November 5, 2007

IF A DB WERE 6' 4" HE'D BE A RECEIVER:

New England's offseason won this game (Peter King, 11/05/07, SI.com)

Of the 13 biggest offensive plays for New England -- the plays that would decide the outcome in the wildly noisy RCA Dome -- 12 of them were handled by the three new Patriots receivers.

It's amazing, and I do not use that word lightly, that New England got RandyMoss for a fourth-round pick on draft day from Oakland. He's the best receiver in football right now, the most dangerous deep threat and a player blessed with the ability to catch a ball one-handed better than anyone I've ever seen. The Raiders were desperately trying to peddle Moss to the Packers in April, and fruitlessly tried to get a deal with Green Bay hours before dealing him to New England. (The Packers shied away, fearing how disruptive Moss could be because of his recent history with Minnesota and Oakland.)

It's surprising the Pats were able to filch WesWelker for second- and seventh-round picks from Miami, after the Dolphins stupidly failed to put a first-round tender offer on the restricted free agent. Welker led the Dolphins in the rare trifecta of receptions, punt returns and kickoff returns last year. The Pats gave Welker an offer sheet, and Miami awkwardly tried to save face on the deal by taking a final-round pick from New England.

And the market for free-agent Donte' Stallworth was thin with teams fearing his off-the-field problems.

New England swooped in and got them all -- for the remarkably manageable 2007 cap total of $8.4 million. Imagine getting an all-star receiving corps for eight percent of your overall cap. That's what VP of player personnel Scott Pioli and coach Bill Belichick did, and in the fourth quarter of the biggest game this year, those three players beat the defending Super Bowl champs.


Posted by Orrin Judd at November 5, 2007 7:59 AM
Comments

The one thing the Pats do very very well is to make superstars out of other teams' castoffs.

Posted by: Mike Morley at November 5, 2007 2:22 PM

A cornerback is a wide receiver who can't catch.

Posted by: Brandon at November 5, 2007 4:58 PM

Receivers yes. But the other big offseason acquisition - LB Thomas, isn't doing much which may hurt them when the weather gets cold and they can't count as much on the passing game.

Posted by: AWW at November 5, 2007 9:46 PM
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