Is Dwayne Allen the type free agent that will potentially provide a compensatory pick?
The Patriots released Allen so he does not qualify as a free agent who provides a compensatory pick in return. Allen also doesn't have to wait until the start of the new league year next week in order to sign with another team. Because he was released he is free to sign anywhere whenever he has an opportunity. Only free agents whose contracts expire are part of the compensatory pick formula.
If the Cardinals draft a quarterback as some project, it would present a rare opportunity for the Patriots to trade for a top-10 talent in Josh Rosen. He did not play like it last year, but who would on that team? I would give a 32d pick for him in a heartbeat and maybe even throw in a third-rounder, and I wonder if you would?
I'm not nearly as high on Rosen as you are and I would maybe give a third- or fourth-round pick should a scenario develop where the Cardinals draft a quarterback No. 1 overall and shop Rosen. I'm not convinced that's going to happen, but if it does Arizona will not be in a very strong position in terms of dealing Rosen. Teams will figure the Cardinals pretty much have to deal Rosen, so I don't see them maximizing his value – not to mention that his value at this stage is largely unknown based off a rough start to his career in 2018. I would be opposed to taking a shot at developing Rosen, but I not interested in dealing a first-round pick to do it, especially with Tom Brady continuing to say he intends on playing until he's at least 45.
With the Patriots not having a lot of cap room it has been suggested that Devin McCourty and/or Dont'a Hightower and maybe even Brady will be asked to renegotiate their deals, although Hightower according to reports is unwilling to do so. My question is this, with so many draft picks and with so many of last year's draft picks not having played last year due to injury do you think it's possible the Pats sit out free agency, apart from a few of the usual other teams' busts that Bill Belichick resurrects, and totally rely on the returning injured players and the large draft class to fill out the roster. That way, there is no need to renegotiate contracts and carry forward future dead money on contracts the team has no intention of players completing, but rather take the hit next season and have an improved cap situation down the line.
The scenario you're describing would represent a rebuild that I'm not sure is entirely necessary. The Patriots have plenty of ways to use the cap dollars in a way they can retain some of the players you discussed as well as signing some veterans to fill in some holes. For example, the Patriots have one receiver with any experience currently under contract in Julian Edelman. If they don't re-sign Chris Hogan, Cordarrelle Patterson or Phillip Dorsett, you can't just draft players to replace them all. The team will need to acquire someone as well. And if all the players you mention depart, as well as key free agents such as Trey Flowers and Trent Brown, the Patriots will need some replacements from more than just these two draft classes. New England has 12 picks and made nine last year, but many of those are Day 3 selections and not necessarily expected to become starters. Isaiah Wynn certainly could be expected to replace Brown at left tackle, and Ja'Whaun Bentley showed signs that he will be part of the linebacker corps, but there would be a lot more work to do, and I can't see Belichick just "passing on free agency" to get it done. He'll do what he always does and explore any and all options to help his team.
I find it very strange how Super Bowl rings are awarded. There are football stars who play their entire careers and never get a ring, and then there are rookies who play a few games, miss the entire playoffs and Super Bowl and get a ring. Shouldn't there be some standard that does not devalue the SB rings?
Not to sound overly simplistic but the standard is being on a team that actually wins the Super Bowl. You are correct that a lot of players achieve great things in the league but never play on a Super Bowl-winning team. Sometimes there are examples of players who are sort of along for the ride and don't have much if anything to do with a team's success and they get to enjoy the fruits of winning. I don't think this devalues a Super Bowl ring at all. If we only gave them to the best players, then how would teams go about determining which ones deserve them? Belichick always talks to us about the importance of every member of the team – from the bottom of the roster to practice squad to players on injured reserve – all of which have roles and functions within the team that are important in their own way. Some are obviously more vital than others, but all should be recognized.
Greetings PFW and thanks for all the insight you have provided us faithful over the years. I am a long time Patriots fan who currently resides in Fargo, North Dakota, the home of the seven-time FCS champions that gave the NFL Carson Wentz. NDSU has another bright, highly talented quarterback in Easton Stick, who has been ranked lower than many people would have thought given his resume for winning and being able to lead an NFL styled offense. I am seeing similarities here to another QB who had the tangibles for winning, that strong caliber of knowledge and determination, the commitment to put in the extra time both on and off the field, yet was not ranked high and ultimately went in the sixth round. What is your take on a guy like Easton Stick being a guy that can sit behind Tom and learn from him and bring that same desire for winning to the Patriots? Steve Spickenreuther
Freezing in N.D.
I've gotten a chance to watch Stick play a little (very little) and I have been impressed with his ability. At 6-2, 221 pounds he's a little on the small side but with other smaller quarterbacks having success in the league that seems to be less of a hindrance nowadays. Stick is interesting as a dual-threat running back but honestly he's not really similar to Brady in any way. Stick rushed for 17 touchdowns as a senior so he won't be confused with Brady much. In terms of draft-ability, the reason Brady went in the sixth round was that he was forced to split time at Michigan. On the other hand, Stick played extensively at NDSU so scouts have an idea of how he might translate. He might make sense as a developmental prospect but it's not fair to draw any comparisons to the greatest quarterback of all time.
Is it too much to hope for having Golden Tate and A.J. Green join the Pats next season? Do you even want them? And if not them, who?
I would certainly take either one, especially Green. Tate has openly talked about wanting to join the Patriots so my guess is there will be a legitimate chance. I also like the possibility of trying to get John Ross from the Bengals. He's done very little thus far but has obvious skills and would be a cheap and younger alternative on the outside. Ross can fly but has had trouble staying healthy and hasn't produced. Belichick has often signed former first-round picks who haven't panned out and given them opportunities. Maybe that will be the case with Ross. Clearly the receiver position is wide open and the Patriots will need to add most likely through both free agency/trade and the draft.
My first question is what are your expectations of Obi Melifonwu and Duke Dawson for next year? Both are young and very talented. My next questions is how do you expect Isaiah Wynn if he recovers to do at LT when we let Trent Brown go? I'm hoping you saw something this previous offseason that sparks some hope for him. Thanks for everything you all do.
Honestly I have very little idea of what to expect from both Melifonwu and Dawson. They are indeed both young but I'm not sure about the talented part because I haven't really seen either one play – especially Dawson. During camp last summer Dawson looked like he could compete as a slot corner but never really stood out in that area. Plus, Jonathan Jones performed pretty well in that role, especially down the stretch and in the playoffs. Melifonwu came in midseason so it's tough to evaluate much from that. He played in only three of the 10 games he was on the roster for including the playoffs but I don't necessarily hold that against him considering his late arrival. Let's see how they look after a spring in the offseason program and through training camp where we might have a better chance to evaluate them. As for Wynn, again, we didn't really get a chance to watch him play. Dante Scarnecchia has expressed some optimism regarding him when he spoke to the media during the season. My guess is he'll get the chance to replace Brown and perhaps a veteran will be kept as insurance.
Having history of picking fading talent and reviving their career especially when considering the need at the WR position, what are the chances Patriots going for Kenny Stills and John Ross.
Those two players are in very different categories. Stills is a veteran who has been productive during his time in the league with both New Orleans and Miami. He's a solid if unspectacular receiver who can contribute as a secondary target. Ross is a young player who to this point in his career has done very little. After missing most of his rookie year in 2017, Ross caught just 21 passes for 210 yards last year, but he did have seven touchdowns. As I said earlier, he can fly and shows flashes of the ability that allowed the Bengals to take him in the first round. He has intriguing talent. If both are available I'd be more interested in grabbing Ross.