Wilfork & the 2015 Pats

pokey_reese

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So, article from a Football Outsiders writer on ESPN today, talking about how the Pats should cut Wilfork:
http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/12300361/bold-move-new-england-patriots-miami-dolphins-new-york-jets-buffalo-bills-nfl
 
I don't know exactly when the honeymoon ends, but spring training still hasn't started, so I'm bored. As much as I love Big Vince it's hard to deny that he didn't look exactly like his old self this year, and it seems like we just went through a lengthy contract battle with him. He represents a big cap hit, and frankly, without the element of nostalgia, I don't know that he is among the five or ten most important defensive players (Revis, McCourty, Nink, Hightower, Collins at the very least, and quite possibly Arrington/Browner/Siliga/Jones(C.) are in the conversation as well).
 
Do we think that he would agree to a new contract so soon, one that more appropriately values his contributions to next year's team, rather than his contributions from 2004-2011? Do we even think that it would be best to have him on the team next year, or is the money and roster spot better used elsewhere?
 

GeorgeCostanza

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He's a guy I'd love to see retire as a Patriot, but can't really fault either side if it doesn't happen. He's got his bookend titles for his Pats career so I could see him not wanting to rework the deal and end up elsewhere. Pats almost certainly won't keep him at his current number so I guess it all depends on how much each side compromises. If he isn't with the pats I just hope for him it's not a Mankins deal playing for a bottom feeder.
 

kelpapa

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Also, I don't have access to Insider, but I assume it says it there. 
 
Miguel's says his cap hit is $8,933,333 (third highest on the team) and $433,333 if he's cut before June 2.
 

soxfan121

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pokey_reese said:
As much as I love Big Vince it's hard to deny that he didn't look exactly like his old self this year, 
 
What is the basis for this statement? I don't have access to the insider article you've posted - is there some discussion and evaluation of Wilfork's play that leads you to this conclusion? 
 

GeorgeCostanza

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soxfan121 said:
What is the basis for this statement? I don't have access to the insider article you've posted - is there some discussion and evaluation of Wilfork's play that leads you to this conclusion?
He certainly didn't look like 2007 Vince but I thought he was better this year than before the injury last year. He's no long a premier tackle but he's better than average from my untrained eye. And I just fucking love the guy.

Edit: just wanted to state that I would be the worlds worst GM for a sports franchise. I get so attached rooting for these guys and never want it to end.
 

dynomite

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pokey_reese said:
Do we think that he would agree to a new contract so soon, one that more appropriately values his contributions to next year's team, rather than his contributions from 2004-2011? Do we even think that it would be best to have him on the team next year, or is the money and roster spot better used elsewhere?
Good topic and opening post, pokey.

This is one of the three difficult contracts the Patriots may address this offseason, in my mind:
1) Big Vince
2) "Hold the" Mayo
3) Solder "Boy (Crank That)"

Different players and situations, to be sure. But together, those 3 guys count $28.568M against the 2015 cap, while Wilfork and Solder carry essentially no dead money.

I don't know what to think about Wilfork. On one hand, I love the guy, from everything I've heard and read about the team he remains the heart & soul of that defense, and to my mind the 2013 Patriots defensive front suffered after he went down. On the other, he'll be 34 next season and Belichick doesn't pay for what you have done.

Perhaps stating the obvious, but if Wilfork is on the Patriots next season it will not be for $8.9M against the cap.
 

Ed Hillel

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I discussed this a bit in the 2015 offseason thread, but if the Pats want to keep Revis and McCourty, Wilfork pretty much has to go. They need that seven million, and then some, assuming we don't see some hometown discounts. If there's a way he would take a significanf paycut and they could work out a way to defer a large chunk of the hit, maybe it could work, but given how everything went down with the signing last year, I'm not optimistic. I think losing him would hurt the heart more than the brain. He'll be 34.
 
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That $8+ million cap number is definitely not workable.  So it really is just a matter of his willingness to restructure and I think sort of severely.  Like in HALF.  My sense from Vince and Bianca during last year's renegotiation is that it's pretty unlikely.  I agree with Ed - it'll bum me out for him, and a little for the D, but I think it's a no-brainer that he gets a pretty major haircut or he hits the road. 
 
EDIT: To be clear, I don't KNOW Vince OR Bianca, I just mean from what I read about it.
 

lexrageorge

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Wilfork does not have a ton of leverage, however.  At 34, he's not going to make $8M elsewhere.  The problem is that the way the contract is structured I'm not sure how a big 2015 cap hit could be avoided.  Which means he's likely cut before the start of the league year, which means he's likely gone.  
 

HomeRunBaker

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dynomite said:
Good topic and opening post, pokey.

This is one of the three difficult contracts the Patriots may address this offseason, in my mind:
1) Big Vince
2) "Hold the" Mayo
3) Solder "Boy (Crank That)"
There is also this defensive back who will likely be released this month that we may wish to bring back. He's #1, 2 and 3 priority.

Too many people are assuming Revis returning is eminent which I don't understand. The $25m was a placeholder number......the Pats aren't paying it and Revis' team isn't going to restructure without the open market driving his price up. His return is 50/50 at best with it closer to 40/60.

