2019 Patriots: Post-SB Roster Thread

Time to Mo Vaughn

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When looking at last year's patriots team, one thing that I think about is just how insanely lucky the Patriots were from an injury perspective.

The big loss was Isiah Wynn at the beginning of the season, because I think he actually would have had a decent amount of playing time, but with Brown and Cannon it wasn't a massive overall impact. Meanwhile the rest of the guys were ones you really wouldn't have expected a lot of contribution from: Duke Dawson, Kenny Britt, Jeremy Hill, Eric Rowe and then a few games here and there for Cannon, Michel, Gronk, just one for Hightower and Burkhead, who was back for the playoffs.

I think where this team is concerning right now is lack of depth at OL, DL, LB and WR. In the NFL, you should expect 1-2 pre-season starters to be on IR by the end of the season. There's obviously time to fill out the roster, plus the draft, but that's my biggest concern going into 2019 right now.
 

Ed Hillel

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Don’t forget Bentley. Fifth round pick, sure, but not too many rookies on defense are starting off the bat for Belichick.
 

Red Averages

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When looking at last year's patriots team, one thing that I think about is just how insanely lucky the Patriots were from an injury perspective.

The big loss was Isiah Wynn at the beginning of the season, because I think he actually would have had a decent amount of playing time, but with Brown and Cannon it wasn't a massive overall impact. Meanwhile the rest of the guys were ones you really wouldn't have expected a lot of contribution from: Duke Dawson, Kenny Britt, Jeremy Hill, Eric Rowe and then a few games here and there for Cannon, Michel, Gronk, just one for Hightower and Burkhead, who was back for the playoffs.

I think where this team is concerning right now is lack of depth at OL, DL, LB and WR. In the NFL, you should expect 1-2 pre-season starters to be on IR by the end of the season. There's obviously time to fill out the roster, plus the draft, but that's my biggest concern going into 2019 right now.
Eh. They were pretty healthy, but they still dealt with a lot:
Their 41 year old QB dealt with a knee issue for most of the year
Their starting RB only played 13 games.
Their All-Pro TE only played 13 games.
Their best WR was suspended for 4 games.
The WR they picked up only ended up playing 11 games.
As you mentioned, their first round pick and starting OL missed the entire season.

What they were was healthy for the playoffs, for the first time in a while.
 

CCR

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Wasn't Rowe originally expected to be the starter opposite Gilmore? They got lucky with J.C. Jackson's emergence (and to a certain degree that of Keion Crossen).
 

BigSoxFan

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The Gordon one is interesting. They could have not done anything and it *seems* like if Gordon came back, he'd come back to NE either way. Pats showed a little faith in him I think.
Yeah, these bastards just got my hopes up for a Gordon return.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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So where do things stand with team needs. I'm assuming Gronk is back, that nobody offers a second for Jones, and that Gordon rejoins the team (at least until his next suspension).

The biggest needs, to be addressed via FA or the draft, then seem to be:

OT3/4 - We need a veteran swing tackle and probably another developmental T in the draft (or a guy who can play inside but T in a pinch).
TE2 - Izzo might slot in as the new blocking TE but we need somebody else behind Gronk who can catch the ball and be relied upon to play a bunch of snaps if necessary. Don't think its Hollister.
WR3/4/5 - We need at least two WR, maybe three. This probably means at least one veteran who we feel good about in the system and at least one guy in the draft.
DT3 - Definitely need a big run stuffing DT.
DL - Depending on whether they want to use Bennett primarily inside or outside, at least one additional DL.
K - Somebody to kick FGs.
P - And somebody to punt the ball.

That is actually a lot of needs.
 

Super Nomario

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I think where this team is concerning right now is lack of depth at OL, DL, LB and WR. In the NFL, you should expect 1-2 pre-season starters to be on IR by the end of the season. There's obviously time to fill out the roster, plus the draft, but that's my biggest concern going into 2019 right now.
I think LB is OK. Van Noy, Hightower, Bentley, Roberts - that's four deep at a position where you usually only play two. They could use a replacement for McClellan and Humber but those guys aren't seeing the field much anyway.

