2020 Pats: Roster & Beyond (non-QB edition)

The Mort Report

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So I have a question for someone who knows better than me, and sorry if this is covered somewhere else, but if these salaries are set what are they not just signed right away? What do these guys get to negotiate for?
 

BigSoxFan

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So I have a question for someone who knows better than me, and sorry if this is covered somewhere else, but if these salaries are set what are they not just signed right away? What do these guys get to negotiate for?
There still various clauses that aren’t standard or uniform across contracts, such as offsetting language. I think the Jets and Darnold had a dispute there.
 

Marciano490

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Fox is replaying the 2001 SB. Tebucky Jones’ fumble return just overturned and Warner snuck in.

It’s crazy how quickly the Rams scored on their last drive. Proehl should’ve taken a knee instead of going right in.
 
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Bowser

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My enduring Tebucky Jones memory is a play when he was on punt coverage. Some friends and I were sitting in the south endzone, so we had a great angle on it. The returner catches the ball and steps out from behind a block ... and into a lane Jones was filling like a freight train. Tebucky blew him up by running through him. And he flexed his biceps so soon after destroying the returner that in my mind I see him flexing while he's running through the guy.

That's Tebucky Jones for me.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Fox is replaying the 2001 SB. Tebucky Jones’ fumble return just overturned and Warner snuck in.

It’s crazy how quickly the Rams scored on their last drive. Proehl should’ve taken a knee instead of going right in.
Yeah, I had forgotten just how much the Pats dominated the first three quarters of that game. It actually would have been a pretty terrible loss had the Pats not pulled it out at the end.
 

TSC

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My enduring Tebucky Jones memory is a play when he was on punt coverage. Some friends and I were sitting in the south endzone, so we had a great angle on it. The returner catches the ball and steps out from behind a block ... and into a lane Jones was filling like a freight train. Tebucky blew him up by running through him. And he flexed his biceps so soon after destroying the returner that in my mind I see him flexing while he's running through the guy.

That's Tebucky Jones for me.
My mom had the pleasure of teaching Tebucky's son, and got to know Tebucky himself quite well. She doesn't give two shits about the Patriots, but to this day - she still says he was one of the nicest parents she's ever had a student of, and still thinks the world of him. It always disappointed me his Patriots career wasn't longer, simply because of what a good guy he seemingly was.
 

tims4wins

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Tebucky returning that fumble was such an OMG moment. There was no indication of a flag until he was in the end zone. I thought I was going to pass out or have a heart attack when he scored. When the flag came up and they called it back, I don’t even know what I felt. It was along the lines of oh fuck here we go this is Buckner.
 

Marciano490

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I was still nervous rewatching that game. I forgot how intense that 4th quarter was.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Tebucky returning that fumble was such an OMG moment. There was no indication of a flag until he was in the end zone. I thought I was going to pass out or have a heart attack when he scored. When the flag came up and they called it back, I don’t even know what I felt. It was along the lines of oh fuck here we go this is Buckner.
I just happened to see Will Mac throw Faulk to the ground like a ten pound bag of cement in real time and thought no good could come from the play from that point on.

EDIT: More like held him, I see. It's been a long time, but obvious penalty, though.
 
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BaseballJones

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I just happened to see Will Mac throw Faulk to the ground like a ten pound bag of cement in real time and thought no good could come from the play from that point on.

EDIT: More like held him, I see. It's been a long time, but obvious penalty, though.
Yep totally legit call and we'd have lost our minds if that had happened to the Patriots and no flag had been called. Stinks, but it was the right call.

Thankfully it didn't matter in the end. Made the game more exciting actually.
 

Marciano490

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It’s crazy how much the rules have changed. At one point in the 4th Quarter Warner got absolutely speared helmet to helmet. No call. I remember we were mugging Faulk and the Rams receivers all day, too.

It’s also wild in hindsight how quickly the Rams scored on that last drive. Neither Madden or Summerall mentioned taking time off the clock - was that just not “real football” back then? It seems to always be a consideration on late-game drives now.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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Yep totally legit call and we'd have lost our minds if that had happened to the Patriots and no flag had been called. Stinks, but it was the right call.

