Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

09 Mar 2010

Patriots Lock Up Leigh Bodden

The Patriots have signed Leigh Bodden to a four-year, $22 million contract that includes $10 million in guaranteed money.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 09 Mar 2010

14 comments, Last at 27 Mar 2010, 4:20am by sports-veronica


by matthewglidden :: Tue, 03/09/2010 - 6:50pm

How much did Aaron kick in personally?

by Bobman :: Tue, 03/09/2010 - 6:59pm

DVOA ranks the 2009 Pats 25th against #1 WRs, 8th against #2 WRs, and 10th against Other WRs..... so whom did Bodden regularly cover?

Seems like a lot of money if he was the man on the #1's, and maybe a lot if he's on the #2's as well.

(then again, maybe the reason for the good #1 stats against the Pats was somebody completely blanketing the #2's... or the good numbers against #2's are because the #1's were already torching the Pats so why pass to your #2 guy...)

by ABW (not verified) :: Tue, 03/09/2010 - 7:31pm

Someone in charting would know better but I'm pretty sure that the Patriots do not have their corners follow a particular receiver. They play on one side or the other.

Bodden was pretty good for the Patriots last year. Not awesome, but pretty good. Certainly a heck of a lot better than Jonathan "WHATS THAT BROWN THING IN THE AIR BEHIND ME" Wilhite.

by Nathan :: Tue, 03/09/2010 - 7:36pm

I think we should call him "Fishnets". Kind of rolls off the tongue.

by Ghost In The Shell (not verified) :: Tue, 03/09/2010 - 9:44pm

He played pretty well, in my opinion. He was hamstrung though, by the Pats' poor pass rush.

by loki (not verified) :: Tue, 03/09/2010 - 11:10pm

I seem to recall it being said that the Pats always to worse against #1 receivers and that it's a product of their coverage scheme more than anything.

by Marko :: Tue, 03/09/2010 - 9:02pm

My reaction upon seeing this was that you are running out of ways to say a team signed or added a player and that Steelers fans probably are hoping not to see a variation of the phrase "lock up" in the same headline as "Georgia" and "Ben Roethlisberger."

by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 03/09/2010 - 9:28pm

"Steelers Lock Up Ben Roethlisberger Until Training Camp. No, They Are Not Extending Him. They Are Actually Locking Him Up. Alone."

by Brendan Scolari :: Wed, 03/10/2010 - 3:53am

And the exile of Mike Leach, I mean Mike Tomlin, begins...

by MJK :: Wed, 03/10/2010 - 3:25pm

Didn't chart, but watched a lot of Patriots this year.

Bodden was consistently the best DB on the team. Wilhite was always exactly where he needed to be...and yet still allowed the WR to make the catch. Butler made some amazingly athletic plays on the ball...but was often in the wrong place (rookie issues, maybe?). Wheatley couldn't consistently beat out Bodden or Wilhite or Butler to get on the field. And Bodden also played better than any of the safeties.

He was a sound tackler, one of the better tacklers in the secondary (only James Sanders probably matched him).

He generally didn't cover a particular receiver--he just played one side.

Subjectively, I think the Pats poor defense against #1 WR's was due in part to times when said receivers got matched up against Wilhite or when the Pats were playing zone and their young secondary got confused (or when the absolute lack of pass rush was requiring the DB's to cover the WR's for 8-9 seconds). I rarely recall seeing Bodden give up a long pass due to poor play.

I don't think he's Nnamdi Asomugah, but he's definitely a very solid corner who can play man or zone. And those guys don't grow on trees. I'm glad the Pats held on to him; maybe they overpaid a little, but it's not like there were a ton of options in free agency, and draft options take two to three years to develop at CB. Also, without a cap and with plenty of income, why not overpay a little for a guy that you've self scouted and know you can rely on. I'd rather overpay slightly on a solid prospect than get a great deal on a guy that may or may not work out.

by CaffeineMan :: Wed, 03/10/2010 - 4:42pm

MJK sums up my thoughts exactly.

Also, from the 2009 CB Charting data, posted some time ago:

10th in success rate
4th in yards per pass (against)
1st in YAC (against)

Pretty darn good. And worth what the Pats paid, I think.

by Boston Dan :: Sat, 03/13/2010 - 2:15pm

The Pats had to sign him. There are no options even close (talent + relative age) on the FA market and they don't have a lot draft picks.

by Nathan :: Sat, 03/13/2010 - 4:56pm

Don't they still have 3 2's?