BY HAL BENT -
With the off-season upon the New England Patriots visions of free agents and trades for big-name playmakers are dancing through the heads of fans and media talking heads. However, before looking outside the team, there are questions to be addressed internally with the Patriots own free agents.
Jeff Howe at the Boston Herald reports on the likelihood of offers made to the Patriots internal free agents. One particular internal free agent, center Ryan Wendell, seemed to be rated a little high by Howe. From Howe:
Pats’ plan: They know a 6-foot-2, 300-pound center won’t break the bank in free agency, so they might start low (say, three years, $7.5 million) but probably won’t need to screw around too much. Keeping the starting line intact after Dante Scarnecchia’s retirement should be a priority in this transition stage.
Wendell’s plan: Wendell probably wants something similar to Dan Connolly’s deal (three years, $9.75 million), and that’s fair. Centers aren’t big-ticket items on the open market, so seeking leverage in free agency might even be a gamble that could yield unfavorable results.
Right now, Dan Connolly’s deal looks horrible. New England got very little bang for their buck from Connolly. In 2012 Connolly was average at guard and outplayed by Donald Thomas. Thomas signed with Indianapolis and despite being younger and a better player the Patriots were stuck with Connolly due to their overpaying him previously.
In 2013 Connolly was even worse and is likely to be released in this off-season...click here for more: http://musketfire.com/2014/02/09/new-england-patriots-standing-pat-offensive-line-bad-idea/