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Free Agency Thread (2014 Edition)
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TomRalph


Joined: 03 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:16 pm    Post subject: Free Agency Thread (2014 Edition) Reply with quote

Running Back:
    Maurice Jones-Drew - With the Jaguars going with a youth movement, one would assume MJD is on the outs in Jacksonville. With Ridley proving unreliable and Blount expendable, MJD could provide a couple of years as a reliable RB who can catch out of the backfield for the Pats.


Wide Receiver:
    Kenny Britt - Rutgers connection, a player who has been in the doghouse for 2 years but has flashed NFL ability and could be a reclamation project for Belichick. If the FO doesn't feel confident in Dobson as a big target, outside WR, then maybe Britt could be a short term 'prove it' type deal.

    Emanuel Sanders - Most likely acquisition at any position I feel for the Patriots, after an unsuccesful RFA attempt to sign him last year, Sanders could be a target in UFA if Edelman leaves and/or the rookies don't progress as hoped for. Sanders provides speed, but solid route running and versatility.

    Eric Decker - Denver may choose not to resign Decker with Thomas and Thomas needing to be resigned to probably huge deals fairly soon. Decker is a viable outside threat but can run routes in the middle too. He's also white, so he makes a perfect Patriot receiver. Would be expensive, so probably not a great option in terms of a realistic projection.


Tight End:
    Brandon Pettigrew - A reliable blocker and a solid, if unspectacular option as a receiver, Pettigrew could be a viable 2nd option for the 2 TE sets which Belichick may still clamor for or a replacement for Gronkowski should he suffer from another injury hit season. Pettigrew has been inconsistent for the Lions and has been disappointing since being selected with the 20th Overall Pick in 2009 and they may look to move on without him.

    Scott Chandler - The bane of Patriots DB's when they play the Bills, Chandler is a huge target, but on the other end of the spectrum when it comes to athleticism. A good blocker which is always a plus and once again could be a stop gap to replace Gronkowski should it be required.


Offensive Line:
    Jon Asamoah - One of the better G's in the FA class of 2014 and could be an ample (albeit expensive) replacement for Dan Connolly who will likely be cut. This would be a luxury pick and expect to Belichick to draft an OG early in the draft to fill the RG spot.

    Alex Mack - Ryan Wendell had a great year in 2012, but 2013 has been a disaster, Patriots may look to add an elite C but with big money already tied up in Mankins and Vollmer and soon to be Nate Solder, it's unlikely big money is spent on the C or RG spots in FA. Again, look for these spots to be filled in the draft or with a veteran stop gap.


Defensive End:
    Robert Ayers - Ayers is a solid LDE who can play the run, offers some pass rush and has some experience in coverage. With Ninkovich recently receiving a contract extensions, LDE is far from a need, but depth at the position is. Ayers could play in the 4-3 front, or even play as a rush LB in the 3-4 that Belichick sometimes likes to utilize. Would be relatively cheap and available with the Broncos needing to extend Von Miller soon.

    Jared Allen - Allen has been an elite DE for a long time, and he has made a lot of money doing so. However, he could be willing to settle for a lesser deal in order to make a run at the Superbowl. With Chandler Jones moving to DT in some situations, Jared Allen could provide some veteran, consistent pass rush from the DE spot. Playing time may be an issue, but Allen may bypass that in order to chase a ring.

    Justin Tuck - The man who single handedly ruined the perfect season in '07. Tuck has severely regressed since then, but is still a force in the run game and is versatile enough to play inside in some situations. Maybe a semi-reclamation project but may not be welcome having played for the Giants.

    Lamarr Houston - Houston has played very well for Oakland since he was drafted, but becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of success, he may move on. Versatile with a quick first step. Houston could provide a starting DE who can move inside when necessary and really boost the pass rush and run stopping ability of the Defense. Could be an expensive acquisition, but would be worth it in my eyes.


Defensive Tackle:
    Arthur Jones - Jones can play next to his brother, or he could play the opposite to him. His versatility applies to the 4-3 and 3-4, where he could play any position and play well. He has progressed in recent seasons and could ask for a lot of money on the open market. Jones screams Patriot player, and may be excited at the chance to play with his brother.

    Tyson Jackson - Since being drafted 3rd Overall by Scott Pioli, Jackson has struggled, but seems to have had a resurgence recently, proving he belongs in the league, but never worth such a high draft selection. He still offers position versatility and could kick inside on pass rush downs in the 40 front. Could cone cheap and offer depth at many D-Line positions.

    Kevin Williams - Williams may finally leave Minnesota and could be this years Tommy Kelly. Williams could provide depth behind Kelly and Wilfork who are set to return in 2014 and Kelly and Williams could provide relief for an aging Wilfork on passing downs. This would also allow Chandler Jones to stay at RDE and could help him become a bigger force in terms of QB pressure.


