Patriots' Priorities for the 2023 Season

Garshaparra

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I was going to say this. Tom Brady was a cheat code at the time. Stop looking at what the Pats were able to get away with back then, because we don't have him and we have to play by the rules that every NFL team has to play with now. An elite skill player is as important to this team as it is to every team not named the Chiefs.
Kelce absolutely counts as a skill position player at this point, but your point stands.
 

Deathofthebambino

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In 2016, who were the players that opponents had to game plan for?

Blount was the leading rusher with 1,161 yds (just 3.9 y/a). The leading receivers were Edelman (98 rec, 1,106 yds), Hogan (38 rec, 680 yds), and Mitchell (32 rec, 401 yds). Our top TE was Bennett, as Gronk was injured. Bennett was a solid TE but not a guy you really needed to "game plan for" (55 rec, 701 yds). White caught passes out of the backfield but you really don't "game plan" tons for that (60 rec, 551 yds).

Edelman was the closest thing to what we're talking about but while he obviously was a terrific receiver, he never ever was thought of in the #1WR mold.

That said... I'd rather have those weapons than what the Pats have now, especially when you consider who the QB was.
You're underselling some things here. In addition to the greatest QB of all time, and arguably the greatest slot receiver of all time, you had Hogan who was a deep threat at all times. You had the #1 defense in the NFL (they gave up like 16ppg over the entire season).

Blount, that leading rusher. About that, Gronk was hurt the 1st two games of the year, and the Pats rushed for 277 yards in those games. Gronk then got hurt in week 9, and these were the Pats rushing yards after that, by game: 81 (loss to Seattle), 171, 91, 133, 95, 136, 114, 120. They morphed into a power running game, with their backs running behind fullback, James Develin and a bunch of road graders in front of them. That was the year Scarnecchia came out of retirement to coach the offensive line, and they gave up 16 sacks all season, and finished 5th in the NFL in rushing yards. Oh and James White caught 60 balls in the regular season.

That team was stacked on both sides of the ball, had the greatest coach of all time, the greatest QB of all time, Josh McD calling the offense, Scar coaching the offensive line, the best defense in the NFL, an all world receiver....

Yeah, you don't necessarily need a DK Metcalf or Deebo Samuel to win when you have all of that.

The 2022 Pats have none of those things, other than the same head coach, so yeah, we might need some playmakers to open things up.
 

8slim

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You're underselling some things here. In addition to the greatest QB of all time, and arguably the greatest slot receiver of all time, you had Hogan who was a deep threat at all times. You had the #1 defense in the NFL (they gave up like 16ppg over the entire season).

Blount, that leading rusher. About that, Gronk was hurt the 1st two games of the year, and the Pats rushed for 277 yards in those games. Gronk then got hurt in week 9, and these were the Pats rushing yards after that, by game: 81 (loss to Seattle), 171, 91, 133, 95, 136, 114, 120. They morphed into a power running game, with their backs running behind fullback, James Develin and a bunch of road graders in front of them. That was the year Scarnecchia came out of retirement to coach the offensive line, and they gave up 16 sacks all season, and finished 5th in the NFL in rushing yards. Oh and James White caught 60 balls in the regular season.

That team was stacked on both sides of the ball, had the greatest coach of all time, the greatest QB of all time, Josh McD calling the offense, Scar coaching the offensive line, the best defense in the NFL, an all world receiver....

Yeah, you don't necessarily need a DK Metcalf or Deebo Samuel to win when you have all of that.

The 2022 Pats have none of those things, other than the same head coach, so yeah, we might need some playmakers to open things up.
Precisely. The whole point of this conversation is that you need *something* to challenge opposing Defenses. There’s a lot of ways to skin a cat. Rham is a more dynamic RB than Blount was, but our OL wasn’t anything special this year in terms of running the ball, so a DC didn’t need to lose sleep about getting trucked all game that way. And we’ve rehashed the receiving corps to death. The former lacrosse player was a bigger weapon than anyone on the current roster.
 

sezwho

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Precisely. The whole point of this conversation is that you need *something* to challenge opposing Defenses. There’s a lot of ways to skin a cat. Rham is a more dynamic RB than Blount was, but our OL wasn’t anything special this year in terms of running the ball, so a DC didn’t need to lose sleep about getting trucked all game that way. And we’ve rehashed the receiving corps to death. The former lacrosse player was a bigger weapon than anyone on the current roster.
Somewhat idle speculation, but I wonder whether the enhanced concussion protocols caused a change in the Pats offensive game.

I don’t think the over the middle Welker / Edelman getting crunched works as well. They protected themselves more than it may have appeared, but that body type/route tree combo would spawn a lot of blue tent trips nowadays.
 

8slim

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Somewhat idle speculation, but I wonder whether the enhanced concussion protocols caused a change in the Pats offensive game.