Aside from Revis it's safe to assume Wilfork and Vareen are certainly gone with Mayo's willingness to play the cap hit game leaving his Patriots future in his hands.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Ed Hillel said:
I discussed this a bit in the 2015 offseason thread, but if the Pats want to keep Revis and McCourty, Wilfork pretty much has to go. They need that seven million, and then some, assuming we don't see some hometown discounts. If there's a way he would take a significanf paycut and they could work out a way to defer a large chunk of the hit, maybe it could work, but given how everything went down with the signing last year, I'm not optimistic. I think losing him would hurt the heart more than the brain. He'll be 34.
I think a restructure is very possible and, if anything, the events of last offseason make it more likely.

His current contract was explicitly designed to effectively be a one year (and incentive laden) deal that set him up to be cut. Vince probably understands that.
 

Trlicek's Whip

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GeorgeCostanza said:
If he isn't with the pats I just hope for him it's not a Mankins deal playing for a bottom feeder.
 
Actually as a fan of the Patriots past SB 49, this is exactly what I'd prefer if the organization decides they can't afford him or if Wilfork decides not to re-do his deal. He's definitely getting cut if that's his cap hit this year.
 
I know you summarized your emotional/fan attachments in a follow-up post, but the alternative to this is that Wilfork goes to the Bills or the Jets and starts stuffing us during those games twice a year. Or playing for a team we see in the playoffs (Denver, Baltimore). I do hope he's on Tampa Bay, or another team we never see during the season. Wilfork at TB: he hangs with Mankins, teaches them a culture of winning, lives in better weather, and probably is getting paid what he wants to do so.
 

dynomite

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HomeRunBaker said:
There is also this defensive back who will likely be released this month that we may wish to bring back. He's #1, 2 and 3 priority.
Who? Dennard?

Perhaps I should have been clearer: I think Wilfork/Mayo/Solder are tough RENEGOTIATION situations. They aren't essential in the way Revis is, but would still be painful.

Edit: I read HRB's post too quickly. Sorry bud.
 

HomeRunBaker

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1. I was playfully mocking.
2. Revis thread wasn't on first page feed thought entire discussion was beginning here.
3. You are the first fan I've heard not assume Revis is coming back.
4. I'll go to that thread.
 

dynomite

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HomeRunBaker said:
1. I was playfully mocking.
2. Revis thread wasn't on first page feed thought entire discussion was beginning here.
3. You are the first fan I've heard not assume Revis is coming back.
4. I'll go to that thread.
Actually, I have to apologize. I misread your post. I thought you said people were assuming Revis would be back on the $25 million contract -- you didn't.

My bad, homes.
 

Ed Hillel

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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
I think a restructure is very possible and, if anything, the events of last offseason make it more likely.

His current contract was explicitly designed to effectively be a one year (and incentive laden) deal that set him up to be cut. Vince probably understands that.
 
I believe Vince cost just north of 6 million on last year's cap and hit about 8-9 million total. I don't think he would have gotten a better contract anywhere else in the league, and I'm not sure anyone would have come all that close. Raji got 4 million, and he's 5 years younger. I don't think Vince's contract was team-friendly at all, I think he was quite overpaid, at least in terms of his on the field contributions. There's not much of a market for run-stuffing Nose Tackles in the modern NFL, especially given Vince's age.
 
The bigger problem is that I think the Patriots are going to need all of that 7 million, depending on what the cap hits. Assuming it's in the expected range (140-142), I don't think they'll be able to afford Vince at even 4 million. Maybe if the cap hit is deferred. If Revis and/or McCourty don't return, that obviously changes things (though I'm not sure I want Vince at anything over 4 regardless, especially if a guy like Knighton is available for a slightly higher pricetag).
 

Ed Hillel

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soxfan121 said:
 
PatsCap.com
 
Don't believe; check.
 
I did check, thanks. I'm unsure which of Vince's bonus money was LTBE and which was not, and there's also the matter of the highly reported-on bonus in week 17 that Miguel does not appear to have anywhere on his site. That's not a slight against him, of course, there are just going to be details we don't know in some contracts and there's nobody better than Miguel at working with the facts we do.
 
As an aside, for someone who spends so much time telling people to post better, you're sure doing a bang-up job yourself recently. The juxtaposition of this post combined with your "Oh, Ed" from the Manning thread is really tremendous. I know you don't like me, which is perfectly fine, but let's try to be better than that for the good of the site. I ignored the other one, but if you're going to keep following me around on some sort of mission, I'm going to stand up for myself.
 

soxfan121

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Ed Hillel said:
 
I did check, thanks. I'm unsure which of Vince's bonus money was LTBE and which was not, and there's also the matter of the highly reported-on bonus in week 17 that Miguel does not appear to have anywhere on his site. That's not a slight against him, of course, there are just going to be details we don't know in some contracts and there's nobody better than Miguel at working with the facts we do.
 
