I would first like to say this is under the assumption that we keep Geno Smith as our starting QB. I honestly think the guy has all the potential in the world, but is just having rookie struggles. Five years ago it would have been no big deal, but today rookies are expected to come out and play at a high level right off the bat. However, I think Geno's case is unique. In all honesty, if it were not for Sanchez's injury, Geno would have probably sat at least the first half of the season. That way he could have learned, instead of being thrown into the fire on a bad team.
With hat being said I also believe we keep our coaching staff the same. It is good for the growth of Geno Smith to not have multiple Offensive systems in consecutive years. I know it is probably not the most popular belief, but I applaud what Rex Ryan has done with this team, given the circumstances. Most experts had us pegged as one of, if not, the worst teams in the league. I believe the initial nfl.com ranking prior to week 1 had us at 32nd. Now we probably will not make the playoffs and in all honesty, we have no business in the playoffs anyways. We played well enough, and got a few bounces are way to make it to 6-7. I still think we go 8-8 and miss the playoffs barely. With that being said Ill jump into our significant signings (I did not include every single signing just major impact signings). Also I read we will have roughly $30 million in cap room before cuts and the beginning of free agency.
Cuts (Savings in ()'s): Cromartie (9.5 million), Sanchez (8.3 million), Holmes (8.3 millions). This leaves us with $56 million to work with with about 16 roster spots to fill.
Signings: Mo Wilk, DE (6years $56 million, Cap hit of $11 million), Jeremy Kerely, WR (3 years, $ 10 million, $3 million cap hit), Austin Howard, OT (2 years, $3 million, $1 million cap hit), Ed Reed, SS (1 year $700,000), Golden Tate, WR (3 years, $16 million, cap hit $6 million), Jeremy Maclin, WR (4 years $22 million, Cap hit of $5 million, Incentive laden contract due to injury), Donte Whitner, S( 4 year, $22 million, 6 million cap hit), Jon Asamoah G(5 years, $20 million, $3.5 million cap hit). $41.5 million total leaving us $15.6 million, minus the $6.5 million we use toward the draft, leaves us about $9.1 million to sign about 5 guys to sign to a min. contract.
Reasoning: We finally have money to spend, and its time we get some talent. We have the absolute worst WR corp in the NFL. Maclin is coming off an ACL injury but is still considered a top free agent wr. We are taking a huge risk, but I'm sure we can work out a contract that works for both sides and prevents us from paying much, if any, if he is re injured. Golden Tate is a guy I absolutely love watching. He plays hard, blocks hard, never quits and is a quality number two guy. Also by signing these two it takes wr off our number one need heading into the draft. We also need to lock up our core guys, Mo Wilk and Kerley, and heck even Austin Howard as inusrance. Ed Reed is simply there for insurance, and a guy we can sign at a veteran min. I know he is not widely popular, but I am not expecting him to start. I truly hope we let Antonio Allen start, and reed can just play on occasion. Donte Whinter is a guy we need. I am so tired of nobody covering the deep ball and missing coverages and angles to tackle. Byrd is going to cost way too much and Whitner is just as good. Asamoah is a great run blocking guard for KC, and we need a huge upgrade at LG and RG.
Draft (5 Rounds): Assuming we pick around 13.
Round 1: Cyrus Kouandijo, OT, Alabama 6' 5" 310 pounds. our offensive line is putrid, and Alabama produces quality professional lineman. Brick and Mangold are the only two quality starters and even that's up for debate after this year. Geno is getting killed nearly every time we face a decent pass rush. With the additions of Tate and Maclin, we no longer need to draft a WR in the first. The addition of Kouandijo not only helps the pass protection, but helps our run game. It may not be sexy but its much needed.
Round 2: Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama 6' 5" 250 pounds. Not as flashy as CJ Mosley, but yet who is? For the record I am not a Tide fan. However, we will be taking the BPA, and we need an outside backer. We do not really need the pass rushing LB because we are still invested in Coples, so we need a true OLB. Hubbard is long , lanky, and fast. He can cover relatively well, and can set the tone off the edge when needed. As much as I would love for us to go all offense we simply can't do that, because our defense, outside of the Son's of Anarchy, are nothing to write home about. Hubbard is a safe pick and should be a quality starter from day one.
Round 3 (From Tampa Bay):Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State, 6' 5" 235 pounds.Talk about a huge target. 957 yards and 14 tds, this guy is a red zone machine. This guy is bigger and faster than Eric Ebron, a Tight End, who a lot of people want us to take in rounds 1 or 2. He is great at going up and fighting for the ball, and runs pretty decent routes, although he could improve in that area. However, he could come in as a 4th wr and make some big plays as a match up nightmare.
Round 3:Aaron Colvin CB, Oklahoma 6' 195 pounds. Probably my favorite defensive player in the draft. He is tough as nails and is as physical as anybody in college or the pros. He has had a shoulder injury that has limited him, which is why he will still be around in round three. I'm not saying I am not a fan of Milliner, but we need help in our secondary. I would not be surprised at all if Colvin comes in and starts from day one. He is a potential shut down corner, and reminds me a lot of Richard Sherman without the mouth.
Round 4: Marion Grice, RB, Arizona State, 6' 204 pounds. Everybody is head over heels for De'Anthony Thomas. However, Grice is bigger and thicker than Thomas. He catches the ball well out of the back field and even lines up like a reliever. He has over 1300 yards and 20 total tds. He may not have electrifying speed, but I do not want us to over draft Thomas based on Tavon Austin stringing together a few good games. Put him in to replace Ivory on third downs and we have ourselves a two headed monster, and a durable RB.
Round 5: Aaron Murray, QB, Arkansas 6' 1" 208 pounds. Personally I think the executive who previously tagged him as a career back up nailed it with Aaron Murray. However, that's what we have needed for a long time. Sure Matt Simms is a nice story, but we need a legit back up if Geno does not pan out or goes down with an injury. Aaron Murray is smart, can make all the throws, and has a great work ethic. However, he will never win the big game, and couldn't in college. He wold have been a 2nd- 3rd round pick if it had not been for him tearing his acl. He is still the most productive passer in SEC history, leaving with career yards and tds records. Maybe he goes earlier, but I have seen most websites have him being drafted between 3-5. He can come in and compete with Geno, and push him. I see a lot of Greg Mcelroy in him, but with a slightly better pro game.
That is the conclusion of my mock offseason. Hope you guys enjoy. I did a fair amount of research in determining our cap number as well as the potential contracts for our big signings, so hopefully I'm not too far off. If I am let me know. Also LEt me know what you guys think. I love as much input as I can get.