2023 Pats: Offseason

DJnVa

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Why not get the depth pieces early; those are the kind of guys where fit is going to matter a lot so pick 'em up as early as possible. You're going to spend the money either way.
Well, once the top CB (or whatever) on the market is gone, he's gone. There would seem to be more depth pieces available so waiting wouldn't hurt you as much?
 

Cellar-Door

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Well, once the top CB (or whatever) on the market is gone, he's gone. There would seem to be more depth pieces available so waiting wouldn't hurt you as much?
It's not like they aren't talking to the top guys' agents. But there is value in locking in your pick of the depth pieces early, the cost isn't much, you get the ones you want not the ones left, and you know what you have, and if something goes great and you end up with the top guy and maybe somebody falls in the draft etc... well you can trade or cut him in camp without being out much.
 

DJnVa

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It's not like they aren't talking to the top guys' agents. But there is value in locking in your pick of the depth pieces early, the cost isn't much, you get the ones you want not the ones left, and you know what you have, and if something goes great and you end up with the top guy and maybe somebody falls in the draft etc... well you can trade or cut him in camp without being out much.
Yeah, I have no problem with depth signings. Just saying that if you prioritize that over the big names, there's a chance the big names won't be there. I'm sure the Patriots have the ability to do both. I wasn't criticizing anything.

I'm still on the "trade for Hopkins/Jeudy, draft JSN at #14 train" so I'm good with everything so far.
 

tims4wins

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The Pats always like to have a full lineup in place prior to the draft - by which I mean they could line up and play a game - so that they aren’t caught drafting for “need”, especially if things go awry in the draft board. These signings are consistent with that approach.
 

Justthetippett

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Yeah, I have no problem with depth signings. Just saying that if you prioritize that over the big names, there's a chance the big names won't be there. I'm sure the Patriots have the ability to do both. I wasn't criticizing anything.

I'm still on the "trade for Hopkins/Jeudy, draft JSN at #14 train" so I'm good with everything so far.
JSN would make a big difference. I'm concerned about their CB situation. That's something they could address in Rd1, but not if they go WR instead. Jonathan Jones is a nice piece, but we've seen him struggle on the outside and maybe he moves to FS. And OT remains a major weakness. They still have lots of holes in the roster.
 

Shelterdog

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JSN would make a big difference. I'm concerned about their CB situation. That's something they could address in Rd1, but not if they go WR instead. Jonathan Jones is a nice piece, but we've seen him struggle on the outside and maybe he moves to FS. And OT remains a major weakness. They still have lots of holes in the roster.
You can always get better at corner but I was struck by the number of comments we heard/saw about the Pats like Shrine bowl corners. With the need at tackle and WR and the number of quality TE I wonder if they downgrade corner as a need and take a couple of the shrine corners (perhaps Mekhi Garner/Eric Scott/Nic Jones) later
 

Super Nomario

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Physically they are similar, but Sutton has better agility and he runs much better routes than Parker, he gets open a lot, where Parker doesn't, being more of a jump specialist. Also, Sutton is 2 years younger and his injury issues aren't as recent.

and the salary is why you might be able to get him for a day 3 pick, given how much cap space we have, and that he'd likely be willing to re-structure given he has no guarantees after this year, I wouldn't be that concerned.
Restructuring is just kicking the can - I can't imagine Sutton taking less than the $14M guaranteed. You can spread it over two or three years, but that doesn't make it go away. And his production is virtually identical to Parker's.

Why is this such common sense in NE nowadays? Wasn't said foray directly responsible for turning the roster around so they made the playoffs with a rookie QB immediately in the same year? Sure, Jonnu sucked and Agholor didn't really live up to his contract, but Judon is your best player, Hunter Henry has lived up to expectations, Kendrick Bourne was really good with an actual OC, Mills has been a starter when healthy, so has Trent Brown and Devon Godchaux, I'd argue those guys compose a large part of the talent base of the team. It's not like all of them broke the bank, they spent a lot because they gave moderate money to a high amount of players. And it worked fine.
Judon was a great signing. Henry was fine in the way that successful big signings are fine-he's probably not quite worth what he's getting paid, but it's not far off. Probably true for Godchaux as well. Agholor and Jonnu were complete busts and horrible moves. That's not a great hit rate for the big money guys.

I would argue Bourne, Mills, Brown, (and re-signing Wise and Kyle Van Noy and some other moves largely forgotten, like Henry Anderson) are more typical Patriots moves, mid-level additions that had potential upside. Those are the kind of things they do almost every year, with enough of a hit rate to make them worthwhile. They're what they're doing this year, too. These kind of acquisitions weren't the issue; it was the misses on the big-ticket guys that hurt.

