New England Patriots Free Agent Confidential

Unless there is a major move on tap involving franchise quarterback Matt Cassel, the Patriots will find they have far too much money invested at the QB position.

New England

Harrison, Rodney DB 14 3,732,500 ORANGE
Colvin, Rosevelt LB 9 1,932,500 PURPLE
Wright, Mike DE 3 1,422,500 PURPLE
Gaffney, Jabar WR 6 1,282,000 PURPLE
Sanders, James DS 3 1,026,000 GREEN
O'Neal, Deltha DC 8 1,000,000 ORANGE
Hochstein, Russ OG 7 890,000 PURPLE
Paxton, Lonie LS 8 884,000 PURPLE
Evans, Heath RB 7 856,000 ORANGE
Jordan, LaMont RB 7 850,000 ORANGE
Hanson, Chris PT 7 761,500 ORANGE
Izzo, Larry LB 12 490,000 ORANGE
Sanders, Lewis DC 8 489,500 ORANGE
Williams, Tank DB 6 276,500 ORANGE
Smith, Kenny DT 5 274,000 ORANGE
Seau, Junior LB 18 250,000 ORANGE
Stokes, Barry OT 9 230,000 ORANGE

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.

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