I don’t think the over the middle Welker / Edelman getting crunched works as well. They protected themselves more than it may have appeared, but that body type/route tree combo would spawn a lot of blue tent trips nowadays.
Perhaps, although Mac threw more than a few hospital balls over the middle this past season. It was probably a good thing that many were behind the receiver, or someone might have gotten seriously hurt.
 

DJnVa

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Perhaps, although Mac threw more than a few hospital balls over the middle this past season. It was probably a good thing that many were behind the receiver, or someone might have gotten seriously hurt.
Did he throw more or less than other QBs?
 

EricFeczko

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I'm a little surprised that there's so little appetite for a QB reset.

I know the rest of the offense had limitations and the coaching wasn't good. But even taking all that into account, I've seen enough from Mac. I think his absolute ceiling is a dead average QB, and that's not going to be good enough to build a regular contender. His physical talent is well below average and his mental skills took a step back. They need higher upside competition in camp, ideally via another high draft pick. And I'd keep investing that draft capital every 2-3 years until they hit.

This isn't a Brady entitlement post. I just think it's nearly impossible to build a team that's regularly competitive with anything other than a top 5-10 guy at QB. They're going to be in the wilderness until they find it.
As someone highly critical of Mac all season long I disagree with this approach. Frankly, I think QB resets are usually a bad idea, and spending draft capital just for better camp competition seems like a waste of capital to me.

QBs typically perform poorly in their first year in the league, and FA QBs don't tend to be sustainable. I'd rather BB focus on the OL/TE/K/P positions and take a mid-late round 2023 flier on a QB to compete in 2024, when Mac is in the final year of his first contract anyways. BB has had great success with mid-to-late-round QB picks.
 

Cellar-Door

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As someone highly critical of Mac all season long I disagree with this approach. Frankly, I think QB resets are usually a bad idea, and spending draft capital just for better camp competition seems like a waste of capital to me.

QBs typically perform poorly in their first year in the league, and FA QBs don't tend to be sustainable. I'd rather BB focus on the OL/TE/K/P positions and take a mid-late round 2023 flier on a QB to compete in 2024, when Mac is in the final year of his first contract anyways. BB has had great success with mid-to-late-round QB picks.
I think if you don't have a top QB you should be looking every year. However I also think that the Patriots are not in a great position to get one this year, and given where Mac is, unless something falls into their laps, next off-season is the spot to make a move
 

nattysez

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Zolak with some coaching nuggets on 98.5 this morning.

Mayo: will be assistant HC.
Patricia: moving back upstairs. May help with the OL
Judge: back to ST coach with Cam Achord as his assistant.
Thinks Caley is gone no matter what.

https://985thesportshub.com/listicle/what-scott-zolak-is-hearing-about-the-patriots-coaching-staff/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SND
I wonder to what extent Mayo's role changes (if at all).

I'd love to know what BB sees in Matty P.
 

astrozombie

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As someone highly critical of Mac all season long I disagree with this approach. Frankly, I think QB resets are usually a bad idea, and spending draft capital just for better camp competition seems like a waste of capital to me.

QBs typically perform poorly in their first year in the league, and FA QBs don't tend to be sustainable. I'd rather BB focus on the OL/TE/K/P positions and take a mid-late round 2023 flier on a QB to compete in 2024, when Mac is in the final year of his first contract anyways. BB has had great success with mid-to-late-round QB picks.
I doubt Mac will be an all-time great and I do have some reservations about his maturity, but I think that he could be a good QB if set up to succeed. There was an SI article awhile ago about how Harbaugh fixed Alex Smith and the gist of it was that Smith's NFL coaches to that point asked him to do stuff he had never done in college. So he sucked. Harbaugh came in and said "well, if this worked for you in college, why don't we go back to it?" and helped revive Smith's career. Geno Smith was brutalized on the Jets and helped a preseason written-off Seahawks team to the playoffs. Matt Stafford won a SB with the Rams right after leaving the Lions. Trevor Lawrence looks leagues better under Pederson. My point being that setting up QBs for success goes a long way and whether the changes are in coaching or personnel, I think that Mac can become a contributor.
 

Ed Hillel

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Just a thought, but Tampa has a big Brady dead cap hit and they’re gonna suck again. Mike Evans has 1 year left at 13 million base. Maybe a possible trade target for like a 4th?
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

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Zolak with some coaching nuggets on 98.5 this morning.

Mayo: will be assistant HC.
Patricia: moving back upstairs. May help with the OL
Judge: back to ST coach with Cam Achord as his assistant.
Thinks Caley is gone no matter what.

https://985thesportshub.com/listicle/what-scott-zolak-is-hearing-about-the-patriots-coaching-staff/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SND
I wonder to what extent Mayo's role changes (if at all).

