With a full round of free agency and a seven-round NFL mock draft, we mock the complete offseason for the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.
The New England Patriots pulled off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, defeating the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28, in Super Bowl 51. That is the fifth Super Bowl championship for the combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, but they are not showing any signs of slowing down.
This offseason, the New England Patriots have an opportunity to drastically improve an already impressive overall roster. Armed with an impressive amount of cap space, one of the best trade chips on the market and a lot of draft capital, the Patriots are in a great position to get better. Simply put, the rich are about to get richer.
The Super Bowl was incredible, but Patriots fans still have a lot to look forward to. This offseason expects to be extremely active and exciting for the franchise. With that in mind, let’s take a complete look ahead.
You can find a 2017 NFL Mock Draft anywhere, but where else can you find a complete mock offseason for the New England Patriots? Starting with negotiating with their own free agents, taking a dip in to the open market and ending with a complete seven-round mock draft, let’s take a look at a possible complete off season scenario for Belichick and company.
The people at FanSpeak.com have put together an awesome simulator for free agency and mock drafts. In the free agency simulator, you can cut and re-sign players before offering contracts to free agents. The salary cap structure is up to date and appears to as realistic as you can expect
It is important to remember that these simulators are not perfect. However they are fun to go through and look at possible options. Combining the free agent and mock draft simulators, I decided to go through an entire mock offseason for the defending Super Bowl champions.
Interested to see what the New England Patriots did in this alternate universe?
Clear Cap Space
At the start of this mock offseason, the New England Patriots had $56,283,802 in cap space to work with. That is a lot of dough for a team that does not have many obvious holes. The Patriots undoubtedly have the cap space to work with, but it does not hurt to create more. I had a restructure contract option for two players on the roster, offensive tackle Nate Solder and safety Devin McCourty.
After restructuring the contracts of Solder and McCourty, an extra $8 million in cap space was opened up. After that, I looked for possible cuts from the players under contract.
Honestly, the New England Patriots have done an incredible job of not getting themselves into bad deals. There were not any obvious cut candidates on the list. That being said, I did end up moving on from one player. Wide receiver Danny Amendola was able to be cut for a cap savings of $6.5 million. Amendola played extremely well for the Patriots down the stretch, but that $6.5 million is more valuable than the player. It is just a numbers game in this case.
Cutting Amendola is undoubtedly the right move, but I am going to see if I can get him back at a lower cost prior to free agency. He is a reliable receiver who has a great rapport with Brady. It is not exactly easy to find those kind of players. After making these three moves, the Patriots enter the re-signing period with $71,283,802 in cap space.
Pre-Free Agency Negotiations
Dont’a Hightower was the name that immediately stood out for the New England Patriots’ re-signings. Hightower has proven to be an incredibly reliable linebacker for the Patriots who can take on a variety of roles. There is some injury concern here, but Hightower is a guy who the Patriots cannot afford to lose. Locking him up to a long-term deal this off season is an absolute must.
In the end, I was able to lock down Hightower on a four-year contract worth a total of $40 million with $12 million guaranteed. Personally, I think that is an absolute steal of a contract. Hightower is one of the most important defensive players for the Patriots. He is a force both against the run and the pass and is the leader of the defense. Getting him at that price would be ideal.
After Hightower, I worked hard to come to a deal with the trio of Martellus Bennett, LeGarrette Blount and Michael Floyd. After numerous contract offers, I was never able to get any of these offensive players to commit to the team. I will check back on all three of them in free agency.
Defensive tackle Alan Branch was an extremely important part of the Patriots’ success in 2016. I wanted to make sure that he is still around for the immediate future, but I will have an eye on a long-term replacement or two for him throughout the off season. I was able to snag Branch on a one-year deal worth $6 million.
Duron Harmon was next on my list. Harmon is a good coverage safety who has played an important role in the secondary for the Patriots in recent years. I was able to land Harmon on a modest two-year deal worth a total of $6 million.
Similar to the offensive trio, I sent multiple contract offers to defenders Logan Ryan, Jabaal Sheard and Chris Long. I figured I could get at least on them to bite, but it never happened. All three defensive players will now hit the open market.
I was able to get Amendola back in the mix on a cheap one-year contract, a great depth signing at wide receiver. Fullback James Develin and running back/core special teamer Brandon Bolden both also returned on their own modest one-year contracts.
