Interesting read

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    Interesting read

    Major 2012 Contributors on the Roster Bubble in 2013

     

    Zoltan Mesko’s roster spot is far from guaranteed in 2013. (Photo: US Presswire)

    NEPD Editor: Matthew Jones

    New England received strong contributors across the board in 2012, but nonetheless the organization appears interested in the possibility of replacing some players with high 2012 snap counts; read on to find out who may be looking for work elsewhere in 2013.

     

    1. RG Dan Connolly (1,051 snaps in 2012)

    Dan Connolly was an adequate starter for the Patriots in 2012, and his versatility, possessing the ability to play any of the three interior offensive line positions, could make him a difficult cut. However, Connolly has a fairly high cap number for 2013, $3.33 million, and roughly $1.17 million would be saved by releasing him, the fifth-highest figure on the roster. Now that right tackle Sebastian Vollmer has re-signed with the team, the Patriots could simultaneously get younger and save money by converting high-upside lineman Marcus Cannon to right guard, where he may be more effective.

    2. SS Steve Gregory (901 snaps in 2012)

    Releasing Gregory would save just under $900,000 of his $2.56 million cap figure in 2013, which may be attractive to the organization considering his average play in the defensive backfield. The Patriots drafted Tavon Wilson in the second round last year to groom for a significant defensive role; Wilson ended up playing 500 snaps in 2012 and looked better than anticipated. This offseason, the Patriots signed Adrian Wilson to a three-year contract and additionally bolstered their depth in the defensive backfield by drafting Rutgers safety Duron Harmon in the third round of the 2013 draft, making Gregory’s roster spot far from a sure thing.

    3. DL Jermaine Cunningham (487 snaps in 2012)

    Former second-round pick Jermaine Cunningham has been a bust in New England through the first three years of his career; his four-game suspension last year for performance-enhancing drugs won’t help his cause. Cunningham’s contract is set to expire at the end of the year, and the Patriots have recently added a great deal of depth at the defensive end spot, making him expendable. Younger players such as Justin Francis, Jake Bequette, and Michael Buchanan may be more deserving of opportunities this season, as any snaps granted to Cunningham may stunt their development in favor of a player who appears unlikely to be on the roster in 2014. Of the aforementioned replacements, Francis, who played some defensive tackle at Rutgers, may be best suited to Cunningham’s role as an interior rusher in sub packages.

    4. TE Daniel Fells (338 snaps in 2012)

    Daniel Fells was on the field less often than Michael Hoomanawanui in 2013; although Fells proved his blocking acumen over the course of his 338 offensive snaps, he contributed little as a receiver, catching just four passes on the season on nine targets. Releasing him would save over $900,000 of his $1.58 million cap figure, which appears to make even more sense given Jake Ballard’s anticipated return to the field; should Rob Gronkowski miss time at the beginning of the season while recovering from another surgery, New England would remain well-stocked at the position with Aaron Hernandez, Hoomanawanui, and Ballard.

    5. P Zoltan Mesko (snap information not available)

    Zoltan Mesko is one of the more popular punters in the league; however, his 43.1 yards per punt in 2013 ranked New England’s punting unit 28th in the league; Mesko also posted a disappointing 37.9-yard net average. By signing two-time Ray Guy Award winner Ryan Allen as an undrafted free agent, the Patriots have indicated that they desire additional competition at the position; moving to Allen would allow New England to save $1.32 million of Mesko’s $1.37 million cap figure. Allen averaged 46.1 and 48.0 yards per punt in 2011 and 2012, respectively, compared to Mesko’s 46.5 and 43.1 yards.

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

    Re: Interesting read

    In response to jri37's comment:

    In response to rkarp's comment:

     

    2. SS Steve Gregory (901 snaps in 2012)

    Releasing Gregory would save just under $900,000 of his $2.56 million cap figure in 2013, which may be attractive to the organization considering his average play in the defensive backfield.

    Average play in the defensive backfield????

    The next time he actually covers a TE instead of chasing him all over the field will be the first time he covers a TE.

     



    Oh, that!

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

    Re: Interesting read

    In response to jri37's comment:

    In response to rkarp's comment:

     

    2. SS Steve Gregory (901 snaps in 2012)

    Releasing Gregory would save just under $900,000 of his $2.56 million cap figure in 2013, which may be attractive to the organization considering his average play in the defensive backfield.

