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October 28, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Chris Forsberg

Chris Forsberg
  (12:00 PM)

Good afternoon everybody! Anything to chat about today? Let's dive in with our Leigh Bodden-themed chat.

Leigh Bodden (unemployment)

Woah! that was unexpected. I've been playing prety regularly as a nickel back. with Dowling hurt I thought I was safe. Have I really played that badly? or are the Pats moving money for someone else's extension into next season(Welker?)

Chris Forsberg
  (12:02 PM)

I think it's a combination of both, Leigh. You were doing OK on the field -- Pro Football Focus numbers say 22 targets, 12 receptions, 192 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 99.1 QB rating -- but I believe you had the second highest cap hit on the team next to Brady. The Patriots don't spend that sort of cash on a nickel corner who's playing less than half the snaps. They can pay Antwaun Molden a sliver of your salary and get similar production.

MarkJ (Japan)

Bodden is gone. So, how the CB depth chart looks like today?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:04 PM)

1) McCourty, 2) Dowling, 3) Arrington, 4) Molden, 5) Whoever the teams wants ... Obviously, if Dowling can't get healthy, the team is dangerously thin, but they've gotten by in recent weeks. I wish we saw more of practice to know how the likes of Philllip Adams or Sterling Moore or Malcolm Williams or Josh Victorian are faring. Maybe one of those guys has distinguished himself enough to shuffle up to that 4th corner spot, giving the team all the depth it feels it needs.

Confused Fan (Somewhere )

Will their be a free agent signing at cornerback because we are thing at quality corners sure we have a lot of special teamers but you only need so many of those

Chris Forsberg
  (12:06 PM)

I think the Patriots could be content to get by with what they've got. Here's the No. 1 thing I'd remind people: The final roster from the Super Bowl team in 2004 had only four corners: Earthwind Moreland, Hank Poteat, Asante Samuel, Randall Gay. Patriots figure they can get by with one star (McCourty if he rebounds?) and some overachievers.

DJ (Ann Arbor)

Does BB do stuff like take Dowling's apparent injury setback as occasion to cut Bodden, or suddenly decide that Sanders' salary is too rich just as he's about to cut Meriweather, just to make me crazy? Or is there some method to this madness?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:07 PM)

I'm guessing this was probably being pondered for a while. Maybe they explored moving him at the trade deadline and ultimately decided that, with the need for roster spots upcoming, they had to start trimming away.

Tim (Newton, MA)

Hey Chris,The release of Bodden comes as a bit of a shock (even though BB releasing guys should never be out of the question). My concern is the depth at the position (Dowling can't get healthy, Adams and Molden are new to the scheme, etc.). Do you see this as more of an injury release or more reflective on Bodden's play? And what do they do going forward, who fills in the nickel spot?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:10 PM)

Again, I think it's a combination of both. That's a lot of cash for a third corner who's not on the field with the base defense. If Dowling gets healthy, this move is far less surprising. Say this, the Patriots aren't afraid to be bold and leave themselves thin at times.

jim (Cambridge)

Hurry up, start answering questions!

Chris Forsberg
  (12:12 PM)

Sorry guys, chat tool has been a bit flaky lately. Keep refreshing (or hit the PRINT button above my picture) if it goes a long time without posting the latest questions. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Steve (Massachusets)

Bodden played well for the patriots

Chris Forsberg
  (12:13 PM)

He had a rock solid 2009 season based on PFF numbers: 92 targets, 46 receptions, 532 yards, 4 TD, 5 INT, 59.7 QB rating. But the fact that he missed all of 2010 with the shoulder injury and battled a variety of maladies this year, including the groin, likely left the team frustrated with its investment. That's No. 1 corner money in New England.

Tron (Boston, MA)

I know it's a lame excuse but could McCourty's woes be any way related to the lockout? It seems that the first to second year jump was a little stunted for our top three defensive picks from last years draft: Cunningham, McCourty and as BB mentioned Spikes (even though his play on the field has picked up greatly).

Chris Forsberg
  (12:16 PM)

Going to try to mix in some non-Bodden stuff as well. We'll stick with the corner spot for now. The only thing I've noticed about McCourty this year as opposed to last is simply this: Last year he had a real knack for being able to turn around and make a play on the ball in the air. Far too often this year, he's just chasing. He's faced some tough challenges and I do think the lockout didn't aid his cause, but I'm not as worried overall. I think he rebounds well in the second half.

