All the news the New York Times "forgot" - to print

Friday, March 02, 2007

Patriots Offseason Update

Since I'm on the subject of sports. The NFL's free agency period began today and it's been interesting to watch teams throwing money around like Congress. So far the Patriots haven't signed anyone new (they resigned Heath Evans and Billy Yates) but with over $25 million in cap space just sitting there waiting to be used - don't expect the Pat's to be frugal. The Patriots greatest positional needs currently are Linebacker, Backup Running Back, (one) Blocking Tight End and Wide Receiver. These are all areas that the Pat's must address either in the draft or free agency.

The greatest need the Patriots have is at the wide receiver position. The draft offers better options for getting a decent playmaking receiver since the best players from the position this year in free agency are all 2d wide receivers at best and there is no #1 type wide receiver available. For example Drew Bennett from the Tenn. Titians is considered in the top 5 of the wideouts available to sign. However - last year Bennett had a grand total of 46 receptions for a average 750 plus yards. And he's in the top five....

Strategy for the Patriots - wait till the draft to get a playmaking receiver. However the Patriots should take a look at players like Dennis Northcutt or Kelley Washington that won't break the bank and would be good targets for Brady and most of all improve the team.

The 2d greatest need for the Patriots is at the linebacker position. Every year the Patriots won the Super Bowl they had an enormously amount of talent at this position. However, due to retirements, free agency losses, and the fact the players that we have are just plan getting old this group of linebackers that once were the strongest part of the team now is a liability. Free agency offers a few very good options for the Patriots to improve this position of the team - Adalius Thomas could just by himself, have a major impact on the team and would be a perfect pickup.

Strategy for the Patriots - get Thomas and perhaps a good part time linebacker such as the one that was on the Patriots last year Junior Seau. Before he broke his arm in the game vs. the Bears Seau was on fire and 2d on the team in tackles. Bringing with back would help the team against the run and make it so Mike Vrabel could play outside LB more often.

Other needs in a nutshell

Backup Running Back - now that Corey Dillion is gone the Patriots need someone to handle to football when Laurence Maroney is taking a breather. Sammy Morris' name has been brought up as a candidate for this position and he may suit it well. I'm not exactly an expert on this though so I really have no idea.

Blocking Tight End - The loss of Daniel Graham creates a position in need of being filled. As a Patriot Daniel Graham probobly dropped as many pass' as he caught but he had incredible blocking skills. To whom will the TE blocking duties now pass? Right now it looks pretty clear. As Belichick favorite, the question is whether Kyle Brady will sign with the Pats this week or next week....

Punter - the Patriots should resign punter Todd Sauerbrun. Josh Miller isn't bad but Sauerbrun is better.

And why not bring along Vinny Testaverde for another try at a Super Bowl ring?

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