Patriots Moves: List of Offseason Changes

A list of Patriots roster moves so far for the 2006 offseason. The departure of high profile names is indicative of the type of offseason the team has had. Also in this report is a list of the best players left in free agency.

June 1, 2006 is an important date for veterans with accrued signing bonus money in their contracts. As part of the CBA, teams that release players on June 1st or later, are allowed to spread the signing bonus cap charges to the following season. With the added incentive to unload overpriced veterans in order to free up cap space for the upcoming season, there has typically been a June purge of talent in seasons past.

This year, most of the blood has already been shed. Agents have worked with teams to arrange earlier triggers for roster cuts. Those triggers are typically set as a roster bonus with a due date before the NFL Draft. This allows players with contracts deemed too expensive for their current club, the opportunity to find a new employer. The teams that release those veterans are forced to address their roster earlier, many times by finding new talent in the Draft.

The Patriots faced some tough decisions with players on their roster headed toward free agency in March. Rather than overpaying players, the team took a slower, more methodical approach to the process. Free agents were allowed to test the market while veterans with large roster bonuses or deemed overpaid were released. Free agents Adam Vinatieri, David Givens and Christian Fauria moved on to new deals with new clubs. Aging or injury plagued veterans with large cap numbers like Willie McGinest, Chad Brown, Tyrone Poole and Duane Starks were released already.

Here is a list of the moves made by the Patriots so far:

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS:
WR Michael McGrew; OL Gene Mruczkowski; DL Santonio Thomas; OL Billy Yates.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED:
WR Troy Brown; WR Bam Childress; LB Don Davis; FB Heath Evans; CB Randall Gay; DB Artrell Hawkins; OG Stephen Neal; CB Hank Poteat; CB Chad Scott; S Guss Scott; OL Ross Tucker.

PLAYERS SIGNED:
WR Reche Caldwell; LB Barry Gardner; PK Martin Gramatica; S Tebucky Jones; S Mel Mitchell; CB Eric Warfield.

PLAYERS LOST:
OT Tom Ashworth; LB Chad Brown; LB Matt Chatham; WR Andre' Davis; WR Tim Dwight; TE Christian Fauria; QB Doug Flutie; WR David Givens; WR Cedric James; LB Willie McGinest; CB Tyrone Poole; CB Duane Starks; S Michael Stone; PK Adam Vinatieri.

 

With the start of the team's mandatory minicamp nearly two weeks away (June 13, 14) the Patriots are not expected to make any significant moves tomorrow. Although the possibility exists that the team may part ways with a veteran or two, most of those on the roster with large cap numbers have recently redone their contracts, thereby reducing the need to make roster cuts to create cap space.

The Patriots still have a sizable amount of cap space available to them to add a player or two to their roster. Barring any unexpected cuts by teams tomorrow, the list of free agents available is fairly limited in terms of impact players. Linebacker, veteran quarterback, cornerback and possibly receiver are the team's biggest needs at this time.

Here are the best players currently available in free agency:

Quarterback
Kerry Collins
Tommy Maddox
Jay Fiedler
Tony Banks
Shane Matthews
Jeff Blake
Ty Detmer
Craig Krenzel

Running Back
Jonathan Wells
Lamar Gordon
Stephen Davis
Mike Cloud
James Jackson
J.R. Redmond

Fullback
Jarrod Baxter
Nick Luchey
Omar Easy

Wide Receiver
Kevin Johnson
Dez White
Az-Zahir Hakim
Patrick Johnson
Johnnie Morton
Ricky Proehl

Tight End
Boo Williams
Lamont Hall
Roland Williams
Cam Cleeland
Shad Meier

Guard
Ron Stone
Kendyl Jacox
Victor Riley (OT)
Fred Weary
Tom Nutten
Tupe Peko

Offensive Tackle
Brad Hopkins (LT)
Orlando Brown
Matt Stinchcomb
Ethan Brooks
Jacob Rogers
Scott Gragg

Center
Jeff Mitchell
Cory Raymer

Kicker
Todd Peterson
Paul Edinger
Jose Cortez

Punter
Kyle Richardson
Tom Tupa
Sean Landeta

Defensive Tackle
Brenston Buckner
Dan Wilkinson
Jason Fisk
Grady Jackson
James Reed
Lance Legree (DE)
Steve Martin
Josh Williams
Jerry Deloach
Junior Ioane

Defensive End
Duane Clemons
Gary Walker (DT in 4-3)
Adrian Dingle
Carl Powell (DT)

Inside Linebacker
Rocky Calmus
Earl Holmes
Chris Claiborne (WLB)
Saleem Rasheed
Ronald McKinnon

Outside Linebacker
Jamie Sharper (WLB/SLB)
Tommy Polley (WLB)
Chad Brown (SLB/WLB)
Peter Boulware (SLB)
Junior Seau (WLB, SLB)
DeLawrence Grant (SLB)
Nate Wayne (WLB)

Cornerback
Ahmed Plummer
Ty Law
Dexter McCleon
Will Peterson
Ralph Brown
Ray Mickens
Willie Williams
Dewayne Washington
Dale Carter
Terry Fair

Safety
Antuan Edwards
Brent Alexander
Lance Schulters
Keion Carpenter
Ronnie Heard
Earl Little
Jerry Wilson
Ifeanyi Ohalete
Bracy Walker
John Howell


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