Kemba (Hartford)

Prediction time: Faulk, Brace or Deaderick - which one or ones is/are activated from the PUP list?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:18 PM)

This week? Might be based on health. If Patriots are healthy and don't need the boost, maybe they wait an extra week. But all three have hinted they are ready to go when called upon. I can see the call for Faulk or Brace coming quickly.

the hooded genius (CT, New England)

I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that BB didn't sit down and explain the Bodden release in detail to you. So, which TE has the biggest day on Sunday: Gronk, Hernandez or Miller?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:21 PM)

Given the production last year, I think the Steelers load up on Gronkowski, so I'll say Hernandez. One thing is clear, it'll be hard for any team to take away both of them. I will be interested to see how Miller does with so much attention paid to Wallace and the Pittsburgh receivers.

Darius Butler (Charlotte, NC)

Miss me yet?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:22 PM)

::Chuckles:: Your PFF numbers this season: 27 targets, 16 receptions, 158 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 5 passes defended, 75.8 QB rating. You're not playing a lot of snaps, but if you had done that here, you'd be a third corner.

Jeff (Needham, MA)

I've been disappointed in Bodden's play this year. I was surprised he got cut, but it's not like it's a huge loss for the team. Isn't Ras-I Dowling still hurt though? Like, actually worse than a few weeks ago, if you believe the practice participation reports?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:23 PM)

Dowling is the great X-factor. We just don't know where he's at, but it's certainly not encouraging to see him sit out Thursday. But if he was healthy, I think this move raises far less eyebrows.

Matt (Elon NC)

Non-Bodden question: Where do you see Brady exploiting the Steelers' D on Sunday? (And the answer cannot be "Heinz Field.")

Chris Forsberg
  (12:25 PM)

Damn, you took away my line. No, something about that black and yellow just brings out the best in Brady, who's 6-1 lifetime vs. the the Steelers, including two AFC championship game victories. I'll be interested to see what gimmicks LeBeau and Co. come up with this year, but if Brady torches the league's top pass defense again, then he simply owns Pittsburgh.

H22 (work)

Chis, who did they sign to the roster in place of bodden? Brandon D?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:26 PM)

Depending on the readiness of the PUPsters, I think you can definitely see a situation where Faulk, Brace, or Deaderick is elevated. If they need roster spots, I still don't think Phillip Adams (yes, even though he's a corner) and Ross Ventrone should get too comfortable.

tom (boston)

Why do you think Bill waited until today, Friday to realse Bodden? Get a look at PUP guys? See Dowling more??

Chris Forsberg
  (12:27 PM)

Less chance of an incident on Friday? No, wait, that doesn't work in the non-Nine-to-Five world, right? No, it was definitely to get a look at what else will be available.

Sean (Boston)

Why doesn't Pitt claim Bodden and get the gameplan for this weekend?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:28 PM)

I would *love* to hear that conversation: "So, Leigh, explain to us how you guys have been the 32nd rank defense this season." ... No, I do think there'd be limited value in that. And it would cost a pretty hefty sum just to hear the Patriots offense plans to pass 73 percent of the time again like in past meetings.

Randy Moss (who knows)

This just frees up some room to sign me right?!?! I'll be waiting by the phone

Chris Forsberg
  (12:29 PM)

Can you play slot corner? I'm surprised no one's tried to make the case for signing you to play opposite Chung at safety.

Austin Martin (PatsPulpit.com)

Hi Chris,Does this release indicate that Belichick is comfortable with Arrington filling in at second starting outside corner? I've liked what I've seen from Molden on the field, and he's had the black practice jersey honor multiple times- does this mean that Belichick might be looking for him to play a bigger role going forward, at the expense of Bodden's large cap hit.Also, with the Bears having released Chris Harris; what is the possibility the Patriots pick him up and essentially trade safeties with the Bears?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:32 PM)

Yes, I think the Patriots are comfy with a McCourty-Dowling-Arrington top 3 when healthy; And clearly Arrington has held his own the last two seasons as a starter. Molden might get a bigger chance here to prove what he's got, but he simply hasn't seen a lot of snaps.<br><br>As for Harris, getting that question often. I'm still of the belief that the Patriots really want to find that second safety in house, whether it's Barrett, Brown, or Ihedigbo and let them develop alongside Chung. If they get the feeling none are comfortable, then you look outside the organization.

Bruce (Clinton)

I dont understand his salary is guaranteed so why release him when your still paying him

Chris Forsberg
  (12:33 PM)

I believe Bodden's contract featured a lot of frontloaded cash, but it'll give the team savings this year and next. The team is still eating a loss, but if you don't see him as part of the team's future, then it might be worth it to move on.

Jason (New York)

Uh, could Ochocinco play corner? Maybe Haynesworth?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:35 PM)

The correct joke is to suggest Wilfork moves to corner when Brace/Deaderick come off PUP.

