Good afternoon and welcome to today's Patriots chat. I'm in Bristol, Conn. today at ESPN headquarters. Spent some time with Rob Gronkowski and his brothers, who are here today.
At some point today, you might see video on ESPNBoston.com of Gronkowski playing along with a Patriots-specific "finish this sentence" interview. We tried to have some fun with it.
In recent weeks, a lead-in question has been asked, sparking discussion on the site. Today's lead-in question: Which rookie do you think makes the quickest impact in 2011? I'll go through some of the responses now, post them, and then we will chat.
I'm going with Shane Vereen. Running backs have an easier transition to the pros and with Faulk's health/contract concerns, the door is open at this position. I think in the later part of the season, Solder comes into his own but he will take some time to develop.
People are high on Vereen, but Ridley is the better running fit for this offense. Although I'm clearly premature with this prediction, I get some Corey Dillon vibes from the way Ridley ran in college.
I'd say Dowling will make the quickest impact out of this group just based on the likelihood he gets the most playing time. Also, Arrington, Wilhite, & Butler seem easier to beat out on the depth chart than BJGE
I think the quickest impact will be Vareen for two reasons. A. I think the transition for RB is not as bad as other positions. B. the rotation at that position will get him on the field more than a guy like Dowling who will likely be playing only nickel and dime at first and Solder who hopefully will be playing behind Light for at least a few weeks.
The quickest impact by a rookie will be the opening kickoff tackle and fumble recovery returned for a TD by Ras-I Dowling during the first match of the season ;) ...but I'd vote for him without such a firework too.
To answer your lead-in question, I'd bet Malcolm Williams is the man. He'll be on the kick-off cover team at Miami on Sept 12.
Just to be different, I think Ridley will actually make a quick impact. I can see him being brought in right away in short yardage and goal line situations. If we didn't have Woodhead I would say Vereen.
Hi Mike! If I had to pick ONE rookie to have the biggest initial impact this year I'd go with Shane Vereen. Maybe I'm alone but he has the speed, quickness, blocking, catching and versatility to be on the field for more snaps than any of the other RB's on the roster so I really think he is going to make an impact quickly. I expect great things from this kid. Long term I'd have to guess Solder.
I think Ridley will be the surprise player to come out of this year's draft. He has good vision and a little more wiggle than BJGE and will become THE productive inside runner for the Pats.
In RE: rookie impact, it has to be Solder. The OL is facing a lot of turnover, which means one of two things for Nate: He will step in at LT and impact the team positively or negatively depending on his performance; or, force the team to re-sign Matt Light/come up with another option if he is not yet prepared to contribute. All other rookies have a buffer zone in the form of veteran teammates. Seems like Solder made an impact on the team the second he was drafted, which I would say is pretty quick.
I'd like to say Solder because of the uncertainty surrounding our line, or I should say I hope it's Solder but I'm going with Dowling. I think Vereen and Rodley will get their looks but ultimately I think Bill will bring all the rooks along slowly. I think Dowling will get the chance on STs and some rotations in at one of the corner spots
I think the combination of the established players already on the Pats roster coupled with lockout shortened integration process for rookies will result in very limited rookie impact. For this reason I look to special teams. Ras-I Dowling is going to be an instant factor as a gunner, and probably on the kick coverage team
Hi Mike, Concerning the rookie who will make the biggest immediate impact, my first thought would be Shane Vereen but I'm going to go with a longshot in Lee Smith for his run blocking ability. Described as a superior run blocker in college, I can see him getting some early action this season.
I think Shane Vereen makes the most flashiest impact. BJGE had a great year last year but I think the offense was a bit predictable based on the running back personel last year. BJGE wasn't on the field for many pass plays. I think Vereen has more versatility and can be on the field for passing and running plays. Solder probably gets more starts than Vereen though and probably has a bigger impact on the team without getting as much attention from the fans. The nature of an offensive lineman.
