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Old 07-11-2012, 10:56 AM    (permalink
Don Vito
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Gordon is intriguing but don't we already have a logjam of sorts at wideout? If there is any legit interest on our side then maybe that says something about the state of the Welker negotiations.

I have wanted a Gordon type receiver on this team for a while though. Yes he has red flags and little experience, but having a young freak receiver on this team with seasoned Gronk and Hernandez would be awesome.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:25 AM    (permalink
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Gordon is intriguing but don't we already have a logjam of sorts at wideout? If there is any legit interest on our side then maybe that says something about the state of the Welker negotiations.

I have wanted a Gordon type receiver on this team for a while though. Yes he has red flags and little experience, but having a young freak receiver on this team with seasoned Gronk and Hernandez would be awesome.
It just seems that the Patriots have been burned too many times by trying to look outside of their system for talent rather than finding fits; Ochocinco, Chad Jackson, Brandon Tate, Bethel Johnson, and Taylor Price all come to mind. The only incredibly talented receiver that has ever been successful in New England during Belichick's tenure is Moss, who is one of the greatest wide receivers of all time; even Donte' Stallworth was only average or slightly above-average during the 2007 season. Intelligence, recognition skills, and route running are far more conducive to success in New England's offense than being tall or able to run downfield; looking for those skills allows the Patriots to manufacture an extremely efficient passing game without investing heavily at the position in terms of draft picks or money at the expense of excluding players who don't use much technique or understand the option route system, who are generally more coveted/expensive anyways.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:57 PM    (permalink
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Has anyone seen the Robert Kraft video? Man, I hope he doesn't quit his day job lol.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:17 PM    (permalink
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:30 PM    (permalink
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What do Robert Kraft and Tom Brady have in common (other than the Patriots)?

Both are seeing 32 year old models :D
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:38 PM    (permalink
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I'm projecting Gordon to be picked with a third-round choice, so the Patriots would probably have to offer a second in order to land him. His physical tools are interesting, but I'm not expecting New England to invest heavily in a wide receiver based on physical tools, especially one with character concerns who has a limited amount of collegiate experience playing in a very simple offense.
I thought that was all the rage these days among coaches.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:04 PM    (permalink
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It just seems that the Patriots have been burned too many times by trying to look outside of their system for talent rather than finding fits; Ochocinco, Chad Jackson, Brandon Tate, Bethel Johnson, and Taylor Price all come to mind. The only incredibly talented receiver that has ever been successful in New England during Belichick's tenure is Moss, who is one of the greatest wide receivers of all time; even Donte' Stallworth was only average or slightly above-average during the 2007 season. Intelligence, recognition skills, and route running are far more conducive to success in New England's offense than being tall or able to run downfield; looking for those skills allows the Patriots to manufacture an extremely efficient passing game without investing heavily at the position in terms of draft picks or money at the expense of excluding players who don't use much technique or understand the option route system, who are generally more coveted/expensive anyways.
I agree, I would like to see someone with some size and flat out speed who can stretch the field. I know we picked up Lloyd and I am excited to see what he can do, but I think a downfield receiver would be a different animal in this offense today with our tight ends and the skillsets of the receivers already on board. Thats what I'm hoping Lloyd will bring, but I wouldn't mind taking a shot on a burner with size like Gordon. If you could get someone with that kind of ability and pretty much just tell him to run deep odds are he will have a one on one mismatch considering all the attention on Gronk, Hernandez, and Welker/Lloyd. Something tells me Brady would be able to put it in the right spot, too.

I'm not just saying Gordon, but since Moss left I've really wanted us to pick up a home run threat type receiver with size. Easier said than done I know, but having that type of player in this offense would be insane. I do expect big things from Lloyd this year, but I still wouldn't mind taking a shot on someone with tools like Gordon has.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:06 PM    (permalink
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It just seems that the Patriots have been burned too many times by trying to look outside of their system for talent rather than finding fits; Ochocinco, Chad Jackson, Brandon Tate, Bethel Johnson, and Taylor Price all come to mind. The only incredibly talented receiver that has ever been successful in New England during Belichick's tenure is Moss, who is one of the greatest wide receivers of all time; even Donte' Stallworth was only average or slightly above-average during the 2007 season. Intelligence, recognition skills, and route running are far more conducive to success in New England's offense than being tall or able to run downfield; looking for those skills allows the Patriots to manufacture an extremely efficient passing game without investing heavily at the position in terms of draft picks or money at the expense of excluding players who don't use much technique or understand the option route system, who are generally more coveted/expensive anyways.
This is the biggest thing about looking at WRs the Pats tend to go after. Moss was obviously an exception but he has once in a generation talent and when motivated transcends any scheme. Brandon Lloyd is an interesting guy because he isn't normally the type of guy who would have success in New England but has had his best years under McDaniels.