As an aside, for someone who spends so much time telling people to post better, you're sure doing a bang-up job yourself recently. The juxtaposition of this post combined with your "Oh, Ed" from the Manning thread is really tremendous. I know you don't like me, which is perfectly fine, but let's try to be better than that for the good of the site. I ignored the other one, but if you're going to keep following me around on some sort of mission, I'm going to stand up for myself.
 
I dislike imprecise wording - "believe" - and imprecise numbers in a post predicated on cap numbers. If you care enough to post, you can care enough to source. If you sourced, include a link so that others can see what you're working with and don't need to ask if you've checked. 
 
And when you are quoting numbers from a source you've checked, please make sure they are accurate. Yours are not and still need to be checked. 
 

NortheasternPJ

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soxfan121 said:
 
I dislike imprecise wording - "believe" - and imprecise numbers in a post predicated on cap numbers. If you care enough to post, you can care enough to source. If you sourced, include a link so that others can see what you're working with and don't need to ask if you've checked. 
 
And when you are quoting numbers from a source you've checked, please make sure they are accurate. Yours are not and still need to be checked. 
In terms of NFL cap numbers what are acceptable sources for This forum? And if we source from them how should we check them?

NFL cap numbers are not really available. When you go to Miguel's numbers over the cap etc. they are not all the same.

Miguel's Twitter feed is constantly updating with changes and often he doesn't know if he's right. or not since we don't have the contracts.
 

kenneycb

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soxfan121 said:
 
I dislike imprecise wording - "believe" - and imprecise numbers in a post predicated on cap numbers. If you care enough to post, you can care enough to source. If you sourced, include a link so that others can see what you're working with and don't need to ask if you've checked. 
 
And when you are quoting numbers from a source you've checked, please make sure they are accurate. Yours are not and still need to be checked. 
Holy condescending asshole Batman!  And it's funny because you link to the website but don't actually say what is wrong though you clearly believe you know the answer.
 

NortheasternPJ

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kenneycb said:
Holy condescending asshole Batman!  And it's funny because you link to the website but don't actually say what is wrong though you clearly believe you know the answer.
Please don't use the term believe.
 

lexrageorge

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Board police = very boring.  
 
There are details about Wilfork's contract that we do not know; neither does Miguel.  That's true of other sites and the contracts of other players as well.  
 

pokey_reese

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soxfan121 said:
 
What is the basis for this statement? I don't have access to the insider article you've posted - is there some discussion and evaluation of Wilfork's play that leads you to this conclusion? 
 
The argument made in the article is in part based on the following information about how bad the Pats were in short yardage run-stuffing:
 
In 2014, the Patriots were the worst team in the league in Power Success, allowing opposing offenses to convert 22 of 27 runs (81 percent) in important short-yardage situations (third or fourth down with 2 yards or less to go and first- or second-and-goal from the 2-yard-line or closer). Even the Patriots' few stops came against the league's worst running teams. Teams not ranking in the bottom quarter of the league in Football Outsiders' rushing DVOA ratings converted 16 of 17 chances (94 percent) against the Patriots' run defense.
 
According to Football Outsiders (link: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/dl) the Pats were also in the bottom half to bottom third of the league in terms of defensive line defense against runs into Wilfork's main areas of influence (left tackle, mid/guard, right tackle)
 
ProfootballFocus had a list of top-ranked pass rushers on interior pass rush, and Wilfork didn't even make the list of 32, though Chris Jones did take that last spot to rep the Pats (link: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2015/02/09/sig-stats-prp-defensive-interior/)
 
There was also the eye test, and while I can spend more time over the weekend looking for stats to back it up, it has always been hard with Wilfork since he doesn't put up sack numbers even when he is good. However unlike in the past, teams had success running right at him this year and especially in the playoffs. I watched every game this year, and while at times he had some good spurts or even whole good games, I don't know how significant the drop off would be from him to someone more affordable, plugging in Easley alongside Siliga and Chris Jones, with Chandler Jones/Nink on the ends depending on the package. If it's either Wilfork or any of the other free agents, I just don't know that he is the hardest to replace given the cap hit.
 
edit: The Insider piece also referenced this Bleacher Report article on aging curves by position, which doesn't paint a rosy picture of his future, even if it lacks some context specific to Wilfork (link: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1683775-when-does-age-catch-up-to-nfl-players)
 

soxfan121

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Terrific post, pokey - thanks. 
 
Those power success numbers are kinda wonky - ranking Chicago's defense #2 in anything that isn't "what were the worst units in the NFL?" seems fishy to me. I'm not seeing the total attempts for each team - is 27 attempts high or low? That said, short yardage was an issue all season - missing Siliga and having to use undersized guys like Chris Jones on the interior was no more successful this season than it was last year. 
 
I am completely unbothered by the lack of a pass rush from Wilfork; it's never been a big part of his game or part of the scheme. As for the running zone stats...really hard to contextualize. I'm sure you saw Wilfork lined up in multiple spots, depending on the blocking matchup or play call, and still...running at Chris Jones is pretty damned easy and took place for much of the season while Siliga was injured. 
 
I don't know how significant the drop off would be from him to someone more affordable, plugging in Easley alongside Siliga and Chris Jones, with Chandler Jones/Nink on the ends depending on the package. If it's either Wilfork or any of the other free agents, I just don't know that he is the hardest to replace given the cap hit.
 
