[QUOTE]Patriots gave; Clay Mathews Patriots received: Darius Butler, Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman, & Rob Gronkowski This was the entire deal involving that 1st round pick traded away. I know most of you will just say Mathews easily, but to me this is tough one to decide. Keep in mind, who would replace all of those guys in their positions? I know everyone is down on Butler, but what about the other 3? Would we be better off just taking Mathews? Which side would u rather have?
Too many other factors and counter-moves could be involved had we taken Matthews. The situation can be spun in many ways.
Matthews, Gaffney, Watson and Javon Ringer
Brace, Gronk, Tate, McKenzie (cut), Burgess (cut)
Brace and Butler were drafted back to back, Brace was Wilfork insurance in case team didn't sign him, Pats could have/should have just known internally they must do everything to keep Vince and then could have taken Butler w/ the Oakland pick.
They were high on Butler for his speed, special teams and as a nickel guy. I am still high on him as that type of back, a great 3rd CB who will find his way and improve. Bodden was to be the #1 this year and thats what hurts.
Tate was a Jabar Gaffney replacement who has yet to make a major impact beyond 1 kick return TD in 20 games since he was drafted. But his future is def very bright.
Gaffney knew the offense and has had 71 receptions since we replaced him with Tate. Certainly the future is not better with 29 yr old Gaffney over 23 yr old Tate, but we'd have been better last season, certainly after Welker went down in the playoffs, and could have made alternate moves to be better this year, if we even needed more depth at WR.
The Pats also lost a 5th rd pick in the trade w/ Green Bay, #162... that could have been used on Ringer, who sources said the club was high on... who knows if eh makes the team, but maybe he gets Maroney shipped out of here before last season for like a 3rd instead of a 4th??
I'm 99% sure they could have taken Edelman 2 picks later in the 7th over worthless DT Darryl Richard... everyone expected Edelman to go undrafted
Moving on to '10, Yes we would NOT have the pick we used on Gronkowski anymore, but maybe had we not traded for Burgess (b/c we had Matthews) and had that 4th or decided that w/ Moss, Welker, Edelman, Gaffney and Aiken we had enough WR's and not needed Price... we could have used the Cunningham pick and packaged to move up to take Gronk.
Had we not felt we'd have the picks to draft either elite TE (Gronk and Gresham) I'd think the team would have simply kept Ben Watson, knowing he was an average 35-45 5-6 TD a year TE and Crumpler was an upgrade to Baker.
So yeah... Matthews and vets like Gaffney and Watson
Gronk, Brace, Tate and guys we cut in Burgess/McKenzie
Just the swap of Burgess (chemistry issue, underachiever) and Tate for Matthews/Gaffney alone last year would have made a WORLD of difference on this team (apologies to Tate, he was on the PUP and not expected to do anything till year 2)
Who knows if it changes the dynamic of the entire Welker injury situation
There are just so many unknowns