Some leftovers from our weekly Patriots chat...
Mike, what are your thoughts on Randy Moss potentially going to the Jets? Would BB really let that happen and have to line up across the ball from him 2 times a year knowing what he can do when motivated? Could be scarier than having him back in the Pats locker room.
Matt, I don't think Belichick is into playing "defense" with moves like this, so I don't think he'd sign Moss with the idea that it's good to keep him away from the Jets. I could be way off on this, but I just get the sense that the team has moved on from the Moss chapter, no matter where he winds up.
Alvin (Deerfield, MA)
Instead of focusing on free agents from other teams, would you expect Belichick to focus more on re-signing some Patriots on the current roster whose contracts will expire after the 2011 season? Notables to come to mind are Wes Welker, Deion Branch, James Sanders & Brandon Meriweather.
Alvin, I still think the Patriots will dip into the free-agent market for at least one player from another team. Safety is an unpredictable position where I wouldn't be shocked he looks (perhaps Donte Whitner), in part because you have Brandon Meriweather and James Sanders entering the final years of their contracts. Also, Meriweather hasn't exactly shown the best judgment this offseason. The names mentioned -- specifically Welker -- might be more of a target during the middle of the season. I think the more immediate focus will be on someone like offensive tackle Matt Light. I think the team needs him back. I can't imagine first-round pick Nate Solder being ready on Day 1.
Mike, do you see Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley making the impacts that Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez made as rookies?
Tom, I think Vereen and Ridley are in position to make some of the bigger contributions among the rookie class, in part because of the position they play. It's a little easier, in my view, to come in at running back than left tackle, guard, quarterback or outside linebacker. But at this point, without the benefit of an offseason in the program, I think it's going to be tough to match what Gronkowski and Hernandez did.
Jim Bob (Oregon):
Looking to get some tickets for the season (there are a few still available but its slim pickings). Is there a game you would recommend?
J.B, I like that back-to-back set against the Jets and Cowboys -- for the competition as well as the time of year (often beautiful in New England in mid-October). That would be where I start.
Mike, what do you think is the first official move BB makes after the lockout is lifted?
Roberto, I think the first thing will be to get the draft picks on the fast track to signing contracts. They need to get in, get a playbook, and try to make up time fast. I'm sure we'll also see some salary-based cuts with the cap in play; someone like offensive lineman Nick Kaczur bears watching along those lines.
On Mark Herzlich: Fans want him, and he can play. For the small sum it'd cost to sign him, why not appease the masses and get a deal done where he can play special teams. I trust Bill Belichick and Bob Kraft, but sometimes the fans (who, if anyone forgot, pay the bills) should get a little bit of personnel-based recognition. It'd be cheap, pretty much harmless, and everyone in Boston would be happy to see that happen.
Damas, I think it would be a great story if Herzlich is signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent. I personally thought he would have been a worthy pick in the seventh round based on his football resume. But overall, I think teams have to be careful when they are signing players for the wrong reasons. I think the focus should be solely football-based and not on how things will be perceived in public.