Dave Ziegler: Patriots cap space opens up options

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During the 2020 season, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said the team “didn’t have much flexibility at all” to build their roster as a result of their salary cap situation.

Others disputed that rationale for the makeup of the team’s roster and no one will be able to make that argument this offseason. The Patriots are set to have over $60 million in cap space once the new league year is underway.

Belichick will remain the lead personnel voice in New England, but he won’t have Nick Caserio beside him this offseason. Caserio is now the Texans’ General Manager and Dave Ziegler has taken on his role despite the lack of an official announcement about a promotion.

In a video for the team’s website, Ziegler discussed the advantages of the team’s cap position.

“I think having cap space gives you flexibility, and there aren’t a whole lot of teams at this point that maybe have a lot of cap space,” Ziegler said. “I think having that flexibility, it just opens up options for you. And I think that at the same time, there’s still a responsibility to spend those dollars wisely.”

One spot where some of those dollars will be allocated is the quarterback position and New England’s call at that spot will be a defining one for their offseason.

28 responses to “Dave Ziegler: Patriots cap space opens up options

  1. It always seemed that the Patriots were an attractive location for free agents. Based on Brady leaving and players coming out against the “Patriot way” it appears that free agents wanted to play with Brady, not necessarily for the Patriots. Going forward, it looks like the Patriots will need to overpay for free agents.

  2. Unfamiliar territory for the Patriots having so much cap space. Despite what they Na-Sayers out their think… NEW England has spent to the cap 19 of the 20 years Bill was head coach. Last year they had about 21 million in dead money ( Tom Brady and AB)

    Should be able to reposition the core team and provide quality back ups in O-line and D-line and maybe get a decent Bridge QB….Jacoby or Fitzy and still have a little left over for a #1 WR which we so desperately need.

  3. Yeah but once again cap space has to be looked at with respect to how many free agents of your own you have and New England has a bunch including Thuney and Andrews. That money will be needed largely just to fill roster spots.

  4. 2020 was a pay the piper year. 2021 starts the rebuild. BB will have patience, get value, hit and miss on some picks like always.

  5. Thuney will eat 1/4 of that cap space alone…

    The Pats will become like every other team had been forever… they will go into a 3-4 year Hibernation until they are relevant again.

  6. Now for the part where you just have to convince players to play for Belichick only this time there’s no Brady.

    Just a small detail!

  7. Pats basically used a single year to clear a ton of cap and build more picks. Considering they had so many Covid opt-outs and (many forget) the hardest schedule, it was essentially a dead year anyway. Which is why there was no harm in giving Cam a chance, and prob not fair to start Stid (BB always says year 2 is crucial). And they still went 7-9 despite losing Edelman.

    And LOL at haters who on one hand say players don’t like “the Patriot Way” and on the other say this hardworking laser focus was actually “the Brady Way” all along and a fantastic thing. I suggest you listen to that Cam interview where he said he’d love play for BB again and the other exPats agreed. He attracts hardworking disciples of the game.

  8. No No No isn’t it better to give diva wide receivers huge contracts, and isn’t it better to pay your quarterback a top level contract that pays him over 30 million a year even tho he’s never won his division? I thought that’s how you construct a winning football team. Bill is doing it all wrong he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He didn’t coach any of those championship teams that won those 6 titles it was ALL Tom Brady. It was Brady who held Atlanta to no more points when it was 28-3, and it looked like Atlanta was going to run away with it…. It was Brady who intercepted that throw in Seattle to seal that Superbowl win. … It was Brady who kicked that game winning field goal against the greatest show on turf to win that Superbowl.. it’s always been Brady didn’t you know that

  9. Pats had a top ten defense, they could be an 10-11 win with a QB that defenses have to worry about throwing a TD and having more than 200 yards with his arm.

