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Old 03-19-2014, 04:52 AM    (permalink
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Here's my concerns with our receiving options right now.

Edelman: - If he stays healthy for 16 games I imagine he will have a similar statistical output as he had last year. However he has stayed healthy only once in his career. Even at that, he adds very little in the red zone.

Amendola: - Issues over his brittleness were, if anything, underrated last year. This guy can be a really good player but is too reckless with his body and I can pretty confidently say he will not play 16 games this year. Love his toughness but that's only so much.

Dobson: - Got a lot better as the year went on, but started the season hurt and finished it hurt. He will also miss OTAs due to surgery. If history has shown anything with young WRs in this offense, it is that if they don't gain Brady's trust early, then it never really works out. Dobson has the necessary skills to be a good perimeter WR, but if he can't work with Brady it won't mean a thing.

Boyce: - Underwhelming year before he got hurt (issues as with Dobson in that regard). I was hoping for more explosion in both the pass game and the return game. To be honest he looked pedestrian and had a few drops.

KT: - Started on fire and in fairness made some really nice catches. However, the more he played the more reasons you seen why he was an UDFA. He runs really good routes but isn't a natural pass catcher. I could find any number of times where he left his feet to catch the ball instead of taking it in stride and maximising YAC. Also can't make contested catches. At this point in Brady's career, where he isn't as accurate over 20+ yards our outside WRs need to win the tough catches when Brady puts them up. Possible cut candidate in TC.

Slater: - NOT A WR!!!

LaFell: - I liked LaFell coming out and he adds a physical presence. I'm not writing this move off yet because he was used pretty horrible by Carolina, as was everyone not named Smith or Olsen. In saying that, he hasn't shown anything in his career to this point to make you think he can become anything more than a serviceable outside guy.

All of this brings us to one point right now. The TEs. I don't like this WR corps more than anyone else here, but if Gronk is back then we will move the ball. Add in if we can pick up one of the rookies and this pass game will be back to one of the best in the league. However, if Gronk gets hurt or is slow getting back then it moves everyone else up a slot. I like a look of Gronk, Dobson, Edelman, LaFell and Amaro/ASJ/Niklas. I don't like Dobson, Edelman, LaFell, Amaro/ASJ/Niklas and Amendola.

Similarly to our secondary, if we get Gronk healthy and add a TE, we go from being the smallest receiving corps to one with major size. You would have 4 options over 6'2. I'm sick of having more than one small, shifty guy in the middle of the field. That **** doesn't work when it comes down to the crunch.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:07 AM    (permalink
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Assuming gronk can stay healthy is a big assumption too. So thus far we have a bunch of injury prone weapons, only one of which has any real ability to make big plays at anytime. That just isnt acceptable to me.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:13 AM    (permalink
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Assuming gronk can stay healthy is a big assumption too. So thus far we have a bunch of injury prone weapons, only one of which has any real ability to make big plays at anytime. That just isnt acceptable to me.
That's basically the height of it really. To me it seems as though they have put all their eggs into that one basket on offense. If Gronk isn't full go for the season then we won't do anything, regardless of how much better we may have gotten on defense.

I think if the injury gods do us a favor and we get 16 games of Edelman, Amendola and Gronk we will be right there with the Broncos for the AFC rep in the Superbowl, because I think our defense can be close to elite, especially against the pass. However, I can say right now that is not going to happen. Hell, our best bet is to have the 3 guys there for the playoffs and I'm not even sure that is more than a 50/50 chance.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:54 AM    (permalink
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That's basically the height of it really. To me it seems as though they have put all their eggs into that one basket on offense. If Gronk isn't full go for the season then we won't do anything, regardless of how much better we may have gotten on defense.

I think if the injury gods do us a favor and we get 16 games of Edelman, Amendola and Gronk we will be right there with the Broncos for the AFC rep in the Superbowl, because I think our defense can be close to elite, especially against the pass. However, I can say right now that is not going to happen. Hell, our best bet is to have the 3 guys there for the playoffs and I'm not even sure that is more than a 50/50 chance.
And even assuming we DO keep pace with Denver, and say even best them and make it to the SB. Do we really expect to move the ball with just Gronk? Because right now the rest of our "weapons" would get laughed off the field if they had to face the Seattle secondary. Denever barely managed to put up any points, and we expect to get by with this? Sure we may be able to get by in the AFC, the NFC is another story and I thought the whole point was to win one more ring before we send Brady off? I guess thats why I'm frustrated, were just trying the same things every off season at the position and it doesn't work. We need playmakers.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:06 AM    (permalink
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And even assuming we DO keep pace with Denver, and say even best them and make it to the SB. Do we really expect to move the ball with just Gronk? Because right now the rest of our "weapons" would get laughed off the field if they had to face the Seattle secondary. Denever barely managed to put up any points, and we expect to get by with this? Sure we may be able to get by in the AFC, the NFC is another story and I thought the whole point was to win one more ring before we send Brady off? I guess thats why I'm frustrated, were just trying the same things every off season at the position and it doesn't work. We need playmakers.
Yeah definitely I agree. Small ball doesn't work anymore. It's why teams are getting bigger at WR and CB.

