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patsfan25


Joined: 07 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:24 pm    Post subject: Patsfan25 Patriots Off-Season Mock Reply with quote

Here's my attempt at the off-season, which is nothing more than a week away. I'm excited to see what we do this year and clearly cannot wait any longer as we all are. A couple of things to note, I'm no expert on financial and salaries in the NFL, but I have a bland idea of what the budget is and when it is met. My predictions are based on what I think Belichick will do based on what I've come to learn about him. Keep in mind, my thoughts and suggestions compiled from the other threads have been under the same criteria, and that is: If I think Belichick will do it. These thoughts of mine, from this entire off-season will be put together to simulate what I think will transpire.

A couple of notes before I start:

1. While the salary cap set at 133m only suggests contracts will be inflated, it benefits a team like New England who keeps their contract on a restriction regardless.

2. I did a very quick and amateur calculation of our cap situation a few weeks back with the salary cap set at 126m, and was able to come up with about 21m in cap space with the most likely cuts and restructuring. With the cap at 133m, I project us to have about 25-27 million when it's all set and done.

3. Belichick truly has his own draft board.

With that in mind, speculate away....


Cuts/Releases:
Isaac Sopoaga
Brandon Spikes
Mathew Mulligan
Ryan Wendell
Andre Carter
Tommy Kelly
Adrian Wilson
Aqib Talib:
At this point, I think the Patriots value Talib the most for a resigning. They're willing to work with a Brett Grimes-esque deal, but I feel Talib outprices himself into the double digit annually range and leaves for Oakland or Washington. Not worth it. Time to move one.


Resigns:

Michael Hoofwejoifjfdjsamanui (2 years)

Dane Fletcher (1 year)

Julian Edelman (3 years) - Edelman gets strong suitors in Houston and Kansas City but stays in New England after we match their offers and they stop chasing given his one year of production and injury history.

LeGarrette Blount (1 year) - Easy "prove it" deal to set up his market in the 2015 off-season. He can either boom and leave for green pastures or bust and be gone by next season. That won't be relevant until next calendar year.

FREE AGENCY:

Israel Idonije (1 year, vet minimum) - This represents major sleeper value. Idonije completely fell off with the Lions last year and it pretty much shut down his market. A good team atmosphere and need for DL depth can really revive his play, who is only a year away from solid rotation production. Could play inside and out and a great presence in the locker room if things work out. In the end, he could just be a camp body cut in late Summer.

Will Smith (2 years) - Very Belichick-esque player. Comes from a championship collegiate program, championship team in New Orleans. Savvy, experienced bargain veteran player who do wonders for Belichick in the limelight of his career.

Miles Austin (2 years) - I've been clamoring to the idea of Miles Austin since last off-season. He's smart, intelligent, can line up outside and inside. Really versatile and diverse skillset. His hammy is a concern at this point, but given the chance he stays healthy, let's not forget Austin had a 10 catch opener against the Giants last season before he tweaked it again. Going to be a great role model for Dobson.

Roman Harper (1 year) - An incoming stop gap deal. Belichick is all about blind value relative to the market. He also goes through phases where he picks through the same pool until it runs dry (Florida WRs, Raider castoffs, double dipping positions in the draft etc): This time, with Saints castoffs. Starting SS in rotation with Harmon in passing situations.

Derek Cox (3 years) - Cox was bad in San Diego, but it seems every CB goes to hell there. It was also a bad scheme fit. An athletic man press Corner, he can be Talib without the maturity issues.

Ahmad Bradshaw (1 year) - Despite torturous lingering injuries in his career, Bradshaw can still play when he's on the field. Let's hope he stays on it.

Andre Gurode (1 year) - A stop gap solution on the line, Gurode can provide competition/depth at either Center/Guard for a year or two and help mentor any incoming linemen through the draft.

Jeff Cumberland (3 years) - A very good compliment and insurance to Gronk.



Jamaal Westerman - Special Teams. Rutgers. 'Nuff said.