The most immediate impact will probably be the running backs. It is said that they have the least adjustment coming from college to the Pros. Having said that, I think by the end of the year, Dowling the CB will be the most impactful rookie. Butler is still an anomaly and like McCourty last year, there should be lots of balls thrown towards Dowling and he could make a huge impact.
When it comes to rookies making the quickest impact, I would have to go with Ras-I Dowling. You can never have enough corners and it sounds as though he has some potential on special teams. I'm tempted to say Nate Solder in the event that Matt Light is not re-signed (although Vollmer could move left with Kaczur moving back to right tackle if Light goes elsewhere).
Let's go with a tie between Dowling and Vereen. If I'm forced to decide I'll go Dowling as he might have more special teams value. However, I have a question to ask about Marcus Cannon. Some had projected him a late first or early second pick before his cancer diagnosis. However, it seems like chemo didn't slow him down and he's still strong. If it has gone as well as we are lead to believe, shouldn't we view him as being similar to Solder talent-wise? They'll both in the same boat as far as being behind due to the lockout.
Thanks to all who chimed in. I think I got them all, but there are usually a few I miss that get picked up later in the chat. Let's chat until about 12:50 today...
Hi Mike- I've been a fan since the old Metrowest days. Where do you see my boy Ron Brace on the depth chart?
Thanks Chet. Drove by the MetroWest Daily News this morning on the way to Bristol and was telling colleague Mike Rodak about what a great experience that was. As for Brace, I think he's at a fork in the NFL road. It could turn toward front-line starter or backup. I could see it going either way. It's just too early for me to feel good about making that call before seeing him on the field.
Hi Mike. What role does your brother Floyd Reese have with the club, other than help in "contractual matters"?
G-Slice, that's actually my cousin ... joking. He is an adviser and sounding board on certain issues, but the primary role, as I understand it, is contractual. He certainly isn't making personnel decisions.
Mike, we seem to be getting conflicted reports about B. Spikes offseason condition. Do you expect that he'll be ready for camp?
Mort, I don't have any information that I truly trust on this. So for now, I'm proceeding with the idea that Spikes will be ready for camp.
Follow up question...Do you think Ras-I can play any safety? With us having 1 and 1A cornerbacks already signed for the next three years and given how big he is, do you think BB drafted him as a potential FS successor?
Ras-I played safety in high school, so he has a background there. But he expects to be at CB when camp opens, and I believe that's where the Patriots will have him work, at least initially.
Do you think that we may be writing off Kevin Faulk too soon? He is the best blitz pick up back we have and the most effective third down back in the NFL over the last 8-10 years. Is it safe to say that the two rookies have a lot to learn with their blitz pickup and special teams work? He seems too valuable of an asset in those third down situations and on special teams to replace with unproven rookies who have yet to get their reps in the complicated offense. What are your thoughts?
Steve, I'd never feel good about writing off Kevin Faulk. Too much heart. I think we all agree he's slowed down a bit, but he can still help a team. My feeling is that if everyone is healthy, he faces an uphill climb for a roster spot, in part because they might just keep 4 RBs because of a trickle-down effect from other positions (e.g. three QBs). But I wouldn't rule Faulk out just yet.
Hi Mike: Thanks for posting all the notes about Myra Kraft, I don't recall to many owners having their wifes along side them like Robert always did, and from what all the players had to say, she was very special. No question just a fans best wish's to our wonderful owner, go in peace Myra...
Hi Mike! It is so good that we are almost there, yet it is shadowed by such a tragic thing as the passing away of Mrs. Kraft. My heart goes out to the whole Patriots Family. Usually when a teammate passes away players can wear a black spot with a white number on their helmet to commemorate the teammate... but can they do anything to honor a person who was not a teammate but somehow also an integral part of the team, and deserves non the less, such as Myra Kraft?
I could see the 2011 season being dedicated to the memory of Myra Kraft, but am not aware of any plans for the team to do so at this time.