- Dont’a Hightower, LB
- Alan Branch, DT
- Duron Harmon, S
- Danny Amendola, WR
- James Develin, FB
- Brandon Bolden, RB
Players Who Will Reach Free Agency:
- Martellus Bennett, TE
- Logan Ryan, CB
- Jabaal Sheard, DL
- Chris Long, DL
- Michael Floyd, WR
- LeGarrette Blount, RB
- Sebastian Vollmer, OT
- Terrance Knighton, DT
- Markus Kuhn, DT
- Frank Kearse, DT
- Ramon Humber, LB
- E.J. Biggers, CB
As we enter Day 1 of free agency, the New England Patriots have $53,633,802 in cap space to work with.
Patriots Sign DT Nick Fairley and OL Austin Pasztor
It was a slow start to free agency for the New England Patriots. I put some strong offers out there for guys like wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, tight end Jordan Cameron, edge rusher Nick Perry and cornerback A.J. Bouye. However, all four of those guys were scooped up for more money than I thought they were worth. Cameron landed a three-year deal at $9 million per season! I couldn’t believe that.
The Patriots were able to make some noise on the third day of free agency, landing some nice depth on both sides of the line. First, they landed defensive tackle Nick Fairley on a one-year $3 million contract. Fairley is a former first round pick (13th overall by the Detroit Lions in 2011) who has not been able to find a consistent home. He is an extremely talented player who shows a nice combination of size, athleticism and raw power. However, Fairley’s consistency has always been an issue.
He shows flashes of brilliance, but getting him to compete on a consistent basis will be a challenge. Led by Alan Branch and Malcom Brown, the Patriots have a nice mix at defensive tackle. That being said, they could certainly use a guy like Fairley who can get after the quarterback from the interior. Maybe a stop in New England is exactly what Fairley needs to get his career back on track?
On top of landing Fairley, the Patriots signed offensive lineman Austin Pasztor, formerly of the Cleveland Browns. Pasztor is a big and strong offensive lineman who shows nice athleticism for his size. He does a nice job in pass protection and has experience playing both tackle and guard in the NFL.
Pasztor would be an improvement over Cameron Fleming as the Patriots swing tackle. He would provide nice security behind Solder and Marcus Cannon at both tackle positions and could compete for snaps at guard. Landing Pastzor on a two-year, $7 million deal seems like some strong value.
Patriots Sign Wide Receiver Robert Woods and Linebacker Dion Jordan
As free agency continued, I found myself checking back in with a lot of players who I did not re-sign. I continued to show interest in Martellus Bennett, Logan Ryan and Chris Long in particular. However, still could not reel any of them in. That being said, I did sign wide receiver Robert Woods to a two-year, $6 million contract that I am pretty excited about. Woods is a consistent playmaker who shows nice versatility at the wide receiver position.
Landing him kind of reminds me of the Patriots signing Chris Hogan last off season. Woods is a guy who can work in the deep passing game, underneath and in the intermediate. He is a smart player, consistent route runner and has reliable hands. I could see Brady really learning to trust Woods.
Between Woods, Hogan, Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell and Amendola, Brady would undoubtedly have plenty of targets to choose from at wide receiver. That is not even including the great Rob Gronkowski or receiving backs James White and Dion Lewis. Along with Woods, I took a flyer on linebacker Dion Jordan. The third-overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Jordan has been an absolute bust for the Miami Dolphins. He was not great when on the field and missed a ton of time for a drug suspension.
There is obviously a ton of risk here, but Jordan is a talented player who can create pressure on the quarterback. On a one-year deal worth only $1 million (none of it guaranteed), I figured why not. Jordan definetly brings some upside to the table and could be cut at no loss if it does not work out. If nothing else, I could see the Patriots finding a role for Jordan on special teams.
Patriots Re-Sign Tight End Martellus Bennett
Tom Brady is not getting any younger as he’ll be 40 years old for a majority of next season. While Brady is not showing any signs of slowing down, the Patriots’ window will not be open forever. They would be wise to do anything that they can to give Brady every opportunity to keep winning rings.
Say what you want about his personality, but Martellus Bennett undoubtedly helps the New England Patriots win football games. An elite blocking tight end who has great skills in the passing game, Bennett is a huge weapon for Brady in the middle of the field. Not to mention he is a great Gronk insurance policy and already has a great rapport with the quarterback.
After offering Bennett multiple contracts throughout this practice, he finally accepted my two-year, $14 million offer with 20 percent guaranteed. Bennett is an important part of this offense and is undoubtedly worth that kind of money.
I had thought about trying to replace him in the draft. But after missing out on a couple of top-tier targets, I figured that the Patriots had more than enough cap space to make Bennett a priority. Simply put, they were not going to find a better immediate option at the tight end position.