Eh. They were pretty healthy, but they still dealt with a lot:
Their 41 year old QB dealt with a knee issue for most of the year
Their starting RB only played 13 games.
Their All-Pro TE only played 13 games.
Their best WR was suspended for 4 games.
The WR they picked up only ended up playing 11 games.
Your expectations are out of whack on all of these. 16 games for 41-year-old Brady, 13 games out of bone-on-bone Michel, 13 games out of frequently-IR'd Gronk, 12 games out of frequently-IR'd Edelman, and 11 games out of perpetually-suspended Gordon are all above expectation. And all but Gordon were available and healthy for the playoffs. They were very lucky with injury.

Wasn't Rowe originally expected to be the starter opposite Gilmore? They got lucky with J.C. Jackson's emergence (and to a certain degree that of Keion Crossen).
They were also fortunate that the injuries they did have were at positions they could afford it. Wynn was replaced by Brown, Rowe by McCourty / Jackson, and Bentley by committee. They had a lot less depth at edge, WR, TE, S but stayed pretty healthy there.

So where do things stand with team needs. I'm assuming Gronk is back, that nobody offers a second for Jones, and that Gordon rejoins the team (at least until his next suspension).

The biggest needs, to be addressed via FA or the draft, then seem to be:

OT3/4 - We need a veteran swing tackle and probably another developmental T in the draft (or a guy who can play inside but T in a pinch).
TE2 - Izzo might slot in as the new blocking TE but we need somebody else behind Gronk who can catch the ball and be relied upon to play a bunch of snaps if necessary. Don't think its Hollister.
WR3/4/5 - We need at least two WR, maybe three. This probably means at least one veteran who we feel good about in the system and at least one guy in the draft.
DT3 - Definitely need a big run stuffing DT.
DL - Depending on whether they want to use Bennett primarily inside or outside, at least one additional DL.
K - Somebody to kick FGs.
P - And somebody to punt the ball.

That is actually a lot of needs.
It's not that bad, I think, for this part of the offseason. Still a lot of FA to go and these are depth / rotational positions you can fill largely through the draft (rather than having to rely on a rookie to start).

The exception, to me, is the bolded - I don't think they have a WR2 right now. I guess Gordon in theory but I think anything they get from him is a bonus. I wouldn't take the second-round tender as an indication they are relying on him (the $$ is not guaranteed).

I would also add:
depth S/SS - they got away without a backup for Chung, but he'll be 32 when the season starts. I guess maybe you can say Melifonwu, but we haven't seen anything from him yet
PR - I don't want Edelman returning all the punts at this stage of his career. Hopefully a WR can handle this
KR - they don't have one. Hopefully a WR can handle this
2 special teamers - to replace McClellan / Humber. The "depth SS" listed above can hopefully also do this
a 4th RB given the injury histories of Michel and Burkhead
ideally you'd want a better / higher-upside backup QB than Hoyer
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Small point, but Gordon is an original round tender. He was a second round pick so the only real consequence is $1 million cap savings for the Patriots, which is significant right now.

RFA tenders come off the cap as soon as made so the Patriots will carry that cap hit all the way to the regular season and get no credit all offseason for suspension. For a cap strapped team that’s not nothing. It’s a commitment to Gordon.

Pats down to 12.5m. Starting tomorrow, they have to be in compliance every day. This is going to take some real fancy management. Gronk needs to decide quickly.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I
It's not that bad, I think, for this part of the offseason. Still a lot of FA to go and these are depth / rotational positions you can fill largely through the draft (rather than having to rely on a rookie to start).

The exception, to me, is the bolded - I don't think they have a WR2 right now. I guess Gordon in theory but I think anything they get from him is a bonus. I wouldn't take the second-round tender as an indication they are relying on him (the $$ is not guaranteed).