Mike, I keep on reading how the players who put their name on the anti-trust lawsuit put their necks out of the league and some people think they should be compensated. I mean what is the worst thing that could have happened to these guys? I don't understand how putting your name on this lawsuit could have a drastic impact for these guys?
Evan, I think it is significant for the plaintiffs who spent time working on a resolution (e.g. Drew Brees). But otherwise, I viewed the plaintoffs as more of a symbolic thing. On Logan Mankins, I understand his frustration. At the same time, I don't think his demand will be met. It doesn't hurt to ask. I wonder if Von Miller is asking for $20 million to make up for lost wages he would have earned under a non rookie wage scale system? Of course he isn't.
I know those thoughts were a bit fragmented. It's a complicated issue.
Hey Mike! I've been reading and reading about, we need a big play threat reciever.. And it makes you think, we went 14-2 and one game in the playoffs, and we need that deep threat.. I think everyone was so in love with the whole Randy Moss Brady connection that they forget that we won 3 super bowls without a Randy Moss type player! The receiving corp is already deep as it is, given the tight ends there also.. plus a lot of analyst will tell you, during that playoff game against the Jets, his receivers were getting open, but Brady just wasn't finding them.. Not to mention, if we have a good running game, the opposing D will have to stake the box which will open up the passing game.. I just don't see a need for a big threat wide receiver.. Your thoughts?
I'm with you, Steven. Also looking forward to the trip to the Bay Area in early October for game against the Raiders. See you there?
Once upon a time, Tom Brady was the best at play action. That's why I think Shane Vereen will make the quickest impact in 2011. Having a running back that can run, catch out of the backfield & pass block will make us all forget why a 'deep threat' was brought up in the first place.
Thanks Alvin. That one slipped through. Throw the penalty flag -- 5 yards for poor quality control.
Hi Mike. What could the offensive line look if the Patriots lose in a bidding war over Matt Light and they lose Logan Mankins? Both things could happen, right?
Yikes, David. In that case, I'd anticipate a veteran signing. I think you're looking at Vollmer (LT), Ryan Wendell (LG), Dan Koppen (C), Dan Connolly (RG) and Mark LeVoir/Nick Kaczur (RT) as the top five entering camp. Not ideal.
I think the rookie who makes thr biggest splash will be the undrafted rookie as they more to prove and will the least team once this hets going so we will see that person on special team or sub package. who do you see as pats getting....Herzlich?
Chris, I'd give it a shot with Herzlich if I was in Bill Belichick's hoodie. Two prospects I think could fit with the Patriots are OL Tim Barnes (Missouri) and DE/OLB Marc Sheicl (Colorado School of Mines). Probably practice squad guys who could be developed for the future.
How effective do you think Deion Branch can be this season? And would Brandon Tate be ready to fill Branch's role on the depth chart if he were to get injured?
Sam, I think Branch can still help this offense, assuming he's remained in good shape. As for Tate, I don't think he's ready for that type of 1B role just yet. As Wes Welker said, he needs some more consistency, which could come with another year in the system.
Mike,What are the chances the Pats bring in a wr via free agency or trade(edwards, chad ocho, steve smith)? Do you think Bill is content on the wr core we already have? Lastly do you think that Julian Edelman can be the third receiver on this team really leaving none on the wr's being able to grab the long ball.
Victor, let's go the 1-2-3 route. 1) On a receiver in a trade/free agency, I view it as a 3 out of 10 in terms of possibly happening. Just a hunch; 2) Bill Belichick is never content; always going to keep churning to improve the roster; 3) Yes, I do think Edelman could be a third receiver in some packages.
Hi Mike, staring to get excited like most I'm sure! First to answer the question, I feel as though Ras-I Dowling will make the most impact; not just on defense but more importantly on special teams as BB puts a great deal of emphasis on that phase. I do have one question regarding potential free agents: What about Ricky Williams if the price is right? Gives us a veteran guy who still has years left due to his time away from the game and I really appreciate the way he runs the ball. Your thoughts? Thanks!
