Offseason Overview: Can the Pats Put the Super Bowl Loss Behind Them?

Moss

Franchise Player: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• WR Troy Brown played just one game in his 15th season after starting the year on PUP. He may retire, but if he doesn’t the team told him that he’s not in its plans moving forward.

• S Mel Mitchell played in 10 games and is a core special teams-type guy. He might choose to go elsewhere as New England only has room for so many one-dimensional special teamers.

• CB Chad Scott didn’t make it through training camp and has been hurt often. He’s a solid veteran backup and could be back with the team in the market for corner depth.

• LB Junior Seau was expected to get his first Super Bowl ring and retire. The Giants messed that little story up. He was healthy all year and made plays. If he doesn’t retire after his 18th season, the only place he’ll be playing is in New England.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

• LB Eric Alexander is a decent though injury prone special teamer although he’s yet to show anything on defense, other than of course his still inexplicable start in the 2006 AFC title loss in Indianapolis.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

• WR Sam Aiken: UFA Bills; $1.555M/2 yrs, $225,000 SB/$40,000 WO; 2008 cap: $757,500.

• CB Fernando Bryant: FA Lions; $776,000/1 yr, $20,000 SB/$20,000 WO; 2008 cap: $491,000.

• LB Victor Hobson: UFA Jets; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.

• P Scott Player: FA; terms unknown.

• TE Marcus Pollard: UFA Seahawks; terms unknown.

• CB Lewis Sanders: FA Falcons; $770,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $491,000.

• CB Jason Webster: UFA Bills; $800,000/1 yr, $130,000 guaranteed/$70,000 WO.

• S Tank Williams: UFA Vikings; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 WO; 2008 cap: $491,000.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• T Wesley Britt: ERFA; terms unknown.

• LB Tedy Bruschi: Potential UFA; $4.1M/2 yrs, $1.2M SB; 2008 cap: $1.6M.

• WR Jabar Gaffney: UFA; $1.281M/1 yr, $500,000 SB/$75,000 WO.

• LB Larry Izzo: Potential UFA; $870,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: 485,000.

• WR Randy Moss: UFA; $27M/3 yrs, $12M SB/$3M base guarantee; 2008 cap: $6M.

• LS Lonie Paxton: UFA; $880,000/1 yr, $150,000 SB.

• S Ray Ventrone: ERFA; $370,000/1 yr.

• WR Kelley Washington: UFA; $1.855M/2 yrs, $450,000 SB; 2008: $830,000.

• LB Pierre Woods: ERFA; terms unknown.

• DL Mike Wright: RFA; terms unknown (tendered at $1.47M).

PLAYERS LOST

• TE Kyle Brady (released/failed physical).

• LB Rosevelt Colvin (released/failed physical).

• CB Randall Gay: UFA Saints; $12M/4 yrs, $3.75M SB.

• DL Rashad Moore: Not tendered as RFA/Falcons; terms unknown.

• CB Asante Samuel: UFA Eagles; $59.475M/6 yrs, $6M SB/$7M RB 08-09.

• WR Donte Stallworth: UFA Browns; $35M/7 yrs, $10M guaranteed.

• DB Eugene Wilson: UFA Buccaneers; $1.8M/1 yr, $500,000 guaranteed.

The Pats did very little wrong in 2007 – that is until February 3rd rolled around and a trip sunny Glendale, Arizona turned their bright season into a dark nightmare. It was that night that the Pats, on the verge of history, blew a late 14-10 lead in SuperBowl XLII to the Giants as they scored late to steal a 17-14 victory, ending what was a perfect 18-0 season. How the Pats will respond to that loss in 2007 may be one of the biggest question marks heading into the 08 season. The team really didn’t have to do all that much in the offseason, that is other than tweak a defense that was worn down late in the biggest game of the year. They also lost CB Asante Samuel in free agency, which was totally expected. They did make sure they got their biggest offensive weapon outside of Tom Brady back, that being WR Randy Moss.

The team brought in CB’s Fernando Bryant, Lewis Sanders and Jason Webster to help with depth. They gave LB Victor Hobson a one-year deal, and safety Tank Williams comes aboard from Minnesota. On offense, it was a record setting year across the board, so just making sure Moss came back was the key in that regard. The draft was used to work on defense, grabbing LB Jerod Mayo with their first pick, CB Terrence Wheatley in round two, and OLB Shawn Crable in round three. Getting younger on D was a key, and for what they had, they did a solid job in that. While questions remain about this squad, the bottom line is they are still in the top three in the league, and for good reason.

Offseason Grade to Date: B


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