Linebacker:
    Johnathan Vilma - Belichick has always loved Vilma and Vilma loves to play in the 4-3. With the Saints switching to the 3-4 last year, Vilma could make a move to a D that better suits his declining skill set. Vilma is solid in coverage (something the Patriots lack from the LB position) and could provide veteran leadership to plays like Hightower and Jamie Collins. Vilma would be a cheap acquisition I feel and would benefit the Patriots linebacking corps.


Cornerback:
    Brent Grimes - a short, but very athletic CB who has proven he is one of the better players in the NFL at his position. Grimes signed a 1 year deal with the disappointing Dolphins and could jump ship to a successful team who may be willing to pay him a deal he deserves. If Talib chases the money. Grimes could be an ideal replacement and could shore up the #1 CB position.


Safety:
    Major Wright - Wright is a versatile safety, though suited more to playing closer to the LOS. With McCourty patrolling deep center field, Wright could be bought in as an upgrade to Steve Gregory.

    Antoine Bethea - Bethea is a very consistent, reliable Safety, who can play coverage as well as he hits. Bethea and McCourty could create a scary Safety duo, and alongside a CB corps that boasts some impressive players, could help improve the entire pass defense. Bethea could be very expensive, but good Safeties are hard to find.

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_Oypus


Joined: 30 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I saw of Lamarr Houston and Arthur Jones this season, I think either of those guys would be a good addition. Moreso Jones, with how DT looks on this team right now. I think the problem, like all FAs, is making sure they won't be overpaid, especially if that comes at the cost of improving the team elsewhere.

I checked the list of offensive FAs a while back, and it didn't look very good back then. Still doesn't. Confused
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NinjaZX6R


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tuck/Allen -Though I prefer Tuck. He can stand up in a rover role. Play 3 tech.

Sanders Maybe?

Pettigrew- Yes please.


Arthur Jones-I can't count on an aging Kelly or Armstead. Love to have brothers on the same D line. He can play 3 tech and LDE 5 tech.

Major Wright is a terrible safety.

I like Beathea but the Colts are bringing him back. I think he is a better FS than SS. Pats have Devin.



Good thread.
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goldfishwars


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grimes has had a great year, Miami are going to have to fork out to bring him back.
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Potential Free Agent Acquisitions Reply with quote

Maurice Jones-Drew - Unlike Ridley and Blount, Jones-Drew can catch but he's pretty much cooked as a runner. If he were extremely cheap ($1M), sure. Otherwise, would prefer someone with more gas in their tank and/or a longer term solution.

Kenny Britt - With Dobson, Thompkins and Amendola taking a ton of snaps next year (most likely), I don't see room for Britt or any other bigger name player. He might come cheap because of his issues but I don't think he's worth the trouble.

Emanuel Sanders - If the Pats are going to spend money on this style of WR, they might as well just re-sign Edelman. Sanders had a very solid year and isn't going to come much cheaper (if at all) than Edelman. Plus, he lacks Edelman's punt return ability

Eric Decker - Will be way out of the Pats price range and isn't really a need.

Brandon Pettigrew - Again, probably out of the Pats price range. Enough teams need TE's that a guy with Pettigrew's pedigree (solid career, 1st round pick, still fairly young) should be able to land a starting gig somewhere.

Scott Chandler - Wouldn't mind Chandler but I'm not sure what his market will be. Would be a good pickup at a reasonable cost.

Jon Asamoah - The Pats aren't going to spend big bucks on an external interior OL.

Alex Mack -Mack will get a very big contract somewhere. Way out of the Pats price range.

Robert Ayers - Will be too expensive to be a backup who plays very limited snaps. The Pats don't rotate their DE's much so they need a bargain veteran or a young guy as the backup. Ayers also stinks standing up and IMO the Pats will prefer an edge player with versatility.

Jared Allen - Too expensive. Not a fit.

Justin Tuck - Not sure what Tuck's value will be league wide. I'm not sure he will want to sign as a bit player/backup.

Lamarr Houston - Yes. This is one of the guys the Pats should be targeting. He will be expensive, but he's young, productive, still improving and has the skillset and versatility the Pats covet. Houston should be atop the Pats offseason wish list.

Arthur Jones - Made himself a lot of money this year. I'm not sure the Ravens will let him go, but he would make a good signing if he takes a discount to play alongside his brother.

Tyson Jackson - I actually don't think Jackson is going to be that cheap. He's a very solid 5-technique in a league where the majority of teams play 3-4 or a hybrid. He will probably score a nice contract somewhere. Doesn't offer enough in a 4-3 to be worth the Pats time.

Kevin Williams - Depends on cost. If he takes a discount to try to win a ring, he'd be a good fit. But he figures to have a number of suitors.

Johnathan Vilma - I don't think Vilma will be interested in a backup spot.

Brent Grimes - The only external option I would go for if Talib leaves. Will be very pricey though.

Major Wright - He's terrible. No thanks. Might as well keep Gregory.

Antoine Bethea - He'll be expensive and needs to be at FS to be worth the money he will command. I don't see him leaving Indianapolis regardless.