  10. streetyson says:
    February 26, 2021 at 8:14 am
    Pats basically used a single year to clear a ton of cap and build more picks. Considering they had so many Covid opt-outs and (many forget) the hardest schedule
    _______________________

    No one forgets that brutal first place schedule that NE had to endure:

    Patriots – Ravens, Texans
    Bills – Steelers, Titans
    Dolphins – Browns, Jaguars
    Jets – Bengals, Colts

  11. richabbs says:
    February 26, 2021 at 7:23 am
    It always seemed that the Patriots were an attractive location for free agents. Based on Brady leaving and players coming out against the “Patriot way” it appears that free agents wanted to play with Brady, not necessarily for the Patriots. Going forward, it looks like the Patriots will need to overpay for free agents.

    28 34 Rate This

    ————-

    1. No one in NE created the term “the Patriot Way”.
    2. What players are against playing in NE, except losers?
    3. You and orhers are easily led by the narrative-framing media.

    This last point is why we have very dumb people in this country. Millennials were raised with the internet. Congratulations.

  12. edelmanfanclub says:
    February 26, 2021 at 8:19 am
    Pats had a top ten defense, they could be an 10-11 win with a QB that defenses have to worry about throwing a TD and having more than 200 yards with his arm.

    16 3 Rate This

    —————-

    Exactly. The D and STs won 99% of the games the last 2 years. They had a pouty, loser Brady in 2019 and Newton last year at 7-9 and a pandemic during the bridge year.

    The rebuild will be complete with 2-3 key moves and another nice draft. They’re swimming in young talent.

  13. Anyone who thinks 2020 was the start of a years-long slide in Foxborough is in for an awakening. Last season can be described in one word: aberrational. Opt-outs, injuries, schedule, the pandemic and, and, AND the loss of the greatest quarterback in history — and for all time — all conspired to produce a rarity. The Patriots will be back with a vengeance.

  14. 4hourelection says:
    February 26, 2021 at 8:06 am
    Before spending a cent on QB, buy two TEs. I can’t watch our feeble ones anymore.
    ___________

    You did watch all the games I assume. I don’t think a Kelce/Gronk 2 tight end alignment would have accounted for 4 TD’s combined. Some throws were bounced, some 5 yard outs came out way too hot, but most all of them were telegraphed. Asiasi will be a productive TE with a higher rated passer.

  15. At this point and after watching last year’s substandard NFL-level QB play, I’d take Fitzmagic for a couple years as the Patriots plan for the long haul. As much as I’d like a big splash at the position, we all know the Pats never overpay for anything, so none of that would happen anyway even if Wilson or Watson had them at the top of their lists.

  16. They have a lot of picks and cap space but their history with the draft has been middling – same can be said for their free agents as well.

  17. The Pats will have a very good OL, the best secondary in the league, and an excellent RB corps. The DL and LB’s are decent but need improvement. The TE’s and WR’s are pretty dismal. And of course the QB situation is a complete mystery at this point.

    I’m guessing that after the Pats sign their own FA’s, they will have 30-40MM in space to go after FA’s.

    They currently have 11 picks in the draft. At 15 I’m hoping they draft the best interior DLman available. Its a big need and rookie DLman often have instant impact, unlike QB’s TE’s and WR’s.

    Back in 2001 Pro Football Weekly did a piece on which 5 teams were unlikely to reach a superbowl in the next 5 years. The team deemed LEAST likely was the NE Patriots. We all know now how that prediction turned out.

    When he came to the Pats in 2000 BB usted that 5-11 season to unload a ton of cap space. He used that cap space to bring in a ton of what would now be called secondary FA’s like Roman Phiffer, and the rest was history. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pats follow the same game plan this .season.

    I look for the Pats to get a QB, TE, and WR in FA, but not spend HUGE money on anyone. Jacoby Brissett, Tyler Eifort, an a good WR they can sign for about $10MM. Other FA’s will be middle of the road guys they can pick up cheap. Guys who were cut after injury plagued seasons like Adam Humphries and Jarrel Casey. No big name FA’s for the Pats THIS off season

  18. Hope springs eternal especially from delusional Pats fans.

  19. touchback6 says:
    February 26, 2021 at 9:09 am
    edelmanfanclub says:
    February 26, 2021 at 8:19 am
    Pats had a top ten defense, they could be an 10-11 win with a QB that defenses have to worry about throwing a TD and having more than 200 yards with his arm.