Did it? When there's so much they could have borrowed from future years and still remained as one of the teams with most cap space in 23/24/25? It's fine if they weren't willing to go there, but then you have the coach talking about how little you actually spend even though they're up to the cap every year. I guess I'm just less understanding of this approach when it has been sold to me for years just how much of an advantage in roster construction having a QB on a rookie deal is. The Pats had the reset year in 2020, that's when they pretty much cleared the board and then they added pieces in 2021 that elevated the talent level of the team on average to pretty much the extent they paid for (in my mind). If Robert wasn't willing to give out big deals in 2022 following that, it's perfectly fine, but I don't really get what the excuse should be now to be quite honest. The sky isn't falling, I'm not a Felger & Mazz caller, not trying to be Rod from Quincy here, I know there's ample time and opportunity to make deals, just saying they have room to spend and they should do so.
I think the bolded is largely overblown. Obviously it's nice, but the rookie QBs that have made waves are largely just great players that would be great making big chunks of the cap, too-we saw that with Mahomes this year.

Had the Patriots borrowed from the 2023 cap last year, they wouldn't be one of the teams with the most cap space this year. Maybe that would have still been smart, as probably some of the players they would have added would still be useful on this year's team. But the cap space comes from somewhere.
 

Garshaparra

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The Pats always like to have a full lineup in place prior to the draft - by which I mean they could line up and play a game - so that they aren’t caught drafting for “need”, especially if things go awry in the draft board. These signings are consistent with that approach.
Could they do that today? They signed Anderson for depth, but as of right now, he's the starting RT. They're surely better off with Trent Brown at RT, so the need remains at LT. Orlando Brown Jr. is clearly the domino that remains to topple. If they're able to get him, it's:

Sign Orlando Brown Jr, draft WR1/TE2/CB3

If he goes to the Bears (as many assume is happening, based on their monstrous cap room), it's:

Trade for Jeudy or Hopkins, draft OT1/TE2/CB3

The free safety position now must also be addressed, but I'm hopeful that BB goes with old friend Duron Harmon, who had a decent year with the Raiders and obviously knows the Pats' system.
 

Shelterdog

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I think the bolded is largely overblown. Obviously it's nice, but the rookie QBs that have made waves are largely just great players that would be great making big chunks of the cap, too-we saw that with Mahomes this year.
What do you mean? It worked for Mahomes, Josh Allen, Russell Wilson....

If everything is lined up properly you could see it working nicely but the window to implement the "lets spend our QB money on other positions" is pretty narrow. You basically need to know the rookie contract QB is good and also have a very good enough roster that you can get to a championship level making or acquiring 25-30 million worth of talent, not have other QB cost commitments like JImmy G., and you need to do it after the first, second, or at latest third season the player has been on the team, because by year five that contract is going to go up. So the Eagles for a year or two, the 49ers can flirt with it with Purdy, the Dolphins are going for it now, but that's about it.

Lazar in particular beats the "Pats should have done a Hill or Brown like trade for a WR with the excess money from the Jones rookie contract" drum, but I just don't see the Pats as being one WR away from being a top team.
 

JM3

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There's some pretty decent FS still available...CJGJ, Rapp, Poyer, Love, Thornhill, etc.
 

rodderick

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What do you mean? It worked for Mahomes, Josh Allen, Russell Wilson....

If everything is lined up properly you could see it working nicely but the window to implement the "lets spend our QB money on other positions" is pretty narrow. You basically need to know the rookie contract QB is good and also have a very good enough roster that you can get to a championship level making or acquiring 25-30 million worth of talent, not have other QB cost commitments like JImmy G., and you need to do it after the first, second, or at latest third season the player has been on the team, because by year five that contract is going to go up. So the Eagles for a year or two, the 49ers can flirt with it with Purdy, the Dolphins are going for it now, but that's about it.

Lazar in particular beats the "Pats should have done a Hill or Brown like trade for a WR with the excess money from the Jones rookie contract" drum, but I just don't see the Pats as being one WR away from being a top team.
Why do you need to be a player away to make these moves? The Bills weren't a player away when they got Diggs, neither were the Eagles when they got AJ Brown. And yet those guys ended up being crucial for their QBs to develop and turn them into contenders. We don't need to be at the state the Patriots were after the 2006 season, not everything else needs to be in place. If the argument is that you don't think Mac Jones is making enough of a jump with those guys to make it worth your while, you need to find the next guy at QB as soon as possible, then.
 

