December 10, 2016

Free Agency Day 2: Pats Roll On

by Scott Benson
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The Patriots finalized their blockbuster deal with Adalius Thomas today while also signing veteran free agents Kyle Brady and Sammy Morris to multi-year contracts.

As if that wasn’t enough, as the day closed the Patriots were reportedly poised to offer Miami receiver/returner Wes Welker a seven-year deal for more than 30 million dollars.

This must be what its like to root for the Washington Redskins.

Thomas arrives as an impact player, a force that will have to be game planned around, but Brady and Morris come in as pieces of a larger puzzle, counted on mostly to fulfill specific roles.

If Bill Belichick is right and Brady is like another tackle on the field, he’ll go a long way to filling the void left by the now-inevitable departure of Daniel Graham, the consummate blocking tight end. I’d say Morris doesn’t fill Corey Dillon’s roster spot as much as he fills Patrick Pass’s – run a little, catch a little, play special teams a lot. I can’t see that he’s replacing Dillon as a ballcarrier when he’s never had more than 130 carries in a season. There were reports that the eight-year vet had secured a four-year deal with the Pats.

The Welker deal is more complicated than the first three. If the Miami Dolphins, Welker’s employers since 2004, decline to match the Patriots offer to the restricted free agent, New England would surrender it’s second round pick – #60 – as compensation.

There may be question as to whether Welker, a 5’9,185 lb. utilityman, is worth a 2nd round pick. If that pick netted a dependable third down option and steady returner that is guaranteed (as much as humanly possible) to contribute from play one next season, I’d be happy. You wouldn’t? Welker is still a young player at 26, and under this deal, he’d be a Patriot though the prime years of his career. As much fun as the draft is, it’s a crap shoot, and Wes Welker ought to have proven himself to Patriots fans by now.

There will be plenty of time to argue about this one, as any Patriots offer would be followed by a seven-day period during which the Dolphins decide whether to match the offer and retain Welker.

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