 
Well, we've seen what happens when you replace Vince Wilfork with Chris Jones (or Joe Vellano, etc.) and it really is not worth thinking about. Siliga's an RFA, so he will be back and presumably healthy. Easley...is not that kind of player. If Wilfork is a bulldozer, Easley is a Bobcat. I think a fully healthy Easley does address the pass rush issues - and replaces the truly replacement level Chris Jones - which would upgrade the line significantly. 
 
For reference, Ted Washington was making $4M/season a decade ago and he couldn't have gotten pressure on the QB unless an ACL was torn during the dropback. But he did anchor the line, drawing double teams and allowing others (Seymour/OLBs) to handle 1-on-1 assignments. 
 
From my eye test, Wilfork was the DL most often doubled by opposing lines. Despite this, he showed the ability to shed blocks and anchor a run defense that, per that FO link above, ranked 3rd in the NFL in containing open field running opportunities. Net-net, the Pats were poor in short-distance run defense but excelled in limiting big plays. Sounds awfully familiar as a philosophy, eh? ;-)
 
The FA list contains no one I'd want to plug into the Wilfork/Washington/anchor role. Maybe Knighton (more expensive), Rubin (more expensive) or Dan Williams (older). Perhaps the draft is the best route because the role will need to be filled eventually, but counting on any rookie to start from day 1 is not a good plan. 
 
Thus, I don't think there is a more affordable option. Wilfork may not have been as good as he once was, but we've seen life without him and with him...was definitely better. The cap number is an issue but there's no sure-fire upgrade on the market and the comparables might be more expensive and/or older. I see no reason to cut Wilfork unless he refuses to restructure similarly to the 2014 deal; heavy on play-time incentives and roster bonus, light on salary. Trimming a few million off the $8.9M of 2014 is essential - and pretty easy, if Wilfork is interested in staying. A cap number of $6M is very reasonable and probably fair for what Wilfork brings to the table at his age and skill set. 
 

Ed Hillel

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To me, it's not about finding a reasonable price for Wilfork, but about what you have to sacrifice to keep him. Let's say you bring back Wilfork at 6 million, that leaves the Patriots at 125-128 against the cap, depending on if you believe Miguel or Over the Cap. Let's be generous and say the cap moves up to 142 million. That leaves you with 14-17 million for Revis, McCourty, Ghost, Siliga, Connolly, free agents, and draft picks. I trust Miguel's numbers more, so let's say 17 million. Let's assume Hooman and Dennard cuts, bringing it up to 19. They can maybe save a couple million with a Solder extension, save up to 4 cutting/trading Amendola (Eagles for a 6th rounder?), though that would incur a 2.4 million dollar dead hit in 2016, cut Browner and save 4.8, and maybe restructure Mayo to save a couple million. How are you going to make this work? Keep in mind that Wilfork is going to be 34 mid-season and plays a position that has a reduced value in 2015. They'll also be getting Mayo back, which should help in the run game, and imo could bring someone in to fill much of Vince's production at a significantly lower price.
 

j44thor

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Ed Hillel said:
To me, it's not about finding a reasonable price for Wilfork, but about what you have to sacrifice to keep him. Let's say you bring back Wilfork at 6 million, that leaves the Patriots at 125-128 against the cap, depending on if you believe Miguel or Over the Cap. Let's be generous and say the cap moves up to 142 million. That leaves you with 14-17 million for Revis, McCourty, Ghost, Siliga, Connolly, free agents, and draft picks. I trust Miguel's numbers more, so let's say 17 million. Let's assume Hooman and Dennard cuts, bringing it up to 19. They can maybe save a couple million with a Solder extension, save up to 4 cutting/trading Amendola (Eagles for a 6th rounder?), though that would incur a 2.4 million dollar dead hit in 2016, cut Browner and save 4.8, and maybe restructure Mayo to save a couple million. How are you going to make this work? Keep in mind that Wilfork is going to be 34 mid-season and plays a position that has a reduced value in 2015. They'll also be getting Mayo back, which should help in the run game, and imo could bring someone in to fill much of Vince's production at a significantly lower price.
 
Based on patscap it appears that NE can clear close to 15M by cutting both Mayo 6.5 (post June) and Wilfork 8.5 (pre-June). Wilfork should be a rather easy decision.
 
Given the amount of time NE plays in sub I'm not sure there is a number I'm comfortable bringing Mayo back on above his dead money hit.  His 6.5M in cap savings can go a long way towards McCourty or Revis and it is rather indisputable that he wasn't missed when he went down.  He shouldn't be starting over Collins or Hightower next season so what is a reasonable $$ for him?
 
Revis already has a 5M hit no matter where he plays next season the extra 15M is rather important for a couple of players you have no idea what you will get from.
 

soxfan121

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Ed Hillel said:
They'll also be getting Mayo back, which should help in the run game, and imo could bring someone in to fill much of Vince's production at a significantly lower price.
 
Who? 
 
