become essentially expendable in Green Bay in the wake of Randall Cobb's emergence, but a franchise tag being slapped on him is a 50/50 proposition which all hinges on what Jennings' trade value is. I would advise against trading picks for Jennings, given how few the Pats have to spare in 2013, but as a UFA, he remains a very attractive option and of the WRs set to hit the market, he has the best combination of versatility, positional savvy, durability [2012 groin injury notwithstanding], and physical prowess.

9. Brent Grimes, CB, Atlanta Falcons

Grimey was a borderline elite cover corner in 2010, fell off a bit [though still above average] in 2011, and has missed virtually all of 2012 with an achilles injury. He will be an affordable option for bolstering the secondary, should the Pats choose not to retain Aqib Talib, and lack faith that Ras-I Dowling will live up to his pre-draft potential.

10. Israel Idonije, DT, Chicago Bears

Likely to come as a bargain to be a 3rd down pass rush specialist who can line up both outside and inside. Izzy has notched 18 sacks in the last 2 3/4 seasons since being inserted into the Bears' starting lineup, and still has plenty of tread on the tires despite having just turned 32.

-------------------

Other potential targets:

Donnie Avery, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams
Osi Umenyiora, DE, New York Giants
Glenn Dorsey, DT, Kansas City Chiefs
Delanie Walker, TE, San Francisco 49ers
Shaun Phillips LB/DE, San Diego Chargers
Tracy Porter, CB, Denver Broncos
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VTPatsFan


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seeing how actively they pursued Red Bryant last offseason, I would totally expect them to throw cash Melton's way. And I would be 100% fine with that.

Jones - Wilfork - Melton - Ninkovich

I like that DLine.
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homerjay24


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Melton... Drool
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goldfishwars


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man those first three are tempting...
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24isthelaw


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VTPatsFan wrote:
Seeing how actively they pursued Red Bryant last offseason, I would totally expect them to throw cash Melton's way. And I would be 100% fine with that.


Melton and Red Bryant are nothing alike...
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HOVA333


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see us signing 1 of these guys. Why not we need someone to make a huge impact.
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't see the Pats signing Avril or any other high priced edge player.
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Tzimisce


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcmurtry86 wrote:
Can't see the Pats signing Avril or any other high priced edge player.
Because you don't think Avril will be within their price range, or because you don't think Avril is a sufficient enough upgrade over Ninko/Cunningham to be worth the money?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tzimisce wrote:
mcmurtry86 wrote:
Can't see the Pats signing Avril or any other high priced edge player.
Because you don't think Avril will be within their price range, or because you don't think Avril is a sufficient enough upgrade over Ninko/Cunningham to be worth the money?


The Pats play primarily sub defense most weeks. I don't see them investing big money in any edge player that's going to take Ninkovich off the field in those situations.

A. They seem to love Ninkovich (and probably love his production to cost value)

B. Ninkovich is most useful in sub situations because he gives some flexibility (though they haven't used it too much this year) and is best when trying just to get after the QB

Cunningham shouldn't factor in the decision at all. He's a bit player and might not even be around next year. If he's around, I'd expect him to continue to be a rotational guy and situational DT.

Unless they want to start kicking Jones inside in sub fronts, I don't see room for a pricey edge player. Not with the guys currently on the roster and not with the other needs of the team. If they improve the LE spot, IMO it would be with a moderate range well-rounded guy, a cheap but quality run defender or a mid/high draft pick.
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tonyto3690


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tzimisce wrote:
mcmurtry86 wrote:
Can't see the Pats signing Avril or any other high priced edge player.
Because you don't think Avril will be within their price range, or because you don't think Avril is a sufficient enough upgrade over Ninko/Cunningham to be worth the money?


Compared to CB/S/DT/RT (Vollmer)/WR (Welker), it's just not what we need to allocate money towards.

Nink can be a passable DE as the worst player on the DL. We need to upgrade over Love. He's just not cutting it at all. I also like how Ninkovich offers some versatility as a standing up LB.

Anyways, I'd gladly welcome any of the players listed, but think we need to focus on safety and DT before anything else. Then Vollmer. Then Welker.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be thrilled with Volmer, Melton, Talib and drafting Vaccaro/Lester

Nink Melton Wilfork Jones
Hightower Spikes Mayo
Dennard Talib Arrington(nickle)
McCourty Vaccaro/Lester

Much improved over our current defense.
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nihc wrote:
I'd be thrilled with Volmer, Melton, Talib and drafting Vaccaro/Lester

Nink Melton Wilfork Jones
Hightower Spikes Mayo
Dennard Talib Arrington(nickle)
McCourty Vaccaro/Lester

Much improved over our current defense.


Improved, assuming Talib and Vaccaro/Lester are actually decent players which is a big if.

Also, why keep Arrington? Chances are someone else will offer him a contract and he's not worth keeping as a nickel back unless he's really cheap.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wide receiver has to be a big concern. Lloyd sucks. We need speed. GJ is overrated. We need to draft Patterson or T. Williams. Very Happy
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PatriotsWin!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't like most of those guys tbh. I agree with you that we need to go after a veteran safety (to pair with McCourty, not Chung, he's getting axed) but the only guy there that interest me is Goldson. Byrd is overrated, Reed is old and has had issues with the Pats and Moore isn't a big improvement over Chung. I like Goldson tho. Big physical guy, good against the run with decent coverage skills. As long as he doesn't try to outprice himself, I'd like the Pats to chase him.
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