I'd love to know what BB sees in Matty P.
The new Ernie Adams, maybe? Especially if he's moving upstairs.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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The new Ernie Adams, maybe? Especially if he's moving upstairs.
Whatever Patricia's faults are, it's generally accepted that he's very smart and has a good football mind. He couldn't get it done as OC this year but that doesn't mean he cannot positively contribute to the success of the team in another fashion. BB has done this with players before (Pat Chung comes to mind), so there's no reason to think it can't work with a coach.
 

BaseballJones

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Love this article: https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/35465841/2022-nfl-rookie-rankings-where-sauce-gardner-brock-purdy-chris-olave-stack-our-final-top-10-plus-risers-watch-next-year

Lists top 10 NFL rookies for 2022, and then has some others who just missed the cut.

No mention at all of 1st team All Pro, Marcus Jones, who was not only the best punt returner in the NFL this year, he also contributed as a cornerback (allowing a QB rating against of only 77.2) AND as a receiver (4 receptions and a TD, averaging 19.5 yds/rec).
 

Cellar-Door

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Interesting, though I think some of it is kind of silly.... like him saying "I'll sign the top 2 guys on the WR market at reasonable prices" as if we've never seen how a market with scarce resources works.
Also liked him saying "our draft expert says these guys won't be there, but that messes up my hypothetical offseason completely, so we'll just say that one of them will". He also seems to not know how the safety roles differ in Bill's defense (Dugger is not a McCourty replacement).
 

BigJimEd

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Writer also seems to have gotten Hopkins cap number wrong. For an acquiring team his number looks to be $19.45. $30M is his cap number for Cardinals.
 

Shelterdog

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That guy is a dope. I don't know why he thinks the spotrac numbers are meaningful but Cam Sutton is going to be a lot more expensive than Jonathan Jones. His plan requires staffing TE with Smith and a third round rookie which is, erh, dubious. Smith Schuster and Myers are going to be more expensive than he thinks. A second round tender on Myles Bryant--which is probably what you need to use to keep him--is closing to 4 million so you're not getting Peppers and Bryant for 4 million. I'm not sure why you'd get rid of Mills to sign Patrick Peterson (or Henry to sign Myers).
 

bakahump

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Yea much of the Bloom is off Patricia after the dumpster fire OC experiment and Detroit. But before leaving for Detroit he was well thought of in the org and designed/ran/helped BB Put together some really good defenses.
the EA position might just be his niche. He obviously has BBs trust and that may be criteria one for that slot.
 

BaseballJones

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How *I* would fix the Patriots....

Projected ~52 million in cap space (https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/patriots/patriots-projected-have-third-most-nfl-salary-cap-space-2023-offseason)

1. Coaching staff: BB as GM and HC. O'Brien as OC. Mayo as AHC and DC. SBelichick calling defensive plays. Judge as ST coach. Patricia in the Ernie Adams role. Marrone as OL coach.

2. Fix OT by doing two things: (1) signing Kelvin Beachum of Arizona to play RT. Good pass blocker, average run blocker. Solid vet. At 33 years of age, you wouldn't sign him to a long-term deal, but you probably can get two good years out of him. Reasonable chance you could get him for about $13m a year, given his age. And (2) draft a player to be LT with their first round pick. They need another stud to pair with Strange. I'd aim for Matthew Bergeron out of Syracuse (6'5", 322 lbs) - strong, powerful athlete. He's a first round player but isn't one of the top 5 tackles, so I'd see if he's still around and hope I could actually trade down from #14 and pick up an additional, say, 3rd round pick. Then around #20-25 draft Bergeron. That gives them a high quality, young, athletic left side of the line for years to come, and a strong veteran to go alongside Onwenu on the right side.

3. Since this draft class isn't the best when it comes to WRs, I'd see if I can snag the best remaining WR with the 2nd round pick. (obviously has to be someone you like)

4. Rest of the draft I'd look for OL, DB (CB especially), and TE.

5. Both Agholor and Meyers are free agents. I wouldn't re-sign either of them, even though I like Meyers. I just think he's going to cost too much. See about signing Scotty Miller from Tampa. Shouldn't cost much, and is one of those shifty slot receivers the Patriots have always loved. Or maybe Jarvis Landry, who also shouldn't cost too much given his age (30+). Then run next year's offense around Bourne, Parker, Thornton, the rookie you drafted, and Miller/Landry. Is it an all-world group? No. But I think if the rest of the offense is in good shape, it's plenty good enough. Of COURSE I would love for them to get a true #1 WR, but I just don't see how they do that. There's just none available in free agency, and I don't know that there's one that'll be available to the Pats in the draft.

