"So, what are you doing now?"
This is a question that is asked me frequently, as well as many other writers who have already beaten the NFL after the Super Bowl. It's pretty simple. We always work with a slightly reduced schedule. (And it's pretty easy after about 192 consecutive hours of work during the Super Bowl week.)
There's still some clean up to be done after the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl LIII, and then we went into the off season right away. The NFL Scouting Combine, free will, low season workouts and off-season sessions will be there before you know it. The only real break we have is from mid-June to the end of July. When, unless arrested, the news cycle of the NFL is really dead.
Consider this week's mailbag as an introduction to the Patriots offseason.
What free agents do they keep and which ones will they let walk?
Here is the complete list of patriots of free agents:
P Ryan Allen
DT Malcom Brown
LT Trent Brown
WR Phillip Dorsett
DE Trey Flowers
RB Jeremy Hill
WR Chris Hogan
LB Ramon Humber
OT Ulrick John
LB Albert McClellan
CB Jason McCourty
WR Cordarrelle Patterson
CB Eric Rowe
OL Brian Schwenke
DT Danny Shelton
From John Simon
OT LaAdrian Waddle
It's a difficult list. I'm sure the Patriots would like to see most of them, but guys like Trent Brown, Trey Flowers and Gostkowski are in danger of breaking their moneybox. The wide receiver contracts are so absurd, it is difficult to predict what Dorsett, Patterson and Hogan will achieve in the open market.
That the Patriots sign Jason McCourty again, who will probably depend on Devin McCourty, of his $ 13.435 million ceiling and decides to retire.
Basically, what I'm telling you is that I'm not a fortune teller.
The Patriots also have two restricted free agents in cornerback Jonathan Jones and wide receiver Josh Gordon.
#MailDoug What is our current capitalization situation and what free agents should we focus on?
The Patriots currently have a little more $ 18 million in ceilings, according to Miguel Benzan of the Boston Sports Journal.
Through restructuring, expansion, sale or release, the Patriots could also free up space thanks to the contracts of the $ 15 million quarterback Tom Brady, of Rob Gronkowski ($ 9.8 million). dollars), security Devin McCourty ($ 9.5 million) and Dwayne Allen. ($ 7.31M), linebacker Who's Hightower ($ 5.945M), RT Marcus Cannon ($ 4.66M) and defenseman Adrian Clayborn ($ 3.94M).
That's why, for the first time perhaps since I covered the team in 2013, I end up believing that the Patriots' Cap is a shit. The Patriots have so many options to open their cap. Even though they simply release Dwayne Allen, their cap exceeds $ 25 million. Given that Brady currently has a cap of $ 27 million, the Patriots would be well advised to lengthen it before release.
Priority number 1 for Pats in low season?
– @ wade_wdavis10
Re-sign flowers. He is by far their best and most important free agent. The Patriots' defense has never been worse than in Weeks 2 and 3, when it fought the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Detroit Lions.
Refueling is also important because of what the patriots have behind them and who they have behind them: Clayborn, Deatrich Wise, Derek Rivers, Keionta Davis and Ufomba Kamalu. No one in this group can afford to replace Flowers.
What was the most enjoyable part of covering this year's Pats team? #MailDoug
In fact, it was a particularly friendly locker room.
A few years ago, this was not the case. There seemed to be growing disdain for the media, but that has changed in the last two years. I actually think that players like offensive lineman Ted Karras have helped in this regard. He is not afraid of having non-football conversations with journalists, and if we seem to be nice, friendly and honest people from one player to another, it will affect others.
CP, Dorsett and Hogan are all UFAS. What are the chances for everyone to return to the Patriots?
I would probably classify Patterson, Hogan, Dorsett.
I would not be surprised if a team overpowers Dorsett based on his potential. He has just done enough this season to show why he was a first-round pick in 2015.
Patterson is a very good gadget player for the Patriots who I think will cost too much in the open market. I would be interested to see what happens with Hogan. In an ideal world, he would probably sign with the Giants or the Jets since his wife and twins live in New York. He has two rings now. If he's ready to take a little less to play closer to home, then that's the smartest move.
What do you think of the plan for Trent Brown and Isaiah Wynn?
– @ ChefdDds89
My best guess is that Brown is signing elsewhere, Wynn is playing on the left attack next season and Cannon remains on the right attack.
The other option is the Patriots Cannon Cup or Swap, Brown stays on the left attack and Wynn plays on the right side. Brown will probably end up being too expensive as a 25-year-old star who can play the left or right attack.