NFL DRAFT:

Round 1 (29) - Xavier Su'A-Filo - OT/G - California: He won't get past the first 5 picks of the 2nd round. So while we want to trade down, we can't afford to risk losing him to another team. XSAF fits the typical mold of a Patriots lineman. 6-4ish, 310 lbs. Athletic and able to move. Filo will anchor the line with Solder for years to come.

Round 2 (60) - DaQuan Jones - DT - Penn State: BoB and Houston is ready to hand in Jones' card with the first pick in the 3rd so we pull the trigger on DaQuan to further accomplish the FF fanbases' dream of having an All-Jones defensive line. He could be one of the most underrated players of the draft. Stout against the run. Disruptive in the passing game, he's got the most well rounded polish of any defensive lineman in the draft.

Round 3 (93) - Will Sutton - NT/DT - Arizona State: A disappointment that Sutton turns off the All-Jones defensive line, but turn on the tape and you may see Sutton is the best true NT in the class. I see a little bit of Wilfork in him from a technical standpoint and the ability to collapse the pocket into the direction of the running game. He might very well be Wilfork's predecessor.

TRADE: Stevan Ridley via Browns for Round 4 (102) - Christian Kirksey - LB - Iowa: The Browns are absolutely loaded with cap room and draft picks this off-season. With a huge need at RB and a power running game, they happily forfeit a mid-round pick in hopes of accomplishing that with one Ridley. In terms of the pick, the Patriots can use a smaller coverage LB on the roster. Kirksey would add immediate depth and chime in on passing down sub-packages to diversify the defense.

Round 4 (126) - TRADED to Washington Redskins for 6th Round Pick and 2015 3rd Round Pick - In a deep draft class and one particular need, the Redskins jump back in in desperation to grab a WR in the 4th that won't be there in the 2nd round in most classes. It's unfortunate they have 6 picks in this draft. We get an extra 3rd rounder for next season and that can come in very handy.

Round 6 (162) - Gabe Ikard - C - Oklahoma: The best 3-cone drill and 20 yard shuttle times at the Combine among offensive linemen. Charismatic, great character and hard worker. He can provide depth and possibly develop into a starter over time.

Round 6 (182) - Trey Burton - WR/TE - Florida: The Gators continue to produce these WR/TE tweeners, and they do so successfully. Burton is one damn athlete, and reminds me of what Belichick saw in Edelman and Ebert. He could develop into a Flanker/Move TE and succeed what Aaron Hernandez was able to do here.

Round 6 (190) - Vinny Sunseri - S - Alabama: Core special teamer coveted in the later rounds by Hoodie.

Round 7 (221) - Marion Grice - RB - Arizona State: Good size. All around skillset. Very determined and full of will. A decisive one-cut runner and great system fit, he can make the roster and be used in the committee taking over Bolden and with Ridley gone.



2014 Roster:
QB: Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett

RBBC: Ahmad Bradshaw, Shane Vereen (3DRB), LeGarrette Blount, Marion Grice

FB: Michael Hofeifjoffewjffmanui

WR: Aaron Dobson (X/Outside WR), Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Miles Austin (Split Out/Flank), Josh Boyce, Trey Burton

TE: Rob Gronkowski, Jeff Cumberland, Trey Burton

Tackles: Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Xavier Su'A-Filo

Guards/Centers: Dan Connoly, Andre Gurode, Gabe Ikard

DE/Pass Rusher: Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Will Smith, Michael Buchanan

DT: Vince Wilfork, DaQuan Jones, Chris Jones, Will Sutton, Sealver Silliga

LB: Jerod Mayo, Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Dane Fletcher, Christian Kirksey

CB: Derek Cox, Alfonzo Dennard, Logan Ryan, Kyle Arrington

Safety: Devin McCourty, Roman Harper, Duron Harmon,

P: Ryan Allen

K: Stephen Gostkowski

LS: Danny Aiken

Special Teams: Mathew Slater, Vinny Sunseri, Jamaal Westerman, Tavon Wilson, Steve Beauharnais
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larrywhigham25


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really respect the time and effort you (and others) put into these. I think this is very well done. I do not see Connolly coming back. I think it would be silly to trade Ridley when his trade value is way down and he is still signed for reasonable $$. And I do not see the Pats entering next year with Rob Gronkowski, Jeff Cumberland, Trey Burton as their tight ends. Need upgrade there.

