Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from jjdbrasil. Show jjdbrasil's posts

    Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    John Abraham would likely provide New England with additional edge pressure in 2013. (Photo: US Presswire)

    NEPD Editor: Matthew Jones

    Through free agency, the New England Patriots have attempted to strengthen some of last season’s weaknesses, but much more remains to be done if the Patriots wish to field a championship team in 2013. Read on for a look at the top five needs remaining, as well as some insight into how New England may opt to address them this offseason.

     

    WIDE RECEIVER:

    Despite adding Danny Amendola and Donald Jones to inject some youth and talent into their group of wide receivers, New England could still use two or three more receivers. Amendola should take over for Wes Welker in the slot, while Jones is ideally a fourth wide receiver. Releasing Brandon Lloyd created another void at the position, and without many free-agent options available, the Patriots will likely need to invest one or two draft picks in the position, which is a concern considering their lack of available draft choices. New England has been widely expected to sign an offer sheet for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, which may be wise considering their inability to draft effectively at the position, although the depth of the wide receiver class seems more appealing. Depending on the financial commitment, Sanders would be an intriguing option, though. Re-signing Julian Edelman as a backup to Danny Amendola would be logical as well.

    DEFENSIVE TACKLE:

    Signing CFL star Armond Armstead was a smart move, as the Patriots were able to secure a second or third-round talent at the defensive tackle spot; however, they should not be complacent with their current group of interior linemen. Vince Wilfork is a stud at nose tackle, but Kyle Love may be better suited to a reserve role moving forwards; his ability to clog the middle is valuable, but he doesn’t create much pressure in the passing game. Brandon Deaderick and Jermaine Cunningham were on the field for far too many snaps last season, revealing the need for additional bodies. The Patriots attempted to sign Desmond Bryant before he ultimately ended up in Cleveland, so this may be a need which is addressed through free agency. New England should be on the lookout for a cheap situational pass rusher to add to their collection; players such as Sedrick Ellis, Sen’Derrick Marks, or Amobi Okoye may be willing to sign one-year, non-guaranteed deals.

    DEFENSIVE END:

    Like defensive tackle, this is a spot which New England appears poised to address through free agency; the most likely signing is John Abraham, but it’s strange that the Patriots have been unable to reach an agreement thus far. While Rob Ninkovich was surprisingly effective in 2012, he’s hardly an impact player and is entering the final year of his contract. If Abraham opts to sign elsewhere, the Patriots may be interested in a player such as Dwight Freeney, perhaps the only other logical fit available. If Jake Bequette can provide anything in 2013, it’d be a blessing, as players like Jermaine Cunningham and Justin Francis were too visible last season. There are some intriguing defensive ends available in the draft, but New England may be better served by picking up a veteran considering their lack of draft picks. Armond Armstead could also be an option if Bill Belichick decides to implement more two-gap responsibilities at the left end spot.

    LINEBACKER:

    Dane Fletcher’s return should improve New England’s depth at linebacker, but they could still use additional players, particularly on the outside. Rob Ninkovich makes sense as a backup strongside linebacker, but he is also needed at left end. Ideally, the Patriots would find a player who can cover tight ends while setting a hard edge in run support, although they shouldn’t commit much money to the position, as they have three effective starters in Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, and Dont’a Hightower. There are still a few potential bargains on the market, so this is something that will likely have to be addressed in free agency, or not at all. Brandon Spikes’ expiring contract could also factor into New England’s decision-making here.

    CORNERBACK:

    Aqib Talib is on a one-year deal, so the Patriots should still be on the lookout for a long-term answer at the left cornerback spot. With Alfonzo Dennard potentially facing a league-mandated suspension, the right cornerback spot could be an issue to begin the 2012 season as well. Fortunately, re-signing Kyle Arrington should solidify the slot. Ras-I Dowling shouldn’t impact New England’s plans too much, as he has been unable to stay healthy over the course of his career. This is probably one of the most obvious areas in which the Patriots could use an upgrade, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them allocate multiple draft picks in an effort to build depth at the position. Bill Belichick is notoriously influenced by workout numbers here, so the most likely targets are players who performed well in the 40-yard dash and three-cone drill in Indianapolis.