Apart from that you have Welker and Branch obviously who have been successful, Gaffney and Reche Caldwell etc, not exactly big time talents but guys who understood the little things in the offense and made it work.

Then you look at guys like Ocho, Tate, Price, Jackson etc. All physically superior to any successful Pats WR in the last ten years except Moss but couldn't make it work.

Ideally we could get another Moss but even without that elite perimeter guy the offense has been one of the best in the NFL.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:34 PM    (permalink
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My problem with NE's WR situation is that every young WR we have is practically camp fodder. When we do invest in a young WR, either the player is mentally handicapped or the Patriots refuse to develop a young WR.

We have young promising players at lots of positions, but WR is going to be a desert if Welker walks next year. Lloyd will be the #1 and #2 might be a bum off the street.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:55 AM    (permalink
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My problem with NE's WR situation is that every young WR we have is practically camp fodder. When we do invest in a young WR, either the player is mentally handicapped or the Patriots refuse to develop a young WR.

We have young promising players at lots of positions, but WR is going to be a desert if Welker walks next year. Lloyd will be the #1 and #2 might be a bum off the street.
If Welker walks it could be damaging, although with the TEs it won't be as bad as it would have been two years ago.

Unless a young stud or FA is brought in I would imagine your two outside guys would be Lloyd and Gaffney. At the slot you would have Edelman who is a significant drop from Welker and there is the issue.

Bringing in a top prospect or big name FA doesn't really help the area that Welker would vacate. It may open the offense up in a different style, however the Pats have had tremendous success in their horizontal option read offense.

One of the big concepts of the Pats attack is attacking the depth of the linebackers and safeties. In running route concepts with differing levels it allows Brady to pick the best option. It isn't simply based on running a good route and beating coverage.

Say for instance, Welker runs a short slant in front of the LBs, this is to force them to stay shallow in their drops. At this point one of the TEs may run an in route in front of a deep safety and have the chance to exploit the gap in between the LBs and safeties.

Taking Welker out of the lineup may force the Pats to use Hernandez in that role more, but ideally you want Hernandez to be your match up guy. Get him the ball in the open field and let him make the defender miss.

Welker isn't a huge YAC guy. A lot of the time when he receives the ball he is met by a defender. That would reduce a lot of what is good about Hernandez should that happen.

Now say the opposing defense comes out in a sub package with extra DBs. Using Hernandez as a Welker replacement limits the ability to dictate formations. If the Pats go with 2 WRs, 2 TEs and a RB and the opposing defense comes out in a base defense then they will throw pretty much 100% of the time. However if they come out with multiple DBs, depending on match ups Brady will likely line them up in tight formations and run.

Using Hernandez as a WR instead of a TE in these situations limits the passing options.

While Welker shouldn't get the type of money or length of deal he is looking the Pats should do their best to resign him, at least in the short term until a viable replacement is found. Losing a guy to dictate inside coverage like Welker will hamper the impact Gronk and Hernandez have. However both guys are talented enough to produce as the focal points of the offense.
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:20 PM    (permalink
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Three players who missed the cut but could make the team:

1. FB Spencer Larsen
2. NT Ron Brace
3. SS James Ihedigbo
Ihedigbo will make the team over Tracy White.
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:59 PM    (permalink
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In 2 hours, Welker either gets the franchise tag (11.4m) or free agency in 2013.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:09 AM    (permalink
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the tag is 9.5 this year and 11.4 next year, if used
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:23 AM    (permalink
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I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see Welker back next year. I just don't see teams lining up to sign him to the big contract he wants. He is kind of screwed by his age and the fact that any Pats free agent other teams have signed historically have been busts with their new team, especially at WR.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:47 AM    (permalink
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I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see Welker back next year. I just don't see teams lining up to sign him to the big contract he wants. He is kind of screwed by his age and the fact that any Pats free agent other teams have signed historically have been busts with their new team, especially at WR.
I have read quite a few opinions on the Welker situation and the one I tend to agree with is if Welker has another good year then he won't be in New England.