Mike, before the Patriots drafted two running backs, I liked the possibility of Williams. But now I'd be more inclined to bring back Kevin Faulk if the Patriots were serious about a fifth back on the roster, which is no given.
what was your reaction to tom brady not releasing a statement on the death of myra kraft. seemed pretty insensitive to me.
Collin, I didn't have too much of a reaction because I don't have the details on the situation. I wouldn't be surprised to see Tom Brady at Myra Kraft's funeral on Friday. I believe he cares deeply about her.
what will be the last possible settlement date for the patriots not to cancel pre-season games that are scheduled? Is it aug. 1. remember players have to vote & owners have to vote
Steve, I think we're pretty close here. I'd say within the next 5 days.
Mike,Always fun talking high profiled players. Which high priced free agent or player available by trade(a player who's name has been out there in the trade rumors) could you see the pats signing?
Steve Smith, WR from Carolina, was the first to come to mind. I still think it's a long shot.
Who would be some viable FA's on the interior OL that could come in and help the Pats immediately? Whether as a replacement for Mankins, or injuries to Connolly or whoever starts at RG, the Pats have got to be looking at some possibilities.
Graham, one player I like is David Baas of the 49ers. Strikes me as a Patriot type -- blue-collar, no-frills. Would fit in well.
What role do you envision for my boy Dane Fletcher have this year?
BJD, I'd say similar to 2010 -- big special teams impact and pushing for more playing time on defense, on both early downs and in the sub defenses.
Hey Mike. Do you see Edelman having a role outside of kick/punt returns? It seems like he was the only WR in the Jets playoff game who played with any fire. What say you?
Yes indeed, Ellis. Wouldn't be surprised to see Edelman play quite a bit more in 2011, and show up as one of the more improved players on the team.
Where is Butler right now on the CB depth chart? Is it safe to say that he was a draft bust at this point, at least at the high second round pick that he was selected?
Butchie, I view it as being safe to say that Butler's standing with the Patriots is heading in the wrong direction. I think it could still turn around, but at this point, it's not looking good.
Mike, I'm a long time reader but first time commenter. Here goes.. You posted a few minutes ago that the Pats will have approximately $7.5mil in cap space assuming all currently signed players remain with the team. Given the new rookie wage scale, how much of this cap space should we expect to be taken up by our drafted players? Thanks and keep up the great work!
Ben, thanks for jumping into the chat for the first time. I don't have the answer because I'm not sure of the details of the wage scale, but wanted to fire in the question because a first-time commenter should not be denied.
How many more times does BB use high draft picks on the backfield before he goes elsewhere ? Seems like the last few drafts have been CB heavy... Yes, he seems to have "hit" in 2010, but unless Ras-I pans out, it seems there have been more misses.
You've hit at one of my criticisms of recent Pats drafts, farn. A lot of investment in the secondary (with mixed results) and not enough focus on the front seven. I say that respectfully. In the end, you tip your cap to the Patriots/Bill Belichick because they have been consistent winners and in the end that's what it is all about. From a pure personnel standpoint, I just wonder if there are enough people in that building willing to challenge Bill Belichick -- or given the opportunity to challenge him -- when it comes to personnel. The DB situation is one example that comes to mind with me in this regard.
Your associate at Espn Matt Williamson thinks that Braylon Edwards would put up monster numbers with Brady. If the price was right, do you see us going down that road?
Sam, I don't see the Patriots going the Braylon Edwards route. The first thought I had was that they might have questions with how he'd fit into their overall program.
Mike, great work this offseason. SalPal just told Colin C that this impending free agency period will be unprecedented in all of American sports. It seems that with the number of players to be signed (rosters to 90), and the amount of $$ some teams need to spend with cause that 72-168 hour period to be impossible for the NFL offices to keep up with. Is there any sense in how the league will be able to keep up with the processing of those contracts? Won't teams with a ton of new players possible be delayed while those with few adds (Pats and Colts) may be able to be a team sooner and gather in full numbers quicker?