I think the issue here is that the Pats have very limited funds for free agents and what money they do have will have to go towards some combination of Edelman, Blount, Talib, Wendell, extending McCourty and filling out the depth of the roster (i.e. resigning Aiken, Collie, Fletcher, one of the backup TE's). Even if they cut some of the more expensive guys (Gregory, Connolly), there isn't going to be a ton of money to get external players and retain their own guys.

Depending what happens with Talib and Edelman, CB, DT and TE have to be where the high picks and big dollars go.
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Richter


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only guy I want on that list is Arthur Jones, since I wanted the Patriots to draft him. Also wish they had found a way to get Larry Warford this year, so they wouldn't need to go shopping for a RG...
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bluemushrooms


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When is Develin's contract up? He's been an incredibly important part of the foundation of our offense this season.
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluemushrooms wrote:
When is Develin's contract up? He's been an incredibly important part of the foundation of our offense this season.


He's signed through next year but I expect them to bring in competition or an upgrade for that spot (if they even keep a FB next year). He's been pretty marginal as a blocker and they can probably do better with a full offseason to find a new guy.
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Sciz


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bluemushrooms wrote:
When is Develin's contract up? He's been an incredibly important part of the foundation of our offense this season.
He's under contract next season and an RFA in free agency a year from now. Basically, that means they've got him for two more years.


I think a guy to keep an eye on is Julius Peppers. He's getting cut in Chicago, and for the first time in his career, his price might be reasonable. We know how much Belichick likes him, and they do need a 3rd DE (sorry, Carter).
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sciz wrote:
bluemushrooms wrote:
When is Develin's contract up? He's been an incredibly important part of the foundation of our offense this season.
He's under contract next season and an RFA in free agency a year from now. Basically, that means they've got him for two more years.


I think a guy to keep an eye on is Julius Peppers. He's getting cut in Chicago, and for the first time in his career, his price might be reasonable. We know how much Belichick likes him, and they do need a 3rd DE (sorry, Carter).


Julius Peppers isn't going to sign to be a #3 DE. I also haven't seen the reports that he's getting cut but it would be surprising for them to eat more than $8M in dead money next year to do it. Do you have a link for that?
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jofos


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The main potential free agent I would like to see us sign is Edelman. After that Jones would be nice but I don't know if we can or will afford him.
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ChazStandard


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sucky WR class - all those guys I see being more expensive than Edelman with only marginal (if any) improvement as a receiver. Throw in the obvious downgrade at PR and they should just re-sign him.

A decent veteran TE is probably a must though. Chandler fits the pattern of hiring Pats-killers.

Likewise some help on the DL is important, would think both Houston and Jones would be too expensive. Tyson Jackson might not be, and offers some scheme versatility.
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChazStandard wrote:
Sucky WR class - all those guys I see being more expensive than Edelman with only marginal (if any) improvement as a receiver. Throw in the obvious downgrade at PR and they should just re-sign him.

A decent veteran TE is probably a must though. Chandler fits the pattern of hiring Pats-killers.

Likewise some help on the DL is important, would think both Houston and Jones would be too expensive. Tyson Jackson might not be, and offers some scheme versatility.


Tyson Jackson isn't worth much (in contract terms) as a 4-3 player. If you sign him, you really have to play him at 5-technique in a 3-4.
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Sciz


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcmurtry86 wrote:
Julius Peppers isn't going to sign to be a #3 DE. I also haven't seen the reports that he's getting cut but it would be surprising for them to eat more than $8M in dead money next year to do it. Do you have a link for that?
No reports but a ton of rumors, and it really doesn't make sense to keep him. They'd save almost $10M if they get rid of him, and he's not remotely worth that. He could be a candidate for the post-June 1 designation (but released earlier), which would spread that $8M dead money over these next two seasons.

He'd have to accept less money and a lesser role, but it sounds like he knows he's not the player he used to be. If he's interested in a smaller role on a good team, then I'm sure Belichick would gladly pay him somewhere around $4M, not that money should really matter to Peppers a ton at this point.
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sciz wrote:
mcmurtry86 wrote:
Julius Peppers isn't going to sign to be a #3 DE. I also haven't seen the reports that he's getting cut but it would be surprising for them to eat more than $8M in dead money next year to do it. Do you have a link for that?
No reports but a ton of rumors, and it really doesn't make sense to keep him. They'd save almost $10M if they get rid of him, and he's not remotely worth that. He could be a candidate for the post-June 1 designation (but released earlier), which would spread that $8M dead money over these next two seasons.

He'd have to accept less money and a lesser role, but it sounds like he knows he's not the player he used to be. If he's interested in a smaller role on a good team, then I'm sure Belichick would gladly pay him somewhere around $4M, not that money should really matter to Peppers a ton at this point.


I don't know what's less likely - Peppers signing to be a #3 DE and get 10-15 snaps per game or the Pats paying $4M for a guy who plays 10-15 snaps on defense per game.

Unless Chandler Jones is moving inside permanently (and I don't see that as happening), there's no room for Peppers. He had 7.5 sacks last year, is still a big name and - while declining - is still a solid starting caliber player. Some team will give him good money if the Bears do release him.
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