I think Idonije would be an interesting option for the Patriots but not as an interior player. I feel he’s more suited to the outside at 6-7, 290, and his production has been pretty solid as a pass rusher. As a full-time starter the last three years for the Bears Idonije recorded a total of 20.5 sacks. He’ll be 33 in November so his cost shouldn’t be too high – although Dwight Freeney got a surprisingly lucrative deal from San Diego last week. I believe Idonije could be a nice fallback for the Patriots front if they are not able to land John Abraham as a veteran outside pass rusher.
What do guys think about Kenbrell Thompkins? He can be an outstanding outside receiver. How much value does Bill Belichick see on him? I see him as a starter for the 2014 season? The WR depth chart for the 2013 season looks like this:
Well, I like to agree but I honestly have no idea how four rookies – two of which were undrafted – are going to fit into the Patriots plans going forward. Once we start getting a chance to watch some practices maybe we can get a better understanding of what these players have to offer. Based on college I am lukewarm on Dobson and didn’t really like Moe all that much. Boyce is intriguing with his speed and I’m still trying to learn more about Thompkins. At this point it’s extremely premature to pencil in anyone for starting roles. Obviously as second- and fourth-round picks I believe Dobson and Boyce will earn roster spots but beyond that it’s tough to say. I’ll be watching all of these receivers, as well as Jones and Jenkins, once we’re allowed to start attending practices regularly. At that point, it will be a little easier to gauge where they all stand.
I like to see the Patriots front seven going faster and more athletic. They need to be, especially against explosive RBs, highly mobile QBs and TEs. The concern is that our LBs are still not fast enough to keep up with elite RBs and TEs. So that job has to fall in part on guys like Adrian Wilson and
Well, overall I tend to agree with you Ted. In order for the defense to make much significant improvement it will need to have the young guys making progress. Tavon Wilson is one, but more important in my eyes are
Is it fair to say at this point that
OK, time for everyone to rip me for being an apologist for the team. I don’t believe Gronkowski is injury prone at this point. He’s basically dealing with one injury and it’s been a huge problem – his broken left arm. The resulting infection and surgeries has kept him on the shelf for the entire offseason, and therefore I have some concerns about his strength for the start of the 2013 season. I believe he will be ready to go in time for the season but I do wonder if he’ll be ready to dominate as he has in the past. Only time will tell. But in terms of his injury history, he was extremely durable during his first two seasons playing in every game. He suffered an ankle injury in the 2012 AFC title game that would have kept most players off the field two weeks later for the Super Bowl, and even though he wasn’t himself he was still on the field gutting it out. Then he broke his arm last November and that caused him to miss five games before he re-injured the arm in the playoffs. Now there is news that he may also need back surgery, and those reports indicate that it would not cause him to miss time. It’s certainly a concern given his history coming out of college with back problems, but so far he hasn’t missed any time due to his back. So, in three years he’s missed six games because of a broken arm. And that makes him injury prone? Sorry, I’m not buying it.
I learned a long time ago to never say never when it comes to Bill Belichick. If he thinks trading Tom Brady at some point makes sense, he’ll do it regardless of any potential fallout that may result. But I don’t think Brady will get traded and this contract extension is one reason for that. He is simply too affordable at this point to deal. As long as he’s playing somewhere close to his current level, I see no reason for the Patriots to trade away a player who is quite affordable on the cap. Now, there’s always the possibility that Brady ends up re-doing that deal at some point, but that’s a question for another day. Right now, from where I see it, I don’t picture Brady getting traded.
Could dumping Kyle Love and Brandon Deaderick (at least in part) have something to do with removing an obstacle for a John Abraham deal? If signed, he would get more playing time now, wouldn’t he? I think the emphasis for next season must be on collapsing the pocket and pass rush, while being able to stop things like the 49ers read option.
I don’t see any correlation between the moves releasing Love and Deaderick and the potential of adding Abraham. First, they don’t play the same position. Love is definitely an inside player – whether it be a nose tackle or a defensive tackle in a 4-3 – while Deaderick has the ability to play inside and out but is more suited as a tackle. Neither player has any pass rushing ability. Abraham is an outside edge rusher who has even played some outside linebacker during his long career. If the Patriots want to add him, and it certainly appears as if they do, his playing time would not be at all impacted by the departures of Love and Deaderick. As for the inside collapsing of the pocket, I’d look more at players like
I think this should be Rob Gronkowski's last chance. When he comes back he should stay healthy throughout the playoffs. If he doesn't trade him.
Last chance for what? The guy is the best tight end in football and you want to get rid of him because he broke his arm last November? If he goes out and catches another 15 or so touchdowns but winds up getting hurt late in the season again, you want to trade him? I just don’t understand this line of thinking. Gronkowski is a special talent and to this point in his career he’s missed six out of 34 career games including the playoffs. Injuries certainly can be a concern and his off-field “exploits” are also something to worry about, but no way am I looking to trade a guy as talented as Gronkowski because of an injury. If at some point he can no longer play due to a medical issue, then the story will change. But I’ll hold onto the best player in the game at his position for as long as I can.
Do you think that not having a real veteran presence at wide receiver, besides two special team guys, will hurt the rookie receivers in their process of learning the offense?