The Bennett signing wrapped up free agency for the New England Patriots. I was not able to land any big-time free agents, but that is how the Patriots typically work anyway. I do feel like I found some great value signings who will undoubtedly help this team tremendously going forward. At the end of free agency, the Patriots still had over $40 million in cap space.
New England Patriots Trade QB Jimmy Garoppolo to the Cleveland Browns
Probably the biggest story for the Patriots’ offseason is what they will do with Jimmy Garoppolo. Their backup quarterback showed some nice promise filling in for Brady early in the season. With one year left on his rookie deal, the Patriots are in a great spot to get nice value in exchange for Garoppolo.
He is undoubtedly a starting level talent at the quarterback position in the NFL. The Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns are the two team who have been most rumored as a landing spot for Garoppolo. I could see either team making a move for him, but with their tremendous draft capital, the Browns feel more likely.
It has been rumored that the Patriots want a first and fourth round pick in exchange for Garoppolo. Belichick will probably start the discussion with the Browns talking about the 12th overall pick. However, I do not see Cleveland biting on that. Instead, I think something centered around their second round choice would make sense.
The Browns hold the first pick of the second round (33rd overall). It is basically a first round selection and I could see the Patriots being very interested in kicking off day two of the draft. The 33rd overall pick along with the Browns’ third-round pick (65th overall) to the Patriots in exchange for Garoppolo and the Patriots’ fourth round pick seems about right.
This gives the Browns their franchise quarterback and only lose one pick in quantity. Obviously they losing a lot of draft pick quality, but they have two early first-round picks already and now they have their franchise quarterback. Thus, this feels like a fair deal overall.
Now, in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Patriots hold the last pick in the first round and first pick in the second round. They also go back-to-back in the second to third round exchange. There are a lot of possibilities for the Patriots with those back-to-back pick. I could see them trading down and picking up more value or trading up for a potential superstar. Even staying put, they will be in a fantastic position to land big-time talent.
Garoppolo was a fantastic security blanket for the Patriots. That being said, this kind of draft capital means more to the team when Brady is not showing any signs of slowing down.
With the 32nd overall pick in this mock draft, the New England Patriots take one of the stars from the Senior Bowl. Jason Reddick proved to be an impressive edge rusher in coverage. He showed a great blend of athleticism and toughness as a pure pass rusher.
However, at the Senior Bowl, Reddick was asked to prove himself in an inside linebacker role. He passed his test with flying colors, showing incredible natural coverage skills and fantastic instincts against the run. Whether Reddick plays inside or outside at the next level remains to be seen. Personally, I think he can do both.
His skills are impressive, but Reddick is also considered a high character athlete who shows great leadership skills. The Patriots tend to rate those traits in a player higher than most teams around the league.
Nobody loves versatility more than Bill Belichick, and Reddick would give him another defensive Swiss Army knife to work with. Some may look at Reddick in the first round as a reach, but he is he kind of player who could come in and have immediate success with the Patriots. New England has minor needs at both edge rusher and inside linebacker. Reddick could come in and immediately help fill both of those holes.
Just one pick after landing the athletically impressive Reddick, the Pats find more help on the defensive side of the ball. They already have a nice mix of players at defensive tackle, but the Patriots love to rotate their big boys up front. I could see them addressing defensive tackle early for the right player.
Jaleel Johnson may be just that guy. Listed at 6-3, 309 pounds, Johnson is a big and strong defensive tackle who can dominate with power. He shows the ability to defend the run well and can handle two-gap responsibilities. However, Johnson is not just a big and ugly run defender.
The Iowa product shows incredible burst off of the snap for a man of his size and impressive overall athleticism. Do not let his size fool you, Johnson will make plays in the backfield from the defensive tackle position, both against the run and in the pass rush.
In college, Johnson was double-teamed a majority of the time. He was the clear focal point of opposing offenses. However, he was still able to step up and make big plays on a consistent basis. He has the ability to fight through double-teams, but he also does a nice job of creating plays for his teammates to make.
Adding Johnson to the mix gives the Patriots an impressive defensive tackle group. Alan Branch, Malcom Brown, Vincent Valentine and Johnson is a strong group to build around up front. The first Browns’ pick from the Garoppolo trade undoubtedly goes to good use here.
After losing Logan Ryan in free agency, the cornerback position has become a position of need for the New England Patriots. Malcolm Butler is a star corner in the making and Eric Rowe played really well for the Pats down the stretch. However, there is an obvious need for some depth here.
