What’s at play with key Patriots free agents

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    What’s at play with key Patriots free agents

    What’s at play with key Patriots free agents Subject_121212Talib.jpg Photo by:  Herald File Aqib Talib 1 Friday, February 7, 2014 Print Email 1 Comment By: Jeff Howe  

    Bill Belichick is on the golf course this weekend, no surprise as coaches and front office members usually take some time off before gearing up for the combine in two weeks.

    So where does that leave the Pats with their key free agents? Belichick said it can take 4-6 weeks to evaluate those decisions, and they’ve got exclusive negotiating rights until free agency opens March 11.

    There’s still plenty of time to formulate a plan, and things will continue to develop at the combine when coaches and personnel gurus conveniently bump into agents at restaurants or coat closets in hotels. That’s when each side will bounce numbers off one another as they prepare for formal negotiations.

    Here is where the Patriots likely stand with their five starters who are a month away from the open market:

    AQIB TALIB

    Position: Cornerback

    Age by Week 1 of 2014 season: 28

    Experience: Six seasons (11⁄2 with Pats)

    Key Stats: 4 interceptions, 13 passes defensed, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery in 2013.

    Pats’ plan: If it’s anything like last year, the Pats will offer Talib a team-friendly, long-term deal to see if he’ll bite. He won’t. They’ll want him for three years because teams don’t like to extend players past 30, but expect them to hit $7 million per season to shave off a fourth year. That plan would hurt their hope to include injury incentives based on games played, though it’s possible a snap-count incentive could trigger a fourth year in the deal.

    Talib’s plan: Talib banked on himself with the one-year deal and looked like a genius before his Week 6 injury. He’ll want four years on the open market and is expected to be loyal to the money, though he said he does want to return to the Pats.

    Skinny: There’s no chance the Patriots hit Talib with a franchise tag that will approach $12 million, though he’d be happy to play out the season under that exorbitant price. There’s no denying they want him back, and look at Bill Belichick’s public defense of Talib after the AFC Championship Game loss as an example. Talib will likely take a hometown discount if it’s close, but not if he perceives the Pats as low-balling him. If the Pats want him at three years and $21 million and Talib wants four years and $32 million, look for a compromise of three years, games-played incentives worth an extra $2 million and All-Pro incentives that help the deal approach about $25 million, so long as the cornerback market doesn’t unexpectedly tank like last year.

    JULIAN EDELMAN

    Position: Wide receiver

    Age by Week 1 of 2014: 28

    Experience: Five seasons (all with Pats)

    Key Stats: 105 catches, 1,056 yards, 6 touchdowns in 2013.

    Pats’ plan: Edelman was terrific in 2013, but the Pats might want to rework the dynamics of their receivers in 2014, which would keep their offer within their limits. They offered Wes Welker two years and $10 million guaranteed and may use that as the baseline with Edelman. A third year might be in order, though. It’s possible the Pats go three years and $12 million with games-played, catch and Pro Bowl incentives approaching a max value of $15 million.

    Edelman’s plan: Edelman should believe he’s every bit as valuable as Danny Amendola’s five-year deal worth a max of $31 million, so he’ll test free agency to get it. He felt spurned when the Pats allowed him to visit the Giants for two days during his month in free agency last year, so there won’t be any hometown discounts this time.

    Skinny: Edelman has earned a total of about $3 million in his first five seasons with the Patriots, and he’ll get more than that in his signing bonus. Don’t blame him for being loyal to the money in March, and the Patriots will have to compete to retain him.

    LeGARRETTE BLOUNT

    Position: Running back

    Age by Week 1 of 2014: 27

    Experience: Four seasons (1 with Pats)

    Key Stat: 431 yards rushing and eight touchdowns in a three-game span down the stretch.

    Pats’ plan: They offered Danny Woodhead close to the minimum last year, and he was more valuable to them than Blount over the long haul. If Blount re-signs, he’ll have to be the highest paid running back on the roster (Stevan Ridley’s rookie deal is four years for $3 million), but it can’t be by much. Don’t expect the Pats to offer much more than $2 million over two years.

    Blount’s plan: Blount badly wants to stay, so his faith will be tested here. If he thinks he can get $2-3 million per year on the open market, that’s where he’ll go.

