Top Free Agent - Matt Cassel
Starters - Four
Must Re-Sign - Matt Cassel
Team Top FA Need - DS, DC, OT
Franchise Player - Matt Cassel - $14,651,000
Comments -With the Patriots within 5 million dollars of their 2009 cap, it doesn't appear that the club will be able to find the needed cap money to become active participant in the annual process. By putting the free agent tag on fourth year QB Matt Cassel the Patriots essentially have invested nearly one quarter of their total cap figure into the quarterback position. With the exception of safety James Sanders, back up receiver Jabar Gaffney and possibly LaMont Jordan, none of the remaining free agents are going anywhere in my opinion and will likely not factor for the Pats in 2009. The Patriots have a major void in the secondary, but even with their critical need across the board on the back end, four of the five free agents Rodney Harrison, Delta O'Neal, Lewis Sanders and Tank Williams are not considered upgrades. Rosevelt Colvin in his second go round with the Patriots has been a major disappointment and won't be back in 2009. Larry Izzo and future Hall of Fame LB Junior Seau are at the end of the line. Job well done boys, but it's absolutely over! Should be an interesting off season for a club that has heretofore always found a way, but without the necessary cap space, the club might well enter the 2009 season with major deficiencies in the secondary, outside backer position and offensive line.