But otherwise, very solid and very well researched.
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larrywhigham25


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And stay away from Miles Austin. Just a name at this point. Does not produce and does not stay healthy.
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patsfan25


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

larrywhigham25 wrote:
I really respect the time and effort you (and others) put into these. I think this is very well done. I do not see Connolly coming back. I think it would be silly to trade Ridley when his trade value is way down and he is still signed for reasonable $$. And I do not see the Pats entering next year with Rob Gronkowski, Jeff Cumberland, Trey Burton as their tight ends. Need upgrade there.

But otherwise, very solid and very well researched.


Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate that. A few things. Connolly, I can see taking a paycut, and moving to Center for next season. Even so, with the signing of Gurode, he can start there while Filo settles right into the RG slot while Connolly goes back to being a depth swingman on the offensive line. Flexibility is the idea there.

In terms of Ridley, I think some people overrate his value to the team. He's a decent RB with nothing much else to his game, and has a ton of consistency issues. RBs are a 100 to none these days, and it's a position that can be had in value throughout the depths of UDFA. I know we got him for a higher pick than a 4th, but there isn't much value lost from the time a mid round pick gets traded right before the end of his rookie contract for a pick in the same vicinity. I don't see Ridley getting a second contract here, and I don't see his value increasing at all, so getting the 4th round value relative to where he was drafted is pretty good in my opinion.

Also, the way I lined up the roster may be a little confusing. Obviously, some players are interchangeable within positions, and I listed it in a way that would truly designate their main roles to the team. For example, Hoomanawanui will obviously be the 2nd/3rd TE. Burton will mostly be a Special Teams player. Su'A-Filo can swing between G/T according to the lineup. Beauharnais, Westerman and Wilson are obviously emergency depth on defense as well.
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ICB 45


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Miles Austin would have been an interesting signing a couple years ago, but at this point, we already have enough injury-prone WR, so I don't think he is a good fit unless he comes very cheap. I like the idea of Cumberland though.

Where do you have Su'a-Filo playing? If you have him at RT, obviously I don't see the value with Vollmer already on the team. If you have him at RG, I would personally want to wait until the second round or trade down in the first (which is what I think they will do anyways). I think that the 2nd round could have a lot of value, especially with guys like Gabe Jackson and David Yankey there.

I am fine with the DaQuan Jones and Will Sutton selections, but I'm not sure I want to go back-to-back early in the same draft. I don't see Will Sutton at NT.

Way too little value for Ridley. I don't see the purpose of selling low here unless you wanted to draft someone to replace him in this draft (I think there is going to be pretty good value there late 2nd into the 3rd). Going into next season with Vereen and Blount as our starters is a scary thought to me.

I don't mind Burton or Sunseri. Seem like typical Patriots guys. Undersized but tons of heart and won't have the measurables, but always seemed to produce in college.
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't understand how the Pats are 'selling low' on Ridley. That implies they will have the chance to get more for him in the future. Which they won't because he's gone in 13 months for free.

His trade value is as high as it will be while he's under contract. His value is lower than it was 12 months ago but he's not going to regain that value during the window in which they would realistically trade him.
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ICB 45


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcmurtry86 wrote:
I don't understand how the Pats are 'selling low' on Ridley. That implies they will have the chance to get more for him in the future. Which they won't because he's gone in 13 months for free.

His trade value is as high as it will be while he's under contract. His value is lower than it was 12 months ago but he's not going to regain that value during the window in which they would realistically trade him.