    Skinny: Belichick loves Blount, but he also knows running backs are replaceable and their roles change on the fly. It would be out of character to offer a long-term commitment, so Blount’s priorities (money or familiarity and a reputation revival) will determine his uniform in 2014.

    BRANDON SPIKES

    Position: Inside linebacker

    Age by Week 1 of 2014: 27

    Experience: Four seasons (all with Pats)

    Key Stat: Spikes was second on the team with 134 total tackles and 78 solo tackles.

    Pats’ plan: Before the injured reserve controversy, the Pats were expected to really lowball Spikes (maybe $4 million over two years, if that) to see if he’d bite. Now, a contract offer seems like a long shot.

    Spikes’ plan: He’ll enter free agency and will probably get a deal close to Rey Maualuga’s two-year, $6.5 million contract, which was orchestrated by the same agency last year. But when Philip Wheeler can corral five years and $26 million, including $13 million guaranteed, Spikes could go big against a weak class of inside linebackers.

    Skinny: Spikes’ days with the Patriots appear to be over. The leak of the late meeting was proof that someone wants him gone, and his greatest ally in Pepper Johnson is out. Spikes and Dont’a Hightower even exchanged helmets the day after the season ended. All parties saw the writing on the wall.

    RYAN WENDELL

    Position: Center

    Age by Week 1 of 2014: 28

    Experience: Six seasons (all with Pats)

    Key Stat: Wendell led NFL offensive linemen in snaps in each of the last two seasons.

    Pats’ plan: They know a 6-foot-2, 300-pound center won’t break the bank in free agency, so they might start low (say, three years, $7.5 million) but probably won’t need to screw around too much. Keeping the starting line intact after Dante Scarnecchia’s retirement should be a priority in this transition stage.

    Wendell’s plan: Wendell probably wants something similar to Dan Connolly’s deal (three years, $9.75 million), and that’s fair. Centers aren’t big-ticket items on the open market, so seeking leverage in free agency might even be a gamble that could yield unfavorable results.

    Skinny: The two sides are right for each other. This one might even get done before free agency.

    More On: Bill Belichick Aqib Talib Julian Edelman Author(s): Jeff Howe Jeff Howe /  Boston Herald
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from csylvia79. Show csylvia79's posts

    Re: What’s at play with key Patriots free agents

    http://bostonherald.com/sports/patriots_nfl/new_england_patriots/2014/02/what_s_at_play_with_key_patriots_free_agents

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

    Re: What’s at play with key Patriots free agents

    All these players are at their peak playing age.. not a one near or over 30.  Wouldn't it be nice to keep some "younger" vets versus recycling some?

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

    Re: What’s at play with key Patriots free agents

    Holy Cow! Edelman is 28? Jesus, old man.

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

    Re: What’s at play with key Patriots free agents

    I really don't want Wendall or Conolly back, I think we could find suitable replacements for both.

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

    Re: What’s at play with key Patriots free agents

    I enjoyed this information. thank you. I dont usually venture over to the Herald.

    I agree with most everything that was written. WHat was not written, but would be nice speculation is what would other teams be willing to offer?

    I keep hearing Skins on Talib, and Jets getting rid of Holmes and focusing on Edelman AND Decker.

    I prefer an OL with Cannon at G and Connolly at C, with a draft choice being groomed 

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

    Re: What’s at play with key Patriots free agents

    if this is the PAts plan;

     Edelman was terrific in 2013, but the Pats might want to rework the dynamics of their receivers in 2014, which would keep their offer within their limits. They offered Wes Welker two years and $10 million guaranteed and may use that as the baseline with Edelman. A third year might be in order, though. It’s possible the Pats go three years and $12 million with games-played, catch and Pro Bowl incentives approaching a max value of $15 million.

    then what did they see in Amendola that made them go to 5/$28???

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

    Re: What’s at play with key Patriots free agents

    In response to rkarp's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    if this is the PAts plan;

     Edelman was terrific in 2013, but the Pats might want to rework the dynamics of their receivers in 2014, which would keep their offer within their limits. They offered Wes Welker two years and $10 million guaranteed and may use that as the baseline with Edelman. A third year might be in order, though. It’s possible the Pats go three years and $12 million with games-played, catch and Pro Bowl incentives approaching a max value of $15 million.

    then what did they see in Amendola that made them go to 5/$28???