6. Let Hunter Henry go. I like him, but I'd let him go. According to spotrac, he'd come with a $5m dead cap hit, but his 2023 cap hit right now looks to be $15m. So you'd save $10m. Then I'd sign someone like Kyle Rudolph or Irv Smith - solid pros who should cost a lot less than Hunter.

7. Re-sign Peppers. Let Jonathan Jones go. Figure out Jack Jones and get that guy's head on straight. He'll be the #1 CB next year. Add from the draft at both CB and S. Sign cheaper vets to supplement.

8. Figure out the punting situation. Maybe Bailey was dealing with an injury this year. Who knows. But they have to improve there for sure.

9. Make sure the offense runs stuff that Mac is comfortable with and is good at. They need to make this as Mac-friendly as it can be. See if he's really the guy.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Maybe sign an OC first and figure out what you're trying to do on offense before deciding who to sign. Definitely improve the OL, but outside of that, get the OC in house and go from there.
 

BaseballJones

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Maybe sign an OC first and figure out what you're trying to do on offense before deciding who to sign. Definitely improve the OL, but outside of that, get the OC in house and go from there.
Yeah, I mean, figuring out the coaching staff and putting that plan together is my number 1 priority.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Probably have to implement a very specific offense due to QB limitations, quite honestly. Then there's the whole, maybe the team goes after Lamar thing, or Jimmy G, or whoever else. What does that do to the offense?
 

JohnnyK

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See about signing Scotty Miller from Tampa. Shouldn't cost much, and is one of those shifty slot receivers the Patriots have always loved.
this is a common misconception, probably because he is white and not very tall. He's exclusively been a deep threat in the NFL. He had a very underwhelming 185 yards receiving in 15 games last season with Tom Brady throwing to him.
 

BigSoxFan

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How *I* would fix the Patriots....

Projected ~52 million in cap space (https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/patriots/patriots-projected-have-third-most-nfl-salary-cap-space-2023-offseason)

1. Coaching staff: BB as GM and HC. O'Brien as OC. Mayo as AHC and DC. SBelichick calling defensive plays. Judge as ST coach. Patricia in the Ernie Adams role. Marrone as OL coach.

2. Fix OT by doing two things: (1) signing Kelvin Beachum of Arizona to play RT. Good pass blocker, average run blocker. Solid vet. At 33 years of age, you wouldn't sign him to a long-term deal, but you probably can get two good years out of him. Reasonable chance you could get him for about $13m a year, given his age. And (2) draft a player to be LT with their first round pick. They need another stud to pair with Strange. I'd aim for Matthew Bergeron out of Syracuse (6'5", 322 lbs) - strong, powerful athlete. He's a first round player but isn't one of the top 5 tackles, so I'd see if he's still around and hope I could actually trade down from #14 and pick up an additional, say, 3rd round pick. Then around #20-25 draft Bergeron. That gives them a high quality, young, athletic left side of the line for years to come, and a strong veteran to go alongside Onwenu on the right side.

3. Since this draft class isn't the best when it comes to WRs, I'd see if I can snag the best remaining WR with the 2nd round pick. (obviously has to be someone you like)

4. Rest of the draft I'd look for OL, DB (CB especially), and TE.

5. Both Agholor and Meyers are free agents. I wouldn't re-sign either of them, even though I like Meyers. I just think he's going to cost too much. See about signing Scotty Miller from Tampa. Shouldn't cost much, and is one of those shifty slot receivers the Patriots have always loved. Or maybe Jarvis Landry, who also shouldn't cost too much given his age (30+). Then run next year's offense around Bourne, Parker, Thornton, the rookie you drafted, and Miller/Landry. Is it an all-world group? No. But I think if the rest of the offense is in good shape, it's plenty good enough. Of COURSE I would love for them to get a true #1 WR, but I just don't see how they do that. There's just none available in free agency, and I don't know that there's one that'll be available to the Pats in the draft.

6. Let Hunter Henry go. I like him, but I'd let him go. According to spotrac, he'd come with a $5m dead cap hit, but his 2023 cap hit right now looks to be $15m. So you'd save $10m. Then I'd sign someone like Kyle Rudolph or Irv Smith - solid pros who should cost a lot less than Hunter.

7. Re-sign Peppers. Let Jonathan Jones go. Figure out Jack Jones and get that guy's head on straight. He'll be the #1 CB next year. Add from the draft at both CB and S. Sign cheaper vets to supplement.

8. Figure out the punting situation. Maybe Bailey was dealing with an injury this year. Who knows. But they have to improve there for sure.

9. Make sure the offense runs stuff that Mac is comfortable with and is good at. They need to make this as Mac-friendly as it can be. See if he's really the guy.
Reasonable plan but I feel like they need to be more aggressive at WR. A WR group of Bourne/Parker/Thornton/Rookie/random vet is likely worse than the one we had this year given the departure of Meyers. Losing Agholor and giving his opportunities to Thornton should hopefully be a net positive. I agree that I'm not paying Meyers big money so I don't really have a solution here but I'd really like to see Mac play with more firepower in the WR/TE skill positions.
 