I do think with how the CBA is set up we are likely to see more and more teams with 2 or 3 year windows in future and long term success like the Pats will be a thing of the past.

It's tough to build a great team around a veteran top quality QB these days. However, if teams like Seattle can get a franchise QB for buttons in the draft then they can afford to keep their playmakers.

I really don't think we are too far away, but there is nothing there at the moment to make this offense better. If we go through the draft and somehow got a guy like OBJ, or took a guy like Moncrief or Adams then we will have upgraded the position, but it's not guaranteed to be enough. Even if we got a guy who could produce like Keenan Allen last year we would still be underdogs against the Seahawks.

This is where Gronk is huge though because say we take an early round WR, you can pretty much assume Sherman will take one of he or Dobson out of the game. Then Byron Maxwell would be matched up against the other. If Gronk is there he likely ties up one or both of Chancellor and Wagner which means Edelman could do things and the run game would be important. Without both Gronk and another WR you are basically trying to manufacture space against a quick, hard hitting defense which is virtually impossible.

All in all though, I think we could beat any NFC team most days outside of Seattle and SF with a healthy offense. But both these teams can play smash mouth football and win through the air. I'm not overly optimistic on our chances to win the Superbowl next year but once again I think the winner comes from the NFC West
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:17 AM    (permalink
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Edelmen's contract is actually pretty inexpensive looking at. My only query with the signing now stems from whether or not we become complacent at the position. The lafell deal however, ugh.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:22 AM    (permalink
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I'm not worried about it. When the time comes, and our pass catching core is decimated by injury, I will simply start spamming the **** out of the board by posting only

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Old 03-19-2014, 10:24 AM    (permalink
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I think someone said Edelman started his negotiation looking for at least Amendola money and the Pats said no which is why he looked elsewhere. When the market didn't open up he came back on this deal. If anything it shows how bad the Amendola deal was because if anything prices went up this year with the cap.

LaFell's contract isn't major but it is reminiscent of those Joey Galloway-esque deals where chances are we have just thrown some money away
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:56 AM    (permalink
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Yeah, really don't understand the Pats strategy at wide receiver. We had this big glut of #3-#5 type targets (Amendola, Vereen, Dobson, Thompkins, Boyce), an oft-injured #1, and a desperate need for a #1-#2 type guy who is reliable on the outside. So what do we do? Spend $7.25 APY for a #3 and #4 guy who are both accustomed to playing out of the slot, instead of the $7.24 APY on Decker who is literally the exact guy we needed.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:03 AM    (permalink
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I'm not worried about it. When the time comes, and our pass catching core is decimated by injury, I will simply start spamming the **** out of the board by posting only

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Old 03-19-2014, 11:07 AM    (permalink
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Yeah, really don't understand the Pats strategy at wide receiver. We had this big glut of #3-#5 type targets (Amendola, Vereen, Dobson, Thompkins, Boyce), an oft-injured #1, and a desperate need for a #1-#2 type guy who is reliable on the outside. So what do we do? Spend $7.25 APY for a #3 and #4 guy who are both accustomed to playing out of the slot, instead of the $7.24 APY on Decker who is literally the exact guy we needed.
I was going to post this exact thing but Ive been relegated to the bitter bitching and angry pats homer on here over the last few days and feel obnoxious. I just can't stand the decisions were continuing to make at this position. I'd rather give a talented guy a big contract then waste our money paying 3-4 mediocre at best guys who don't even fit what we need. Go trade for Desean, a third round pick is nothing. Granted he isn't the ideal fit for what we need but at least he has the ability to stretch the field and get open deep.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:49 AM    (permalink
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We're rumored to be in the discussions for Desean. I'd be happy with that. He is a big play / TD threat every time he touches the ball. Yes, please. I'm not overly worried about Bob Kraft's money, and they always seem to do a decent job managing the cap. I don't really have much issue with players always wanting more money, especially if it's a playmaker of Jackson's ability.
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:00 PM    (permalink
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It would likely mean were cutting Wilfork, as we only have a little over 8 million in the cap as of today according to pft. That'd give us alot of leeway to make a move but I'm not sure if cutting wilfork for him would help more than it would hurt. I do think his play against the pass has had a massive drop off since the AFC championship game against the ravens two years ago, but when he and Kelly were healthy at the start of last season our defense looked very formidable.
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:14 PM    (permalink
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It would likely mean were cutting Wilfork, as we only have a little over 8 million in the cap as of today according to pft. That'd give us alot of leeway to make a move but I'm not sure if cutting wilfork for him would help more than it would hurt. I do think his play against the pass has had a massive drop off since the AFC championship game against the ravens two years ago, but when he and Kelly were healthy at the start of last season our defense looked very formidable.
I just worry about what happens if Wilfork doesn't regain some of his pre-2013 form. In the risk of sounding like I have red and blue shaded glasses, I will say 2013 Siliga looked like a substantially better player than 2013 Wilfork. Do we really want to bury a 24 year old DT on the depth chart for someone who is 10 years older and has $10 million more in cap charges? Ideally we'd dump Wilfork and find another DT that fills the big body role. Even if we don't use the cap space, rolling over $8 million to next year would cover the cap charge of McCourty or Solder, leaving us plenty of room next year to extend Revis.

