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Ask PFW: Free Agency speculation

Fans' questions answered in this week's PFW mailbag.


I have voiced a theory on PFW that Sebastian Vollmer will be traded. Supporting factors: Marcus Cannon's contract, Cannon's play at RT, Cameron Fleming's performance at blocking TE, and Vollmer will be highest paid RT. I think his comments about not being willing to move to guard last off season also hurt him with Bill Belichick. What draft pick and/or player would you want in return for him?* *Mike Baker

None, thanks. Vollmer is the best o-lineman the Patriots have right now, and trading him away would be a huge mistake. It wouldn't be unprecedented (see Logan Mankins last year), but it would not be wise to part with Vollmer. He and Solder, along with 2014 rookie Bryan Stork provide stability for this o-line. And I have absolutely no problems with what Vollmer said last year about his experience at guard. He has never played the position (fact) and shouldn't have to. He's one of the best at tackle and should remain there for the Patriots. Cannon, erratic at best, did receive a hefty contract extension late last year, which still mystifies me. The less he sees the field, the better. Erik Scalavino

Hi guys, how important is a Super Bowl to the players? I would think there would be more free agents willing to come to New England for less because they have been in the AFC championship game better than 50% of the time Brady has been the starter. Where else would they have a 50% chance of going to the Super Bowl? Monty Borrowman

To what degree winning a title is important is a question that only each individual player can answer. On average, though, I would suspect that most players want to be paid fairly first, then win a championship. As much as they love the game, it exacts a costly toll on their bodies and minds, as we've sadly seen too often, and it's understandable that they want to be compensated as much as possible.

That said, it's also axiomatic that older veterans who've earned a good living and not yet experienced the thrill of a title victory might be more inclined to sign with a contender like the Patriots. That has been the case down through the decades, when the 49ers, Cowboys, et al were in the midst of their dynasties. Times have changed, however, and players can earn ridiculous sums of money nowadays, which is frequently the overriding factor for many players when it comes to choosing a free agent landing spot. Erik Scalavino



What are the chances Vince Wilfork re-signs?* *R.A. Jones

Zero. He may not be done playing in the NFL, but his days as a Patriot are clearly over. Erik Scalavino

I'm curious about the negotiating process and how it works. Is it one specific person that speaks with the agent personally? What are the logistics? Ellen Gilbert

Great question, Ellen. I wish we in PFW were privy to more of such internal conversations, but, alas, we are not, so, we're only left to speculate. I would imagine it varies from player to player, but my best guess is that when it comes to high-profile players, there are probably more high-level discussions with upper management (i.e., Belichick, Robert Kraft) , while mid-level talent and their agents might spend more time speaking with someone else in the front office. I also assume there are a combination of phone calls, text messages, and face-to-face discussions, which also vary from player to player. It would be a fantastic story for us to cover in PFW, observing the life cycle of a negotiation process. Erik Scalavino

How much money does the team need to be under the cap to afford the practice squad players and to sign draft picks? Ryan Plourde

That amount has yet to be determined for 2015, Ryan. It often is announced in late April just before or right around the NFL Draft. Erik Scalavino

When and where will the new Super Bowl XLIX DVD be available? Release was announced today (3/4/2015). Jennifer Thacker

It's already available for purchase online, but there's another DVD you'll want to add to your collection, Jennifer: the new Three Games to Glory, which should be released sometime later this spring or early summer. Erik Scalavino

How long do we have to wait for another Lombardi Trophy? It's been a month. Spoiled Pats fan James Siegel

HA! Perhaps my favorite Ask PFW question of all time. Brilliant, James. Erik Scalavino


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