It might be coming to you a day late, but here is our New England Patriots Roundtable for March 14. It’s tough keeping up with all the happenings of free agency and having relevant questions, but we’ll be doing our best to answer some up to date questions. So I hope you guys like Darrelle Revis talk, because it’s going to be coming hard and fast.
Q. Wednesday marked the day that the New England Patriots came out of their shell and signed superstar Darrelle Revis to a two-year $32 million deal. What are your thoughts on this huge deal happening?
Cyrus: I was ecstatic. The Pats lost Talib, and somehow upgraded at cornerback. New England’s pass defense should be excellent in 2014.
Hal: Absolute joy. I have not been this happy since the Patriots traded for Randy Moss. Heck, I may be more excited. This is the first time the Patriots have gone out and paid a premium to get the best player on the market. In case you cannot tell…I LOVE IT.
J.T.: I like it. No wait…I love it. I’d like to hear the arguments against this acquisition, because frankly, I don’t see any downside. It’s a “prove it” contract, so you can bet Revis will play his heart out. I haven’t been this excited since the addition of Randy Moss. Dude is a stud.
Matt: It. Is. AMAZING! This deal completely changes the direction of the New England Patriots franchise, in the best way possible. This is the best player to come to New England since Randy Moss, and I don’t even Moss is this good. Revis is still the best cornerback in the game, and is still a top five defensive player in the game. This is a game changer, and feels so good to say that.
Q. Has this Revis deal quenched your thirst for big name players? Or would you like the Patriots to try for one or more big names?
Cyrus: No more big name guys. Now it is about filling needs like receiver, and defensive tackle. I think they need to sign either Emmanuel Sanders, or Julian Edelman.
Hal: Defensive end Jared Allen at 3 years $30 million would be a great fit for the pass rush. Put him, Chandler Jones, Tommy Kelly and Ninkovich together on third down and watch the quarterbacks fall down.
J.T.: Hey, once the taste of a big signing hits your lips, you want more. If Browner gets inked (at the time of this writing, there are conflicting reports), this New England secondary has a shot at rivaling even that unit out in Seattle. It would be nice to see a veteran receiver added to the mix on offense, but aside from that, there will be plenty of talent to look for in the draft.
Matt: I’m not exactly satisfied, but I’d still be pretty happy if this was it. It looks like Brandon Browner is still a very good possibility, he’s telling friends and family that he’s going to be a Patriot, and maybe even a Jared Allen could come over. This team isn’t done yet, and we might still see another two or even three notable signings.
Q. Final Revis question. Do you see him signing long term? Or is this a one year prove it deal, so he can really cash in next year?
Cyrus: I actually have a feeling that he will get an extended deal, maybe to the tune of three years. He is a great player, and he is finally in a winning environment.
Hal: I think the Patriots seriously consider the $20 million option. Really. Yes it is a lot of cash, but it still works out to 2 years and $36 million which is what Revis would make for staying in Tampa Bay had he been kept there. To franchise him would cost about the same. The cap is expected to increase again (more television money adding in) and Revis will only be 30.
J.T.: If the Pats win the Super Bowl, Revis is probably gone. He wants that ring, but he’s also a businessman, so I could see him taking the biggest offer next season either way. While it’ll be financially difficult to keep Revis around in a long-term contract, the option will certainly be there. Part of that decision may ultimately boil down to the developmental progress of Alfonzo Dennard and Logan Ryan, and whether or not either of them can assume the role a guy like Revis would relinquish.
Matt: I think it’s inevitable that a long term deal does happen. I’d expect him to sign a long term, four year deal with about a $13 million average salary. This is a player you need to lock up for the long haul, and both the Patriots and Revis want to get this deal done.
Q. What’s the next move for the Patriots? Which position should be addressed, and what player would you like to see brought into the fold?
Cyrus: Wide receiver, and defensive end. Defensive tackle is also a big need, but I see them addressing that through the draft.
Hal: Defensive end Jared Allen, but beyond that once they are done clearing up the Mankins/Wilfork contract mess work on replacing center Ryan Wendell (Dan Connolly can be released as Marcus Cannon should be starting at right guard). Alex Mack obviously would not happen, but Evan Dietrich-Smith is available and was ranked the 8th best center in the league by
J.T.: Areas of question are the offensive line, defensive tackle, receiving and tight end positions. Many of those will be addressed in the draft, but I could most certainly see New England grabbing one of the veteran receivers off the free agency market. They’ve already shown interest in that area, and if Julian Edelman isn’t signed, they will be in even greater need at the position. A healthy Hakeem Nicks would be great, but someone like Emmanuel Sanders is probably more likely.
Matt: I’d like to see Jared Allen happen, but getting Brandon Browner done is also a nice consolation prize. I think we’re going to start seeing wide receivers start to go fast now, so I’d expect it to go Browner, receiver, then pass rusher.
Q. What’s your mood heading into the weekend? Have the Patriots had a positive or negative free agency thus far?
Cyrus: Definitely positive. Especially if they did in fact sign Brandon Browner. Could have an elite secondary forming in Foxboro.
Hal: Revis = positive. It was pretty negative when Aqib Talib went to Denver, but Revis is an upgrade over Talib and that is a huge positive. Now to fill in the blanks with the lesser names (Except for defensive end Jared Allen…who is the remaining big name free agent who should be signed.
J.T.: The green beer will start flowing a bit early at the McGrath household this weekend. In other words, I could not be much happier. The possibility of losing Wilfork is somewhat of a drag, but you need to remember that he is 32 years old, coming off of a major injury, and hits the salary cap at around $10 million. Tommy Kelly is sticking around and the Pats will likely pursue a young defensive tackle in the draft. So raise your glass. Cheers!
Matt: A very positive free agency so far. Yes, we’ve lost Talib, but to be honest, Revis dwarfs him in terms of ability. Wilfork might restructure after all, Browner could be done by the weekend, and they’re still not done yet. This has been a very positive time thus far, and it only serves to get better.
Thank you to Cyrus, Hal and J.T. for helping out this week. If you’d like to have a question answered by us on this roundtable, then feel free to send a tweet to @Musket_Fire or @MattyWinPats, or the guys personal twitters.