In 2009, the Patriots look to be rather limited in what they can do in free agency because of Matt Cassel and the franchise tag. Still, this does not mean that they can’t make any moves. So here is a list of potential Patriots targets, as well as players up for resigning. Next to each name is a number, 1-10. 1 being the least likely that player comes to the Patriots, 10 being the most likely. I’ve also included a few names that could be cap casualties. Free Agency officially begins on February 27th.
Todd Bouman, 3 – Could be a nice third string option with veteran prescence if Pats trade Cassel
Charlie Batch, 3 – Played well with Steelers in spot duty, ditto with Bouman.
Chris Simms, 2 – Ditto with first two. A little younger though, so he could interfere with O’Connells development.
Heath Evans, 10 – Fullback wants to return, and is a solid leader and all-around player. No reason why not.
Lamont Jordan, 5 – Back in August, signed a one year “prove it” deal. While it would be nice to have him back, it’s not likely.
Aaron Stecker, 6 – Might be a nice extra body in camp. Is a good pass catcher and special teams player.
Kevin Jones, 3 – Almost signed with the Patriots last year, and could get a look this year as well, with Lamont likely out the door.
Cedric Benson, 2 – Played well with the Bengals at the end of last year, but likely won’t be a Patriots target.
Fred Taylor, 4 – Might be a nice upgrade at the position, but would need a lot of carries, and the Patriots have a lot of backs.
Deuce McAllister, 3 – Might be had for the minimum, and despite lots of injuries, could be an option at the right price.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, 1 – Good player, but age and price tag make him very unlikely to be targeted by the Pats.http:
Jabar Gaffney, 8 – As long as he isn’t looking for real big money, he could very likely come back at a one or two year deal.
Devery Henderson, 7 – If the Patriots are looking for a deep threat opposite Moss, Devery Henderson could very well be that option. It all depends on his asking price, of course.
Tony Stewart, 6 – Good blocking tight end who could be brought in to compete in camp.
Will Heller, 5 – Big blocking tight end that reminds me of a younger Kyle Brady.
Fred Miller, 5 – May be aging, but Belichick always likes to bring in veteran tackles to compete in camp.
Russ Hochstein, 8 – Found a role as a backup lineman and blocking fullback. Should be back cheap.
Adam Goldberg, 5 – Only 28, has some starting experience, and could become a key roleplayer on the line.
Scott Young, 3 – Could be brought in to compete for backup guard spot in camp.
John Thornton, 4 – Could make the move to defensive end in the 3-4. Is big, strong, and has surprising pass rushing skill.
Mike Wright, 6 – Might get a contract somewhere else, but if healthy, fits nicely with the Patriots scheme.
Kenny Smith, 6 – Could this be the year he makes the team? Maybe.
Colin Cole, 4 – Looks like he could play the nose tackle position, and could be a valuable backup to Vince Wilfork.
Roderick Green, 5 – Looks like he has the bulk to fit the bill at ILB for the Patriots 3-4.
Channing Chrowder, 6 – If the Patriots spend good money on one player this offseason, it could be Channing Chrowder. He is young, athletic, strong. In fact, he may be too perfect for Belichick’s scheme. I’m sure the Patriots will take a long look at him.
Ray Lewis, 4 – Will cost too much, doesn’t enjoy the 3-4. However, he would be a nice fit if the Pats had the money.
Bart Scott, 5 – Again, almost too perfect for the Patriots scheme. And again, probably too much money.
Andra Davis, 4 – Nice veteran who would fit the system nicely. $ is an issue, yet again.
Junior Seau, 6 – Pats probably won’t make a decision on him until later in the offseason. Ideal candidate to get some backup time, as he plays with an unmatched intensity, and is very football smart.
Adam Seward, 6 – Patriots took a long look at him as a restricted free agent last season, but chose not to sign him to an offer sheet. As an unrestricted free agent this time around, Seward could get a look.
Alfred Fincher, 4 – Backup for Redskins who could play inside for the Pats.
Dontarrious Thomas, 4 – Ditto Fincher. Played well earlier in his career, and could be a backup option for the Pats.
Rosevelt Colvin, 5 – The Patriots and Colvin could agree for the right money and the right role. Colvin, however, may have his future set on other things, possibly outside of football.
Julius Peppers, 2 – Yes, Peppers said he wants to play in a 3-4. But no, he won’t play for the Patriots next season.
Jason Taylor, 5 – If money was right, Taylor could make a nice fit with the Patriots as a rush linebacker. Would also provide an obvious leadership role as well.
Andre Frazier, 5 – Has been a backup for the Steelers for the past few years, but has the size and skills, and it would interesting to see what he could do if given a shot.
Domonique Foxworth, 5 – Talented, young, fast, and good in zone coverage. Also has some size (5-11).
Dunta Robinson, 4 – Very talented. Very fast, just a great cover corner. Inury prone. Will carry a high pricetag.
Deltha O’Neal, 3 – LOL.
Lewis Sanders, 9 – Very solid. Played safety, corner, special teams. Big and physical. I don’t see a reason why the Pats shouldn’t bring him back.
Ty Law, 2 – Not this time. He lost his chance.
DeAngelo Hall, 7 – The Patriots pursued him after he was cut by the Redskins. I wouldn’t be surprised if they pursued him again. He would be absolutely perfect for the Patriots. But… money is an issue, of course.
Leigh Bodden, 7 – Bigger, physical. Good coverage skills. Belichick likes this type of player. Could come cheap.
Chris McAllister, 5 – Similar skillset to Bodden. Could be a Chad Scott – esque pick-up. Could also come relatively cheap.
Lawyer Milloy, 7 – Wouldn’t it be crazy if Lawyer Milloy came back? Well, he still is playing at a high level, has been very healthy, and could fill a void if Rodney Harrison retires.
Rodney Harrison, 8 – Harrison has had a very productive start in the sports broadcasting business. Still, I say his desire to play will keep him in the game for another year or two.
James Sanders, 7 – Is underrated by a lot of Patriots fans, and will probably come back as long as he isn’t asking for too much.
Mike Brown, 6 – Interesting option. Could play a similar role to Milloy or Harrison, of course, he would have to bite the injury bug.
Tank Williams, 7 – Was looking good until a season ending injury in training camp. Could very well be re-signed dirt cheap.
Yeremiah Bell, 5 – Good safety, with a skillset that could be exploited by the Patriots. Will come with a hefty pricetag, so don’t count on it.
Michael Boulware – Safety/linebacker tweener could be an interesting pickup.
Lonnie Paxton, 10 – He may be aging, but when was the last time we saw a botched snap here in New England?
Shane Lechler, 2 – Will come with a big price tag, and will he can put distance on the ball, Hanson is better at pinning it near the goal line.