The Patriots will make the first four choices of the project to trade against OBJ or Nah? #MailDoug
I do not hate this idea, agree?
If the Giants are stupid enough to trade Odell Beckham, then any team must jump on the opportunity. His contract is not even so bad when you withdraw his signature bonus of $ 20 million. It's five years, $ 70 million, which is only $ 14 million per season.
If Gronk retires, do they watch Irv Smith from Bama?
– @ c_ray26
Even if Rob Gronkowski does not retire, the Patriots should face each other. They made first-round picks over Daniel Graham and Ben Watson in 2001 and 2004, third-round picks on David Thomas in 2006 and second-round Rob Gronkowski in 2010. Since 2010, they have used the fifth, sixth – and seventh round choice at the tight ends. So, they have not used a high pick on a tight run for nine years.
It looks like the year to do it with T.J. Hockenson, Irv Smith, Noah Fant and Kaden Smith all have four choices in the first 73 selections.
Let's go fast fire.
#maildoug @DougKyed if two offensive line players wanted to be number 69, how did they solve this problem?
The answer is always Bill Belichick decides.
Could the Patriots hire a former candidate like Bridgewater or Bortles to rejuvenate their career as Brady's replacement?
– @ bluebear204
Teddy Bridgewater? Sure. Blake Bortles? The Patriots already had Ryan Mallett.
In which free agent will the patriots have an interest?
– @ EdwardPettman
I do not know, but I would not be surprised if they take a good look at wide receiver Adam Humphries.
I just want to remind everyone that I was first in this train.
What are your plans in the low season, Doug? #maildoug
I'm planning on going slowly for a while, but things will get better at the NFL Combine Scouting later this month. After that, we have free will, draft and training sessions in the low season.
I have some vacations to do, a wedding in March and events adjacent to Wrestlemania in April, but nothing too crazy.
Is it possible for the Patriots to negotiate FOR Jacoby Brissett in the offseason or sign him as a free agent in 2020?
The Patriots like to surprise me, but that would really shock me.
Are the Patriots kicking the tires in the 2019 draft or are they sticking to the Hoyer / Etling rescue plan for the moment?
I would like.
what's the best story of your season that has not been printed #MailDoug
Probably the story of my falling off a wall on the radio at the Super Bowl, although this may be a recency bias on my part.
I was back at my hotel when I received a call to pick up a tube that I had picked up for television. It was around 6:45 pm A 10-minute walk from the hotel, my producer, Kelly, had to film something in the street from the radio at 19:30. So, I had to hurry.
I arrived at the congress center, I went to the ground floor and I rushed into the radio row, which was divided into four different quadrants, each surrounded by a wall. about three feet tall. The doors were marked "exit" from the inside, but there was no sign of entrance to the outside. The doors also closed with a velcro, so they had a tendency to stick.
I had too much forward momentum and jog / power that were walking towards the wall and one of the following three things happened: 1. the door is remained stuck, 2. what I thought was a door was not, or, 3. I was trying to push pulling door. Whatever it was, I started falling to the wall and, when I realized what was happening – the wall was falling apart in front of me – I was I tried to keep myself and the wall. Neither one nor the other happened and I fell with the wall. Since the wall was divided into several parts, its fall has been described as looking like a bridge exploding.
Jori Epstein from USA Today, whom I had met the night before, was just passing through. Adam Hart of NBC Sports Boston is also rushed to help me go up the wall.
So, you know, at least nobody saw it happen.
All in all, I'm pretty sure they replaced the whole wall the next day, I had my TV hit on time and Kelly managed to film the other event.
Tuesday night was the media day, and I'm pretty sure I told everyone what I saw about the wall, because it was better to own it and be openly embarrassed by it. than to pretend that it did not happen. That's why I'm telling you, guys.
What was your favorite moment of this year? #maildoug
The first touchdown of Josh Gordon with the team or Patrick Chung returning on the sidelines for the Super Bowl LIII with his broken arm in a sling.
Which player who is a free agent would you like him to resign from the media point of view? #maildoug
Midfielder Jeremy Hill or halfback Jason McCourty and Eric Rowe. All three players are great guys.
Why did the Patriots not give Flores the official title of DC? Do they feel that he was not ready? Happy, he had an opportunity but he found it interesting. #maildoug
I guess his contract as a linebacker was not over yet.
Who is your favorite colleague outside of NESN? If it's not @jeffphowe, your answer is invalid. #MailDoug
– @ BostonGaL4Ever
That's Jeff Howe, but he's tied with 10 other people for first place. We have a good rhythm.
Photo thumbnail via Robert Deutsch / USA TODAY Sports Images