DJnVa

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this is a common misconception, probably because he is white and not very tall. He's exclusively been a deep threat in the NFL. He had a very underwhelming 185 yards receiving in 15 games last season with Tom Brady throwing to him.
Well, this season he only averaged 8 yards/catch, so not all that deep.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Reasonable plan but I feel like they need to be more aggressive at WR. A WR group of Bourne/Parker/Thornton/Rookie/random vet is likely worse than the one we had this year given the departure of Meyers. Losing Agholor and giving his opportunities to Thornton should hopefully be a net positive. I agree that I'm not paying Meyers big money so I don't really have a solution here but I'd really like to see Mac play with more firepower in the WR/TE skill positions.
I'm with you. I like the idea of using a 2nd round pick on a wide receiver, just not in the draft. I'd be looking to trade it to a team that doesn't have a reasonable chance of competing in the near future, maybe looking to rebuild, throw in a 3rd rounder for next year and target guys like:

DJ Moore in Carolina
Michael Pittman Jr. in Indy
Terry McLaurin in Washington


AJ Brown went to Philly for the 18th and 101st picks overall (the Titans then used that 18th pick on Traylon Burks, which made no sense in hindsight), so a mid 2nd and potential mid 3rd next year might bring you back one of the guys. McLaurin is my binkie. Washington has no chance of competing in that division as currently constituted. Their best option is to blow everything up and tank for Caleb Williams or Drake Maye in next year's draft, IMO.
 

mcpickl

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That guy is a dope. I don't know why he thinks the spotrac numbers are meaningful but Cam Sutton is going to be a lot more expensive than Jonathan Jones. His plan requires staffing TE with Smith and a third round rookie which is, erh, dubious. Smith Schuster and Myers are going to be more expensive than he thinks. A second round tender on Myles Bryant--which is probably what you need to use to keep him--is closing to 4 million so you're not getting Peppers and Bryant for 4 million. I'm not sure why you'd get rid of Mills to sign Patrick Peterson (or Henry to sign Myers).
He also doesn't seem to understand if you sign a guy to a deal that averages 12.5M, the cap hit in year one isn't 12.5M.

Not great for their Patriots beat guy.
 

BigSoxFan

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I'm with you. I like the idea of using a 2nd round pick on a wide receiver, just not in the draft. I'd be looking to trade it to a team that doesn't have a reasonable chance of competing in the near future, maybe looking to rebuild, throw in a 3rd rounder for next year and target guys like:

DJ Moore in Carolina
Michael Pittman Jr. in Indy
Terry McLaurin in Washington


AJ Brown went to Philly for the 18th and 101st picks overall (the Titans then used that 18th pick on Traylon Burks, which made no sense in hindsight), so a mid 2nd and potential mid 3rd next year might bring you back one of the guys. McLaurin is my binkie. Washington has no chance of competing in that division as currently constituted. Their best option is to blow everything up and tank for Caleb Williams or Drake Maye in next year's draft, IMO.
Agreed with this approach. We’ve done quite well trading for WRs and I absolutely love McLaurin and Moore. Doubt either of them are available but if they are, they’d both be perfect. I know many here wanted McLaurin when he came out.
 

mcpickl

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I'm with you. I like the idea of using a 2nd round pick on a wide receiver, just not in the draft. I'd be looking to trade it to a team that doesn't have a reasonable chance of competing in the near future, maybe looking to rebuild, throw in a 3rd rounder for next year and target guys like:

DJ Moore in Carolina
Michael Pittman Jr. in Indy
Terry McLaurin in Washington


AJ Brown went to Philly for the 18th and 101st picks overall (the Titans then used that 18th pick on Traylon Burks, which made no sense in hindsight), so a mid 2nd and potential mid 3rd next year might bring you back one of the guys. McLaurin is my binkie. Washington has no chance of competing in that division as currently constituted. Their best option is to blow everything up and tank for Caleb Williams or Drake Maye in next year's draft, IMO.
I'd also check in on Jerry Jeudy to see if Denver might be willing to move him.
 

j44thor

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Agreed with this approach. We’ve done quite well trading for WRs and I absolutely love McLaurin and Moore. Doubt either of them are available but if they are, they’d both be perfect. I know many here wanted McLaurin when he came out.
McLaurin was just signed to a big extension so doubt he is available. I also doubt Pittman will be moved as IND thinks they are just a QB away and Irsay is likely to pay a ransom to move into the top draft spot to get his preferred QB.
Agree with above that Jeudy would be my top target, DEN has a lack of picks and not a ton of cap space thanks to Wilson trade. Jeudy is incredibly young and has some of the best analytics at WR out there, one of the few equally effective beating zone and man coverage. It would probably take at least 2 2nds to land him as he himself was a high pick not long ago but he doesn't have the track record of an AJ Brown though not that far off.
 

