I have spent a decent amount of time on this mock mostly debating a few moves. The one that i know will cause some debate is the Decker signing, Which i hope i explain to at least some peoples satisfaction later on.
Sanchez- this speaks for itself., and no I have no interest in resigning him
Santonio- Can't get this guy out the door fast enough. He wouldn't be worth the headache if he was still playing at his peak..... he is not though.
Goodson- Not the best tenure with a team ever. Nothing like maybe going to jail, and tearing your ACL in the same season. The 1.3 million we save from cutting him is worth more than trying that experiment again.
Ijalana- Not worth his nearly 1 million salary number
Alex Green- Fairly useless, can be replaced by virtually anyone
Clyde Gates- I know he is probably the best receiver ever, but he is gonna want a huge contract extension soon so we might as well get out now while we can
Dawan Landry- I'd like to keep him but AA needs more playing time, and Landry is just average for the 1.5 mill we would save
We will also cut several other people who are signed to guaranteed future contracts worth around a half million each
After this we will be sitting around 51.5 million under the cap
Austin Howard- 4 years 4 million per- He played well enough this year to earn a nice extension, and the nice part is he seems to be constantly improving.
Willie Colon- 1 year 1.3 million- Played well enough other than the penalties, the injury will ensure that he remains cheap for us. I'd like to keep him around for continuity as the line seemed to gel towards the end of the year. It will also give some of our young lineman another year to improve so that hopefully one will step into his spot eventually.
Pace- 2 years 2 million per- Played solid, but i don't think anyone will be fooled into giving him a big contract by his stats. 2 million a year will be worth it for a nice rotation vet.
Folk hero- 3 years 2.1 million per- He had a great year, and we can use all the points we can get.
Cumberland- 2 years 2 million per- He will be a nice #2 TE. He seems to be getting a bit better each year and I think it will be easier for him if he is clearly the #2 TE when he is out there in 2 TE sets.
Walls- 2 years near minimum- Kid can fill in nicely when he is needed. There were times this year that he seemed like our best CB, not that that meant a lot.
Douzable- 1 year 800k- This kid makes something happen damn near every time he is on the field, and his name is fun to yell
Cromartie- 2 years for 2 million per- He is already taking home 4.5 million from us when we cut him, Another 2 million and he can't complain, especially since he wants to finish his career here. Lets jut hope he was actually really hurt and comes back as his old self next year.
Under the cap by 37.9 million
I am generally not the guy who wants to spend big bucks on guys in FA but we desperately need to upgrade a few spots on this roster, and the draft is never a sure thing. So here goes
Eric Decker- 4 years 44 million total (8.5 million per year after signing bonus)- Some people will say this is a lot to pay for a guy who isn't a #1. While i think he can be a #1, that doesn't matter, these weird labels aside this kid is a good WR. He is smart (43 on wonderlic) and will be were Geno needs him to be, which is huge for a young QB. He is a killer in the red zone and on 3rd downs, and has the size to beat most CB's. Some people will say his stats are inflated by being in Denver, which is probably true to a degree. But in his second year he did have more receiving yards than anyone on our team this year and that was on a team that almost only ran and he had Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow throwing him the ball..... oh he had 8 TD's that season too.
TJ Ward- 4 years 28 million total (5 million per after signing bonus)- Don't think this signing needs quite the explanation. This kid is a stud and we have been in need of a play maker at the S spot for a while now. I like Byrd as well but he will cost to much.
Tavares Jackson- 2 years 4 million total (2 million per)- Quality back up with a similar play style to Geno's. Should be a good guy to have around.
20.8 million under the cap at this point, we could make a few more small depth signings, but that would be all of our bigger moves.
On to the draft. I included the projected compensatory picks we might get.
1st round #18- Eric Ebron TE- I would be fine with Amaro here as well, but i chose Ebron for 1 reason. Mismatches, he is going to be tough to match up with for defenses. Him being open against LBers or forcing a S to cover him will help open up options for Geno
TRADE: We trade #71, #82, and 178 to Jacksonville for #35. Now i normally hate the idea of trading up but we have 12 picks in this scenario, so this isn't like the Mike T drafts were we end up with like 4 picks, we will still have 9 which is a nice haul. Jacksonville needs all the picks they can get thus i think they would accept the deal.
2nd round #35- Davante Adams WR- I am a Jordan Matthews guy, but i think Adams is right there with him, and i think he pairs up better with Decker as i see Jordan as a very similar guy to Decker. I think part of the reason this pick appealed to me was that Adams has some DT in him, he is great off those WR bubble screens (which will help Geno) and is also a killer in the red zone and on slants/fades.
2nd round #50- Dee Ford OLB- I had him here before the senior bowl, now i am just hoping he will make it this far. He has a great first step and plays with some intensity. Played against the highest competition and still put up nice numbers.
4th round #114- Craig Loston S- Another SEC guy (i really think Itzik and Rex value SEC guys) Who played well against good players. He has nice size 6'2 and a decent nose for the ball. Let him fight it out with AA for the other spot next to Ward.
4th round Compensatory- Jon Halapio OG- Big (321 lb) guard out of Florida. I just wanna keep swinging away at this mid round guards till we hit on one. Nothing helps a team like being able to plug in the next guy without having to break the bank at a position.
5th round #149- De'Anthony Thomas RB/WR/KR/PR- This seems late to me, but i have looked at tons of mocks lately and his stock has seemed to really drop, i have seen him go as late as the 7th. I think the main things that separate him from Austin who went #8 overall are the fact that he doesn't have a set position like Austin, and that Austin proved that he is durable despite his size. Thomas might be a guy we only get 3-5 offensive touches out of a game, but other teams will have to be aware of him when he is out there, and he will fix our sad sate of affairs at the KR/PR spot.
5th round Compensatory- Aaron Colvin CB- This kid was being mocked in the mid 3rd round, but then he tore his ACL at senior bowl practice. We take a chance here to get a value, since we won't really need him right away. We are basically drafting him to groom him in hopes that he can replace Cro down the line.
7th round- Tom Hornsey P- I don't like Quigly, this kid averaged 45 yards per punt, and boomed a 79 yarder. I like field position.
7th round Compensatory- Jay Prosch FB- 260lb blocking machine. can catch but who cares this guy ruins people. It is the 7th round I saywe take a FB in the 7th round till we adequately replace Tony Richardson.
7th round Compensatory- Henry Josey RB- This kid has his knee torn up and missed the entire 2012 season. It took him a while to get back to form in 2013 but he ended up with a respectable season in Missouri. But in 2011 he averaged 8.1 ypc. Worth a shot to see if he can regain his old form.
After signing our draftees we will have roughly 13 million left in cap space. This allows us around 5 million for in season signings and lets us carry over the maximum 8 million in open cap space that we can carry over to 2015. OR another option out there is to use that money to extend Mo which i am fine with too,