     

    Do you agree and are there any other positions that we could upgrade?

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from fishers5. Show fishers5's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    In response to jjdbrasil's comment:

    John Abraham would likely provide New England with additional edge pressure in 2013. (Photo: US Presswire)

    NEPD Editor: Matthew Jones

    Through free agency, the New England Patriots have attempted to strengthen some of last season’s weaknesses, but much more remains to be done if the Patriots wish to field a championship team in 2013. Read on for a look at the top five needs remaining, as well as some insight into how New England may opt to address them this offseason.

     

    WIDE RECEIVER:

    Despite adding Danny Amendola and Donald Jones to inject some youth and talent into their group of wide receivers, New England could still use two or three more receivers. Amendola should take over for Wes Welker in the slot, while Jones is ideally a fourth wide receiver. Releasing Brandon Lloyd created another void at the position, and without many free-agent options available, the Patriots will likely need to invest one or two draft picks in the position, which is a concern considering their lack of available draft choices. New England has been widely expected to sign an offer sheet for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, which may be wise considering their inability to draft effectively at the position, although the depth of the wide receiver class seems more appealing. Depending on the financial commitment, Sanders would be an intriguing option, though. Re-signing Julian Edelman as a backup to Danny Amendola would be logical as well.

    DEFENSIVE TACKLE:

    Signing CFL star Armond Armstead was a smart move, as the Patriots were able to secure a second or third-round talent at the defensive tackle spot; however, they should not be complacent with their current group of interior linemen. Vince Wilfork is a stud at nose tackle, but Kyle Love may be better suited to a reserve role moving forwards; his ability to clog the middle is valuable, but he doesn’t create much pressure in the passing game. Brandon Deaderick and Jermaine Cunningham were on the field for far too many snaps last season, revealing the need for additional bodies. The Patriots attempted to sign Desmond Bryant before he ultimately ended up in Cleveland, so this may be a need which is addressed through free agency. New England should be on the lookout for a cheap situational pass rusher to add to their collection; players such as Sedrick Ellis, Sen’Derrick Marks, or Amobi Okoye may be willing to sign one-year, non-guaranteed deals.

    DEFENSIVE END:

    Like defensive tackle, this is a spot which New England appears poised to address through free agency; the most likely signing is John Abraham, but it’s strange that the Patriots have been unable to reach an agreement thus far. While Rob Ninkovich was surprisingly effective in 2012, he’s hardly an impact player and is entering the final year of his contract. If Abraham opts to sign elsewhere, the Patriots may be interested in a player such as Dwight Freeney, perhaps the only other logical fit available. If Jake Bequette can provide anything in 2013, it’d be a blessing, as players like Jermaine Cunningham and Justin Francis were too visible last season. There are some intriguing defensive ends available in the draft, but New England may be better served by picking up a veteran considering their lack of draft picks. Armond Armstead could also be an option if Bill Belichick decides to implement more two-gap responsibilities at the left end spot.

    LINEBACKER:

    Dane Fletcher’s return should improve New England’s depth at linebacker, but they could still use additional players, particularly on the outside. Rob Ninkovich makes sense as a backup strongside linebacker, but he is also needed at left end. Ideally, the Patriots would find a player who can cover tight ends while setting a hard edge in run support, although they shouldn’t commit much money to the position, as they have three effective starters in Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, and Dont’a Hightower. There are still a few potential bargains on the market, so this is something that will likely have to be addressed in free agency, or not at all. Brandon Spikes’ expiring contract could also factor into New England’s decision-making here.

    CORNERBACK:

    Aqib Talib is on a one-year deal, so the Patriots should still be on the lookout for a long-term answer at the left cornerback spot. With Alfonzo Dennard potentially facing a league-mandated suspension, the right cornerback spot could be an issue to begin the 2012 season as well. Fortunately, re-signing Kyle Arrington should solidify the slot. Ras-I Dowling shouldn’t impact New England’s plans too much, as he has been unable to stay healthy over the course of his career. This is probably one of the most obvious areas in which the Patriots could use an upgrade, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them allocate multiple draft picks in an effort to build depth at the position. Bill Belichick is notoriously influenced by workout numbers here, so the most likely targets are players who performed well in the 40-yard dash and three-cone drill in Indianapolis.