Thankfully it didn't matter in the end. Made the game more exciting actually.
I was actually really encouraged by the play after the penalty. I thought for sure it was a Buckner moment, but who made the stop on the very next play on 1st and goal? Willie did, and even though they then scored on that clever QB run play I didn't feel like the Pats had let themselves get mopey after a big call went against them (see Raiders, Oakland). They were going to keep fighting.

That said, they were fucking toast if they went to OT. That defense had nothing left to give by the end.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I was actually really encouraged by the play after the penalty. I thought for sure it was a Buckner moment, but who made the stop on the very next play on 1st and goal? Willie did, and even though they then scored on that clever QB run play I didn't feel like the Pats had let themselves get mopey after a big call went against them (see Raiders, Oakland). They were going to keep fighting.

That said, they were fucking toast if they went to OT. That defense had nothing left to give by the end.
That’s why BB went for it, I always have believed. He knew they were lucky to be there at the end and OT was not their friend.
 

Marciano490

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I forgot how freakin pure that game winning field goal was. The second it left his fantastic foot all arms were raised across the Patriots o line. Beautiful.
I was texting the friend I watched the game with originally and we both said the same thing - good from 60.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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It’s crazy how much the rules have changed. At one point in the 4th Quarter Warner got absolutely speared helmet to helmet. No call. I remember we were mugging Faulk and the Rams receivers all day, too.

It’s also wild in hindsight how quickly the Rams scored on that last drive. Neither Madden or Summerall mentioned taking time off the clock - was that just not “real football” back then? It seems to always be a consideration on late-game drives now.
So much of that end of game was dictated by the fact that neither team had time outs left. Most importantly the final drive — the Patriots knew they could effectively run the game out with one in bounds play and get to overtime if they had to. But I think the Rams had to be a little concerned about getting tackled in bounds for similar reasons in that last drive.
 

E5 Yaz

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And Summerall sounded like a zombie calling it.
He was clearly near the end. Just before the kick, they show a replay from pre-game of him AV hitting a similar kick and Summerall misunderstood the camera angle and says he missed it.
 

DJnVa

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He was clearly near the end. Just before the kick, they show a replay from pre-game of him AV hitting a similar kick and Summerall misunderstood the camera angle and says he missed it.
Yep. I remember.

You'd think announcers might have a few canned things ready to go--the "Red Sox fans have longed to hear it..." type of thing. But Pat goes with "and it's right down the middle..."
 

jmcc5400

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Wasn't it "right down the pipe?" I always liked that.

And, in the moment, the Tebucky fumble return may be the most pure rapture I ever felt as a sports fan. I was levitating out of my body as that was happening. And then, yes, very much the Buckner, Dent, Ben Dreith thing. Turned out ok in the end.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Every time we're watching football, and a field goal is good, me or DDB Jr. says "and it's right down the pipe." Like if we're watching Red Zone channel we probably say it 5 times a day at least.
 

joe dokes

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He was clearly near the end. Just before the kick, they show a replay from pre-game of him AV hitting a similar kick and Summerall misunderstood the camera angle and says he missed it.
He was near the end, but that was also his style.
He rarely raised his voice and didn't do much more than ID the players, even in his prime... "Staubach....pearson....touchdown......."
 

DJnVa

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Wasn't it "right down the pipe?" I always liked that.
Yeah, probably. And it wasn't *what* he said....see below.

He was near the end, but that was also his style.
He rarely raised his voice and didn't do much more than ID the players, even in his prime... "Staubach....pearson....touchdown......."
I know...but after a tiny bit of excitement for a Super Bowl featuring a big upset and a last second win...
 