Ideally, Cyrus Jones would step up and take over as the slot corner for Ryan. However, nothing Jones did in 2016 leads me to believe that he will do so at a high level. I do not mind the Patriots giving Jones a chance to prove himself, but they need a strong backup plan.
Cameron Sutton battled injuries throughout his college career. When he was healthy, he looked like a legitimate first round talent. However, Sutton played a majority of his last season at Tennessee dealing with a serious ankle injury. He simply was not the same player as he was when he was healthy.
Sutton was severely limited by that ankle injury and it has seemed to hurt his draft stock. That being said, he appeared healthy at the Senior Bowl at looked the part of a true play-maker at the cornerback position. An athletic corner with great short-space quickness, there is a ton to like about Sutton’s game. He is a smart player who shows strong route-recognition ability and has fantastic ball skills.
At the Senior Bowl, Sutton played a variety of positions. He was used as an outside corner, a slot corner and even played some safety. The Patriots love versatility and I think Sutton could fill a variety of roles for their defense. First and foremost, he would be a better replacement for Ryan in the slot than Jones.
The Patriots’ offensive line performed well in 2016. Having Nate Solder back at left tackle really helped and Marcus Cannon was a revelation at the right tackle position. On top of that rookie left guard Joe Thuney, center David Andrews and right guard Shaq Mason were rock solid on the interior. That being said, you can never have too many talented offensive linemen. With the first pick in the third round, the New England Patriots snag Ohio State offensive lineman Pat Elflein.
A mean and nasty blocker, there is a lot to like about Elflein’s game. He is an extremely physical player who can absolute dominate in the run game. Elflein also shows quick feet and great overall technique in pass protection. He is not perfect, but Elflein should be able to protect well on the interior at the next level.
Elflein was primarily a guard early in his career, but shined at the center position later in his Ohio State career. He shows great field awareness and appears to have all the necessary ability to make the line calls.
The Patriots could undoubtedly draft Elflein as a guard option, but he is most valuable to the team as a center. Andrews was solid for the Patriots in 2016, but the former undrafted free agent is never going to be anything more than above average. Elflein is a much more talented player who has Pro Bowl upside at the center position.
I am not saying that he would immediately push Andrews to the side. I think the Patriots would still go into 2017 with Thuney, Andrews and Mason as their starting trio on the interior. However, Elflein would be an elite back-up option for the team who could work his way in to some serious playing time.
Super Bowl hero James White and the explosive Dion Lewis bring a ton to the mix in the Patriots’ backfield. However, both players are smaller backs who do not excel in the power running game. If LeGarrette Blount is not brought back, the Patriots simply must find someone to fill his role.
With their own third round selection, the Patriots find a strong power back option in Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine. While does not possess elite breakaway speed, Perine is a tough and physical back who can pick up the tough yards on the inside.
He is a powerful one-cut runner who would be a perfect fit for the Patriots’ offense. While Perine does not have elite speed, he does have nice short area quickness and tremendous natural ball carrier vision.
The Patriots’ three-headed running back mix of Blount, White and Lewis was incredibly productive in 2016. Blount had an incredible season. He is a reliable short yardage back who the Patriots could undoubtedly bring back. However, targeting a guy like Perine makes more sense in my eyes.
Perine is a younger version of Blount with much more upside. He is completely unproven and may not work out, but giving a guy like this a chance is worth a shot.
White and Lewis could take care of the passing game duties. Perine would simply be asked to be the power back in their offense. He would immediately be put in a perfect position to have a ton of success.
The Patriots snagged a compensatory third round selection from the Cleveland Browns in the Jamie Collins trade. With this compensatory pick and the Garoppolo trade, the Patriots have six of the first 103 picks in this mock draft. The rich are only getting richer. Tom Brady is now considered by most to be the greatest quarterback in the history of the game. However, he will be 40-years-old for the majority of the 2017 season. I would not put it past him to play four or five more years, but the Patriots have to be ready for when he hangs it up.
Trading Garoppolo obviously goes against that, but the deal gave the Patriots enough draft capital to dig back into the quarterback pool in this draft. Nate Peterman is my favorite under-the-radar quarterback prospect in this draft class.
He is an extremely smart quarterback who rarely makes a wrong decision. He is an incredibly tough competitor who does whatever it takes to win. Peterman is not the most athletic quarterback, but he shows more ability to make plays with his legs than he is given credit for. I also think his arm strength is getting underrated as well. My favorite thing about Peterman is his accuracy. While it is a bit inconsistent, Peterman shows the raw ability to place the ball in tight windows. He shows great tough on his passes and typically leads his receivers extremely well. Peterman also does a great job of throwing on the run.