     

    Do you agree and are there any other positions that we could upgrade?




     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from rkarp. Show rkarp's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    this article states how much the Pats should invest with draft choices, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the Pats have a 1st, 2nd and 7th if they sign Sanders

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from jjdbrasil. Show jjdbrasil's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    They also talk a cheap alternative at DT in FA. Maybe we do this.  I

     

    DE - Abraham

    DT - Draft

    WR - 1 FA, A Draft

    CB- Draft, CB -FA

    Coverage LB - Draft

    OG - Draft

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from CubanPete. Show CubanPete's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    Pass rush has been, is, and will likely remain the team's biggest need.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    Surprised no one says anything about RT. They need to sign Vollmer or someone else. I think Cannon is more of a guard than a tackle. Slow feet. At least that is what he seems to me.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Vladtheimpaler1. Show Vladtheimpaler1's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    dont forget all the undrafted players that can come in, and try out

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kansaspatriot. Show kansaspatriot's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    new kicker

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from seattlepat70. Show seattlepat70's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    In response to portfolio1's comment:

    Surprised no one says anything about RT. They need to sign Vollmer or someone else. I think Cannon is more of a guard than a tackle. Slow feet. At least that is what he seems to me.



    If Abraham is signed I am thinking DT, OL (not sure whether OT or G is more pressing) and CB on the first 3 rounds. WR and LB in the 7th 

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Paul_K. Show Paul_K's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    Wide receiver is surprisingly crowded if BB keeps four good tight ends.  Hoom has a leg up and Ballard could be pretty much back to his normal self by August.  If the Patriots get Sanders, Edelman might get bumped.  If Pittsburgh digs up their last nickel and pays Sanders, Edelman should be signed.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from braunzy. Show braunzy's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    What do you think the possibility is that they bring in both Freeney AND Abraham (or 1 and another one of the pass rushers available in FA). Kind of like they did when they signed Andre Carter and Mark Anderson? If anything they could be great mentors for guys like Francis, Bequette and Jones and hopefully they could learn a few things from them (hopefully not how to stop the run from Freeney :P)

     

    I think getting off the field on third down is the #1 priority for this team, and I think they can use all the help they can get!

     

    I hope they sign another veteran or two in the backfield yet, that way they don't need to reach for a CB in the draft, and if they do sign one, wouldn't have to rush him into the lineup if he isn't ready.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    Wes Welker?

    (Just kidding)

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from tenace4life. Show tenace4life's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    In response to Vladtheimpaler1's comment:

    dont forget all the undrafted players that can come in, and try out




    How many undrafted players make the roster of a NFL team in any given year?

    Last season, 49 undrafted rookies played a little in 10 or more games (mostly special teams) in the NFL, four undrafted actually started 10 or more games for the team that signed them.So on average it is not even 1 1/2 players/team and it the history of the NFL most of the undrafted guys who have made a career were either place kickers or punters.  We've been lucky to get two of the best every Adam and Wes but Wes was traded for after someone else found him. 

    So I don't put much hope in getting a starting player this way . . . at best someone who can play on our special teams unit and play as a backup.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from mia76. Show mia76's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    I expect one or two DL from free agency - Abraham and/or? One name not mentioned anywhere is bringing back Carter (he is a FA again), he may have lost a step, but could still be used situationally. Not sure any of the remaining DTs would be an upgrade over what we have already.

    I expect probably 2 more DBs a CB and maybe another safety

    I expect two more WRs Edelman and Nelson?

    And maybe an OL.

    Very little guaranteed money on any of these. I think that may be the issue with Abraham?