I would also add:
depth S/SS - they got away without a backup for Chung, but he'll be 32 when the season starts. I guess maybe you can say Melifonwu, but we haven't seen anything from him yet
PR - I don't want Edelman returning all the punts at this stage of his career. Hopefully a WR can handle this
KR - they don't have one. Hopefully a WR can handle this
2 special teamers - to replace McClellan / Humber. The "depth SS" listed above can hopefully also do this
a 4th RB given the injury histories of Michel and Burkhead
ideally you'd want a better / higher-upside backup QB than Hoyer
Agree nearly across the board. On balance, its definitely a good situation. I do think they'll have to get a little creative with the cap because while many of these players can likely be found through the draft, as you say, there are a few positions where you probably can't just rely on plugging in a draft pick (or you'd probably only do that with a guy drafted at 32 that you feel very good about). Unless they're willing to draft a OT very high, which I doubt they're thinking about, they really need a veteran who can play non-disastrously on the outside if Wynn or Cannon gets hurt or if Wynn turns out to be a bust. Bring back Waddle is the obvious move if his market is reasonable. The same also goes for at least one of the DL and at least one of the WRs - there's too much to learn and too much uncertainty about how guys will adapt to bank on plugging and playing multiple rookies. And while I can maybe see them bringing in one new kicking specialist in the draft, it seems unlikely that they'd do that with both slots. All in all, its still a very manageable situation for this point in free agency but they'll have to do some effective bargain hunting on the free agent market, which is the case most years.
 

Super Nomario

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After seeing scrubs like Billy Turner and Bobby Hart sign for $7 MM per and OK RT Ja'Waun James sign for double that, we can put the kibosh on the idea of jettisoning Marcus Cannon, right?
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Can't link but patscap tweeting that at their current picks the Patriots will probably need about $3 million for rookies.

Here are the first year cap hits for the rookie salaries for players drafted in 2018 at the spots where the Patriots currently hold their top 2019 draft spots.

32 -- $1,700,000
56 -- $862,000
64 -- $793,000
73 -- $723,000
97 -- $670,000

Figure about 10 percent inflation to be safe, that's about $5.2 million. The Patriots top 51 number is about $512,000. So, back out about $2.5 million and you're looking at a cap charge of about $2.6 million for the top 5 picks. After about pick 100 rookie contracts are pretty negligible on the cap because of the rule of 51 so it looks like Miguel's number is pretty much on the nose to me. Of course, this all assumes no trading up or down.

Take into account what they'll need for in season flexibility and they are down pretty close to not being able to make any moves without making a corresponding move to free up space -- they have a few million to work with and that's it.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Patscap is digging deep into the CBA. There was a reference in a tweet to the Patriots only getting a third rounder if Gordon were to be signed by another team and that in fact appears to be correct under an exception that I did not know existed. Because they gave a second rounder tender to Jones, who was undrafted, they are capped at a third rounder for Gordon:

(ii) Notwithstanding Subsection 2(b)(i) above, in the event that a Prior Club tenders any of its Restricted Free Agents originally selected in a draft round lower than the second round a Qualifying Offer that requires Draft Choice Compensation of one second round selection (the “(c)(ii) Upgraded Tender”), the Prior Club shall only be eligible to receive Draft Choice Compensation of one third round selection for any of its Restricted Free Agents originally selected in the second round of the Draft, unless such Restricted Free Agents have each received a Qualifying Offer of at least the amount of the (c)(ii) Upgraded Tender.
 

Ed Hillel

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After seeing scrubs like Billy Turner and Bobby Hart sign for $7 MM per and OK RT Ja'Waun James sign for double that, we can put the kibosh on the idea of jettisoning Marcus Cannon, right?
Sounds like an increased trade value to me.

I’m mostly joking, but it will probably happen.
 

