A Reasonable Plan for the New England Patriots’ 2017 Offseason

Fresh off of a Super Bowl win, the Patriots will be looking to continue their reign of terror over the NFL in the 2017 season. To do that, they must constantly improve their roster and find ways to cover up holes with players leaving in the offseason. These changes occur with every team, and while it’s been an impressive 16 year run for the team, they must still keep adding to the team to stay ahead of the competition. That’s not as hard when you have Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, but they still have to worry about every other spot on the team at times. The Patriots are in a great position this offseason, as they have plenty of salary cap space and a small group of impactful free agents. Whatever spots they cannot fill with free agents, they can use the 2017 NFL Draft, where they have a plethora of picks to use on new promising prospects coming from college. Let’s dive a little deeper into free agency and the draft here.

2016 Free Agents of Note

Offense Defense
TE Martellus Bennett LB Dont’a Hightower
RB LeGarrette Blount S Duron Harmon
OT Sebastian Vollmer CB Logan Ryan
RB Brandon Bolden DL Jabaal Sheard
FB James Develin DL Chris Long
WR Michael Floyd DT Alan Branch

Likely Cuts: WR Danny Amendola (salary), ST Geneo Grissom (performance), TE Matt Lengel (performance)

Who to Keep? On What Contract?

Current Cap Space*: $61,522,843

*per PatsCap (@patscap on twitter)

3 to Keep: Offense

Bennett: 3 years, $25.5 million ($8.5m/yr avg)

Bolden: 2 years, $2.75 million ($1.375m/yr)

Develin: 3 years, $2.2 million ($733k/yr)

3 to Keep: Defense

Hightower: 4 years, $49.5 million ($12.375m/yr)

Ryan: 4 years, $29.5 million ($7.375m/yr)

Branch: 2 years, $4.6 million ($2.3m/yr)

Remaining Cap Space: $28,864,843

Positions of Need: RB, WR, OT, LB, EDGE, S, CB

Who’s Available?

RB:

Eddie Lacy, Green Bay (~$1.8m market value)

Latavius Murray, Oakland (~$2.5m MV)

WR:

Robert Woods, Buffalo (~$7.5m MV)

Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota (~$2.5m MV)

OT:

Gosder Cherilus, Tamp Bay (~$3m MV)

Jordan Mills, Buffalo (~$2m MV)

LB:

Malcolm Smith, Oakland (~$4.2m MV)

Kevin Minter, Arizona (~$4.75m MV)

EDGE:

Jarvis Jones, Pittsburgh (~$2.5m MV)

Mario Addison, Carolina (~$6.75m MV)

S:

Jonathan Cyprien, Jacksonville (~$4.95m MV)

Duron Harmon, New England (~$4.85m MV)

CB:

Sterling Moore, New Orleans (~$2.3m MV)

Ifo Ekpre-Olumu, Miami (~$1m MV)

Likely Signings: WR Robert Woods, LB Malcolm Smith

Remaining cap space post-free agency: $17,164,483

Ideal 2017 Mock Draft

Round 1, Pick 32: LB Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State

Round 2, Pick 64: WR ArDarius Stewart, Alabama

Round 3, Pick 96: OT Julie’n Davenport, Bucknell

Round 3, Pick 103 (compensatory, via Cleveland): RB Jamaal Williams, BYU

Round 4, Pick 129 (via Seattle): EDGE Carroll Phillips, Illinois

Round 5, Pick 162 (via Denver): S John Johnson, Boston College

Round 5, Pick 183 (compensatory): DL Keionta Davis, Chattanooga

Round 6, Pick 220: S Casey DeAndrade, New Hampshire

Round 7, Pick 251: CB Greg Mabin, Iowa

 

 

 

 

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