E5 Yaz

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He rarely raised his voice and didn't do much more than ID the players, even in his prime... "Staubach....pearson....touchdown......."
He learned from the best of the unobtrusive announcers ... Ray Scott
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Sorry if I missed this elsewhere: per Reiss at ESPN.com, Pats UDFA signing bonuses:

Patriots undrafted free-agent class by guaranteed money: LB De'Jon "Scoota" Harris $140k; DT Bill Murray $125k; RB J.J. Taylor $100k; WR Isaiah Zuber $100k; TE Jake Burt $85k; OLB/TE Rashod Berry $82.5k; LB Kyahva Tezino $70k; WR Will Hastings $57.5k; CB Myles Bryant $50k; DE Nick Coe $40k;QB J'Mar Smith $30k; DT Courtney Wallace $20k; WR Sean Riley $15k; QB Brian Lewerke $2.5k; WR Jeff Thomas $2.5k.
 

EL Jeffe

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Wow, that was NOT the allotment hierarchy I would have expected for the UDFA bonus money. I'm pretty shocked Lewerke and Thomas could only get a stimulus check money. You'd think the combine invites would be priority UDFAs, but clearly not. I also would not have expected Zuber to get six figures or Murray to be the 2nd highest paid guy. But whatever, Malcolm Butler and Gunner were both tryout guys who made the team, so let the cream rise to the top.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Have to think opportunity was a big factor for Lewerke and Thomas. That is not material money.
 

Harry Hooper

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Wow, that was NOT the allotment hierarchy I would have expected for the UDFA bonus money. I'm pretty shocked Lewerke and Thomas could only get a stimulus check money. You'd think the combine invites would be priority UDFAs, but clearly not. I also would not have expected Zuber to get six figures or Murray to be the 2nd highest paid guy. But whatever, Malcolm Butler and Gunner were both tryout guys who made the team, so let the cream rise to the top.
I think I'm more shocked at a RB being tied for #3 in bonus money
 

StupendousMan

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Are these active players only? Does the ranking refer to career accomplishments, or performance in the coming season?
 

Silverdude2167

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View: https://twitter.com/LedyardNFLDraft/status/1265744319589363715?s=19


Some NFL Twitter types (including our own @mascho ) pared down a list of 182 players to an NFL top 100. Of note:
  • Only 2 Patriots, Gilmore and DMac, in the final 100
  • Ex-Pats Brady, Gronk, Akiem Hicks, Chandler Jones on there
  • Thuney was one of the 20 toughest cuts
  • Edelman also on the initial list of 182. Hightower and Mason were not
Hightower is criminally underrated. The Patriots have 3 fewer super bowls without him and he was also very good last year.
 

Zososoxfan

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Hightower omission also stands out for me. While his decline may be here or near, I have to think he's among the 100 most valuable going into next season.
 

BaseballJones

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View: https://twitter.com/LedyardNFLDraft/status/1265744319589363715?s=19


Some NFL Twitter types (including our own @mascho ) pared down a list of 182 players to an NFL top 100. Of note:
  • Only 2 Patriots, Gilmore and DMac, in the final 100
  • Ex-Pats Brady, Gronk, Akiem Hicks, Chandler Jones on there
  • Thuney was one of the 20 toughest cuts
  • Edelman also on the initial list of 182. Hightower and Mason were not
I'm just going to bring this up because it's a good thing - and probably in light of everything else going on in our country in this area, something to be happy about. But look at the list of quarterbacks.

Mahomes
Wilson
Jackson
Watson
Brees
Brady
Prescott
Rodgers

By my count, that's five men of color in this group. I think that black players have had to overcome a lot of stigma and nonsense ("Have you always been a black quarterback?") over the years at that position, and it's really cool to see this many at the top of their craft.
 

Super Nomario

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I'm just going to bring this up because it's a good thing - and probably in light of everything else going on in our country in this area, something to be happy about. But look at the list of quarterbacks.

Mahomes
Wilson
Jackson
Watson
Brees
Brady
Prescott
Rodgers

By my count, that's five men of color in this group. I think that black players have had to overcome a lot of stigma and nonsense ("Have you always been a black quarterback?") over the years at that position, and it's really cool to see this many at the top of their craft.
... and look at the ages of the white QBs in those eight.