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Old 03-19-2014, 12:18 PM    (permalink
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I just worry about what happens if Wilfork doesn't regain some of his pre-2013 form. In the risk of sounding like I have red and blue shaded glasses, I will say 2013 Siliga looked like a substantially better player than 2012 Wilfork. Do we really want to bury a 24 year old DT on the depth chart for someone who is 10 years older and has $10 million more in cap charges? Ideally we'd dump Wilfork and find another DT that fills the big body role. Even if we don't use the cap space, rolling over $8 million to next year would cover the cap charge of McCourty or Solder, leaving us plenty of room next year to extend Revis.
It makes sense, absolutely. I guess on the reverse end I worry about possibly losing that pre-2013 form. I can see it from either side and i don't think I'll be upset one way or the other. Dumping him would free up cap room to make more moves. Keeping him means we have a big guy upfront to a young and promising looking defense.
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:08 AM    (permalink
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I would actually be tempted to try and get McCourty resigned asap instead of waiting until next year. Matt Bowen did a really good piece talking about the schematice flexibility both Revis and Browner give us and he said he expects McCourty to be the biggest beneficiary. He won't need to be a true deep centerfielder and can cheat a little with Revis on his own. If McCourty plays like he did last year but adds 5 or 6 INTs then he will get major money in FA.

I also don't think there is much credence to the Desean talks. I think it is more due dilligence than anything.
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:31 AM    (permalink
cmarq83
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I would actually be tempted to try and get McCourty resigned asap instead of waiting until next year. Matt Bowen did a really good piece talking about the schematice flexibility both Revis and Browner give us and he said he expects McCourty to be the biggest beneficiary. He won't need to be a true deep centerfielder and can cheat a little with Revis on his own. If McCourty plays like he did last year but adds 5 or 6 INTs then he will get major money in FA.

I also don't think there is much credence to the Desean talks. I think it is more due dilligence than anything.
I think we'll see with McCourty. To be honest his year was a bit below my expectations after 2012. He has made a tangible difference at minimizing some of the big plays that used to plague our defense. However, unless he is flashing the playmaking range that he did in the latter half of 2012, he's not worth the money that the market might bring to him. 2013 McCourty is worth between Donte Whitner and TJ Ward money, but I worry that he may get between Dashon Goldson and Jarius Byrd money. I always thought that if it came down to choosing between Talib and McCourty I'd choose Talib. If we had to make a similar decision between him and Revis, that would obviously be a slam dunk.
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:36 AM    (permalink
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I think we'll see with McCourty. To be honest his year was a bit below my expectations after 2012. He has made a tangible difference at minimizing some of the big plays that used to plague our defense. However, unless he is flashing the playmaking range that he did in the latter half of 2012, he's not worth the money that the market might bring to him. 2013 McCourty is worth between Donte Whitner and TJ Ward money, but I worry that he may get between Dashon Goldson and Jarius Byrd money. I always thought that if it came down to choosing between Talib and McCourty I'd choose Talib. If we had to make a similar decision between him and Revis, that would obviously be a slam dunk.
I would definitely agree if it was a straight choice between the two as well. But I think McCourty was really good last year but the only thinkg missing was his ability to make big plays. Reducing the number of big plays was something we absolutely needed. For two or three years anytime any team threw the ball deep I was expecting a completion or pass interference. That wasn't so much the case for the last 18 months, and now he has a guy who can let him cheat a bit as well. I actually think McCourty is not that far away from Jairus Byrd as a safety, and having a centerfielder is much more valuable than a box guy like Ward IMO
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:47 AM    (permalink
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I would definitely agree if it was a straight choice between the two as well. But I think McCourty was really good last year but the only thinkg missing was his ability to make big plays. Reducing the number of big plays was something we absolutely needed. For two or three years anytime any team threw the ball deep I was expecting a completion or pass interference. That wasn't so much the case for the last 18 months, and now he has a guy who can let him cheat a bit as well. I actually think McCourty is not that far away from Jairus Byrd as a safety, and having a centerfielder is much more valuable than a box guy like Ward IMO
I think having such exceptional man cornerbacks might minimize the necessity of that though. McCourty may be more of a cherry on top kind of player, and if he's going to be paid like a cornerstone piece, he needs to make more plays. McCourty has been invisible in the playoffs his entire career. Our veteran core has typically underperformed in the playoffs. If we're going to lock him in in excess of $8 million APY, we need more from him than what he gave us in 2013. If the negotiations go too high I'd rather just roll with Harmon and a veteran, and work on developing another athletic corner guy to replace McCourty.

