Last night's New England Revolution Supporters' Summit was a long event, and it covered a broad range of topics. People asked about the US Open Cup, commuter rail stops, fan interactions and relations, incoming and outgoing player transactions, and more. The Bent Musket's twitter feed is a good place to get a general overview of what was discussed.
One of the topics discussed was the status of Re-Entry Draft picks Chad Barrett and Hunter Freeman. After the Revs picked them up in December's draft, we learned that offers had been extended but nothing was set in stone on either count. As the roster stood at that point, either or both players would have been welcome additions, if for no other reason than the fact that the Revs were lacking in depth both up front and in the back.
Now, in early February, the Revs' roster is really beginning to take shape. Depth is still an issue at both positions, but forward is a much bigger concern than defender, where the additions of Jose Goncalves and Andrew Farrell have reinforced the back line.
To that end, Mike Burns revealed that he believes a deal will get done with Barrett. Regardless of signing Barrett, he plans to bring in at least one more forward, but he clearly indicated that things with Barrett were looking up and that fans could reasonably expect him to be a Revolution player.
For Freeman, things aren't so rosy. Burns mentioned that the additions of Goncalves and Farrell, along with the inclusion of a new player to be named this week - more on that in a later piece - have made it likely that the former Colorado and Houston man will not be a Revolution player in 2013.
In Barrett, the Revs would get an experienced, MLS-tested forward who is still just 27 years old. He's won MLS Cups with the LA Galaxy, lost playoff games to the Revs with Chicago, and seen just about everything that MLS has to offer. Of course, they'll also get a forward who has only managed 42 goals in 192 regular-season appearances; he's unlikely to be a threat to dominate the scoring charts, since he's never scored more than seven goals in a campaign in his nine-season career.
Barrett also commanded a guaranteed 2012 compensation of $253,333.33. There's no question in anybody's mind that he isn't worth anywhere near that; he wouldn't have been in the re-entry process if teams felt otherwise. However, there's a light at the end of the tunnel: New England can negotiate a brand new contract with him. Clyde Simms was a stage two re-entry player for the Revs last year, after D.C. decided his $179,250 guaranteed compensation was too rich for their blood. The Revs negotiated a new contract with Simms for a reported $78,333.33, a reduction of over $100,000. One would assume that Barrett will be taking a significant pay cut to play in New England as well.
The same issue can perhaps illuminate the reason why the team was unable to come to terms with Freeman. His reported compensation in 2012 was $110,792.50, a number that was negotiated by Colorado after he was acquired in stage two of the 2011 re-entry from Houston. His 2011 number in Houston was $160,833.33, a salary that was negotiated after he returned to MLS from a two-year stint at IK Start in Norway.
The Revs weren't going to take back Freeman, who made just 19 appearances in a mediocre Rapids defense that allowed 50 goals (six more than the Revs), at anything too close to his 2012 number. No team was, which is why he was a re-entry player. For Freeman, though, who had European experience, it was probably much more attractive for him to try his luck back across the pond, where salaries are inflated, rather than accept a mid-five-figure MLS salary as a depth player in Foxboro.
EDITOR'S NOTE: As everyone and their mother has reminded me today, Hunter Freeman did release the following tweet, so he's gone.
For all you #Revs fans, I was looking forward to playing in your colors. Wish it could have worked out. I appreciate all of yalls support— Hunter Freeman (@huntfree) February 5, 2013
What do you think? Are you happy with the Barrett news? Wish the Revs could have signed Freeman? Discuss the moves in the comments below.