Are We Ready? Part III…
Lastly, everybody else:
Locks: John Simon, Chase Winovich
In: Derek Rivers
Out: Deatrich Wise, Keionta Davis, Nick Thurman, Tashawn Bower
Comments: Wishful thinking on Wise I guess. Rivers perhaps too. With Wise, it’s probably time for him to go. He still looks like he can add value, but they haven’t played him much. And when they do, he always commits at least one dumb penalty. As for Rivers, he has played one season out of his three thus far. Two full years on injured reserve. I only added him here because while we have seen enough of Wise on the field, we really haven’t with Rivers. Can he play? Who the hell knows?
Truth be told, this position could use a major upgrade, so they both probably won’t be here when the smoke clears. And it probably won’t matter.
I’m not sure I even want Winovich to play full time either. He looks to me like a situational pass rusher and core special teamer. But what do I know?
I’d use a few draft picks here for sure.
Locks: Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, Beau Allen
In: Byron Cowart
Comments: I don’t know a single thing about Allen. He has to be as good as Danny Shelton though, no? Well, the 2019 version. Not the 2018 healthy scratch one. Again, I am not sure why we will miss Shelton anyway. When did he become a key loss? It’s not exactly like the Pats were real stout against the run last year.
In a normal year, Guy may be a candidate for an extension and a lower cap number. But again, I don’t think the Pats are doing that with anyone this offseason. Everyone who watched tape swore that Guy was awesome…and has been since he has joined the Pats. I’ll take their word for it. Again, how were they against the run last season? Sigh…
Expect a draft pick or two here as well.
Locks: Dont’a Hightower, Ja’Whaun Bentley
In: Shilique Calhoun, Brandon Copeland, Terez Hall
Comments: Calhoun I guess plays some “edge” and is a special teamer. Copeland comes from the Jets, which automatically makes me question him. Hall is getting some buzz here in the spring as a guy that could make some noise. That should make Hall himself nervous. Too early for that kind of hype.
Hightower is one of the three aforementioned players with huge cap hits that could be addressed. But similar to Devin McCourty last season, we think Dont’a gets all his money on this contract and plays this year as is. Leadership, team transition, call it what you want. Hightower has won Super Bowls and will probably be seeking one last big fat contract before he is done. He was allowed to shop himself last time he hit free agency (a la Devin), but nothing apparently materialized and he ended up back in NE. Maybe he took a discount last time. But not next time. Bill will gladly take the compensatory pick next year when Dont’a walks.
Big year for Bentley. Let’s see if he can get back to what he showed in his rookie season before his injury. Because he was no great shakes last year.
Draft picks are sure to be had here as well.
And at least Elandon Roberts is gone.
Locks: Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Jason McCourty, Joejuan Williams
Out: D’Angelo Ross, Lenzy Pipkins
Comments: Some buzz about trading Gilmore now…who is the last of the three I mentioned earlier (Hightower, Thuney) that would be normal candidates for extension or trade to get the cap number down on a team that would seem to be transitioning. Steph has another year besides this one left on his deal and after he won NFL Defensive Player of the Year last season, no doubt will be looking for a HUGE payday in his next deal. At age 29 right now, he is unlikely to get it here. I expect him to be here this year at the current cap number. Then I would absolutely not rule out a trade next offseason, even if this season goes way better than expected.
Pretty solid cornerback group otherwise. Keeping Jason McCourty at his inflated option price probably helped keep his brother Devin. But in today’s NFL, with its emphasis on passing, you would seem to need a slew of good corners. So having Jason around won’t hurt them.
Jones plays well out of the slot and Jackson is still young and improving. He may be the #2 guy this year anyway.
I don’t see the Pats giving up on last years’ second rounder Williams. Although, they gave up on the previous years’ second rounder, Duke Dawson, fairly quickly. And Joejuan got busted for drugs earlier in the offseason. So that can’t help. But since the drugs were weed, he’s probably safe.
Locks: Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Terrance Brooks
In: Obi Melifonwu, Adrian Phillips
Out: Adarius Pickett, Malik Gant
Comments: Somewhat surprising Devin got as much dough as he did…but it was only for two years, so I am ok with it. Especially under the circumstances. Meaning, his leadership matters. And, more importantly, a LOT of contracts are coming off the books in the next couple of years.
In fact, while we are talking about it, the Pats only have 12 players under contract in 2022. 8 are 1 million-ish and under. Joejuan is about 2 and N’Keal about 3. Only Jonathan Jones at about 8 and Mason at about 10 are significant outlays that year.
Anyway, back to the safeties. Still old. How much does Chung have left? He took a beating last season. Moreso than he usually takes. Phillips (allegedly) and Brooks are glorified special teamers. Maybe Obi-Wan Kenobi too (and I’ve never even seen any of the Star Wars…impressive, no??!! Ok, ummm…).
Expecting some draftees here as well.
Locks: ????? ?????????? (K), Jake Bailey (P), Joe Cardona (LS), Matthew Slater (ST), Justin Bethel (ST), Brandon Bolden (ST), Brandon King (ST)
In: Cody Davis (ST)
Comments: Welp, they will eventually need a kicker. So…that position has to kind of has to be a lock, no? I’m thinking inexpensive, mid-round pick. With Nick Folk (still unsigned) on speed dial. No one is talking about it now either. But can we rule out a return for long-time kicker…Stephen Gostkowski…at some point? Haha…did you think I was going to say Adam Vinatieri?! Nah. He may come back to the Colts, but I am thinking his time has come for the old age home. He won’t be here, for sure.
What if Gostkowski has a clean bill of health late in camp or at least early in the season? And doesn’t have a job by then? Would he come back for presumably short money? I’d keep an eye on that for sure.
The rest of the guys…blah, blah, blah. Have to have a requisite number of core special teamers, don’t you?
That concludes our waaaaaaay too early look at the roster. Probably about 60% accurate from who will break camp with the team in August/September. But always a fun exercise to do…even in April. Again, since there isn’t much of anything better to do…
Next: We are done…I wouldn’t have the energy I don’t think anyway…
Posted on April 9, 2020, in Uncategorized and tagged Bill Belichick, coronavirus, defense, Devin McCourty, Dont'a Hightower, draft picks, Free agency, kicker, linebackers, Matthew Slater, New England Patriots, Salary cap, specialists, Stephen Gostkowski, Stephon Gilmore. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.