It is selling low because regardless of his issues last year, he is still more valuable for this team than a 4th round rookie. It is selling low because it leaves us with Blount and Vereen as the only proven options at RB, neither of whom I trust as a starting-caliber back in the NFL and leaves us with serious depth issues. It is selling low because he is better than what he showed last year, which is what we would be getting for him.

Why is he gone in 13 months for free? Are we not allowed to resign him? What if he turns it around next year and performs like he did 2 years ago?
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ICB 45 wrote:
mcmurtry86 wrote:
I don't understand how the Pats are 'selling low' on Ridley. That implies they will have the chance to get more for him in the future. Which they won't because he's gone in 13 months for free.

His trade value is as high as it will be while he's under contract. His value is lower than it was 12 months ago but he's not going to regain that value during the window in which they would realistically trade him.


It is selling low because regardless of his issues last year, he is still more valuable for this team than a 4th round rookie. It is selling low because it leaves us with Blount and Vereen as the only proven options at RB, neither of whom I trust as a starting-caliber back in the NFL and leaves us with serious depth issues. It is selling low because he is better than what he showed last year, which is what we would be getting for him.

Why is he gone in 13 months for free? Are we not allowed to resign him? What if he turns it around next year and performs like he did 2 years ago?


The term 'selling low' in no way reflects upon his value to the Pats relative to a 4th rounder

As for 13 months from now, one of two things will happen in the next 12 months:

We see 2013 in-the-doghouse part time back Ridley. He is almost certainly not re-signed in this scenario

We see 2012 useful, albeit flawed, Ridley. In this scenario, one where he re-established himself as a capable starter and overcomes his fumble issues, he is almost certainly going to get more money elsewhere. I don't see the Pats shelling out multi-millions over 3+ years for him. I think the chances of him returning are almost 0%.

I also don't agree that he's necessarily better than what we saw last year. Seems to me that 2013 doghouse Ridley and 2012 'good' Ridley differ only in fumble rates and the better run blocking in 2012. As a runner, he wasn't noticeably worse and his passing game ability has been almost totally worthless both years.
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NextBigThing


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ridley's value is extremely overrated by Patriots fans.

He is a 1) running back, with 2) major fumbling problems) who 3) is a free agent after this coming season.

There are plenty of running backs nearly or as talented as Ridley without the fumbling issues and more than 1 year left on their contract. We watched 4.8 speed Lawfirm for a few years mixed with the midget Wooodhead. Ridley being the best athlete we have had at RB since Laurence Maroney (...) brings an obvious overestimation on his value from our fan base.

A 4th round pick doesn't seem like much and I wouldn't do the trade, but if we were to trade hi,m I would be shocked if we got higher than a 3rd rounder.
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dhunt2402


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NextBigThing wrote:
Ridley's value is extremely overrated by Patriots fans.

He is a 1) running back, with 2) major fumbling problems) who 3) is a free agent after this coming season.

There are plenty of running backs nearly or as talented as Ridley without the fumbling issues and more than 1 year left on their contract. We watched 4.8 speed Lawfirm for a few years mixed with the midget Wooodhead. Ridley being the best athlete we have had at RB since Laurence Maroney (...) brings an obvious overestimation on his value from our fan base.

A 4th round pick doesn't seem like much and I wouldn't do the trade, but if we were to trade hi,m I would be shocked if we got higher than a 3rd rounder.


And 4) offers literally nothing in the passing game, either as a receiver or a blocker. I can't see any way he's a Patriots after this season.
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dhunt2402 wrote:
NextBigThing wrote:
Ridley's value is extremely overrated by Patriots fans.

He is a 1) running back, with 2) major fumbling problems) who 3) is a free agent after this coming season.

There are plenty of running backs nearly or as talented as Ridley without the fumbling issues and more than 1 year left on their contract. We watched 4.8 speed Lawfirm for a few years mixed with the midget Wooodhead. Ridley being the best athlete we have had at RB since Laurence Maroney (...) brings an obvious overestimation on his value from our fan base.