    [/QUOTE]

    In my opinion it was spite. A momentary sign of weakness with BB. If you look at it that contract is basically what they offered Welker except the difference in years happens to be the difference in age between Welker and Amendola. I think it was, if you don't take this we'll give it to him and he'll do the same thig you did for the contract we wanted to give you. As a you're not special it's the position that matters and this is what we pay the position not the player type of deal.

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

    Re: What’s at play with key Patriots free agents

    I don't think Wendell is worth that much money. 

    I'm iffy on extending for Talib and Edleman, given their injury history.

    I agree, lowballing Blount is the way to go. With his history, and streaky play, I wouldn't invest anything you could regret later. 

    I think, for me, I'd be concentrating on bringing NEW talent in. 

     

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from phatricosbuttbuster45. Show phatricosbuttbuster45's posts

    Re: What’s at play with key Patriots free agents

     

    BUST-CHISEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Did you think I wouldn't do my job for this board and let them know you are the one and only BUST-CHISE, the world’s biggest and most ridiculous NY Jets Troll? That you hunt for the backsides of your neighbors kitties at night? That you carry an old rag, a torn up Mark Sanchez Jets T-Shirt, and a bottle of chloroform which you use to incapacitate your young feline victims and that it's the reason you call this BUST-CHISE persona "Phat Virgin"?

    And how about all your other names BUST-CHISE ?

    Among them are:

    Bustify

    Uncle Rico

    Manning Rules

    Meadowland Mike

    Mile High Mike

    Bungalo Bill

    Wewerrdat

    Fletcherbrook

    Footballexpert45

    You will be known whenever you come here….this I swear to this board….the NY Jets are the worst franchise in the history of the NFL…44 years of laughable failure and ridicule, like Kellen “Vaseline Jazz Hands” Winslow….RUB-A-DUB-DUB, BUST-CHISE, RUB -A--DUB-DUB

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

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

    Re: What’s at play with key Patriots free agents

    I agree with Connolly to ctr, cannon to guard, but wouldn't mind another bog og or ctr

    wendell is too small and his hikes in shotgun a little off

    i think JE should get what he can get, I don't think it is here, but I do like him

     

    we need thumpers on D, am hoping Talib sticks  Deon did say Talib was playing the best cb in the league until his first injur. Better than Sherman.

    unfortuneatly we need Talib and Gronk healthy to win the SB

     

     

     

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

    Re: What’s at play with key Patriots free agents

    In response to phatricosbuttbuster45's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

    BUST-CHISEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Did you think I wouldn't do my job for this board and let them know you are the one and only BUST-CHISE, the world’s biggest and most ridiculous NY Jets Troll? That you hunt for the backsides of your neighbors kitties at night? That you carry an old rag, a torn up Mark Sanchez Jets T-Shirt, and a bottle of chloroform which you use to incapacitate your young feline victims and that it's the reason you call this BUST-CHISE persona "Phat Virgin"?

    And how about all your other names BUST-CHISE ?

    Among them are:

    Bustify

    Uncle Rico

    Manning Rules

    Meadowland Mike

    Mile High Mike

    Bungalo Bill

    Wewerrdat

    Fletcherbrook

    Footballexpert45

    You will be known whenever you come here….this I swear to this board….the NY Jets are the worst franchise in the history of the NFL…44 years of laughable failure and ridicule, like Kellen “Vaseline Jazz Hands” Winslow….RUB-A-DUB-DUB, BUST-CHISE, RUB -A--DUB-DUB

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    [/QUOTE]

    Looks like somebody is off his meds....hahaha

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from 42AND46. Show 42AND46's posts

    Re: What’s at play with key Patriots free agents

    In response to seawolfxs' comment:
    [QUOTE]

    I agree with Connolly to ctr, cannon to guard, but wouldn't mind another bog og or ctr

    wendell is too small and his hikes in shotgun a little off

    i think JE should get what he can get, I don't think it is here, but I do like him

     

    we need thumpers on D, am hoping Talib sticks  Deon did say Talib was playing the best cb in the league until his first injur. Better than Sherman.

    unfortuneatly we need Talib and Gronk healthy to win the SB

     

     

     

    [/QUOTE]


    he is not Sherman or Revis - no way

     
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