I think you can find someone to replace the 30 tackles, or "production", but you cannot easily find someone as adept at drawing double-teams and engaging both blockers, allowing the rest of the defense to function. It is, IMO, a mistake to reference "production" when talking about a player who's job is not to rack up sacks or tackles...it is to occupy blockers, line up opposite the best run blocking OL for the opposition and then keep the LB clean to limit big play runs. It's a job that generates no production but is vitally important. 
 
And Mayo is either taking a massive paycut or will be released. Forget age - that guy can't stay healthy and has been displaced by others who can fill his role.
 

GeorgeCostanza

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Trlicek's Whip said:
Actually as a fan of the Patriots past SB 49, this is exactly what I'd prefer if the organization decides they can't afford him or if Wilfork decides not to re-do his deal. He's definitely getting cut if that's his cap hit this year.
 
I know you summarized your emotional/fan attachments in a follow-up post, but the alternative to this is that Wilfork goes to the Bills or the Jets and starts stuffing us during those games twice a year. Or playing for a team we see in the playoffs (Denver, Baltimore). I do hope he's on Tampa Bay, or another team we never see during the season. Wilfork at TB: he hangs with Mankins, teaches them a culture of winning, lives in better weather, and probably is getting paid what he wants to do so.
You're absolutely right, and another example as to why I would be the worst GM in sports. But unlike Billy King and Isaiah Thomas, I know my limitations.

3 sporting events have caused the complete destruction of my cell phones via fastball across the room against a wall. Grady Little game, Manningham catch (watched 42 at my mothers house so had to behave), and Pedro World Series game 6 w the Phillies. Some guys transcend the laundry for me. Wilfork is one of those guys.
 

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soxfan121 said:
Terrific post, pokey - thanks. 
 
Those power success numbers are kinda wonky - ranking Chicago's defense #2 in anything that isn't "what were the worst units in the NFL?" seems fishy to me. I'm not seeing the total attempts for each team - is 27 attempts high or low? That said, short yardage was an issue all season - missing Siliga and having to use undersized guys like Chris Jones on the interior was no more successful this season than it was last year. 
 
I am completely unbothered by the lack of a pass rush from Wilfork; it's never been a big part of his game or part of the scheme. As for the running zone stats...really hard to contextualize. I'm sure you saw Wilfork lined up in multiple spots, depending on the blocking matchup or play call, and still...running at Chris Jones is pretty damned easy and took place for much of the season while Siliga was injured. 
 
 
Well, we've seen what happens when you replace Vince Wilfork with Chris Jones (or Joe Vellano, etc.) and it really is not worth thinking about. Siliga's an RFA, so he will be back and presumably healthy. Easley...is not that kind of player. If Wilfork is a bulldozer, Easley is a Bobcat. I think a fully healthy Easley does address the pass rush issues - and replaces the truly replacement level Chris Jones - which would upgrade the line significantly. 
 
For reference, Ted Washington was making $4M/season a decade ago and he couldn't have gotten pressure on the QB unless an ACL was torn during the dropback. But he did anchor the line, drawing double teams and allowing others (Seymour/OLBs) to handle 1-on-1 assignments. 
 
From my eye test, Wilfork was the DL most often doubled by opposing lines. Despite this, he showed the ability to shed blocks and anchor a run defense that, per that FO link above, ranked 3rd in the NFL in containing open field running opportunities. Net-net, the Pats were poor in short-distance run defense but excelled in limiting big plays. Sounds awfully familiar as a philosophy, eh? ;-)
 
The FA list contains no one I'd want to plug into the Wilfork/Washington/anchor role. Maybe Knighton (more expensive), Rubin (more expensive) or Dan Williams (older). Perhaps the draft is the best route because the role will need to be filled eventually, but counting on any rookie to start from day 1 is not a good plan. 
 
Thus, I don't think there is a more affordable option. Wilfork may not have been as good as he once was, but we've seen life without him and with him...was definitely better. The cap number is an issue but there's no sure-fire upgrade on the market and the comparables might be more expensive and/or older. I see no reason to cut Wilfork unless he refuses to restructure similarly to the 2014 deal; heavy on play-time incentives and roster bonus, light on salary. Trimming a few million off the $8.9M of 2014 is essential - and pretty easy, if Wilfork is interested in staying. A cap number of $6M is very reasonable and probably fair for what Wilfork brings to the table at his age and skill set. 
 
Good post outside of this nitpick. Williams is only 27. While I think it's most likely Knighton goes to the highest bidder, he is a Pats fan. If he'd give us a discount I'd be interested in him.
 
Ed Hillel said:
To me, it's not about finding a reasonable price for Wilfork, but about what you have to sacrifice to keep him. Let's say you bring back Wilfork at 6 million, that leaves the Patriots at 125-128 against the cap, depending on if you believe Miguel or Over the Cap. Let's be generous and say the cap moves up to 142 million. That leaves you with 14-17 million for Revis, McCourty, Ghost, Siliga, Connolly, free agents, and draft picks. I trust Miguel's numbers more, so let's say 17 million. Let's assume Hooman and Dennard cuts, bringing it up to 19. They can maybe save a couple million with a Solder extension, save up to 4 cutting/trading Amendola (Eagles for a 6th rounder?), though that would incur a 2.4 million dollar dead hit in 2016, cut Browner and save 4.8, and maybe restructure Mayo to save a couple million. How are you going to make this work? Keep in mind that Wilfork is going to be 34 mid-season and plays a position that has a reduced value in 2015. They'll also be getting Mayo back, which should help in the run game, and imo could bring someone in to fill much of Vince's production at a significantly lower price.
 