DJnVa

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Patscap is digging deep into the CBA. There was a reference in a tweet to the Patriots only getting a third rounder if Gordon were to be signed by another team and that in fact appears to be correct under an exception that I did not know existed. Because they gave a second rounder tender to Jones, who was undrafted, they are capped at a third rounder for Gordon:

(ii) Notwithstanding Subsection 2(b)(i) above, in the event that a Prior Club tenders any of its Restricted Free Agents originally selected in a draft round lower than the second round a Qualifying Offer that requires Draft Choice Compensation of one second round selection (the “(c)(ii) Upgraded Tender”), the Prior Club shall only be eligible to receive Draft Choice Compensation of one third round selection for any of its Restricted Free Agents originally selected in the second round of the Draft, unless such Restricted Free Agents have each received a Qualifying Offer of at least the amount of the (c)(ii) Upgraded Tender.
IANAL but technically Jones was not selected in a draft round lower than the 2nd round. He wasn't selected at all. You'd think that would be in there.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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IANAL but technically Jones was not selected in a draft round lower than the 2nd round. He wasn't selected at all. You'd think that would be in there.
Interesting. The few times I've read actual language of the CBA on a particular point I've noticed that it's not always a model of clarity. For the most part thought it seems as though everyone kind of just goes by what they think its intent is unless there's a broohaha or something on a contentious issue.
 

DavidTai

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But Gordon wasn't tendered at the first or second round tender, he was tendered at 'original round' tender, which for him happened to be second round. Is that the difference? Because that 'original round' wasn't an 'upgraded' tender.

So if it's an 'original tender', that caps as third round unless they offered him an 'upgraded tender' of second or first round tender.
 

bagwell1

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I understand very well how extensions work, you on the other hand, if you think Flowers is going to sign for 5/95 and have a cap hit of 5M in 2019...I don't know what to say.
So the final Detroit numbers were 5/90 with a 6.3M cap hit 2019. But they said it couldn't be done!
 

DJnVa

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But Gordon wasn't tendered at the first or second round tender, he was tendered at 'original round' tender, which for him happened to be second round. Is that the difference? Because that 'original round' wasn't an 'upgraded' tender.

So if it's an 'original tender', that caps as third round unless they offered him an 'upgraded tender' of second or first round tender.
I think we're making it more difficult than it is.

We gave Jones a 2nd round tender and Gordon an original. Without the other player those are each 2nd round picks coming to us if they signed elsewhere. Because there's 2, one gets bumped down to a 3rd.
 

DavidTai

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I think we're making it more difficult than it is.

We gave Jones a 2nd round tender and Gordon an original. Without the other player those are each 2nd round picks coming to us if they signed elsewhere. Because there's 2, one gets bumped down to a 3rd.
I think, actually, the language is intended to say that if Gordon had been tendered at the second round level -instead- of original level, we would have two second round picks coming. Or if the other didn't exist, we would have one second round pick coming.

But because Jones was tendered at the second round tender level and Gordon wasn't, Gordon gets bumped down to the third.
 

DJnVa

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I think, actually, the language is intended to say that if Gordon had been tendered at the second round level -instead- of original level, we would have two second round picks coming. Or if the other didn't exist, we would have one second round pick coming.
I don't know---if what you are saying is true the Patriots didn't know this?

Here's the rule:

1--in the event that a Prior Club tenders any of its Restricted Free Agents originally selected in a draft round lower than the second round a Qualifying Offer that requires Draft Choice Compensation of one second round selection

That's us UPGRADING Jones to the 2nd round.

2-Prior Club shall only be eligible to receive Draft Choice Compensation of one third round selection for any of its Restricted Free Agents originally selected in the second round of the Draft

That's Gordon. It says nothing about how we tender Gordon, only that we UPGRADED one player (Jones) and Gordon was selected in 2nd round.

Once we UPGRADED someone to the 2nd round, we can't get 2 2nd round picks.
 
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DavidTai

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2-Prior Club shall only be eligible to receive Draft Choice Compensation of one third round selection for any of its Restricted Free Agents originally selected in the second round of the Draft

That's Gordon. It says nothing about how we tender Gordon, only that we UPGRADED one player (Jones) and Gordon was selected in 2nd round.