Red Averages

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I'm with you. I like the idea of using a 2nd round pick on a wide receiver, just not in the draft. I'd be looking to trade it to a team that doesn't have a reasonable chance of competing in the near future, maybe looking to rebuild, throw in a 3rd rounder for next year and target guys like:

DJ Moore in Carolina
Michael Pittman Jr. in Indy
Terry McLaurin in Washington


AJ Brown went to Philly for the 18th and 101st picks overall (the Titans then used that 18th pick on Traylon Burks, which made no sense in hindsight), so a mid 2nd and potential mid 3rd next year might bring you back one of the guys. McLaurin is my binkie. Washington has no chance of competing in that division as currently constituted. Their best option is to blow everything up and tank for Caleb Williams or Drake Maye in next year's draft, IMO.
Completely agree. It would be nice to get a known commodity, the team has the cap space, and it would help to get some veteran leadership to help the group (and Mac).

On Tennessee -- I think they didn't have the cap space, so they needed to move from Burks, which is a $23mm difference. Clearly from a talent perspective it was a huge downgrade.
 

BigSoxFan

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McLaurin was just signed to a big extension so doubt he is available. I also doubt Pittman will be moved as IND thinks they are just a QB away and Irsay is likely to pay a ransom to move into the top draft spot to get his preferred QB.
Agree with above that Jeudy would be my top target, DEN has a lack of picks and not a ton of cap space thanks to Wilson trade. Jeudy is incredibly young and has some of the best analytics at WR out there, one of the few equally effective beating zone and man coverage. It would probably take at least 2 2nds to land him as he himself was a high pick not long ago but he doesn't have the track record of an AJ Brown though not that far off.
Yeah, Jeudy is another guy who would really fit our need well although I can’t see Denver trading him when they’re desperately trying to make a possibly-cooked Wilson happen.
 

Deathofthebambino

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McLaurin was just signed to a big extension so doubt he is available. I also doubt Pittman will be moved as IND thinks they are just a QB away and Irsay is likely to pay a ransom to move into the top draft spot to get his preferred QB.
Agree with above that Jeudy would be my top target, DEN has a lack of picks and not a ton of cap space thanks to Wilson trade. Jeudy is incredibly young and has some of the best analytics at WR out there, one of the few equally effective beating zone and man coverage. It would probably take at least 2 2nds to land him as he himself was a high pick not long ago but he doesn't have the track record of an AJ Brown though not that far off.
I like Jeudy a lot, but I don't see Denver punting yet. They just committed so much money to Wilson that they have no option but to try to make it work, and dealing away arguably their best player on a terrible offense doesn't do anything for them. I disagree that Jeudy should command anything like AJ Brown in a trade though. Through 3 seasons in TN, Brown had 185 yards, 3,000 yards and 24td's (69.7ypg), while missing like 6 games due to injury, and missing parts of others. Jeudy's missed a bunch of time too, but he's at 147 catches, for 2,295 yards and 9td's through 3 seasons (56.0ypg). They aren't in the same place and shouldn't cost the same, but I'd still probably take Jeudy for 2 2nds it that's what it would cost.

McLaurin on the other hand. Washington has no chance of competing with Dallas/Giants/Eagles in the near future, and no real money committed like Denver does with Wilson. The cap implications kind of suck for them, I believe, if they trade him prior to June 1st, but otherwise, what's the point of paying out that contract and winning 5-6 games? They're in NFL hell, with no hope at QB, a really good division, etc. They probably wouldn't do it, but everyone is available for the right price, and the Pats have chits to use.

Indy can think they are a QB away, so are like 22 other NFL teams in some respect. They are on the hook for 35mil this year to Matt Ryan (18mil dead money). Pittman is a free agent after this season. If the Colts think they are a QB away, that QB is in the 2024 draft. They'll need a top 2 pick to get him. They just went 4-12-1 in a terrible division. They should blow it up and get as many assets as they can.

DJ Moore is under contract, but we just watched Carolina dump CMC to the Niners, so they seem to be in "collecting assets" mode. They're in a bit of a different spot than Indy and Washington though, as their division is literally wide open, especially if TB12 walks from Tampa after this season.
 

ehaz

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I'm with you. I like the idea of using a 2nd round pick on a wide receiver, just not in the draft. I'd be looking to trade it to a team that doesn't have a reasonable chance of competing in the near future, maybe looking to rebuild, throw in a 3rd rounder for next year and target guys like:

DJ Moore in Carolina
Michael Pittman Jr. in Indy
Terry McLaurin in Washington


AJ Brown went to Philly for the 18th and 101st picks overall (the Titans then used that 18th pick on Traylon Burks, which made no sense in hindsight), so a mid 2nd and potential mid 3rd next year might bring you back one of the guys. McLaurin is my binkie. Washington has no chance of competing in that division as currently constituted. Their best option is to blow everything up and tank for Caleb Williams or Drake Maye in next year's draft, IMO.
I like this idea better than trading for an older (albeit better) veteran like Hopkins. Target young WRs who will start demanding market rate extensions in the near term.