    16 3 Rate This

    —————-

    Exactly. The D and STs won 99% of the games the last 2 years. They had a pouty, loser Brady in 2019 and Newton last year at 7-9 and a pandemic during the bridge year.

    The rebuild will be complete with 2-3 key moves and another nice draft. They’re swimming in young talent.

    —–

    If BB would have only listened to you and started Stidham the Pats would have won the division and you would not have lost your bet. It must have killed you watching “pouty” Brady take the Bucs to and win the SB.

  20. patfanken says:
    February 26, 2021 at 10:30 am
    The Pats will have a very good OL, the best secondary in the league, and an excellent RB corps. The DL and LB’s are decent but need improvement. The TE’s and WR’s are pretty dismal. And of course the QB situation is a complete mystery at this point.

    I’m guessing that after the Pats sign their own FA’s, they will have 30-40MM in space to go after FA’s.

    They currently have 11 picks in the draft. At 15 I’m hoping they draft the best interior DLman available. Its a big need and rookie DLman often have instant impact, unlike QB’s TE’s and WR’s.

    Back in 2001 Pro Football Weekly did a piece on which 5 teams were unlikely to reach a superbowl in the next 5 years. The team deemed LEAST likely was the NE Patriots. We all know now how that prediction turned out.

    When he came to the Pats in 2000 BB usted that 5-11 season to unload a ton of cap space. He used that cap space to bring in a ton of what would now be called secondary FA’s like Roman Phiffer, and the rest was history. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pats follow the same game plan this .season.

    I look for the Pats to get a QB, TE, and WR in FA, but not spend HUGE money on anyone. Jacoby Brissett, Tyler Eifort, an a good WR they can sign for about $10MM. Other FA’s will be middle of the road guys they can pick up cheap. Guys who were cut after injury plagued seasons like Adam Humphries and Jarrel Casey. No big name FA’s for the Pats THIS off season

    1 0 Rate This

    ———————

    Nailed it.

    Pats do substance, not flash. Millennials and our dumb society in general love hype and flash to feel good sleeping at night. This makes haters jealous and annoyed because they know BB has it right having cap control and building through the draft.

    I disagree with the WR analysis. Edelman is Edelman, Harry is slow to come on for sure, but look at the hideous qb play 2 years in a row. What young WR would look great with that? Meyers is a stud in the making, clearly. A homerun as a possession WR throughout the route tree.

    Edelman can help groom Olzcewski, and yeah, see what Humphries wants.

    The OL is top 5 even if they lose Thuney, which they will. Onwenu is a stuf playing all pro bowl as a roomie at different spots. Ertz would look good in NE for sure and I like how Vitale is back to maybe help with Keene a bit.

    On D, they need some infusion at OLB, just one key vet for the Elephant, but with Hightower back, thay at least settles down the calls. The secondary is second to none and JC Jackson along with many others like Guy (superb player, needs help at 3-4 DE), and the Special Teams has been incredible, especially last year.

  21. nhpats2011 says:
    February 26, 2021 at 11:00 am
    touchback6 says:
    February 26, 2021 at 9:09 am
    edelmanfanclub says:
    February 26, 2021 at 8:19 am
    Pats had a top ten defense, they could be an 10-11 win with a QB that defenses have to worry about throwing a TD and having more than 200 yards with his arm.

    16 3 Rate This

    —————-

    Exactly. The D and STs won 99% of the games the last 2 years. They had a pouty, loser Brady in 2019 and Newton last year at 7-9 and a pandemic during the bridge year.

    The rebuild will be complete with 2-3 key moves and another nice draft. They’re swimming in young talent.

    —–

    If BB would have only listened to you and started Stidham the Pats would have won the division and you would not have lost your bet. It must have killed you watching “pouty” Brady take the Bucs to and win the SB.

