Over the years my thoughts on building a team have run the gamut. Start with the QB, he needs to be a drop back passer no wait a dual threat is better to keep the defense off balance. Lets build the skills and OL and then bring in the QB to set him up for success. Build a defense and running game. Whatever my now approach I always consider three main premises:
1. I want to win now with an eye always on the future. To accomplish this the GM, coaching staff and scouts must share a vision. No credit card renegotiations or hamstringing FA contracts. Select your players you value and extend them early.
2. OL and front seven picks need to be versatile. Nothing sets a team back more that a major scheme change on either side of the ball and once valuable players get traded for 4th round picks. Goodbye Jonathan Vilma.
3. Value your draft picks. Preferably trade down once a year to acquire a pick the following year. You never know at what stages there is a significant drop in talent. The extra pick will give you the flexibility to move up a few spots to get THE GUY (ex/ slight trade up for Mike Evans) when value and need are slightly out of your reach.
Luckily, it appears Idzik and Rex appear on the same page and each others strengths blend well to limit their weaknesses. As well, John "The General" Idzik appears to have a long term vision and cap management is a strength. The key is "management" not like our previous Cap Expert GM who excelled at manipulating it. We have an excellent blend of front seven pieces that Rex uses to alternate fronts. We have the extra picks this year.
Cuts-Cromartie, Sanchez, Holmes
Re-signs-Douzable 2 years 4.0, Cromartie 1 year 5.0, Howard 4 year 20.0, Colon 1 year 2.0, Cumberland 1 year 2.5, Pace 1yr 2.0 (Total spend 18.5)
Free Agency-Louis Delmas 1 year 3.5 guaranteed w 1.5 playing time incentives
Renegotiate-Mo Wilkerson 6 years 50 million, 35 in first three years (increased 2014 spend 9.0)
1st Brandin Cooks- #1 Receiver
2nd (trade down to end of second 2015 third) CJ Fiedorowicz-Dual TE with huge intermediate and red zone upside
3rd Jarvis Landry-#2 or #3 Hines Ward/Anquan Boldin Hybrid
4th (TB, no way Revis gets 16 mil) Aaron Colvin-Cromartie replacement only available due to ACL
4th Aaron Murray-Great backup who can step in if Geno fails
5th Terrance West-Back with great burst, power and vision. Tremendous work ethic and desire, google his back story.
5th (Comp) Jalen Saunders-injury and maybe eventual replacement for Kerley.
Round out the roster with TE's and linebackers with developable traits that have special teams upside with our 4 to 5 6th and 7th round picks.
Obviously, there are concerns that OLB is not addressed and Delmas' heath is a question. Our staff has proven with Laron Landry that they can manage health if there are no degenerative issues. His upside as a playmaking FS is much greater than our current roster offers. A healthy Antwan Barnes can help mitigate the OLB issues for one season. This plan offers long term solutions at WR, TE, CB, FS, backup QB who can push Geno, rotational RB and special teams production while rolling 15 mil plus cap space forward along with 4 picks in the first three rounds of the 2015 draft to address projected needs at OLB, ILB (Harris), OG (Colon) and a second TE.
I would have loved to sign an Brian Orakpo and trade up slightly for Mike Evans but the Redskins saved me from being aggressive to a fault and maybe risk keeping the exciting young nucleus we are building to win now and build for the future...