    I don't see the Pats signing offer sheets with either Cruz or Sanders. These guys are both one year from being UFAs so unless the offer is really good why would they mortgage their payday. And why would the Pats rent them on a one year contract. Both Pitt and NYG would love these guys to sign a 'below market' three or four year deal - they would match and get their player signed without them ever reaching free agency. Pitt is very tight, but they would figure it out. NYG actually have quite a bit of space at the moment. With rookie reserves not actually needed until the players sign, teams can use that money now and manipulate their cap over the next few months. And with only 5 draft picks, the 1st or 3rd round pick is too expensive a price to pay.

    On Draft ... DT, CB, WR, OL and ?

    I could also see this year the Pats being active in the cut down window, especially at WR.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Quagmire3. Show Quagmire3's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    Its weird to me that we entered free agency with around $25 mil in cap space and the only outside guys we have signed are Amendola $5.5 mil per, Leon Washington, $1.14 mil per, Donald Jones $1.5 mil, Svitek $1.1 mil, and Adrian Wilson $2.0 mil per. I know our biggest signing was Talib, but still all we have done is weakended ourselves on offense (WW=Amendola, no Lloyd, no Vollmer, no Woodhead, no Edelman) and maintained status quo on D (ok a slight upgrade with A. Wilson). I am not trying to be a negative nancy here but I just dont see where all the excitment is coming from! Our biggest problem the last 5 years is pass rush and pass coverage and we have not made one move to get better in those areas, only maintain the status quo which was 28th in the league last year. I know we played better after Talibs arrival but not good enough to win a Super Bowl. We are one injury away from disaster in the defensive backfiueld. Just my thoughts.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from 49Patriots. Show 49Patriots's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    DT (Seymour for cheap, draft in the 1st)

    DE (Abraham/Freeney)

    Cover LB (7th rounder will suffice or maybe Fletcher)

    WR (Da'Rick Rogers in the second)

     

     

     

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from bredbru. Show bredbru's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    In response to CubanPete's comment:

    Pass rush has been, is, and will likely remain the team's biggest need.



    agreed

    folowed by wr and cb

     

     

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from bredbru. Show bredbru's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    In response to braunzy's comment:

    What do you think the possibility is that they bring in both Freeney AND Abraham (or 1 and another one of the pass rushers available in FA). Kind of like they did when they signed Andre Carter and Mark Anderson? If anything they could be great mentors for guys like Francis, Bequette and Jones and hopefully they could learn a few things from them (hopefully not how to stop the run from Freeney :P)

     

    I think getting off the field on third down is the #1 priority for this team, and I think they can use all the help they can get!

     

    I hope they sign another veteran or two in the backfield yet, that way they don't need to reach for a CB in the draft, and if they do sign one, wouldn't have to rush him into the lineup if he isn't ready.



    would be nice, but they dont seem like they have high interest in freeney. i too suggested tis possibility earlier

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from bredbru. Show bredbru's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    In response to Paul_K's comment:

    Wide receiver is surprisingly crowded if BB keeps four good tight ends.  Hoom has a leg up and Ballard could be pretty much back to his normal self by August.  If the Patriots get Sanders, Edelman might get bumped.  If Pittsburgh digs up their last nickel and pays Sanders, Edelman should be signed.



    pitt has said they will match for sandeers no matter what

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from sportsbozo1. Show sportsbozo1's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    In response to seattlepat70's comment:

    In response to portfolio1's comment:

     

    Surprised no one says anything about RT. They need to sign Vollmer or someone else. I think Cannon is more of a guard than a tackle. Slow feet. At least that is what he seems to me.

     



    If Abraham is signed I am thinking DT, OL (not sure whether OT or G is more pressing) and CB on the first 3 rounds. WR and LB in the 7th 

     

    If they get real lucky they can draft one guy who can play every o-line position Barrett Jones


     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from anonymis. Show anonymis's posts

    Re: Examining New England’s Biggest Remaining Needs

    The usual suspects:

    pass rush: DE/OLB

    DBs: Need 2-3 more for competition

    OL: Need depth, some players who can both protect brady and block for run game

    ST: kick and punt returner - if Demps not coming back

     

     

Share