NFL Picks for New England Patriots a Favorable Option Even With Salary Cap Adjustments & Free Agents on the Move

Nikki Adams

Friday, February 13, 2015 6:40 PM GMT

Although the New England Patriots are still riding the high of their Super Bowl 49 win, NFL experts and betting enthusiasts are kind of over it. Instead, they look ahead to Super Bowl 50 and how the Patriots stack up against the rest of the field. Join us as we look at what's next for the Patriots.

Tom Brady Starting 15th Season
When Tom Brady suits up for the NFL 2015-2016 season, it'll be his 15th season in the NFL as a starting quarterback, highlighted by four Super Bowl rings, the last of which came after a belated decade.  What the Patriots accomplished in Super Bowl 49 is fitting validation for a stellar season.  A testament to Brady's talent and constancy in the game and his enduring legacy. No quarterback is more relevant than Tom Brady is in the game at the moment. And...the best bit (scary footnote)...is he's even better than he was when he first won Super Bowl XXXVI. Heck, the Patriots et al are much better today than their predecessors ever were. This isn't a slight (no disrespect, really). Obviously, past instalments were good, especially those that have SB rings to show for it. However, when you look at the sum of all the parts, the current collection is by far the most formidable of the lot. And with major key elements slated to return for the NFL 2015-2016 season, the prognosis for the Patriots is favorable.

Heck, why else would many sportsbooks install the New England Patriots as one of the top faves (if not THE top fave) to win Super Bowl 50 at +500 or 5/1 NFL odds (on par with Seattle Seahawks at some online betting shops). Of course, those holding candlelight vigils from now until the end of summer, hoping fervently the Patriots would somehow fall off the AFC map entirely or that the coming season would see the Patriots lose their edge, aren't going to embrace this NFL betting market outlook with open arms. Alas, it's a fair assessment.
 

Staff and Continuity: Josh McDaniels To Stay With Patriots For Another Year
On the staffing side, no offensive coordinator is quite as alluring as Josh McDaniels. During the playoffs, speculation was rife about his future prospects: whether the Patriots could hold on to him or would they lose him to another club. So busy was the coaching carousel this season, McDaniels was one of the top Head Coach prospects amongst franchises desperate to fill the void.

Word is that it looks that McDaniels will remain with the Patriots for one more season. This could change at any given moment, naturally. However, for now, such stability in the coaching staff only adds to the Patriots' stock value in NFL betting markets.

The idea that Bill Belichick would leave is ludicrous, which only adds to this sense of continuity in Boston. Finally, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia's stock is also on the up, but he looks to be staying with the Patriots too.

 

Tom Brady Restructures Contract
Tom Brady has plenty of football left in him, so he says. He also knows that the current team he's working with is one of the strongest contenders for next season. To achieve the goals he has (one of which you can bet is another Super Bowl Ring), he needs to have all his weapons in place. Towards that end, he's restructured his contract with the Patriots to free up some cash, a reported $24 million. This team friendly move will allow the Patriots to make some positive moves, but it won't solve all their salary cap concerns.
 

Free Agency, Salary Cap Hits and more...
Darrelle Revis is one of the players garnering most attention on the list of players that are either staying or going. Do the Patriots keep him or let him go? The former seems to be the popular consensus, but it requires sorting out a $25 million cap hit. It's not going to be straightforward, not least because others also need sorting, including Danny Amendola, who is another top prospect under the spotlight: will he resign with the Patriots under a team-friendly deal ($5.7 million cap hit for 2015) or will he test free agency waters.
 

Here's a list of the Patriots' Top Free Agents (Top Salary Cap Hits):

  1. Corner Back, Darrelle Revis

  2. Safety, Devin McCourty

  3. Offensive Guard, Dan Connolly

  4. Kicker, Stephen Gostkowski

  5. Running Back, Shane Vereen

  6. Defensive Tackle, Sealver Siliga

  7. Fullback, James Develin

  8. Defensive Lineman, Alan Branch

  9. Linebacker, Akeem Ayers

  10. Linebacker, Jonathan Casillas

  11. Running back, Stephen Ridley

  12. Long snapper, Danny Aiken

  13. Linebacker, Chris White

  14. Wide Receiver, Brian Tyms

It's a month until the Free Agency situation takes front and centre (March 10) so there'll be lots of ins and outs in the lead up as each franchise takes care of its business. It'll be interesting to see what the Patriots do, namely with Revis and Amendola. That being said, Brady and Belichick have a knack of getting the best out of the players they have, be they stars or not.  Whatever happens, there's a sense of confidence that follows the Patriots from season to season and the coming term is no exception, so don't fade them with your NFL picks.