One word comes to mind, Brave -- chaos! I completely understand your point. I would imagine the league will give teams a little more leeway to come in compliance with the cap as part of a "transition" period.
Do you think shane vereen can be a 3 down back?
Yes, yes, yes. Biggest misconception, I felt, was when Vereen was compared to Kevin Faulk during/after the draft.
Mike, I don't believe that Mankins was willing to hold up the CBA to benefit his own ends at the expense of others. I do believe that he is looking for some money to make up for the contract he missed out on last year. If the Pats are going to sign him it will cost them top dollar. He played great last year and has been receiving across the board accolades from a variety of sources. If the Pats don't sign him to an extension this season it will be his last in NE. He will have to be paid as the top player currently at his position. If he doesn't get it this year he will get it next year at inflated dollars. In your mind is he worth it? I think he is.
I think he is worth it, munchkin, but I think it's more complicated than that now. I put on my Patriots management cap and consider how they view things. I think there is a part of Patriots management that feels if it gives Mankins an extension, it would send the wrong message to future players in the same position. "You want a new deal, this is how you can get one, being outspoken and taking some swipes at management." So I think that could be a factor, too.
With so many bodies in the backfield, will we see a fullback again this year? Stevan Ridley might be a candidate to fill a Patrick Pass-type role (who himself bulked up and transitioned from RB to FB) due to his toughness and ability to play on special teams.
Good thought, Prasad. I see four backs if everyone is healthy (Green-Ellis, Woodhead, Vereen, Ridley), with Ridley and/or a TE filling that FB-type role.
Mike,The rookie who must make the quickest impact on the Patriots in 2011 will be Nate Solder. I think one (Light) or both (Mankins) will not be with the Pats if the season begins. It seems like at least two teams - Atlanta and KC - have the need and the money to give Light more than Pats are willing to pay in $ and years. As for Mankins, he appears from afar to be burning his Pat bridge. I don't think he will even sign the tag offer. Therefore, I think he will force Pats to move him. If you were 49ers would you offer Mike Iupati straight up? If not, who or what do you think Pats could get for Mankins?
Don't see the 49ers offering up Iupati. To me, the Patriots would be looking for a first-round pick, or at least a conditional first-rounder.
Given the injuries along the defensive line in 2010, what are the chances that Gerard Warren comes back at least during training camp?
It wouldn't surprise me, Alvin, but I haven't heard anything about the possibility at this point.
Mike, last year at times when watching the Packers, they seemed to use a defensive formation that I've seen the Patriots use against teams like the Colts of a 2-4-5 format with 2 DL's, 4 LB's and 5 DB's. It seems to be effective when you have DL's with beef who can handle the line well enough to keep LB's free, and still maintain 5 DB's in the backfield. With the return of Ty Warren and addition of Marcus Stroud, as well as the improvements in the secondary, do you think we may see more snaps in this type of formation? It seems to present serious matchup problems for pass heavy teams with weaker run games.
Appreciate the Xs and Os talk, Jeff. For sure. The Patriots ran some 2-4-5 in different forms in 2010 and I would expect that to continue in 2011.
With Ty Warren returning, will Vince Wilfork return to playing NT almost all the time? Was Wilfork moved around out of necessity last year, or will we see a variety of DL formations even with increased depth this year?
Best-case scenario, to me, is Wilfork solely on the nose. So good there. I felt he was moved out of necessity.
Mike,I really like our how our December schedule shaped up - Indy at home, at Denver, at Washington, and Miami and Buffalo both at home. With a #1 seed in mind, this looks like a month we could run the table. Your thoughts on the 2011 schedule?
Agree, Jason, although it's always difficult to project teams in December because of the all-important health questions. Like that end of the season for the Patriots at this point.