Beyond this list, there's the aforementioned Jeudy. I would also check on Tee Higgins. Unlike the others, his team doesn't suck, but Higgins is a year away from FA and the Bengals might determine that they won't be able to afford all three of Burrow/Chase/Higgins. If that doesn't work, could kick the tires on his teammate, Tyler Boyd, who is probably more likely to be dealt and would be a nice Meyers replacement.
 

BigSoxFan

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I like Jeudy a lot, but I don't see Denver punting yet. They just committed so much money to Wilson that they have no option but to try to make it work, and dealing away arguably their best player on a terrible offense doesn't do anything for them. I disagree that Jeudy should command anything like AJ Brown in a trade though. Through 3 seasons in TN, Brown had 185 yards, 3,000 yards and 24td's (69.7ypg), while missing like 6 games due to injury, and missing parts of others. Jeudy's missed a bunch of time too, but he's at 147 catches, for 2,295 yards and 9td's through 3 seasons (56.0ypg). They aren't in the same place and shouldn't cost the same, but I'd still probably take Jeudy for 2 2nds it that's what it would cost.

McLaurin on the other hand. Washington has no chance of competing with Dallas/Giants/Eagles in the near future, and no real money committed like Denver does with Wilson. The cap implications kind of suck for them, I believe, if they trade him prior to June 1st, but otherwise, what's the point of paying out that contract and winning 5-6 games? They're in NFL hell, with no hope at QB, a really good division, etc. They probably wouldn't do it, but everyone is available for the right price, and the Pats have chits to use.

Indy can think they are a QB away, so are like 22 other NFL teams in some respect. They are on the hook for 35mil this year to Matt Ryan (18mil dead money). Pittman is a free agent after this season. If the Colts think they are a QB away, that QB is in the 2024 draft. They'll need a top 2 pick to get him. They just went 4-12-1 in a terrible division. They should blow it up and get as many assets as they can.

DJ Moore is under contract, but we just watched Carolina dump CMC to the Niners, so they seem to be in "collecting assets" mode. They're in a bit of a different spot than Indy and Washington though, as their division is literally wide open, especially if TB12 walks from Tampa after this season.
Thoughts on Hopkins? Turns 31 in June so that's not great and Cardinals would have $23M cap hit if they traded him before 6/1 but seems like the most realistic target. With Murray's injury, AZ is probably better off turning 2023 into an asset accumulation year.
 

Rudy's Curve

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I like this idea better than trading for an older (albeit better) veteran like Hopkins. Target young WRs who will start demanding market rate extensions in the near term.

Beyond this list, there's the aforementioned Jeudy. I would also check on Tee Higgins. Unlike the others, his team doesn't suck, but Higgins is a year away from FA and the Bengals might determine that they won't be able to afford all three of Burrow/Chase/Higgins. If that doesn't work, could kick the tires on his teammate, Tyler Boyd, who is probably more likely to be dealt and would be a nice Meyers replacement.
Unless Higgins is dealt for a 1+, I can't see it happening. While they may not be able to keep all of them, trading him in the middle of a championship window isn't how Mike Brown operates. He doesn't run the team day-to-day anymore, but he would be the final say on it. As for Boyd, he's the longest-tenured member of the team and they're just not a wheeling and dealing organization - it took the Browns absolutely bowling them over to even entertain trading AJ McCarron before it fell through.
 

BigJimEd

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Hopkins averaged almost 80 yds/gm for the 9 games he played this year. Cards would eat some cash though. He has 2 years and about $35M left on his deal for any acquiring team. I think he's probably worth an inquiry at least.

Moore and McLaurin are already sporting market rate extensions. I don't see McLaurin as a realistic option. Commanders would eat over $25M in dead money and his salary next year is just over $2M. Sure everyone has a price but his would be awfully high. I don't think a new owner is going to want to come in and dump one of their stars as their first move. Nor will Snyder.

Moore is interesting. Carolina would eat almost $15M but he also has a $20M salary this season and they are tight in cap space. Maybe they want to reset. Of course as mentioned, that division isn't exactly loaded so probably not.

I don't see Indy trading Pittman. He's the type of young player they should be looking to keep short of someone overpaying.

Also agree no way Bengals trade Higgins. Be shocking to me. Of course be far from the first time for that.
 