No, and in fact I actually think it may help them. The reason I believe this is it will force Tom Brady to work more directly with the young receivers rather than falling back on the chemistry he already had with veterans like Wes Welker. Now Brady will have to throw the ball to at least one or two guys he’s not familiar with, and in order for that to work he’ll need to establish some timing and consistency with them. Therefore, I feel Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce will get more chances to succeed this summer than they would have if Welker and Brandon Lloyd, Deion Branch and others were around. Perhaps a bit of a positive outlook to be sure but I honestly believe the lack of veterans could do more help than harm.
I know a lot of folks believe letting Love and Deaderick go means a change in defensive philosophy but I just don’t see it. In fact, I think the reasoning is quite flawed. In order to run a 4-3 front, the Patriots need two big, 300-plus pounders to man the tackle spots while the ends are much smaller, quicker players n the 260-pound range like Chandler Jones and
When will we stop referring to Aaron Hernandez as a TE? He’s only 6-1. Aaron Dobson is bigger. He needs to be on the outside or in the slot and we should never see him blocking LBs on a toss again. They do put him out there in the red zone at times but he needs the ball more often. When everyone’s healthy: Hernandez, Dobson, Amendola, Jones, Boyce and
I know a lot of people believe Hernandez is already a wide receiver playing tight end and I don’t really think it matters how we refer to him. Whether he’s playing tight end or wide receiver he’s going to be asked to block from time to time and he’s going to be catching passes. Clearly for Hernandez he’s more effective doing the latter. But I’d also caution against just lining him up outside all the time to take on cornerbacks regularly. While he has a strength advantage over some of them, he would not be as quick and fast against them as he is against safeties, linebackers and lesser slot corners that he sees for the most part now. In other words, I like Hernandez as a receiving tight end more than I would as a true wideout. But like I said, call him whatever you want because I’m not sure it really matters much.
I don’t understand why there isn’t more talk about
I think I can’t believe he was available in the seventh round based on your assessment. One reason he was is that junior season game tape you described. That came with Whitney Mercilus, the Texans 2012 first-round pick, on the other side garnering most of the attention from opposing offenses. Even Buchanan’s defensive line coach, Keith Gilmore, admitted that. Buchanan didn’t have an especially strong senior season when opponents were focusing on him, and I’m also not as sure that he can add the 15 pounds you say he could easily put on based on his body type. Maybe he can, and I’m sure he will get bigger as a pro with NFL training and nutrition available. But 15 pounds of muscle is a lot to add for a pretty lean guy. Overall I believe Buchanan was a solid late-round pick who could provide some help if he gets a chance. But I’d pump the brakes on a starting job at this point. Let’s see if he can make the team and develop into a role first.
I don’t care what Andy thinks but I do believe the potential is there for Vereen. Ever since I watched his college tape at Cal I’ve been quite high on Vereen and I believe he is much more dynamic than Danny Woodhead, the player he’s ostensibly replacing. Vereen has more speed, better hands and more potential as a between-the-tackles ball carrier than Vereen. The only thing we don’t know is if he can be consistent and durable. We knew Woodhead was both of those things and that’s why letting him go was a bit of a risk. But it was also one I was more than willing to take and I can’t wait to see the kind of impact Vereen can have playing with an increased role in the Patriots offense.
I have been reading PFW for years. Thank you for your work. I am wondering how exactly players get paid. Do they get a weekly pay check? If they get a roster bonus, workout bonus or performance bonus do they get it lump sum? Due to the large sums involved does the Patriots organization take out taxes?
Taxes are something we all have to pay regardless of the size of the sum so of course taxes are taken out on both the federal and state (in Massachusetts) levels. As for the schedule for payment, players receive their checks in weekly installments during the regular season – 17 game checks for each week including the bye. They also receive smaller weekly payments during training camp and the preseason, Bonuses are paid in lump sum payments unless they are split up contractually. Most signing bonuses come all at once but occasionally teams will have them split. As an example, a player might receive a $15 million signing bonus that is split with $5 million coming at the time of signing and the other $10 million perhaps due on a specific date in the future. This is the same for all bonuses.
There has been a lot of talk about Gabe Carimi getting cut by the Bears. Is the Bears blocking scheme enough different that the Pats should attempt to take a flier on him? Is there enough talent there for Scar to work his magic with him? Assuming you think so and the Bears forecast he will end up being cut, what sort of draft pick would it take to pry him away from them early in camp?
I’m not overly familiar with Carimi’s play as a Bear but I do know the team hasn’t been happy with him thus far. He was drafted as a tackle and was moved to guard last season, which is not a good sign. He also has drawn the ire of the organization by skipping voluntary OTAs, and the team drafted another tackle in the first round this spring, a guard in the fifth round and signed a free agent tackle. Clearly, the Bears are prepared to move on without him. That said, why should the Patriots sign him? Based on those reports, it would be difficult to imagine him unseating any of the Patriots top seven or eight offensive linemen, and he’d have no shot at tackle with
Very simple question. Why did they pick Jamie Collins at 52 and not 29?
Harry Mann Jr.
Very simple answer: Why would you take a player at 29 instead of adding three additional draft picks and getting that same player at 52? Obviously there was no guarantee that Collins would still be available at 52, but clearly they were correct in their thinking and got the player plus additional picks. Not sure how anyone could be upset about that.
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