Are We Ready?
Ready for what?
New England Patriot football post-Tom Brady. That’s what.
Yup. It’s here. Or it will officially be in a few months. But…are we ready?
After 20 years of Brady at the helm, is it time for someone different?
Not necessarily. But that’s what both sides ultimately decided. So that’s what we are getting.
Gonna feel a whole lot different in New England, no question. Gonna be weird seeing Brady in a Buc uni, no question. Wish him all the success in the world. Thank you Tom for EVERYTHING. Cannot be stated enough. But best of luck in your new locale.
Brady’s gone and we have to live with it. Can the Pats win a Super Bowl under Bill and another QB? Can Tom win the whole thing in Tampa? Or WILL they? No idea, but I’m at least interested to see. Not necessarily to prove one can win without the other though. Who cares? I don’t. Together they gave us 6 Super Bowls in 20 years. They both had a great deal to do with it. But you know who’s else did? Malcolm Butler. Adam Vinatieri. James White. Danny Amendola. The defensive backs of 2001: Ty Law, Otis Smith, Lawyer Milloy & Willie “Big Play” Clay. J.R. Redmond. An unconscious (literally) David Patten. Jermaine Wiggins. Romeo Crennel. Charlie Weis. Dante Scarnecchia. Josh McDaniels. Julian Edelman. Deion Branch. Dee Ford lining up offside. Billy Cundiff missing that chip shot…oops, the Pats lost the Super Bowl the game after that miss…nevermind. But you get the point. We could go on and on. It was a lot of Bill and Tom. But let’s not forget all the others that helped along the way. So let’s root them both on going forward ok? Unless we get a NE/TB super bowl. Then we can pick a side. But what are the odds of that happening?
So what’s next?
Glad you asked!!
In typical Blowhard fashion, let’s do a roster projection!! Way too early of course. The draft is a month or so away. Still some free agents out there. The country is still basically in lockdown. But we can take a look now. No harm in that.
Why not? What the hell else is there to write about these days??
There are 67 players on the roster as we speak. That means there are 23 spots remaining. 12 draft picks upcoming in the aforementioned draft, with perhaps a few vets sprinkled in with some undrafted free agents to fill out the 90 man camp roster. If camp actually happens, that is.
Bottom line: Lot’s of bodies still to come.
But these bodies will be low cost guys, no doubt about it.
The Patriots have very little salary cap space remaining. Yes, the salary cap can be manipulated for sure. But in 2020, with about 23 million tied up in dead money between Brady, Antonio Brown, Stephen Gostkowski, Michael Bennett and Duron Harmon alone, THIS may be the actual year they cannot manipulate anything. The chickens do come home to roost sometimes. I suppose 2020 is that time for the Pats.
I also read somewhere recently where the Patriots view 2020 not as a “bridge year”, mind you. There are still plenty of good players remaining on the roster. But it’s a year where the Pats “want to get younger and reset their finances”. Think it was Tom E. Curran who said/wrote that, but if it was someone else, my apologies.
There are a few huge cap charges on the roster for this year where that player could sign an extension, be traded or cut or whatever else needs to happen to lower that specific cap charge. Three players in particular. But we will go over those players when we get to their positions. And the bottom line is that I think nothing will be done with any of the three. Not during this season anyway.
Taking all 12 draft picks they have seems like a stretch to me as well, despite having the 23 open spots. They have 1 first, 4 thirds, 1 fourth, 3 sixth and 3 seventh round picks. Wouldn’t shock me in the least bit if that first rounder was the first to go. For a second this year and a first in 2021 perhaps. Then Bill will turn that second rounder into 2 fifths and sixth. Then 2 third rounders into a 2nd next year. Etc. We know how he does business.
All I’m saying is don’t expect any big names coming through the door from now until the start of the season…whether through trade, free agency or the draft.
Enough of the rambling. Let’s get into the actual players, just like we normally do it each August. We are skipping the “way out” category for now. Because, let’s face it, no one is “way out” at this time of year.
Locks: Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer
Out: Cody Kessler
Comments: Welp, as I was in the midst of writing this, Kessler was released. So he’s definitely out. But let’s leave him in this analysis because we will talk about adding a third QB here.
Forget about that third QB being Cam Newton, Derek Carr, Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, etc. I mean, if you actually wanted any of these guys. The Pats are rolling with Stidham. And Hoyer as the “veteran backup”. I guess Hoyer is lucky he knows the system. Because just about anyone else would be a better backup. Well, except Kessler apparently.
Those aforementioned established veterans would cost money…potentially lots of it. A couple of them would cost draft capital and/or players in a trade. As we said, the Pats don’t have a lot of cap room. But we also don’t see them spending money on a Newton or a Winston even if they did. Would they fit the system? Is Newton truly healthy? Can Winston take his head out of his arse? Would either take a short money, “prove-it” type one year deal? Do the Pats even want someone on a one year deal to quarterback the team?
Not sure about any of that.
We wouldn’t be shocked if the Pats drafted a QB, however. But then again, do they want Stidham to have “real” competition? And possibly lose confidence? I don’t know.
The way it stands now, Stidham HAS to be the guy. Hoyer’s agent is apparently telling anyone who will listen that his client was told he would be given the opportunity to win the starters’ job. But…does he actually believe it? Agent or client? Or…ANYONE else??!
Sure, Hoyer could start the first couple of games to “ease” Stidham in. I don’t see it though. I have to believe they are rolling with “Stiddy” (as Devin McCourty has called him, not me).
Maybe a late round pick for the practice squad. That’s about it. But as I believe Bill Parcells once said, “I reserve the right to change my mind”.
Next: The rest of the offense.
Posted on April 3, 2020, in Uncategorized and tagged Antonio Brown, Bill Belichick, Brian Hoyer, Cam Newton, coronavirus, COVID-19, dead money, draft picks, Franchise tag, Free agency, Jameis Winston, Jarrett Stidham, New England Patriots, quarterback, Robert Kraft, Salary cap, Super Bowl, Tampa Bay, Tom Brady, training camp. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.