New England Patriots Free Agency Roundup

NFL free agency begins Thursday afternoon at 4:00 pm.  Of course there is some sort of “legal tampering” period that starts Tuesday.  But let’s ignore that for now.  The following is one man’s thoughts on what’s going on with the players that ended the 2016 season on the Patriots’ roster, by position.

Quarterback:

Players under contract:  Tom Brady, Jacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garoppolo

Free agents:  None

What I would do:  Look, I would love to keep Garoppolo around if he truly is the “next big thing”.  And Bill Belichick normally would keep the 25-year-old and trade the 39-year-old…999,999 times out of a million.  But we all know Brady is a special case and is that one exception.  I really don’t know if he can play until he’s 45 or so.  The end can come quick.  And I am sure Jimmy Football wants to play.  Some people think if you hand him a boatload of money, he will sit on the bench the next 5 years waiting for Brady to retire/fall apart.  I don’t see it.  The Pats are unlikely to tie up serious dough in two QB’s anyway.

They can certainly keep Jimmy next season and let him walk after the season for just what they would receive for his part in the compensatory draft pick process.  I’ve thought about that.  But if teams are willing to overpay for Garoppolo now and the Patriots are sticking with Brady until the end, why would you pass the overpayment up?  If the speculation that Jimmy could bring a huge return in a trade is bogus, then I’d keep him for insurance and let him walk next year and get that pick.  If the Patriots only get a mid-second round pick in reality for Jimmy now, why bother?  May as well keep him.  If there is truly a bidding war for him now, see ya!

What I think will happen:  Pretty much what I just said.  If they get a huge return, Jimmy is gone.  If not, he stays.  I don’t see how some of these reports out there now say that he is absolutely not getting traded under any circumstances can be accurate.  Bill seems to have everyone available at the right price.  I mean, if a team offered like 6 first round picks for Brady, do you think Brady would still be here?  Radical example, I know.  But you get the point.

If Jimmy goes, reports have also said the Pats aren’t prepared for Brissett to be the primary backup…yet.  So maybe they get a veteran backup.  Maybe those reports are also bogus and they draft another QB to develop instead.  Brady himself made a huge jump from his first year to his second and became the primary backup in that second year.  No, I am not comparing Brissett to Brady, but could the same thing happen here?  Perhaps.  We know the team loves Brissett.  And that he works hard and has a good head on his shoulders, etc.  Ultimately, I am guessing that, other than what goes on with Garoppolo, QB will not be a high priority this spring/summer.

Running back:

Players under contract:  D.J. Foster, Tyler Gaffney, Glenn Gronkowski (FB), Dion Lewis, James White

Free agents:  LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden, James Develin (FB),

What I would do:  Lewis and White have one year left on their deals at about 1.5 mil and 800k respectively.  I see no reason not to have them both back.  Despite the fantastic Super Bowl, I remain not a huge fan of White.  He trips over yard lines too much and gets caught from behind in the open field almost always.  He absolutely cannot run the ball out of a standard offensive set.  And Lewis doubtfully will ever make it through a 16 game season, plus any playoffs.  So they will again need some help.

Can we please upgrade from Blount though?  He is dominant against bad rush defenses.  But less than average against good ones.  Playoff time this past year?  Not so good.  So can they get a guy that is at least average against the good teams?  I’m not talking about getting an Adrian Peterson-in-his-prime-type.  Or even Jamaal Charles.  Just someone better.  Anyone.  A bigger back better than Bolden or Gaffney to back up that starter would be nice too.

What I think will happen:  We will see the same group back as last year.  Lewis and White on their reasonable deals.  Blount, Bolden and Develin are Belichick favorites and they will all sign for next to nothing to come back.  Foster will spend another year at the end of the roster or practice squad to see if he can replace White in 2018.  The “other Gronk” will be on and off the practice squad.  Gaffney will get hurt in the preseason for the 4th straight year and head to Injured Reserve again.  But hey, I think he has 2 rings to show for his career, so there is that…

Next:  The remainder of the offense.

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About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on March 5, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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