When the first thing you relate to when you think of a player is solid, that player can't be one of your 4 highest paid players.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:03 AM    (permalink
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I think having such exceptional man cornerbacks might minimize the necessity of that though. McCourty may be more of a cherry on top kind of player, and if he's going to be paid like a cornerstone piece, he needs to make more plays. McCourty has been invisible in the playoffs his entire career. Our veteran core has typically underperformed in the playoffs. If we're going to lock him in in excess of $8 million APY, we need more from him than what he gave us in 2013. If the negotiations go too high I'd rather just roll with Harmon and a veteran, and work on developing another athletic corner guy to replace McCourty.

When the first thing you relate to when you think of a player is solid, that player can't be one of your 4 highest paid players.
I would like to see a little more from him definitely, but I don't think he will ever have a better chance of doing that this year. I think the added talent at the CB position gives you a little leeway to play it safe at safety, but I would rather have a guy who can play at a pro bowl level and make the pass defense elite.

The Seahawks have great man CBs but Earl Thomas is the difference maker. Not comparing Dmac to Thomas but that is how I see the potential of this secondary. Normally against single high, man coverage teams will attack on the outside. If Revis and Browner can force outside leverage it lets McCourty break to the numbers. I also think if the cap goes up again next year which is expected then paying McCourty $8m per isn't as bad as it may have been two years ago.

What I don't want to happen is have the pass defense play at a high level and McCourty having a pro bowl level season and then testing the market because the Pats won't match what other teams will pay.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:12 AM    (permalink
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I suppose one interesting thing that could happen would be if the Pats drafted a safety high in the draft as an heir apparent. Someone like Jimmie Ward could come in and split time with Harmon at SS with a view to moving him to FS next year.

It would provide a cheaper alternative to McCourty and obviously the Pats have shown before they will cut ties with good players if the price is too much.

Not sure how likely this would be, but I suppose it is food for thought
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:17 AM    (permalink
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I guess I just wouldn't place much of an onus on resigning McCourty early. They always have the franchise tag option with Revis having that unique contract, and Solder probably getting the 5 yr option. I would just hate to resign him, have him play solid again, then not be able to be players in the off-chance that some of those amazing pending FA receivers hit the market next year.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:44 AM    (permalink
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I guess I just wouldn't place much of an onus on resigning McCourty early. They always have the franchise tag option with Revis having that unique contract, and Solder probably getting the 5 yr option. I would just hate to resign him, have him play solid again, then not be able to be players in the off-chance that some of those amazing pending FA receivers hit the market next year.
What does the safety tag look like right now? 8-9 million? Solder I am super skeptical of signing long term for big money. Hes part of that foundation and I know some of you are high on him around here, but he gets beat too frequently for my liking to give him a huge contract. Also, us going out and getting high profile wrs? Wont be necessary when we draft moncrief!
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:53 AM    (permalink
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What does the safety tag look like right now? 8-9 million? Solder I am super skeptical of signing long term for big money. Hes part of that foundation and I know some of you are high on him around here, but he gets beat too frequently for my liking to give him a huge contract. Also, us going out and getting high profile wrs? Wont be necessary when we draft moncrief!
It was $8.33 million this year. I'd imagine it will still be below $9 next year. Solder's 5th year option would come in right around $6-7, although that is based off of APY not 2015 salaries.

I like Solder, he's dominant on 80% of plays and inconsistent on 20% of plays. I like that a hell of a lot better than perpetually mediocre-solid. With how much general disarray we have in the interior part of the line, and my hope that Mankins is cut next year, I would like to lock up Solder for continuity's sake.

And a man can dream. I posted the list earlier, but there are like 8 guys who are all better than Decker. Most likely at least one or 2 will hit the open market.
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:51 PM    (permalink
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Sodler has shown flashes of being an elite OT and don't forget how raw he really was coming in the league.

I worry about the concussions than anything else and I think the Pats will negotiate his new contract with that in mind
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6. WR - Tyler Lockett - Kansas State
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