PatsFaninSC (Columbia, SC)

How about Cannon, Chris? This week? Next?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:37 PM)

I'm really curious how this plays out. My gut says there's no need to rush him. I can see the Patriots using the full three-week practice window, and I wouldn't be shocked if he goes on IR after that. He's an amazing story, but you want his health to be perfect before you put him on the field. I don't see any harm in bringing him along real slowly. Then again, you could always activate him in the Donald Thomas-like role of emergency interior depth and allow him to practice with low chance to actually have to play.

riddlin (WVU, Big 12)

It seems that nobody noticed #92 being TRIPLE teamed during Andre Carter's sack at the 6:36 mark of the 4th qtr against the Cowboys...do you have the tech to produce a still shot for all the Hatersworths out there, please?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:38 PM)

C'mon, man. Unless you're setting me up for this <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4706760/breakdown-carters-second-sack" target="new">shamless plug</a>, you're killing me.

Mike (DC)

Whats the news on Vollmer? is he playing? if he's healthy do we actually take Solder off the field? he's been great as a rookie thus far...

Chris Forsberg
  (12:39 PM)

Still limited at practice this week. Back injuries are tricky. I think there's no reason to rush him back with how well Solder has played.

Asante Samuel (Philly Airport - Boston Bound)

I told you Kraft and BB would bring me back. Bags are packed, ready to go.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:40 PM)

Made me choke on my iced tea. Hilarious.

Todd (Boston)

So how much does cutting Bodden save the Patriots THIS year? Aren't current year salaries guaranteed once the year starts?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:42 PM)

If I'm remember my salary cap rules right, if Bodden is picked up on waivers, the other team eats the rest of his contract this year. If he clears waivers and becomes a free agent, Patriots will have to eat the rest of the cash this season. But they will save some money next season (money that could be used for the likes of Welker and Mayo).

Rajon Rondo (Playing Madden '12)

Put me in coach, I'm ready to play CB today! Let's be honest, I have nothing else going on right now anyway.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:43 PM)

I support this.

Mama Forsberg (Forsberg Household)

Christopher! Make sure you come home Monday and get your JUNIOR MINTS! I'm saving you 3 boxes.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:44 PM)

Mama Forsberg hands out full candy bars. Just gotta find the Forsberg residence in Central Mass.

Tom (BOSTON)

The pats looked good in that one preseason game where Mayo was blitzing and he was getting tons of pressure. Havent seen him coming off the edge blitzing much so far. With spikes playing better in the middle think we might see more Mayo Blitzing??

Chris Forsberg
  (12:45 PM)

Absolutely. I think we'll see more of this as the season goes along. One other way this could thrive: With Brace/Wilfork at tackle in a 4-3, you could drop one of those guys into coverage around the L.O.S. and allow Spikes/Mayo to blitz at times.

Chris (PTY)

Chris, Haynesworth gets his patriots career going with a couple of sacks against a shaky O Line this week. Buy or sell?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:48 PM)

Sell. We might see a couple more ill-advised triple teams, but Haynesworth is getting the job done by drawing extra attention.

Nick (Denver)

Hi Chris - just one quick point on McCourty - last year, he didn't record his first pick until the 6th game of the year. He ended up with 7 picks, all in the last 11 games. Maybe he is just a slow starter...

Chris Forsberg
  (12:49 PM)

That's a good point. Let's see how it plays out in the coming weeks.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:50 PM)

Alright, last 10 minutes, everything goes, let's rip through all the offbeat questions as well.

Tebow (Cloud 9)

I'm the man...right?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:50 PM)

I'm enjoying the Tebowing craze.

Jason (New York)

With all the attention that is sure to be paid to Welker, Gronk, and Hernandez, who is matching up with Branch? Could that be an exploitable matchup?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:51 PM)

Branch had a real nice game last year. As usual, if teams try to load up on one guy, the Patriots have the ability to exploit.

Leonard Myers (Somewhere)

Yo, you still got my cell? I need the cash, even after selling my SB ring on ebay...

Chris Forsberg
  (12:52 PM)

Really, that $32,600 didn't go very far?

Randy Moss (Blue Moon)

Didn't I used to play Safety on occasion for y'all? Just sayin'...I'm here.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:52 PM)

And you had an INT, right?

Vince Hands (End of Vince Arms)

3rd pick for me this week?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:53 PM)

Now you're just getting greedy.

Tim (Newton, MA)

Rangers Cards tonight, who ya got?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:54 PM)

Can't possibly be as good of a game as last night, right? I envision Nolan Ryan did <a href="http://z.lee28.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/venturaryan.jpg" target="new">THIS</a> with Nelson Cruz last night.

Josh (Framingham)

Ocho, 1st TD of the season on Sunday, buying or selling?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:55 PM)

Only buying if there's an injury that ramps up his snaps. But maybe the bye week helped him get a few more things down. One TD catch would go a long way towards getting the snowball headed down the hill.