Once we UPGRADED someone to the 2nd round, we can't get 2 2nd round picks.
You left out this part:

the Prior Club shall only be eligible to receive Draft Choice Compensation of one third round selection for any of its Restricted Free Agents originally selected in the second round of the Draft, unless such Restricted Free Agents have each received a Qualifying Offer of at least the amount of the (c)(ii) Upgraded Tender.

----

That seems to indicate to me that -if- every single RFA had received the qualifying offer of the Upgraded tender, then NE would have gotten second round picks for all the players.

You were asking why they had to make that kind of distinction in this case... I think in this case, they're basically saying that you need to have -all- your RFAs get the 2nd round tender in order for any player who was originally drafted in the second round to get a 2nd round compensation.

So if NE had tendered Gordon at the 2nd Round tender instead of the original tender, they would have gotten the second round pick for him too.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I don't know---if what you are saying is true the Patriots didn't know this?

Here's the rule:

1--in the event that a Prior Club tenders any of its Restricted Free Agents originally selected in a draft round lower than the second round a Qualifying Offer that requires Draft Choice Compensation of one second round selection

That's us UPGRADING Jones to the 2nd round.

2-Prior Club shall only be eligible to receive Draft Choice Compensation of one third round selection for any of its Restricted Free Agents originally selected in the second round of the Draft

That's Gordon. It says nothing about how we tender Gordon, only that we UPGRADED one player (Jones) and Gordon was selected in 2nd round.

Once we UPGRADED someone to the 2nd round, we can't get 2 2nd round picks.
Yeah, that's how I would read it. Though I do think the question whether a player undrafted was "originally selected in a draft round lower than the second round" is a good one.

Not sure it matters. I think it's unlikely that a team is going to try to sign Gordon to an offer sheet whether it has to give up a third or a second.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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You left out this part:

the Prior Club shall only be eligible to receive Draft Choice Compensation of one third round selection for any of its Restricted Free Agents originally selected in the second round of the Draft, unless such Restricted Free Agents have each received a Qualifying Offer of at least the amount of the (c)(ii) Upgraded Tender.

----

That seems to indicate to me that -if- every single RFA had received the qualifying offer of the Upgraded tender, then NE would have gotten second round picks for all the players.

You were asking why they had to make that kind of distinction in this case... I think in this case, they're basically saying that you need to have -all- your RFAs get the 2nd round tender in order for any player who was originally drafted in the second round to get a 2nd round compensation.

So if NE had tendered Gordon at the 2nd Round tender instead of the original tender, they would have gotten the second round pick for him too.
This is correct too, I think. I believe the rule is mainly geared at trying to discourage the use of the original round tender when you're tendering another player at the second round level, but yeah, if the Patriots had tendered Gordon at the $3.1 million level instead of the $2 million level then I think they would be entitled to a second rounder.
 

DJnVa

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So if NE had tendered Gordon at the 2nd Round tender instead of the original tender, they would have gotten the second round pick for him too.
So the Patriots didn't know this? I'm inclined to believe they wouldn't make that mistake.
 

BigJimEd

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So the Patriots didn't know this? I'm inclined to believe they wouldn't make that mistake.
I think you're jumping to conclusions. Why do you think the Patriots didn't know this and/or that it was a mistake?
Whose going to sign Gordon? Why waste extra cap space for a guy that is probably still a longshot to play this season?
 

DavidTai

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I think you're jumping to conclusions. Why do you think the Patriots didn't know this and/or that it was a mistake?
Whose going to sign Gordon? Why waste extra cap space for a guy that is probably still a longshot to play this season?
This is exactly what I was thinking too... the original tender is just fine a cap hold for someone with that much baggage.

I find it very unlikely someone would give up a third rounder for him, so why not just minimize the cap hold on him?
 

RedOctober3829

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I think you're jumping to conclusions. Why do you think the Patriots didn't know this and/or that it was a mistake?
Whose going to sign Gordon? Why waste extra cap space for a guy that is probably still a longshot to play this season?
It's $2 million for a player that has an upside of a $10 million player. You take a shot because it's likely that he will be reinstated before the season.
 

