All teams need to be under the salary cap at the start of the new league year, which is March 12. There is one slight variation to this, however, as during the offseason only the top 51 players in terms of salary for each team are counted. Once final cuts are made prior to the start of the regular season, that’s when everybody counts – 53-man roster, practice squad, injured reserve players – everyone. Minimum salaries vary depending on service time and there are no maximums – but obviously everyone needs to be fitted under the cap.
What’s going on with
I do not think Lloyd will be back based on the many reports circulating indicating as much. These reports say Lloyd’s behavior was erratic last year but if you ask me his play wasn’t anywhere near what his statistics say. In fact, if not for the injuries to the tight ends I believe his numbers would have been greatly reduced. Either way, he didn’t impact many games – he averaged less than 12 yards per catch and had only four touchdowns. That’s not the kind of production a big-time receiver is supposed to bring. If it were up to me I’d let him walk and make a run at Brian Hartline (assuming he doesn't re-sign with Miami), who I believe can at minimum replace Lloyd’s production while providing a semblance of a dee threat without the headaches that reportedly were created behind the scenes. Greg Jennings would be great but it appears that he’ll cost too much money. I’d also look at former Buffalo wideout David Nelson, a big target who has had injury problems. There are other options as well, but Hartline and Nelson are two I’d look into – plus the draft.
With all the attention on
Woodhead wouldn’t cost much to re-sign but the question is, can
With the Patriots being $25 million under cap space, does that number represent what they will have after re-signing their free agents or is that all they have to work with? I never paid attention to that stuff before this year.
Unfortunately that figure does not include any money spent on re-signing free agents. If the Patriots were to re-sign Wes Welker, Aqib Talib and
There is a former big name missing from your DT list. Has anyone discussed the possibility of signing Glenn Dorsey from the Chiefs? He seems exactly like the type of reclamation project the Pats are famous for. Low risk/high reward from a former fifth overall pick. Also, he could be a great pass-rush compliment at DT. Or is he just that bad, and we should stay away?
On the surface you are exactly right – Dorsey is the type of reclamation project the Patriots gravitate toward. But much as has been the case with most of the former first-round picks the team has brought in, I’m not sure there’s anything there with Dorsey. He’s been a colossal bust with just four sacks in five years so I don’t see impacting the pass rush in any way. As a run stopper he’s been just average, and last year he played just four games and wound up on IR with a knee injury. Dorsey was supposed to be a versatile inside presence but in five years has done very little. I’ll pass – even for short money.
Well first off, many teams do pull stunts like this to steal your phrase. In fact, in the same week Brady’s deal was announced the Steelers performed restructures for Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Lawrence Timmons. This is a common way to open up cap space and many teams do it. The problem is it can be expensive. Any player would love to have his salary given to him up front and guaranteed but not all owners want to hand over the cash. For a player like Brady there’s very little risk because he’s played at such a high level for so long. But not everyone is like Brady. Wilfork plays a very physical position and he’s starting to get up there in age. If he got his salary up front in a bonus, and then suffered a serious injury, that could become problematic. Injuries are a big deterrent for teams when they conduct these types of restructures. But overall, it’s a very common practice and teams will continue to use it as a device to keep their cap dollars in line.
Demps is really a wild card at this point. The recent news that he’ll be participating in track events during the offseason cannot be considered a good sign for the Patriots. This should have been a big offseason for Demps to learn the system and get prepared for training camp. It doesn’t look like that will happen now that he’ll be busy at track meets. But to be honest I look at Demps as a return threat and really nothing more. I believe he can provide a lift on kick returns but I don’t see him as a viable third-down option out of the backfield. He’s small and doesn’t figure to be an effective blocker. So, even if Demps is part of the equation in 2013 I feel it will be as more of a return option than anything else.
Should the Patriots let both Welker and Vollmer go? Shane Vereen who is short and fast plays better as a WR than at RB and could replace Welker for the fraction of a price.
What evidence do you have of Vereen being a viable option at wide receiver? He’s never played the position. Just because he has good hands doesn’t mean he is a potential replacement for Welker. As for Vollmer, I don’t share your belief that Cannon is a better option. Vollmer has played at a high level when healthy and last season he played in 15 games. While I wouldn’t get caught up in a bidding war for his services, I also wouldn’t feel comfortable just handing the job to Cannon, who has yet to prove he’s capable of playing tackle in the NFL. Vereen looks like a capable third-down back and Cannon may provide some stability as a backup tackle, but at this point I’ve seen nothing to indicate they’re ready to assume the roles you have for them.
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