New England Patriots Make Day One Splash, Despite Limited Cap Space

Chris RadezSenior Writer IFebruary 28, 2009

It was basically assumed that the Patriots, who still need to resign many of their own players if they wish to keep them, would stay at home on day one of free agency. After all, they've got plenty of draft picks to fill out their roster with.


The Pats again made a splash by signing free agent running back Fred Taylor, and free agent tight end Chris Baker.

What's even more interesting about this, is that many Patriots fans were under the impression that the offense was set, and this off-season would be more about making the defense younger and faster.


The introduction of Taylor reminds me of years ago when they brought in Corey Dillon, a powerful running back who could give the defense some much needed rest when it was necessary.

The Baker signing makes sense, since Ben Watson had an off year, and we all know how Bill Belichick loves to implement tight ends into his offensive game-plan.

Now, the question is, what the heck with the Patriots do with Matt Cassel? I don't know the details of these contracts with Taylor and Baker, but I'm assuming it hasn't left much room under the cap for Rodney Harrison, James Sanders, and a few other key guys on this team.

Do these signings mean that Cassel is likely to be traded before draft day? He'll have to be if they want to have some wiggle room to make transactions with rookies or other free agents.

Things are never left uninteresting in New England, and it looks like 2009 will be no different.


I'm Chris Radez, Senior NFL Writer at Bleacher Report, and Co-Owner of TheScoreBoards.