Hightower omission also stands out for me. While his decline may be here or near, I have to think he's among the 100 most valuable going into next season.
The LB group was really coverage-focused and that's not really Hightower's game. He's definitely as valuable as you suggest for the Patriots, but he has kind of an unusual skill set that might not play up on every defense.
 

Zososoxfan

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... and look at the ages of the white QBs in those eight.


The LB group was really coverage-focused and that's not really Hightower's game. He's definitely as valuable as you suggest for the Patriots, but he has kind of an unusual skill set that might not play up on every defense.
But isn't his stout run D, sideline-to-sideline ability (perhaps synonymous but I digress), and intelligence allow a defense to run a 2-LB system (e.g. 4-2-5) pretty rare? Or are plenty of defenses using that formation without issue? i.e. Are there numerous ILB types who can fill this role?
 

Super Nomario

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But isn't his stout run D, sideline-to-sideline ability (perhaps synonymous but I digress), and intelligence allow a defense to run a 2-LB system (e.g. 4-2-5) pretty rare? Or are plenty of defenses using that formation without issue? i.e. Are there numerous ILB types who can fill this role?
There's kind of a lot to unpack here. 4-2-5 is probably the most common defensive set in the league, so I guess the answer to your question is yes, defenses are using that formation without issue and many ILBs can and do play in that system.

That doesn't mean Hightower isn't special; he's got the ability to play off-the-ball effectively and blitz from off-ball as well as play on the line and do DE-type things and hold up in pass rush and against the run. That helps a Patriots defensive front that doesn't have great individual pass rushers. He had 5.5 sacks and 13 QB hits last year.

I would not describe him as a sideline-to-sideline type linebacker. His tackle production is pedestrian, especially compared to the names on the list. Hightower's career high is 55 solo tackles; that would represent a career-low for most of the LB who made the 100. As one point of comparison, Fred Warner had 89 solo tackles last year; High had 47.

He's not the kind of athlete you want running with the better TEs and RBs in the league, which sets him apart from the guys here. He does not really post eye-popping playmaking statistics (one INT and 2 FF in his career, though of course he added a very notable FF in the playoffs). In the modern NFL where most teams are running 2 LB sets and asking their 230-lb LB to run and chase, he's not that guy. He does do a lot that the Patriots value highly and that they get a lot of value out of. I think he's a hard guy to rank in an exercise like this.
 

Zososoxfan

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There's kind of a lot to unpack here. 4-2-5 is probably the most common defensive set in the league, so I guess the answer to your question is yes, defenses are using that formation without issue and many ILBs can and do play in that system.

That doesn't mean Hightower isn't special; he's got the ability to play off-the-ball effectively and blitz from off-ball as well as play on the line and do DE-type things and hold up in pass rush and against the run. That helps a Patriots defensive front that doesn't have great individual pass rushers. He had 5.5 sacks and 13 QB hits last year.

I would not describe him as a sideline-to-sideline type linebacker. His tackle production is pedestrian, especially compared to the names on the list. Hightower's career high is 55 solo tackles; that would represent a career-low for most of the LB who made the 100. As one point of comparison, Fred Warner had 89 solo tackles last year; High had 47.

He's not the kind of athlete you want running with the better TEs and RBs in the league, which sets him apart from the guys here. He does not really post eye-popping playmaking statistics (one INT and 2 FF in his career, though of course he added a very notable FF in the playoffs). In the modern NFL where most teams are running 2 LB sets and asking their 230-lb LB to run and chase, he's not that guy. He does do a lot that the Patriots value highly and that they get a lot of value out of. I think he's a hard guy to rank in an exercise like this.
Thanks for the in-depth reply and absence of snark (I think/hope?). Your citation of solo tackles reminded me of one of my favorite stats/players--Jerod Mayo had 113 (!) solo tackles for the Pats in 2010 (franchise record). He added 2 sacks, 1 FF, 3 FR, and 5 passes defensed, while playing in all 16 regular season games. In related news, he was all pro that year.