    0 0 Rate This

    ——————

    Rewarding entitled me players with ego is something BB does not want and something I do not want, regardless of the Dd winning the last two rings for Brady or not. He was terrible going into the sb with 5 picks. Good thing Brees was cooked and GBs D is still dumb, huh? Also, it’s super to see ratinga dip again for Goodell to try to manipulate games. Not a coincidence there.

    Brady is a selfish me player who has been chasing Manning’s stats since 2007 and hated when BB wisely drafted JimmyG and got 3 rings without gaudy stats except for his correcting his pathetic first half vs the Falcons, where this whole ego push started for entitled Brady. Good riddance to a guy who can’t be a team player and who ruined his legacy on the way out the door.

    What killed me was Brady crapping down his league vs the Giants after BB built what Brady wanted. Yet, Brady Lovers like you glossed right over it.

    JimmyG represents the 2nd greatest draft

    nhpats2011 says:
    February 26, 2021 at 11:00 am
    touchback6 says:
    February 26, 2021 at 9:09 am
    edelmanfanclub says:
    February 26, 2021 at 8:19 am
    Pats had a top ten defense, they could be an 10-11 win with a QB that defenses have to worry about throwing a TD and having more than 200 yards with his arm.

    16 3 Rate This

    —————-

    Exactly. The D and STs won 99% of the games the last 2 years. They had a pouty, loser Brady in 2019 and Newton last year at 7-9 and a pandemic during the bridge year.

    The rebuild will be complete with 2-3 key moves and another nice draft. They’re swimming in young talent.

    —–

    If BB would have only listened to you and started Stidham the Pats would have won the division and you would not have lost your bet. It must have killed you watching “pouty” Brady take the Bucs to and win the SB.

    0 0 Rate This

    nhpats2011 says:
    February 26, 2021 at 11:00 am
    touchback6 says:
    February 26, 2021 at 9:09 am
    edelmanfanclub says:
    February 26, 2021 at 8:19 am
    Pats had a top ten defense, they could be an 10-11 win with a QB that defenses have to worry about throwing a TD and having more than 200 yards with his arm.

    16 3 Rate This

    —————-

    Exactly. The D and STs won 99% of the games the last 2 years. They had a pouty, loser Brady in 2019 and Newton last year at 7-9 and a pandemic during the bridge year.

    The rebuild will be complete with 2-3 key moves and another nice draft. They’re swimming in young talent.

    —–

    If BB would have only listened to you and started Stidham the Pats would have won the division and you would not have lost your bet. It must have killed you watching “pouty” Brady take the Bucs to and win the SB.

    0 0 Rate This
    ————

    To deny Brady wasn’t pouty like a spoiled baby in 2019 is pathetic. Your Brady underooos need cleaning. Learn the sport. It’s more than just the qb as the Bucs D showed. As NEs D showed 2 years ago with a SB record that bothered primadonna Brady.

    Brady represents all that is wrong with society. You enjoy, though.

    No genuine human respects selfishness and ego even with poor play from Brady leading into the SB and a run game and a D to help him yet again, as he tries to pretend it was all him again. Good thing Fournette was there, huh?

    And yes, Stidham would have been better than Newton even if I understand the logic of the decision during a pandemic.

  22. They have a lot of picks and cap space but their history with the draft has been middling – same can be said for their free agents as well.

    ____

    They went to 9 Super Bowls in 20 years with middling talent?

    I guess you really think BB is the GOAT of coaches then.

  23. Is anybody bothering to remember the guys who opted out last year that are coming back. When they opted out they did not count against the cap and their contract tolled over a year. The player did not get to accrue the year as being played. Point is the Patriots had the most opt out and gained cap space because of it. Now they will again count against the cap and they have not been added in by anyone who seems to be discussing their cap space.

  24. This touchback6 guy just spews nonsense and never acknowledges when he’s wrong. This is the type of guy we all think of when we laugh at the Patriots descent into mediocrity.

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