Mystic Merlin

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If the Pats hire BOB, then I think we can scratch out Hopkins as an option, at least in pencil. Things did not end well between Hopkins and BOB in Houston.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Thoughts on Hopkins? Turns 31 in June so that's not great and Cardinals would have $23M cap hit if they traded him before 6/1 but seems like the most realistic target. With Murray's injury, AZ is probably better off turning 2023 into an asset accumulation year.
I think Hopkins is definitely on the market, but I think the Cardinals aren't going to settle for anything less than the Pats #14 pick to get him, and I'm not sure I'm willing to go that high on him.

IMO, There are a few very large elephants in the room with DHop, besides just his age.

He got hurt last year, then parlayed that injury into a PED suspension. I'm not normally a guy who worries about PEDs, because I'm of the school that assumes they're all doing them, but once you get caught, and stop doing them (presumably) how does that affect a guy? Especially a guy playing WR at 31 years old.

Now, let's look at some numbers:

2 years ago, Hopkins played 16 games and went for 160 targets, 115 grabs, 1,407 yards and 6td's.

Since that time, he's played 19 games, and gone for 160 targets,106 grabs, 1,289 yards and 11td's.

But going deeper:

2 years ago, he broke 15 tackles.
Since then, he's broken 1 tackle.

He's been crazy, ludicrous about not dropping passes, but his drop % went from 1.3 to 1.6 to 5.2% this season.

Now, there's a lot of noise in these numbers, between QB injuries, Kirk leaving, running game disappearing, etc., and I still think he's a great receiver. I'd give up a 2nd this year and a 3rd next year for him, but I feel like he's turning into an amazing possession receiver before our eyes, rather than the home run hitter he was before. We need a stud possession receiver, who can beat press off the line, get open quickly and convert 1st downs, and Hopkins certainly fits that bill, but if the cost to get him is what I think it is, I think there are better, younger alternatives with a better cost analysis.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Hopkins averaged almost 80 yds/gm for the 9 games he played this year. Cards would eat some cash though. He has 2 years and about $35M left on his deal for any acquiring team. I think he's probably worth an inquiry at least.

Moore and McLaurin are already sporting market rate extensions. I don't see McLaurin as a realistic option. Commanders would eat over $25M in dead money and his salary next year is just over $2M. Sure everyone has a price but his would be awfully high. I don't think a new owner is going to want to come in and dump one of their stars as their first move. Nor will Snyder.

Moore is interesting. Carolina would eat almost $15M but he also has a $20M salary this season and they are tight in cap space. Maybe they want to reset. Of course as mentioned, that division isn't exactly loaded so probably not.

I don't see Indy trading Pittman. He's the type of young player they should be looking to keep short of someone overpaying.

Also agree no way Bengals trade Higgins. Be shocking to me. Of course be far from the first time for that.
All of that could very well be true. Obviously, we'll see what happens. The idiocy of most NFL front offices will never cease to amaze me. Teams like Washington, Carolina, and Indy should be looking to unload these young assets and planning for the future, before they lose them anyway down the road.

Pittman is a free agent after this coming season. I see no reason from a football perspective that he would resign with Indy, unless Indy pays him more than anyone else, particularly after he has to struggle through another season of Matt Ryan and Sam Ehlinger throwing him the ball.

Are Terry McLaurin and DJ Moore sticking around on 5 win teams with guys like Sam Darnold and Tyler Heinecke throwing them passes, winning a handful of games each year when their contracts are up? I mean, 1 of those teams could still end up in the Williams/Maye sweepstakes next offseason or they get lucky and find a diamond in the 2023 NFL draft QB rough, which would change the calculus, but keeping those players certainly will make it harder to lose.

At some point, these GM's have to look in the mirror and make the hard decisions to ensure a chance at success going forward. Or they just end up in the same place, year after year....
 

Shelterdog

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Count me in as someone who will be floored if the Pats get a top end WR. The need to upgrade the receiving talent is pretty obvious but I'm convinced that philosophically BB is far more in favor of "we need a bunch of good players" than "we need an outstanding player" (at least at non QB positions). I think he'd rather drop from 14 to 18 get the USC receiver and a new kicker in the fifth round and have the extra cap space to re-sign Bryant and Peppers than trade 14 for Hopkins, for example.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Is McLaurin likely to be available? Washington finished a game behind the Giants, I doubt the idea that they can’t compete in the division is one held by the organization, at least not yet.
 

BigJimEd

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Pittman is a free agent after this coming season. I see no reason from a football perspective that he would resign with Indy, unless Indy pays him more than anyone else, particularly after he has to struggle through another season of Matt Ryan and Sam Ehlinger throwing him the ball.
I thought Pittman had a couple years left on his deal. With one year left, I could see Indy seeing what they can get for him.