ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss takes a look at a number of the roster decision that the New England Patriots will have to make in the coming weeks.
Welker, 30, is set to hit the free agent market but many believe that the Pat’s will use their franchise tag on him in the next few weeks.
Reiss notes that there’s some concern from the Patriots about signing him to a long-term extension because they’re afraid that his production could fall off before the end of the deal. Reiss adds that special team’s captain Matthew Slater should be a “priority to re-sign.”
Green-Ellis is a very intriguing situation as he’s been productive in certain ways but his numbers aren’t exactly amazing in the yardage totals. That’s largely due to the role that he plays in the Patriots offense and the fact that they use a number of running backs throughout the season. Still, Green-Ellis has managed to score at least 11 touchdowns in each of the last two seasons and has never fumbled in his NFL career. Let me just say that again. The guy has never fumbled in his career. It’s really an amazing stat.
Reiss assumes that New England will want to retain him but adds that they do have two young running backs on their roster that could see expanded roles next season.
It’s really a tough call but Green-Ellis is a Bill Belichick type of player so I wouldn’t rule out a possible return just yet.
Ochocinco’s first year with the Patriots was largely forgettable. I think back to when the Redskins offered two first-round picks for him and wonder where the Bengals would be if they had made the move. Sorry for digressing.
Chad will make $3 million next season which Reiss mentions is the team’s fourth highest base salary next season. Ochocinco finished the season with just 15 receptions and never looked comfortable in the team’s offense. There’s no way that he’ll be back at that salary next season but he could rework his deal in the hopes of remaining with the team for another season.
Andre Carter & Mark Anderson
Bill Belichick made an interesting move during the offseason when he chose to change the team’s defense from a 3-4 front to a 4-3 in attempt to simplify what they were doing. He then traded for Albert Haynesworth, who was subsequently released, and added veteran defensive ends Andre Carter and Mark Anderson. At the time it was hard to imagine that either player would be effective but both them played great and wound up becoming the team’s pass rush.
Reiss mentions that Carter and Anderson’s return will have more to do with Belichick’s plans for the team’s defensive scheme than anything else.
If the Patriots choose to go back to the 3-4, both of them played well enough to draw interest in the open market but I wouldn’t expect to see any sizable offers for either player.