You're going to get an angry PM from me if you keep cutting Dennard, guy.
 

soxfan121

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Good post outside of this nitpick. Williams is only 27. While I think it's most likely Knighton goes to the highest bidder, he is a Pats fan. If he'd give us a discount I'd be interested in him.
 
Thanks for the correction, phragle. I fucked up Dan and Kevin. I need an editor.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Dan Williams has been mentioned a couple of times on Bleacher Report (Chris Simms of all people) and other forums.
 
I don't know him at all, but supposedly he's "a space eater" and "difficult to move". That says a 2-gapper to me. If he can do the job, you have to think he'll cost just as much as Wilfork, albeit for a much younger player. 
 
What do we know about Dan Williams?
 

Super Nomario

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soxfan121 said:
From my eye test, Wilfork was the DL most often doubled by opposing lines. Despite this, he showed the ability to shed blocks and anchor a run defense that, per that FO link above, ranked 3rd in the NFL in containing open field running opportunities. Net-net, the Pats were poor in short-distance run defense but excelled in limiting big plays. Sounds awfully familiar as a philosophy, eh? ;-)
To me, this stat doesn't speak to an effective run-stopping DL, but good tackling in the linebacking corps and secondary. Wilfork doesn't have a lot to do with whether 10-yard runs turn into 60-yard runs.
 
This is a tough call. Siliga's done a solid job but you probably need two guys like that and there's no one else on the roster. (Aside: was there a more mystifying draft whiff than Ron Brace? They always seem to be able to project and develop guys like that, and he was a high second). I think you have to worry about the leadership void, too, especially in a year where they're likely to lose Mayo and maybe even McCourty.
 

dcmissle

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We have had tough calls for 15 years.

The next time some WFAN loudmouth trumps the supposed superiority of Bill Walsh or Joe Gibbs or whoever vis a vis BB, consider this thread. Those guys didn't have to deal with these problems. They were solved by checks cut by the DeBartolos or Jack Kent Cooke. Hell, in the 1980s Cooke was paying backup lineman $800,000 a year just to have them on the roster. That's not criticism, he was a great owner.

Everything that has been done in Fox since 2000 has been done with an arm tied behind their backs relative to earlier dynasties. End of commercial message.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Any updates on the health of Dominique Easley? The way today's game has evolved it isn't only the RB position that has been de-emphasized but also by relation the interior DL. I'm looking for Belichick to go with minimal salary guys in each of these areas. Easley, veterans from scrap heap and a draft pick should suffice.
 

Devizier

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If the Patriots cut Wilfolk, do they go for a nose tackle in the draft? Or do they switch up the scheme? If it's the latter and they go lighter on the line, I'd imagine they'd want to keep Mayo around.
 

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I was of the opinion that they'd go OL/DL in the draft, anyway.  Perhaps with another TE in the 3rd or 4th, to boot.
 
Assuming they can re-sign their key secondary guys, the lines are the biggest weakness.  
 

soxfan121

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Super Nomario said:
To me, this stat doesn't speak to an effective run-stopping DL, but good tackling in the linebacking corps and secondary. Wilfork doesn't have a lot to do with whether 10-yard runs turn into 60-yard runs.
 
This is a tough call. Siliga's done a solid job but you probably need two guys like that and there's no one else on the roster. 
 
True, but occupying blockers and keeping them from the second level is key to allowing linebackers to make plays. I can't imagine a BB defense without a guy who effectively occupies multiple blockers; the only time its happened was 2013 and that was a disaster that required a trade and some FA signings and still resulted in a team that was truly awful against the run. That the 2014 Patriots were lowly ranked in short-yardage run defense isn't - on its own - proof that Wilfork is expendable. 
 
Drafting a big space-eating interior DL is, IMO, essential this season. Almost as essential as interior OL, though you can argue they actually have more reliable talent on the roster offensively than defensively on the interior.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Devizier said:
If the Patriots cut Wilfolk, do they go for a nose tackle in the draft? Or do they switch up the scheme? If it's the latter and they go lighter on the line, I'd imagine they'd want to keep Mayo around.
I feel this decision will be up to Mayo. I don't see us standing pat with him taking a $10m cap hit this year......he's almost surely going to be asked to restructure. If he agrees he stays if not he gets Mankin'd or cut.....it appears to be this simple.

If he gets stubborn we then face Hightower's FA next season so if Mayo is gone I expect us to go LB in the early rounds. We've seen BB take the preparation route at QB and DL in the early rounds based on Brady and Wilfork's future......I think same holds true at LB.
 

Ed Hillel

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Super Nomario said:
To me, this stat doesn't speak to an effective run-stopping DL, but good tackling in the linebacking corps and secondary. Wilfork doesn't have a lot to do with whether 10-yard runs turn into 60-yard runs.
 