A 4th round pick doesn't seem like much and I wouldn't do the trade, but if we were to trade hi,m I would be shocked if we got higher than a 3rd rounder.


And 4) offers literally nothing in the passing game, either as a receiver or a blocker. I can't see any way he's a Patriots after this season.


Exactly. Any improvement that makes him valuable enough to consider re-signing is probably going to make him valuable to other teams (especially those who can ignore his pass game deficiencies). That will inflate his cost and drive down the value he has to the Pats.
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patsfan25


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ICB 45 wrote:
Miles Austin would have been an interesting signing a couple years ago, but at this point, we already have enough injury-prone WR, so I don't think he is a good fit unless he comes very cheap. I like the idea of Cumberland though.

Where do you have Su'a-Filo playing? If you have him at RT, obviously I don't see the value with Vollmer already on the team. If you have him at RG, I would personally want to wait until the second round or trade down in the first (which is what I think they will do anyways). I think that the 2nd round could have a lot of value, especially with guys like Gabe Jackson and David Yankey there.

I am fine with the DaQuan Jones and Will Sutton selections, but I'm not sure I want to go back-to-back early in the same draft. I don't see Will Sutton at NT.

Way too little value for Ridley. I don't see the purpose of selling low here unless you wanted to draft someone to replace him in this draft (I think there is going to be pretty good value there late 2nd into the 3rd). Going into next season with Vereen and Blount as our starters is a scary thought to me.

I don't mind Burton or Sunseri. Seem like typical Patriots guys. Undersized but tons of heart and won't have the measurables, but always seemed to produce in college.


Miles Austin was a high priority FA and lock-up for the Cowboys a few years ago. Belichick is about finding value in depreciated markets. Austin's hammy is a big concern of course, but I don't see them drafting another rookie WR early this year or making a huge splash in FA at that position. We are going to roll with what we have and add one or two mid tier veteran pieces in the passing game. Obviously he's just another body in camp like Belichick likes to do at the position. I think he easily beats out KT for the roster spot.

I ultimately see Xu'A-Filo being plugged into RG with Connolly as the Center. Maybe even possibly have Mankins move to RG and have him anchor the LG position. Despite the shortcomings of Wendell/Connolly last year, I don't see the Patriots plugging in two rookies as starters on the offensive line next year.

Sutton is a project that has good upside. He can still gain some weight and strength to polish up his game at the NFL level. I think he can man the nose in a few years when he ups himself to 320-ish. While he doesn't currently have the ideal NT size at 301 lbs, his game reminisces of one. Plays with good leverage. Stout, quick on his feet and can push guys back manipulating the running lanes. He graded out in my eyes, as the best run support DT in this draft.

I'm interested to know what you think is good value for Ridley in a trade scenario right now.
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ICB 45


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

patsfan25 wrote:
I'm interested to know what you think is good value for Ridley in a trade scenario right now.


We won't get good trade value for Ridley right now, that is kinda my point.
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patsfan25


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ICB 45 wrote:
patsfan25 wrote:
I'm interested to know what you think is good value for Ridley in a trade scenario right now.


We won't get good trade value for Ridley right now, that is kinda my point.


So you don't think it's feasible to consider him a trade candidate, given the x amount of commodity he is and the unlikeliness that he has a future here?
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mcmurtry86


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

patsfan25 wrote:
ICB 45 wrote:
patsfan25 wrote:
I'm interested to know what you think is good value for Ridley in a trade scenario right now.


We won't get good trade value for Ridley right now, that is kinda my point.


So you don't think it's feasible to consider him a trade candidate, given the x amount of commodity he is and the unlikeliness that he has a future here?


He's definitely a trade possibility but only if the team re-ups Blount (or signs/drafts another guy). I doubt Ridley would be moved unless there was already another guy around or if the trade value they got was too good to pass up (a 3rd rounder)
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