Whelan & Dealin’

Whelan & Dealin

Whelan & Dealin’

Ben Whelan

The Patriots have made a major splash this off-season, so let’s towel ourselves off and take a look at the Patriots Transactions report card.

Signing Adalius Thomas: A

This may just be the best free agent signing the Patriots have ever made. First off, let’s talk about measurables: 6’2″, 270 lbs. and 4.5 40-yard dashes, just an athletic freak. However, what makes him such a perfect fit for the Patriots is that he is as versatile a player as there is in the league. Thomas is a Swiss army knife of a player that can line up at almost any position you want him to in the front seven and even played press coverage against the likes of Ocho Cinco, Cincinatti receiver Chad Johsnon. Just thinking about all of the different ways that Belichick can use this guy makes my head explode. If Belichick went into the bowels of Gillette with a bunch of practice squad players, cut them up and Frankensteined them together into the ultimate football player, he couldn’t do much better than Thomas.

Signing Kyle Brady: C

This is a mediocre move for a mediocre player, although the fact that the Patriots signed him on the first day must mean that he can still do something. Brady, a 6’6″, 280 lb. tight end who was once a dangerous receiving weapon in the glory days of Jacksonville, is 35 and can now be considered no more than a lineman with a number in the eighties. This signing registers a barely audible “eh” on the interest scale.

Trading for Wes Welker: D

This is an uncharacteristically awful move for the Patriots player personnel staff. Don’t get me wrong, Welker is a nice little player, but is he worth a second round pick? To put it in perspective, the Jets are reportedly acquiring Thomas Jones from the Bears, who has rushed for 1,200 yards in back to back seasons (the first Chicago runner to do so since Walter Payton), and are merely exchanging second round picks with the NFC champs. It’s hard to swallow that the patriots value the 5’9″ Welker, who will likely be a slot-receiver, over a receiver that they could get for that pick in the second round. Receiver is by far the deepest position in this year’s draft, and even though the Patriots have been unable to get a solid receiver picking in this round (see Bethel Johnson, Chad Jackson), they can definitely get a better player than Welker at this spot. Welker may stand out in the minds of Patriot fans for his 9-catch 77-yard performance at Gillette last year, but he never cracked the 100-yard mark in any game. He also has a grand total of one touchdown reception in three years with the Dolphins. He can return punts and kicks and has the versatility that the Pats love so much, but a second round pick?! It’s just too much for such a moderate talent.

Trading for Randy Moss: N/A

I can’t give this move a grade because it hasn’t happened yet and quite frankly isn’t going to. There were a lot of these rumors last season around the trade deadline and a lot of published reports seemed to suggest that the deal almost happened. I have it on very good authority that not only did the Patriots never even get a call from the Raiders regarding Moss, but if they had they would have hung up the phone. This current new speculation is, as far as I can tell, based on the fact that the Pats need a receiver, Moss is a good receiver and the coach said something along the lines of “He’s a good player.” Lets put an end to this right now. First off, the Patriots would have to give up their entire team, including the grounds crew, cheerleaders and Gino Capiletti to pry Moss from Al Davis’ cold dead hands (the silver and black were asking for two first-rounders for Jerry Porter last season). Second, the guy just doesn’t fit in. People say Corey Dillon was a troublemaker and he reformed, but the worst thing he did was to throw his shoulder pads at the Bengals fans, and who among us wouldn’t have done the same in his situation? Randy Moss has done many worse things in his career than give away free equipment to the fans. In short: Not gonna happen, no way, no how.