Free Ageny Plan ..
As always there are two ways to go with Free Agency ... you can find 'stop gap' players -- or solve a problem for as long as possible.
Find a compliment to WAKE, right now ... not developmental -- means FA. Cliff Avril, Michael Johnson or Dwight Freeney. Not cheap (Freeney is likey the cheapest and only for 2-3 years max). Avril and Johnson are young and will be good for a long time. Avril would bring the most immediate impact. Freeney might be a 'coach' and role model.
Improve WR Corps .... as much as some don't want Hartline around -- I don't believe the FO is going to let him walk (if for no other reason, than Tanny has established a relationship with him). Sign Bowe or Jennings.
Fix the OL .... assume Long is walking at the thought of 10+ MIL, so grab Andre Smith from CIN at ~ 8 MIL .... assuming Martin does his due diligence this offseason and gets stronger .... we'll have pretty good young Ts ... and if Yeatman shows anything promising -- let him work a year at G.
Improve CB ... assume we let Smith walk .... he percieved worth is much more than his proven value ... i'd rather pay much less for a guy like Keenan Lewis or Chris Houston for 1 of our CBs ...
Keep our S tandem together and bring back Chris Clemons ....
Get a TE ... sign Dustin Keller for 2-3 years
I think we can get Clemons, Keller and Houston 'fairly' cheaply ... but chunk would have to come out for Avril, Bowe, Hartline and Smith .... this increases our talent level across the offense and defense, AND gives us great flexibility in the draft .....
of this bunch, i would sacrifice Hartline and Freeney for Avril to make the #s work .... and it just makes it mandatory that we choose DE and WR early.
would say wr and cb are the top priorities of the off season. especially if smith walks
Pay less for Keenan Lewis? If anything he's going to cost more. If you want a quality CB in FA, you are going to spend at minimum what Smith is asking. The only way to cheap out in that position is via the draft.
I say we resign long smith and hartline and sign either wallace or jennings then draft a de with the 12 pick it doesnt seem like much but thats a pretty good off season to me!
A DE is definitely not priority # 1, that is obviously WR...there is no doubt that we're pissing away Wake's best years though in not getting a compliment to him on the opposite side of the line. I say sign one of the marquee receivers in free agency, either draft best DE available at 12, or trade up for Milliner by swapping 1sts and trading our 3a pick.
I'm with you on the first 2 priorities, but except I believe now we should pursue Mike Wallace to insure we have that "speedy" WR going into the draft. But I'm ok with Hartline being our possession WR on the other side. Davone Bess is in the last year of his contract so I believe we should target his replacement for next year with either Tavon Austin in the 2nd round or Marquis Goodwin in the 3rd round.
Originally Posted by PHINANALYST
Your #3 I don't see the logic in $8mil for Smith when just for $1.5 or $2mil more you keep Long who is much better than Smith. And this is aside from the fact that there is no way why CIN with more cap money than we have shouldn't be able to re-sign Smith anyway. So I'm with keeping Jake Long, whether it's $9.5mil or even $10mil. I keep Long.
On your #4, I do not foresee any of those CBs you mentioned being allowed to walk, as their teams will find a way to re-sign them. So with Sean Smith? I'd franchise tag him and draft maybe one CB high and another in the mid to late round. We can still negotiate with Smith during the offseason after tagging him and if he shows big during the season, you sign him at his demanded $7mil. If he blows, he comes off the books next year and we have his replacement in the high draft pick and we can draft another one high next season too. I also see potential in both Dimitri Patterson and Richard Marshall who should both play NB, but restructure Patterson's contract by adding a couple years and lowering his cap number.
#5 and #6 spot on. :)
Ed, I go with Smith because he is only 26, is over his foot 'challenges' and is on the upswing as far as performance goes. The only drawback on him as far as I'm concerned is his weight - seems a bit heavy for our OL, but Carey he isn't .... If he loses weight, he might even be able to play LT (as he did at the U) - as a safe guard against Martin, if he can't make the progress we are all hoping for. Hoping Martin puts the effort in and Yeatman can be our RT is a little too much hope for me going into this year. I want at least 1 'given' ....
Long has an awful lot to prove as far as I'm concerned if I'm even considering a multi-year contract at 10+ MIL per year ..... he has to prove that he will NOT be even close the Long of the last 2 years.
for Wallace, i have advocated for 'speed' out of our WRs for a while and disliked Ginn because of the way he played .... but I'm at a point where I want all of my WRs to have speed and leave out the 'possession' WR .... and leave that to the TE and RBs ... why, the 'old' philosophy was that the big WRs were 'possession' WRs because they didn't have the speed. That has been changing quickly over the last few years, and now all the big WRs have 'nearly' the same speed as the burners.
So go for Bowe (or Jennings), along with Hartline (who I just don't see this FO letting him go, because they are so concerned with easing Tanny along as much as possible) and draft a WR somewhere in the 1st 2 RDs.
on the CBs, you just never know what happens in FA .... agree on Patterson and Marshall might not be able to play ... but much like the T situation, I want to go into camp with 1 CB a known ... and not hoping that one of our 'stable' can step up ... or forcing 2 X 2d/3d RD picks into starting right away. I do NOT sign Smith though ... for anthing ....
This is my thought as well. Tough to start the season being unsure or unconfident of who at least one starting corner will be. And there are FAs I'd much rather have than Smith. I'm really hoping the Steelers opt to let Keenan Lewis walk, which is not unlikely given that they're 13mil over the cap and have two other starting-caliber corners (Ike Taylor, Cortez Allen).
Originally Posted by PHINANALYST
Oh and fwiw...this morning on NFL Network, Richard Sherman called Kennan Lewis one of the best corners in the League.
It's gotta be a WR, CB, and DE in FA (plus clemons and Hartline), Then the draft has to be (In specific order) J. Cooper (After trading down) Unless J. Banks is available. TE, CB, and DE in the 2nd round. WR and LB depth in the 3rd. Problems solved.