Any chance the Pats will go into the season with 4 TE on active roster? or just keep the new guy they drafted on the practice squad for a year?
I could see four TEs, for sure, Fan. Then the question is what area do you trim on the roster to accomodate that. Maybe running back? Or a lineman?
Not sure TE Lee Smith, the fifth-rounder, would make it to the practice squad. In my view, the Patriots tried to slide Ted Larsen (2010 sixth-rounder) to the practice squad last year and got burned a bit.
I think it is better to play it safe and protect assets in those situations.
Hey Mike, I know they fill very different roles, but who do you see being more valuable to the offense this year, Hernandez or Gronk?
Gronkowski would be my choice Red. I was going to joke and say that if I don't answer that way, he might eat me, but then I wondered if it would come across as I hoped. Seriously, I just think the multiple nature of Gronkowski's game -- powerful blocker, impact pass-catcher -- puts him in position to make the bigger impact.
Just how good is Marcus Stroud? What are his strengths/weaknesses? Thanks Mike!
Don't know too much at this point, James, but had a Buffalo reporter pass along word that he felt Stroud slowed down a bit last year. I'm anxious to see him in camp to get a better feel.
Ras-I Dowling is going to be a beast. I think he starts as the slot CB knocking out Arrington and getting Darius Butler finally cut.... I would have picked Nate Solder if there was a rookie camp but not now.
The player association is saying it will take two weeks to vote to reconstitute, Mankins and Jackson want their own special treatment in the settlement. I liked what the Vikings punter said in that respects. Will the players over play their hand and ruin it for us all?
No, Brian, I'm remaining optimistic and saying we'll still have football.
Mike, you continually bring up the point about whether there are people in the organization who challenge Belichick. I understand your point, but saying the secondary drafts highlights the point is misguided. You have no idea whether those were Belichick's choices or whether they came from his staff and he listened.
Fair point, Dominic. They are two different issues.
How about Shawn Ellis on the DL. He been killing us for years.
A name to consider, Chris. Would fill a Gerard Warren-type role, maybe with a bit more pass-rush ability.
Alot of people are mentioning Marcus Cannon as someone who could make an impact. His treatments have gone great so far and he said that he hasn't lost a step because of it. Do you see him contributing this year? I'm sure BJGE wouldn't mind running behind him.
At this point, Andrew, it's tough to tell. My hunch is starting him on PUP.
Here's my take on Mankins and Jackson. The NFL acted illegally in signing that television deal. That tv deal gave them the pressure to let the old CBA expire. Because of the way that old CBA was written, players with 5 years experience became restricted free agents. If the tv deal didn't happen though the league isn't so quick to let the old CBA expire. I think Mankins and Jackson more than any other players in the league really got shafted by the NFL. I think they deserve some monetary compensation.
Mike, do you have any insight on what we should expect from the rookie wage scale? I'm really curious to see if the Pats will have to make some surprise cuts in order to have cap space to sign any targeted free agents. Thanks!
Ben, I don't think the Patriots are in position where they have to cut anyone. That doesn't mean they won't. I just don't expect from free agency, in part because of the condensed period to sign them. I mean, we could have training camp starting and then a free agent signed on Day 5 of camp. It just doesn't make sense to me unless it's a dire need. There is a lot that goes into fitting a player in a team's system.
Looking over the list of potential cuts, the name that really sticks out is Amobi Okoye. Still very young and raw. Do you see the Pats having interest and is he a fit?
Jim Bob, he strikes me as more of a 4-3 DT. Mike Wright type player.
Sidney Rice in NEW ENGLAND?
Feels like a long shot to me, JM.
Mike, after the CBA gets approved, who on the Pats roster is going to be the biggest cut in your opinion?
Two players I'll be watching are Nick Kaczur and Tully Banta-Cain, because of economics.
Of John Clayton's 10 best possible cap casualty cuts, who do you think the Pats might kick the tires on?
