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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Sun Aug 02 - 12:00 AM | Mon Aug 03 - 11:59 PM

Ask PFW II: Post-draft analysis

What happens to the money players pay when they get fined? Whether it be for missing workouts, practices, illegal hits or being Chad Ochocinco?
Mike Rioux

Anytime the NFL fines a player the money goes to charity (both NFL-back charities and NFLPA charities), but individual team fines for missing a workout or being late for a meeting would be at the discretion of the team. Some pool the money for a team function and other more serious fines are put toward charitable endeavors as well. It's just a matter of what the individual infraction is and what the team decides.
Paul Perillo

With regard to the proposed plan to expand the regular season, has the question been asked to also expand the active roster? Additional personnel could offset the wear and tear that added games create on players' bodies while still giving the NFL ownership what they want, i.e. more bang for their buck.
Phil M.

I agree with your point of view but I'm not sure it will happen. Adding to roster sizes definitely would help with the wear and tear on players in an expanded regular season. But it also would cut into the owners' ability to get the added "bang for the buck" you referenced. Bigger rosters mean more salary money paid. If the salary cap remained the same, therefore keeping the owners' bottom line the same, then the players wouldn't be happy about that because their individual salaries would drop. If the cap increased, the owner would be upset about having to pay more. The idea of expanding the season is a complex topic that will require a lot of concessions on both parts and is sure to be one of the issues in the upcoming labor negotiations. Personally, I'd rather see the 16-game schedule stay the way it is.
Paul Perillo

Since we save a lot of money by not having a first rounder this year, how about this trade scenario? 2010's first and second (since we have 3 seconds) for Julius Peppers. This makes sense in a lot of ways. First, we won't have to pay first-round money two years in a row. Next, we will still have two second-round picks, where there is always a lot of value. This deal must be done (for not getting Rey Maualuga or Clay Matthews this is owed to us fans!)
Garret Stewart

There are a couple of flaws with your proposal here Garret. While I agree a first and second wouldn't be too much to give up for Peppers, I don't think you'll be saving much at all. First, the Patriots will spend more than $6 million for their rookies this year, which is among the highest totals in the league due to their 12 picks. So first rounder or not, there's the potential to spend some dough. Second, if you acquire Peppers and give him an extension, that would cost more than a first rounder would have, so the savings isn't really there. I do like the trade proposal if Carolina was willing and Belichick was able to work out an extension for Peppers – but those are two pretty big ifs.
Paul Perillo

Hey guys, great coverage of the draft last week. I just had a question about a signing this offseason that I think may be going under the radar and that's Tully Banta-Cain. I think he could be a potential solid pass-rusher for us. I'm not saying he will be a Pro Bowler or an every down player, but his last year here he did very well at pass rushing at the end of the year. I never saw how he was in San Fran, but my guess is they tried to make him play every down. Maybe he is not suited for that, and is better suited as a situational pass rusher. Maybe my memory is off, but I thought his last four or five games for us he had a few sacks and fumbles and caused a lot of havoc in general. What are your thoughts?Mike Smith

I'm not nearly as high on Banta-Cain as you are. He does have some ability to rush the passer, there we agree. But an outside linebacker needs to do a lot more than that to play for Belichick. He hasn't had too many situational pass rushers during his time in New England. He needs players like Vrabel and Thomas who can set the edge in the running game, rush the passer and even drop into coverage from time to time. Banta-Cain hasn't showed the ability to do all of those things consistently enough in my opinion. In fact, he was benched in his last game as a Patriot in the 2006 AFC Championship Game in Indy in favor of Eric Alexander, who played inside while Vrabel moved back outside. I think the signing was a good one because Banta-Cain has experience and could help out on defense while providing strong special teams play. But I'm not sold on his ability to perform on an every-down basis and that's what the Patriots need based on the current roster.
Paul Perillo

In the last edition of "Ask PFW" you suggested that McKenzie would be playing inside LB. I was wondering, if we also have Tedy Bruschi, Guyton and now Antonio Appleby, do you think coach Belichick may be thinking he'd like to use Mayo as an outside LB? Even if it's just in rush situations? I realize there is some real youth inside, but I was just wondering. By the way, Mrs. Clause says hello!
Hermey The Great

Hermey you better stick to dental school buddy, Mayo's staying inside. He was the rookie of the year and he's perfectly suited to play there. He's only 6-1 so he wouldn't pass the Belichick outsider linebacker height test, and he's tremendously good at what he does. Why move him? I'm not saying he would never move around in subpackages, like you said, but as a rule I think Mayo will remain inside. Plus, Guyton, Appleby and McKenzie aren't established enough to be potential replacements for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Paul Perillo

Thanks for all your help getting me through the offseason. I just wanted to know the chances of getting another veteran running back such as Deuce McAllister, Edgerrin James or DeShaun Foster just for insurance in case Fred Taylor doesn't work out?
Greg Plante

I really don't think running back is an issue, although it certainly seems like I'm in the minority on that. We've been getting a lot of emails about the position over the past several weeks and I honestly can't understand why. With Sammy Morris, Taylor, Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk, plus BenJarvus Green-Ellis, why do some people feel we need to add another veteran to that mix? I love Taylor and in a limited role I believe he'll be quite productive. I see no need to sign a veteran to bolster that group.
Paul Perillo

Is Bo Ruud still on the team? I no longer see his name listed on the roster or depth chart.
Joe Johnson

Ruud was released last week and quickly signed with Cleveland.
Paul Perillo

Now that Larry Foote has been officially released from the Steelers, is there any chance he ends up in New England? He's not great but he's a solid veteran who could help the Pats D and could serve as a permanent replacement for Bruschi should some of the younger guys not pan out. At the very least he's an experienced player who could help out the young guys.Sam Frankel

I totally agree. Foote has experience in Pittsburgh 3-4, which although not the same as New England's it clearly shows he has the ability to play inside in that scheme. He's been quite durable during his career and has loads of experience with 110 games played and 83 starts. He's also a versatile player capable of playing against the run and the pass. He would be a solid candidate to start next to Mayo inside and I would be surprised if the Patriots do not at least show some interest in the 8th-year linebacker out of Michigan.
Paul Perillo

What do you think of UCLA Punter Aaron Perez? Good chance or not.
Mario Palencia

Sometimes the PFW guys are guilty of making snap judgments on guys. Sometimes we're right (Asante Samuel, David Givens) and sometimes we're wrong (Chad Jackson). In this case, we're going to put Perez in the "no" category. Perez was unimpressive on his kicks during mini-camp. He had trouble turning the ball over and shanked more than a few off the side of his foot. It was just one weekend but first impressions were not strong.
Paul Perillo

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