Shelterdog

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Why do you need to be a player away to make these moves? The Bills weren't a player away when they got Diggs, neither were the Eagles when they got AJ Brown. And yet those guys ended up being crucial for their QBs to develop and turn them into contenders. We don't need to be at the state the Patriots were after the 2006 season, not everything else needs to be in place.
The Diggs deal has turned out to be pretty good but that's because he's been incredibly productive and healthy--and the Bills team that traded for Diggs was in fact pretty close to contending. Sure improve your team and sometimes trading for a top receive might do it but incurring a really bad contract and spending a lot of draft capital to do it for short term success only makes sense to make if you actually have that short term success.
 

JM3

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The Diggs deal has turned out to be pretty good but that's because he's been incredibly productive and healthy--and the Bills team that traded for Diggs was in fact pretty close to contending. Sure improve your team and sometimes trading for a top receive might do it but incurring a really bad contract and spending a lot of draft capital to do it for short term success only makes sense to make if you actually have that short term success.
Would be interesting to see what would have happened if they just drafted Justin Jefferson instead.
 

Shelterdog

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Would be interesting to see what would have happened if they just drafted Justin Jefferson instead.
He would have been awesome. Can't really count on either a late first being roughly the best receiver in football or a guy like Diggs living up to his contract to a remarkable degree by basically never getting hurt and catching 1500 yards a season.
 

JM3

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He would have been awesome. Can't really count on either a late first being roughly the best receiver in football or a guy like Diggs living up to his contract to a remarkable degree by basically never getting hurt and catching 1500 yards a season.
Yeah, I just meant in terms of they would have had an extra $10m/year or so to play with, but also who knows who would be better in the Buffalo elements.
 

Shelterdog

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Cellar-Door

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Garshaparra

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Depends on the guarantees and structure, but it's not really clear starter money either. I'd say that is high end rotation salary, maybe starter money on the right.

Edit- he made $3M last year where he was supposed to be a backup, then due to injuries he started a bunch.
That matches up pretty well with Spotrac's assessment, https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/positional/ . Average RT gets paid $6.5M. At this time, 31 players are listed, no Patriots at this time.

Interestingly, LT is the highest average pay across all positions, coming in at $9.5M. QBs are currently just below that at $8.5M.
 

67YAZ

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Reiff, Mack, Robinson all make sense under the principle I think Belichick uses: Never go into the draft having to plug a hole in the roster & never draft a guy you don't think can make the roster.

Surely the Pats can draft more impactful - this season and in the future - than these last few singings and probably the next few to come down the pike. But now they don't strictly have to. They can navigate the board to their top-rated prospects and use the late round picks to fight for spots at the bottom of the depth chart with some of these veterans with low dead cap hits.
 

rodderick

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Reiff, Mack, Robinson all make sense under the principle I think Belichick uses: Never go into the draft having to plug a hole in the roster & never draft a guy you don't think can make the roster.

Surely the Pats can draft more impactful - this season and in the future - than these last few singings and probably the next few to come down the pike. But now they don't strictly have to. They can navigate the board to their top-rated prospects and use the late round picks to fight for spots at the bottom of the depth chart with some of these veterans with low dead cap hits.
I agree in terms of linebacker and running back, but not tackle. It's great to have depth, but kinda awful when your depth is projected to start. I still think that's 100% a major need at this point and it would be my pick at 14 with the roster as currently constructed.
 

BigJimEd

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It was mentioned in another thread but Mac also started following Hopkins and OBJ.
 

Shelterdog

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Don't know how you could possibly fit Gesicki, Henry and Schuster into the same offense.
Definitely some redundancy and it would certainly be better to have one of the TEs be more of a blocker, but Henry is at the end of his contract, Gesicki would presumably be relatively cheap, and I'm not convinced that you can't play two primarily receiving tight ends at the same time reasonably frequently--lots of other teams manage to somehow starting with the chiefs--if they both know the offense (looking at you Jonnu) and at least try to block.
 

rodderick

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Definitely some redundancy and it would certainly be better to have one of the TEs be more of a blocker, but Henry is at the end of his contract, Gesicki would presumably be relatively cheap, and I'm not convinced that you can't play two primarily receiving tight ends at the same time reasonably frequently--lots of other teams manage to somehow starting with the chiefs--if they both know the offense (looking at you Jonnu) and at least try to block.
The Pats have never gone away from having a blocking TE, I guess they could bring in Gesicki if his market is dry and then draft a blocker, but he'd be splitting time with Henry or replacing him. Don't recall them ever having two TE sets without a blocker.
 