This is a tough call. Siliga's done a solid job but you probably need two guys like that and there's no one else on the roster. (Aside: was there a more mystifying draft whiff than Ron Brace? They always seem to be able to project and develop guys like that, and he was a high second). I think you have to worry about the leadership void, too, especially in a year where they're likely to lose Mayo and maybe even McCourty.
 
I'm not so sure on Mayo being gone. As Thor said, they can save 6.5 million with a post June 2 cut, but it's really only an overall cap savings of 4 million, since 2.5 of it is just a deferred dead money hit to 2016. Same with Amendola, incidentially, as 2.4 of the 4 saved with a post June 2 cut is deferred, as well. Will Mayo be cut for 4 million in overall cap savings? While Hightower and Collins certainly played out of their minds in the absence of Mayo, I don't buy into the thought that the team is better without Mayo being available. In limited action, we saw that Mayo allowed Hightower to get at the QB and to give Nink/Jones some rest they desperately needed. He's also a prime run-stuffer. I'd rather keep him and the 2 extra in cap space than Wilfork, and I do think they will be able to make that work, though it is going to be a tough fit. Looking again at his contract, they may actually be able to renegotiate to cut his hit by a couple million this season and then possibly look to trade him next season, depending on what they work out.
 


I don't see us standing pat with him taking a $10m cap hit this year
 
Again, keep in mind that, if he's cut tomorrow, his cap hit is still 6 million. There's nothing the team can do about the cap hit from the signing bonus, except to split it up and defer some of it to next year if he's a late cut.  
 
True, but occupying blockers and keeping them from the second level is key to allowing linebackers to make plays.
 
To my eyes, and there's not really much more we can go with when rating OL and DL, Wilfork was getting pushed backwards at a much higher rate than he has in the past. Against some teams (ie the Jets and Dolphins), it appeared that he was getting pushed back by a single lineman. Taking on two blockers is obviously a plus, but if Vince is getting pushed back I'm not sure how much value he's providing, and at what point do teams maybe get wise to the fact that he may not need two linemen on him anymore? I don't know that there's any way to prove any of this, but it's my concern with him. My bigger concern, again, is the give some to get some with the cap and there are more important needs/positions we need to lock up with players more talented than Vince at this point.
 

soxfan121

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Ed Hillel said:
To my eyes, and there's not really much more we can go with when rating OL and DL, Wilfork was getting pushed backwards at a much higher rate than he has in the past. Against some teams (ie the Jets and Dolphins), it appeared that he was getting pushed back by a single lineman. Taking on two blockers is obviously a plus, but if Vince is getting pushed back I'm not sure how much value he's providing, and at what point do teams maybe get wise to the fact that he may not need two linemen on him anymore? I don't know that there's any way to prove any of this, but it's my concern with him. My bigger concern, again, is the give some to get some with the cap and there are more important needs/positions we need to lock up with players more talented than Vince at this point.
 
There is film. It doesn't really support your selective memory on Wilfork's play. I'm not saying that it didn't happen - all linemen get beat from time to time and when a mountain like Wilfork is moved, it tends to be memorable - but that it did not happen with frequency; it happened sporadically. And even if you'd like to build the case it happened more often this season than pre-injury...so what? 
 
The point is what is he now and is there anyone on the current roster close to replicating that role? IMO, there is not. Without a clear succession plan - which there is in the LB corps with Mayo - the Pats can't afford to un-anchor the defense and hope to find someone in the draft. BB has not become a fundamentally different coach - there will be a rock at the center of the DL, two-gapping. If it isn't Wilfork, who and for how much? Looking at the numbers and the players available, Wilfork is the most affordable solution for 2015. 
 
Further, the contract renegotiation last offseason completed the original contract; Wilfork was insistent on having the financial terms of that deal met through the restructure and they compromised on the snap % and roster bonus as ways to finesse that. Now, it's time to negotiate a new deal. There is no signing bonus amortization to complicate the math, so a 2/$10M deal with some incentives taking it to 6.5 makes a ton of sense for both sides. The FT for tackles is $ projected at $9.3M and the top of that market (Ngata & McCoy) are both in line for extensions, plus Knighton, Williams and especially Suh figure to recalibrate that salary scale. 
 

dynomite

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If the Patriots cut Wilfolk, do they go for a nose tackle in the draft? Or do they switch up the scheme? If it's the latter and they go lighter on the line, I'd imagine they'd want to keep Mayo around.
Whether Wilfork stays or goes I imagine they will address the DT position in the draft/UDFA process. That position looks relatively thin looking ahead to 2016 and beyond.
 

Ed Hillel

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soxfan121 said:
 
There is film. It doesn't really support your selective memory on Wilfork's play.
 
This is such condescending bullshit and you know it. You have offered no analysis on Wilfork's entire season of work based on comprehensive film study, so I'd prefer you not continue to talk down to me and others, especially since you used this exact phrase in a prior post "From my eye test, Wilfork was the DL most often doubled by opposing lines." You do this all the time, selectively telling people to "show their work" and then not doing it yourself, or asking someone to do it when it's basically an impossible/subjective thing. Some things actually are a matter of opinion, especially to all of our untrained eyes, and you're going to have to learn how to better deal with people who share a differing view of things than your own, especially when the opposing viewpoint isn't outlandish.
 