Graham, none of them really jumped out at me except for Reggie Bush, and that seems like a longshot.
Offensive Line could be primed for years to come. Connolly, Volmer, Solder, Cannon (when healthy). What are the chances we lock down Mankins to make that O-Line solid for years to come?
I think the poll we have going on the Patriots blog is interesting. I voted "franchise tag in 2011" and then it's my opinion that Mankins will be a FA in 2012.
Let's go for another 5...
hey mike what is the progress of kade weston?
John, as you know, Weston did great things in Red Bank. He spent the year on injured reserve in 2010, built up his strength, and he should compete for a roster spot on the DL. He has NFL size that can be hard to find in the scouting world.
some commentators think that this free agency class might not be as crazy as everyone thinks. The cap has been reduced by 8 million and many need to figure out how to new rules plays out when constructing a team. Some teams will always go crazy and the great FA's will get their large contracts but do you think that with the rookie salary cap, many mid level guys will have to wait for a while to get a contract? Value proposition for the pats?
James, I do think there will be some players who will have to wait (e.g. Randy Moss). That could produce some value, but the value is diminished in my view when considering the timing of it all. Tough to sign a FA midway through camp and expect him to make a huge splash.
Do you think if the Pats honor Mankins with a long term deal it will automatically eliminate Light's chances of coming back?
I could see them both back in 2011, Elliot. Don't think a long-term deal with Mankins would affect Light one way or the other.
Mike, If I recall correctly, on area of concern was Solder's strength. Without team activities and time with the strength and conditioning coach, can we expect him to be physical enough this year. Seems like that would be hard to improve during the year as most are lucky to maintain during a long season. Does this make it a "lost" season for the rookie?Thanks, great job as always
Initially, I think this is an issue, Dan. He needs time in the NFL weight room. Maybe he gets there at some point during the season, but right away? I think it's asking too much.
Impression of the late signing of free agents. Chaos-risk brings opportunity. The more established systems will do well of course. But there is the opportunity for someone to sign a bunch of gold chip players in disguise as we did to put together our SB runs. Look for that later in the season once the dust settles.
A thought to ponder. Thanks Dano.
What do you forsee Fred Taylor's future or let alone Kevin Faulk's future looking like with all this talent we drafted in the backfield??
I don't see Taylor back, Sean, if everyone is healthy. I could see Faulk back in camp, fighting for a job. If everyone is healthy, it's going to be tough for him in my view.
Mike, On a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest) where would you rate the likelihood of Brandon Merriweather being traded before the season starts? Im not caught up on the latest CBA rumors, but BM's contract is up after this year. He does have 2 probowls (not sure why), is a former 1st rounder and a bit of an inflated ego so I think he will want a top contract. Which I dont think he is worth it. Might it be time to move him now while his value is at its peak?
Steve, I just don't see a team giving up an asset to acquire Meriweather, which would then require a big contract. So I think Meriweather will be in New England in 2011.
Hi Mike - If Pats don't add any new faces from FA market (highly likely considering their disdain for improving the pass rush), who are your projected starters @ RDE & both OLB spots?
Burkie, right now I'd put Brandon Deaderick at RDE and Rob Ninkovich/Jermaine Cunningham at OLB.
Hey Mike, thank you for taking my question! Do we keep Alge Crumpler or not? 4 TEs in the roster sounds a little crazy but I do not want to see him go when he can still produce and teach a lot to our younger TEs.
I like Crumpler to stay, assuming good health.
What wide out will do you see me thrwoing to this season
Let's end on this one, as Tom Brady has been nice enough to ask for my help in terms of his receiving corps. I think Wes Welker will once again be your man, but something tells me you'll also be firing more footballs in Julian Edelman's direction in 2011.
I couldn't get to all the questions, so I like the idea of going back into the chat over the next few days and posting some "chat leftovers" in our Patriots blog.
Thanks to everyone for chatting. Enjoy the rest of day and the weekend.