JM3

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If they bring in Gesicki I assume it's with the intention of moving on from Henry for minor draft capital. Because yeah, it's not a particularly cohesive fit. They could feel like it's a buy low opportunity to make another mostly parallel move like Meyers to JuJu.
 

tims4wins

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What is Gesicki's rate going to look like? Cutting Henry costs them $5M in dead cap and saves $10.5M on the cap. If they can get Gesicki for $6-7M then that's solid savings. His last contract was a one year deal for $10.9M though.
 

JM3

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What is Gesicki's rate going to look like? Cutting Henry costs them $5M in dead cap and saves $10.5M on the cap. If they can get Gesicki for $6-7M then that's solid savings. His last contract was a one year deal for $10.9M though.
He put up 32/362 last year after 53/703 & 73/780 the 2 years before, so I assume less than $10.9m, but not sure how much exactly. The way they have been structuring things, could always be like a 3/$21m with basically 2 years guaranteed and playing time incentives to add another $6m or so?
 

rodderick

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My preference would be to keep Henry and find an all-around TE and a blocker in the mid-late rounds in one of the deepest classes in recent years. I don't want to completely remake the personnel on offense with a new OC coming in and don't feel Gesicki is that much of an upgrade over Henry as a receiver to make it worthwhile. Gotta keep some guys Mac has thrown a football to before.
 

tims4wins

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He put up 32/362 last year after 53/703 & 73/780 the 2 years before, so I assume less than $10.9m, but not sure how much exactly. The way they have been structuring things, could always be like a 3/$21m with basically 2 years guaranteed and playing time incentives to add another $6m or so?
Good point about adding years to the deal. Gesicki is one year younger. Probably similar caliber player. So even if you only save a couple million, it's probably a good move from a team perspective. Younger player, similar talent, more years of control for less dollars all add up to a win.
 

Shelterdog

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The Pats have never gone away from having a blocking TE, I guess they could bring in Gesicki if his market is dry and then draft a blocker, but he'd be splitting time with Henry or replacing him. Don't recall them ever having two TE sets without a blocker.
Not trying to quibble--I think BB really likes having a big TE who can block and catch and I expect them to draft one fairly high--but they did just go two seasons without a blocker at TE.

I think they like Henry more than fans do--they play him a ton-- and I probably rate him higher than most fans do so I'm not so sure they're eager to get rid of him. I would find it pretty interesting if they decide to replace him, which, when coupled with Jakobi and Harris, would begin suggesting to me that BB might want a fresh start and might also put some of the chaos and dysfunction of last year's offense on the players and not just on Matty P and Judge.
 

BigJimEd

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I think Henry is probably the better player. Can play inline or slot. I'd prefer to keep him unless savings are significant which I doubt.
 

rodderick

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Not trying to quibble--I think BB really likes having a big TE who can block and catch and I expect them to draft one fairly high--but they did just go two seasons without a blocker at TE.

I think they like Henry more than fans do--they play him a ton-- and I probably rate him higher than most fans do so I'm not so sure they're eager to get rid of him. I would find it pretty interesting if they decide to replace him, which, when coupled with Jakobi and Harris, would begin suggesting to me that BB might want a fresh start and might also put some of the chaos and dysfunction of last year's offense on the players and not just on Matty P and Judge.
Jonnu is in another stratosphere as a blocker than Henry and Gesicki and a lot was asked of him in that role.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Jonnu is in another stratosphere as a blocker than Henry and Gesicki and a lot was asked of him in that role.
I think people assume that to be true, but both the eye test and advanced stats say that Jonnu was a pretty terrible run blocker in his two years with New England. In fact, it appears that in the 2 seasons with Henry/Jonnu, Henry stayed in as a run blocker 50 snaps more than Jonnu. So, I'm not sure "a lot was asked" of Jonnu as a run blocker. Which is good. Because hes actually not that good at it.
 

Shelterdog

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Jonnu is in another stratosphere as a blocker than Henry and Gesicki and a lot was asked of him in that role.
He didn't look all that good to me and while he's an explosive athlete he's also small for a blocking TE. The root cause of the TE fiasco of the last two years is that Henry is a Y who can't block particularly well for a Y and Smith was an F who couldn't run routes and catch like an F all worlds when in 12.

Anyhow, I'm really not trying to argue about this kind of dumb point where we are fundamentally in agreement--BB likes big TEs, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Pats add a classic Y tight end or, even if they don't, add a TE who's just a real blocker. I think the only point of disagreement is whether they could field a team with Henry and Gesicki--and if Gesicki is cheap enough i certainly don't see why they couldn't.