As to your actual points, I'm simply not as concerned as much about filling Wilfork's role (regardless of how good we think he is at it) than I am with filling other roles with younger and more talented players. If the Pats sign Wilfork for 6 million against the cap, you still haven't told me how you are going to fit Revis/McCourty/Ghost/Siliga/OL starter and depth/draft picks under it. In another offseason, I'd be happy to pay Wilfork 6 million to stick around for another year, but the problem is that they are right up against it as far as the cap is concerned this year, and I believe there are more pressing needs. I'm also more probably concerned with the lack of QB pressure up the middle than you are. Wilfork is certainly still viable as a run-stuffer, but he is entirely one-dimensional and his area of weakness has more value in the modern NFL. But the bigger picture, again, is how are you going to pay for other players if you keep Vince around at 6 million?
 
As to the succession plan, I don't look at it that way. I look to whether I think the Pats would be better with a 34 year on the roster or a 28 year old Jerod Mayo on the roster. There may be a surplus of LB and no clear plan for life after Wilfork, but I will personally take Mayo's athleticism and diversity in this league, even post injury. I think there are ways to use all 3 LB on the field to really complete that group. It's also obviously great depth in case one does go down. The DL will have some issues in the middle, for sure, but I expect a few draft picks in the area, and who knows if he can find anything from the UDFA market. With as close as they are going to be with the cap, who knows, they may be forced to cut both Wilfork and Mayo anyway.  
 
 
 
You're going to get an angry PM from me if you keep cutting Dennard, guy.
 
I think they can save a few bucks cutting Collins, too. Thoughts?
 

MainerInExile

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Ed Hillel said:
I'm not so sure on Mayo being gone. As Thor said, they can save 6.5 million with a post June 2 cut, but it's really only an overall cap savings of 4 million, since 2.5 of it is just a deferred dead money hit to 2016. Same with Amendola, incidentially, as 2.4 of the 4 saved with a post June 2 cut is deferred, as well. Will Mayo be cut for 4 million in overall cap savings? While Hightower and Collins certainly played out of their minds in the absence of Mayo, I don't buy into the thought that the team is better without Mayo being available. In limited action, we saw that Mayo allowed Hightower to get at the QB and to give Nink/Jones some rest they desperately needed. He's also a prime run-stuffer. I'd rather keep him and the 2 extra in cap space than Wilfork, and I do think they will be able to make that work, though it is going to be a tough fit. Looking again at his contract, they may actually be able to renegotiate to cut his hit by a couple million this season and then possibly look to trade him next season, depending on what they work out.
 
I think Mayo will renegotiate.  Because of the dead money, he can probably get a better overall deal from the Pats than he can on the open market.  But still, he's the third-best LB, and unless the Pats move to a 3-3 nickel (a real possibility, I suppose, since all three LB can rush the passer a bit), saving $4m on your third-best LB is a no-brainer.  In short, Mayo is higher on the "we can definitely save a lot of money here" list than Wilfork.
 

soxfan121

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Ed Hillel said:
 
This is such condescending bullshit and you know it. You have offered no analysis on Wilfork's entire season of work based on comprehensive film study, so I'd prefer you not continue to talk down to me and others, especially since you used this exact phrase in a prior post "From my eye test, Wilfork was the DL most often doubled by opposing lines." You do this all the time, selectively telling people to "show their work" and then not doing it yourself, or asking someone to do it when it's basically an impossible/subjective thing. Some things actually are a matter of opinion, especially to all of our untrained eyes, and you're going to have to learn how to better deal with people who share a differing view of things than your own, especially when the opposing viewpoint isn't outlandish.
 
Ed, there's a whole website with film analysis available by link at the top of every page on this site you can check out at your leisure. I assure you I've done my film homework. 
 
This is twice in two days you've chosen to air a personal grievance in this discussion. Please take your issues to PM and leave your finer points on communication out of the discussion. If you simply can't abide my communication style, there's an ignore function. 
 

Ed Hillel

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soxfan121 said:
 
Ed, there's a whole website with film analysis available by link at the top of every page on this site you can check out at your leisure. I assure you I've done my film homework. 
 
This is twice in two days you've chosen to air a personal grievance in this discussion. Please take your issues to PM and leave your finer points on communication out of the discussion. If you simply can't abide my communication style, there's an ignore function. 
 
Oh, well as long as you've "done your film homework" then I suppose everyone here should just take you at your word on anything you say, and you can be condescending to everyone else on the board, including in other forums, where film study has nothing to do with it. You try so hard to be "the adult in the room," yet you come off as a petty child, and you are certainly not remotely qualified to act in such a manner in the first place. But you know what? You do make a couple of good points. Others shouldn't be forced to sift through this BS, so I'll do myself and them a favor by utilizing the ignore function. I will let others "abide your communication style" from here on out. Apologies to others who have had to endure this nonsense, it won't happen again with this guy in this forum.