DavidTai

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Does Gordon’s tender count against the cap while he remains suspended?
Well, the tender counts against the cap RIGHT NOW.

The team gets credit for each game he misses.
The teams of the players will get a salary cap credit in the current season for the amount of the suspensions.
That's assuming this article about the costs of suspensions is correct:
https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/agents-take-real-costs-behind-the-nfls-suspended-stars-of-2015/
 

BigJimEd

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It's $2 million for a player that has an upside of a $10 million player. You take a shot because it's likely that he will be reinstated before the season.
I think your last sentence is a bit optimistic at this point.
But yes from the Patriots perspective the $2M tender is worth the risk. They'll carry that much going into the season. That also keeps him under their medical supervision which is likely a good thing since they've continued working with him since his suspension.

The question is did they need to tag him at the higher level? I do not see any reason why they would. Wasn't much interest in him when the Pats traded for him and I don't think there would be now. And the interest would need to be mutual. So save the money at this point.

Whose going to sign him and at what price?
 

DavidTai

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Yeah, that's how I would read it. Though I do think the question whether a player undrafted was "originally selected in a draft round lower than the second round" is a good one.
Pretty sure that for purposes of the tender, 'original round tender' means you get NO draft pick if you offered that to an undrafted player. All you get is the right to match the offer, otherwise you get the player at the original round tender level salary.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Well, the tender counts against the cap RIGHT NOW.
Yup -- both for Jones and Gordon it will count against the cap at the start of the league year tomorrow. You need cap space to make the tenders even before they are signed or eliminated by acceptance of an unmatched free agent contract. Cap hit for the two RFAs works out to about $4.1 million when you take into account the tender amounts and back out the two who drop off from the top 51.
 

DJnVa

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I think you're jumping to conclusions. Why do you think the Patriots didn't know this and/or that it was a mistake?
Whose going to sign Gordon? Why waste extra cap space for a guy that is probably still a longshot to play this season?
What’s the $ difference for Gordon between original round and 2nd round tenders? I was under impression there was none.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Okay. Thanks. I was having some confusion over the fact that original round was not equal to 2nd round tender IF the player was a 2nd rounder.
Yeah, I learned it for the first time this year too. Relying on patscap for this info, so, you know, if could be wrong but he usually gets it right and he's definitely using the $2m number for his cap computation, not the $3 million.
 

dcmissle

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It's $2 million for a player that has an upside of a $10 million player. You take a shot because it's likely that he will be reinstated before the season.
I find another team signing Gordon unlikely. He could not make it through a season in THE best circumstances imaginable. This after a Battan Death March in Cleveland.

I am praying for him. I’ll be happy if the Pats commit a roster spot to him, with eyes wide open to the risk. I’ll be very pleasantly surprised if he makes it through a season with us.

He’ll be 28 next season, 6 full years removed from his last — and only — outstanding season.

Why would you take this on? It would be high anxiety, high maintenance gig with a high likelihood of a sad ending.
 

DavidTai

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Actually, looking at the wording again, I should've simplified to 'your second round RFA players -must- be tagged with at least the second round tender to get a second round pick for that player if you have a lower round-drafted player tagged with the second round tender', rather than -every- RFA needing to be tagged.
 

RoDaddy

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In BB we trust and all, but with another receiver (OBJ) off the board, I'm officially gonna start getting nervous if Dorsett signs somewhere else in the next few days
 

dcmissle

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In BB we trust and all, but with another receiver (OBJ) off the board, I'm officially gonna start getting nervous if Dorsett signs somewhere else in the next few days
One of our colleagues indicates that Humphries is stayin put in Tenn.

Who of note is left as a potential FA signing? Anyone?
 

dcmissle

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Golden Tate...
Always wanted him. Just as I always wanted Sprowles. But when several opportunities to get the guy present themselves, and the Patriots pass, I just figure they are not really interested.