In response to TexasPat's comment:
In response to wmasschilly's comment:
my question Tex, is do you think BB is going to go ape sh** again and build another juggernaught?
Yes, I do. BB is likely as frustrated and angry about the way the Pats' 2012 season ended as the rest of us. So...I expect some big changes. But, unlike in 2007, where BB went crazy adding offensive weapons for Tom Brady, in this off-season, he'll focus on defense. The signings of CFL products Armond Armstead and OLB Vega are just a start.
The next order of business is to determine what he's going to do with his own key free agents...RT Sebastien Vollmer, and WRs Wes Welker and Julian Edelman. Whether he resigns C-Bass or not depends on what the prognosis is on Vollmer's back. His back injury has limited his effectiveness, and his playing time. This is a really tough call...because when Vollmer is healthy, he's one of the best RTs in the game. If he's healthy, he'll be resigned. If not, the Pats will be in the market for a replacement.
There's no way that the Pats will franchise Wes Welker, and pay him over $11mil. for the 2013 season. They'll either sign him to a reasonable 2-3 year deal, or send him packing. My guess is that a deal will be reached. At this stage of Welker's career, does it really make sense for him to go elsewhere, for a few million more? He and Brady are close friends. Welker stays, at, say, a 3 year, $20mil. deal, of which $12mil. is guaranteed.
Due to his upside, the younger Julian Edelman will be a more attractive free agent target than Welker. Edelman is also more likely to go to a bad team that pays, than Welker.
Look for BB to add a safety through free agency...either Ed Reed or Dashon Golston, if they become available. Say goodbye to Patrick Chung...who fell behind Steve Gregory on the depth chart.
Good thoughts here. I totally agree that Chung will be gone. He really fell out of favor with the coaching staff this year. I think Edelman will be back for sure. He shouldn't command a huge contract and I think BB likes him. His injuries should give NE a little bit of leverage. As for Welker, it is really up in the air. If I had to guess, I'd say he's gone, but if he's willing to accept a lesser contract like the one you suggested above, then he stays. Should be interesting.