Todd (Boston)

NBA deal today?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:55 PM)

Too much optimism after last night. I'm waiting for the inevitable snag. Plus, for my own sanity, they can't start hoops season until after the Pats are done.

Austin Martin (PatsPulpit.com)

Do we have to sit through another redshirt season for Taylor Price?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:56 PM)

I'd probably be lying if I said no.

Mike Reiss ((Boston, MA))

Chris! Stop posting silly questions and wasting your readers' time! Get back to work you bum! #backatya'

Chris Forsberg
  (12:57 PM)

Reiss thought I really called him a bum yesterday. You bum imposters are started trouble :) And sorry to those that don't like silly questions. An hour in, it gets silly 'round here.

Josh Victorian (Foxboro, MA)

I've been cut more times than an emo kid's arm! What gives?!

Chris Forsberg
  (12:58 PM)

Hang in there. You still need to be waived 47 more times to catch Ventrone. Your ability to withstand the roster flux is probably appreciated by your bosses.

PatsFanInSC (Columbia, SC)

You do a great job on the "breakdowns" piece you've been doing lately, Chris. For people who judge by the box score or by the fantasy league performance, it's a good reminder that a player's performance doesn't have to make SportsCenter to be vital to a team's success.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:59 PM)

Thanks, I really appreciate that. I have the most fun putting those things together. I'm not going to tell you I'm some sort of X's and O's expert, but when you stop and really break things down, you gain a greater appreciation for things. So much goes unnoticed in the highlights.

Chris Forsberg in 35 years (ESPNBoston)

Hey, younger version of me. Do you realize you're on pace to look exactly like John Henry?!

Chris Forsberg
  (12:59 PM)

Does that mean I'll have a yacht in 35 years? I'm OK with this trade off.

Matt (NJ)

We should have at least tried to play Bodden at Free Saftey

Chris Forsberg
  (1:01 PM)

Why not, right?

Mike Reiss (ESPNBoston)

Yesterday in my chat I called you "Forsby." This just sounds odd...

Chris Forsberg
  (1:02 PM)

You're telling me. The nickname is Fozzy, plain and simple. See, back in the day at the Boston Globe, our usernames were determined by the first six letters of your last name. Hence, I ended up with FORSBE ... or Forsby. I don't fight it. But Fozzy's where it's at.

Chris (PTY)

I live in Panama, Cetnral America. I haven't bought any tickets but i would like to go to Foxboro in December and catch a game. How do tickets work ? Can i still buy a couple for a december game ?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:03 PM)

eBay, NFL.com, all sorts of options out there for you. maybe you can get some cheap tixs if the Patriots have locked up the division later in the season.

Mo Rocca (Mystified)

It's like looking into a mirror.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:03 PM)

Are you going to look like John Henry soon, too?

Phil (Fall River)

Chris Do the Pack go undefeated?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:04 PM)

No. In fact, I want to see how that team plays against some quality opponents. Weak schedule so far. Just too hard to go undefeated.

BiBi Jones (Gronk Nation)

Gronk is the man

Chris Forsberg
  (1:05 PM)

It livened up the bye week for sure!

Tom Brady (Practice)

Don't worry about the Pack. We'll make sure they know their role in the Super Bowl.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:05 PM)

I don't think anyone would argue against a 1996 rematch.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:05 PM)

Just make sure Desmond Howard is nowhere to be found.

Kendrick Perkins (OKC)

Seriously, who's your starting C?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:06 PM)

Kwame Brown? Let's not think about these things yet.

Reche Caldwell (somewhere)

Once the Celtics come back, you're gonna drop these Pats chats quicker than I dropped that pass in the 2006 AFC Champ game, right?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:07 PM)

I hope not. I adore covering the Patriots with Reiss. Makes my job a breeze.

Pete (MAINE)

If Reiss is Tomy Brady, that makes you....

Chris Forsberg
  (1:08 PM)

Geez, not even Hoyer or Mallett. How about Isaiah Stanback. Just trying to figure out a way to help out.

Matty Ice (Atlanta)

Chris take the chat till 2pm, i'm loving this

Chris Forsberg
  (1:09 PM)

I wish I could. But my 2-year-old is screaming, "Messy diaper" and the dog needs to be picked up at the groomer. Don't any of you kids ever grow up.

Me (Work)

I'll never forgive you for that Reche.....Never.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:09 PM)

Lots of people angry at Reche and Asante for failing to catch balls at key times.

Randy Moss (Unknown)

Ok fine, I'll play cornerback, but I won't play press coverage and I DEFINATELY will not tackle.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:13 PM)

Alright, let's wrap it there. You guys rock. This one was a lot of fun. Could have gone all day with these questions. Let's do it again next week. Enjoy your Bodden-free weekends.