     




     

    Average play in the defensive backfield????

    The next time he actually covers a TE instead of chasing him all over the field will be the first time he covers a TE.

     



    He was inconsistent for sure.  You have to think with 2 safeties being drafted in the last two years that his roster spot is in jeopardy. 

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from TFB12. Show TFB12's posts

    Re: Interesting read

    In response to jri37's comment:

    In response to rkarp's comment:

     

    2. SS Steve Gregory (901 snaps in 2012)

    Releasing Gregory would save just under $900,000 of his $2.56 million cap figure in 2013, which may be attractive to the organization considering his average play in the defensive backfield.

     




     

    Average play in the defensive backfield????

    The next time he actually covers a TE instead of chasing him all over the field will be the first time he covers a TE.

     




    Speaking of TE's....

    Patriots defensive DVOA against different types of receivers.  TEs and slot receivers killed them, with running backs just behind them.

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

    Re: Interesting read

    If the article proves to be correct with Gregory and Fells Pats will have had ZERO year 2 production from any free agent signed last year. If I am not mistaken, I believe there is not any remaining free agents from last years haul other than Gregory and Fells

     
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    Re: Interesting read

    The author is wrong about Mesko being a disappointment last season.  Punting average does not tell the whole story.  The Pats had the top offense in the NFL last season.  They punted less than any team in the NFL and were less likely to punt from way back in their own territiory.  Only 3 punters last season had a higher perecentage of punts result in field position for the opponent inside of their own 20 yard line.  This implies to me that Mesko had a lot of shorter, but effective punts.

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

    Re: Interesting read

    In response to rkarp's comment:

    If the article proves to be correct with Gregory and Fells Pats will have had ZERO year 2 production from any free agent signed last year. If I am not mistaken, I believe there is not any remaining free agents from last years haul other than Gregory and Fells



    It was the worst free agent class I've seen in years and the sad part is this team would of benefited greatly from something betterOn honestly I think the "injury" to Fenene may of cost a guy like Love his job this year...there was no way they were going to risk something like that again.

     
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    Re: Interesting read

    I would be surprised to see Mesko and Connolly cut, for reasons stated by others above. Cunningham, Fells, and Gregory are gone IMO.

    Cunningham had a make or brake season last year, and after starting well his suspension really hurt him, and to me looked average when he returned. Or rather I don't really remember him after his return, to tell the truth. So he broke. He'll stay through camp, be a late cut, have a year or two with the Jaguars or some team like that, and then it will be over for him.

    Fells. Baring Gronk going on PUP, or - worst case - IR, I don't see him making the roster. Gronk, Hernandez, Ballard, and "Whoman" are above him on the depth chart IMO. And even though they love TEs, five are too many. Will find employment elsewhere, or be on speed dial if/when injuries happen.

    Gregory. Really an uphill battle for him. Unless they move McMourty back to CB - and why would they - McCourty, the Wilsons, and Harmon should all be locks. So not even a strong camp is a guarantee for him to make the team. Will end up with the Jets, and be abused by Gronk for a 120 minutes.

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

    Re: Interesting read

    In response to mthurl's comment:

    In response to rkarp's comment:

     

    If the article proves to be correct with Gregory and Fells Pats will have had ZERO year 2 production from any free agent signed last year. If I am not mistaken, I believe there is not any remaining free agents from last years haul other than Gregory and Fells

     



    It was the worst free agent class I've seen in years and the sad part is this team would of benefited greatly from something betterOn honestly I think the "injury" to Fenene may of cost a guy like Love his job this year...there was no way they were going to risk something like that again.

     



    It's funny, you and I called this out immediately last year. We were also somewhat critical of this years signings. We were called every name out there on this board, labeled traitors, Jets fans, BB haters and trolls. Yet here we sit, with last years free agent class/cuts having proved us correct.

    lets hope we are incorrect with this years class. 

    I see that irritant Rusty is saying that the Pats "nailed" the draft, yet no one has even put pads on yet. And I agree that the Pats had a great 2012 draft. But notice how BB moved for need with Jones and Chandler, while Bequette, Ebner are clearly on the roster bubble and Ebert has been cut. Lets give credit where it is due. Dennerd was off most teams boards with pending legal issues. BB rolled the dice correctly and gambled a number 7 on him where other teams did not. And here you and I again sit, wondering why the Pats don't move for need in the draft more often and again taunted on the board. 

     

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