The franchise tag simply isn't an option next year. Why tag him twice in a row and run the risk of a protracted holdout and general disillusionment when they could have offered him a two year deal worth $10m a year this year? The two tags average at $10m but Welker doesn't have the added security of a multi year deal. This would mean it could have eased the situation by saying we will give you a two year deal and throw in a team option third year for around the same money. So I don't see them tagging him again.

If Welker performs to his usual standard the Patriots won't get into a bidding war with other teams. It doesn't make sense when they could have gotten as close to a team friendly deal this year as possible, whereas next year it is likely Welker will go to the highest bidder. This is the least attractive option to both sides. The Pats lose a key cog in their offense and Welker needs to go to another place where he may not be a perfect fit.

Now, if Welker gets hurt or has a down year then he probably will be back.

Realistically in all situations the Pats hold all the leverage unless Welker shows no signs of slowing down. I think in an ideal situation Welker would like to finish his career with Brady in New England however the Pats aren't going to break their financial strategy for anyone, let alone a 31 year old WR regardless of his worth to the team.
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:03 PM    (permalink
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I think we see a situation similar to Lloyd, to be honest. The market won't be as hot for an older WR, even though Wes' production clearly makes him far more valuable than a guy like Lloyd. WR is a sharp drop position and no team is going to pay him the money that guys like VJax and the other young WRs received this year.

Basically, I don't think the Patriots are the only team that will balk at the big contract when the WR is 32 heading into the season. We will certainly find out, I suppose. It only takes one team to make the plunge, though, so it's certainly possible he's gone.
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:04 PM    (permalink
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The Welker contract situation was best described as being a "philosophical" issue, so I'm fully prepared for him to leave after the 2012 season. I can't imagine the Patriots placing the franchise tag on him again. He'll be 32 years old next year, and as the saying goes, it's probably better to cut ties with a player a year early than a year late.
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:11 PM    (permalink
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I think the market set by guys like V-Jax and even lesser guys like Garcon and Meachem really hurt Welker's chances of getting a long term deal in New England. They were never going to give anything close to that money to him even though he has produced at a much higher level than any of them.

Call it a lack of loyalty (as some media members have) but the Patriots method has a proven track record. It's a tough pill to swallow for Welker, but as they say this is business
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:16 PM    (permalink
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Yea, I completely stand by the Pats on this. I read Welker wanted a contract of 2 years/20+
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:44 PM    (permalink
descendency
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Originally Posted by Nalej View Post
the tag is 9.5 this year and 11.4 next year, if used
That's what I was trying to say.

Either he will get the tag or he will get his day in free agency, because the team isn't allowed to sign him until free agency starts (or at least that's my understanding).
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:45 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by FlyingElvis View Post
I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see Welker back next year. I just don't see teams lining up to sign him to the big contract he wants. He is kind of screwed by his age and the fact that any Pats free agent other teams have signed historically have been busts with their new team, especially at WR.
Teams like Washington will always do stupid things, though.

The only question is whether Welker will be dumb enough to go and play for a bottom feeder or not.

It's a huge difference between Green Bay coming and offering him better money and Oakland.


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Originally Posted by Nalej View Post
Yea, I completely stand by the Pats on this. I read Welker wanted a contract of 2 years/20+
He's already got 9 million of that guaranteed. He was just trying to get them to apply the franchise tag a year early (He's already guaranteed 9.5, so guaranteeing the other 11.4 would basically put him at 21 million). I don't think Welker thinks they'll let him walk.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:40 PM    (permalink
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Hightower signs!

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...onta-hightower

No guarantee in year 4.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...ear-guarantee/

Time for camp.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:10 AM    (permalink
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Hightower is going to be such a stud here. Can't wait to see what he and Jones will bring.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:06 PM    (permalink
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Any numbers out on the deal yet?
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:12 PM    (permalink
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I have not seen numbers but the 4th year isn't guaranteed, which I guess was the hold up. However Pittsburgh wasn't going to guarantee Decastro so that enabled Hightower to sign.

Charges released Castillio (again.) I think he'd be a good signing here even if just for depth.
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