I am not saying that the Patriots draft Peterman here thinking he is the next Tom Brady. However, he is an intriguing prospect who gives them some quality depth at the most important position in the game. Drafting Peterman would bring great competition to the Patriots’ backup quarterback situation. Jacoby Brissett would enter training camp as the leader in the clubhouse, but Peterman would undoubtedly make it a battle.
Both Brissett and Peterman are talented players who could be options for the Patriots to take over for Brady down the line. Also, a little bit of competition never hurt anybody. Having each other to compete with would be good for the progression of both Brissett and Peterman.
The Patriots traded away their fourth round pick in the Garoppolo trade so let’s skip ahead to the fifth round. After losing Chris Long and Jabaal Sheard in free agency, defensive end is certainly a bit of a need for this team. Their depth at defensive tackle and linebackers who can create pressure will help, but the Patriots would be wise to land an actual defensive end prospect at some point in this draft.
Keionta Davis is a small-school defensive end prospect to watch in the 2017 NFL Draft. Davis is not a freak athlete by NFL standards, but he is a strong and aggressive edge rusher who can create consistent pressure. Davis is an extremely high-motor player who does a great job of getting the most out of his talent.
Davis shows nice quickness and impressive bend off of the edge. He is a savvy pass rusher who gets a strong punch at the point of attack. Davis will create pressure in the pass rush, but he is also a strong run defender. He has three-down upside at the next level.
The Patriots need a strong and consistent defensive end to add to the mix and they find a potential later-round steal in Davis.
With their fifth round compensatory selection, the New England Patriots take a potentially important offensive weapon. Trent Taylor was nearly impossible to defend at the Senior Bowl, showing elite quickness and route running ability.
At only 5-8, 177 pounds, Taylor will only be able to play slot receiver at the next level. But that is not an issue for the Patriots. New England uses slot receivers better than any other team in the league, and Taylor’s skill-set would be a welcomed addition to the mix by Brady and company.
In this off season scenario, I do not think that Taylor would see much time with the Pats as a rookie. That being said, he would be an ideal replacement for Amendola in 2018 and perhaps for Julian Edelman down the line.
With their final selection in this mock draft, the Patriots take a shot on a under-valued defensive talent. Steven Taylor was a productive linebacker at Houston, showing the ability to create pressure from the edge and make plays in the middle. He played a variety of roles in the Houston defense, and did so at a high level.
He is a quick and athletic defender who plays like his hair is on fire. Taylor shows great pass rush upside and the ability to defend the run from sideline-to-sideline. However, he is too small to play linebacker on a consistent basis in the NFL and his coverage skills are lacking. The Patriots take a shot on the talented Taylor in the seventh round. At worst, he should be a valuable special teams contributor.
This article originally appeared on
- Robert Kraft, New England Patriots owner, charged in human trafficking/prostitution investigation
- Here's How Madden Thinks New England Patriots Will Do Without Tom Brady
- Madden 19 predicts shock 30-27 Super Bowl victory for LA Rams over New England Patriots
- Report: Overwatch Pro League Attracts New England Patriots, New York Mets Owners
- Boston Uprising: Overwatch League's team brought to you by the New England Patriots
- What's New To Hulu In December 2017: Child's Play, Kill Bill, Apocalypse Now, More Movies And TV Shows
- Originally Expected in 2015, New Torment Now Delayed to 2017
- LG News & Update: New LG Smartwatches This Coming 2017
- New Sonic Game Coming in 2017
- E3 2017: Madden 18 Trailer Reveals "Longshot" Story Mode Featuring House Of Cards Actor
- Patriots, Tom Brady grind out Rams to claim sixth title in lackluster Super Bowl
- NFLPA files grievance over league's new national anthem policy
- Madden NFL 18 predicts Super Bowl 52: Patriots vs. Eagles
- Super Bowl spoiler alert: Patriots beat Seahawks 28-24, says Madden NFL 15
- Super Bowl prediction: Patriots win 27-24, says Madden NFL 17
- Madden NFL 19 predicts Super Bowl LIII: Patriots vs. Rams
- Call of Duty Dev Says Pressure to Deliver Not Unlike What Patriots Go Through
- Bob Woodward's new book reveals shocking details of President Trump and Melania's relationship
- Madden NFL 16 cover vote will put a Giant, Steeler, Cardinal or Patriot on the box
- Madden 18 Predicts The Super Bowl Winner: Can The Eagles Upset The Patriots In Our Simulation?
New England Patriots: Complete Mock 2017 Offseason have 4718 words, post on www.foxsports.com at February 9, 2017. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.