The only player that warrants any explanation is Cro, and I think he’s washed up or pretty close to it. I’d rather cut him a year early than 2 years late. I'm also a big fan of Sanchez, but I think it'd be best for everyone involved if he was to get a fresh start elsewhere.
From what I’ve read this would leave us with about 49 million in cap room
Austin Howard OT (4 years- 18 million) (5.5 million cap hit in 2014)
Our best o-lineman this year, so front load that contract and keep him in green. We also developed him for the most part, so it sends a good message to the locker room.
Cumberland TE (2 years- 2.5) (1.25 cap hit in 2014)
While I’m not too big of a fan of Cumberland, you need to fill all your needs so that you can go BPA come draft day. He’s not the best tight end in the league by any stretch, but he’s passable as a starter and he should come cheap.
Pace OLB (2 years- 4 million) (2 million cap hit in 2014)
While he did have 10 sacks last year he also had the benefit of drawing the least attention. He’s a solid player though and a good locker room influence that would create a need if he left. 2nd year of that contract would be almost nothing guaranteed
Folk K (3 years- 8 million) (3 million cap hit in 2014)
Excellent kicker this year and considering that the NFL may move PATs to 40 yarders a good kicker could become even more important.
Lankster, Walls (Both 1 year for 730k) (1.5 total cap hit)
This accounts for 13.5 million of our 2014 cap, which leaves us 35.5 million to play with
Extend Wilkerson (6 years, 50 million) (9 million cap hit for 2014)
That contact may seem a tad low, but Wilkerson doesn’t really have all that much leverage. I believe I read on here the other day that the Jets could have him for the next 3 years at something like 18 million dollars, so I’m going to lock him up now while the ball is still in our court. His contract was worth 2 million, so the extension adds about 8 million to our 2014 cap.
Remaining Cap- 28.5 million
Free Agent Signings
James Jones WR Green Bay Packers (3 years, 12 million) (4 million in 2014)
Andre Roberts WR Arizona Cardinals (2 years, 5 million) (3 million in 2014)
As I said earlier, I think you need to fill all your needs before the draft so you can go BPA. If someone falls do we really want to have to pass on him to fill a need at WR? Plus, receivers don’t normally produce their first year anyway. Julio Jones, who is now a top 5 WR in my opinion, didn’t catch a td till week 13. With these 2 cheapish signings, we ensure a better WR corps than last year that will be functional if not spectacular.
Jon Asamoah OG KC Chiefs (4 years, 15 million) (4.5 million in 2013)
Lost his job last year, but it’s not often that young guards with talent hit free agency. May have to coach him up a little, but if we do then you have a steal. I’d play him at one guard spot and have the rookies from last year fight it out for the other.
Thomas Decoud S Atlanta Falcons (3-7.5 million) (2.5 million in 2014)
He was just cut by ATL, but he was a probowler the year before this and has a knack for coming up with the ball. He’s definitely not strong against the run, but he had 10 interceptions between 2011 and 2012 and could be the ballhawk we need playing center field on 3rd down. He also should come at a reduced rate considering the season that he just had.
Sam Shields CB Green Bay Packers (4 years- 28 million) (7 million in 2014)
Sam Shields is one of my favorite cornerbacks in the league, and should fit perfectly in Rex Ryan’s defense. He’s very strong in man and has very good ball skills. He had 4 interceptions last year, and would be an excellent compliment to Milliner.
Matt Cassel QB Minnesota Vikings) (2 years- 4 million) (2 million in 2014)
I was going to sign Vick, but I think he goes elsewhere to start. Also, if I learned anything from the Tebow era it’s that backup QBs should remain anonymous and not get press conferences (as "exciting" as that was), so Cassel it is.
After all these signings we have spent 43 of the 49 million, which leaves us with 6 million in cap for 2014
Draft (Used Fanspeak’s draft simulator to make the picks reasonable)
1st – Anthony Barr OLB UCLA
2nd- Austin-Sefarian Jenkins TE Washington
3rd- Jared Abbrederis WR Wisconsin
3rd- Shayne Skov ILB Stanford
4th- AJ McCarron QB Alabama
5th- D’Anthony Thomas RB Oregon
5th- Ed Stinson DE Alabama
-Every year a player falls out of seemingly nowhere, and this year I think it’s Anthony Barr. I don’t know that Barr is pro ready from day 1, but because we already have Pace and Barnes on the roster we can develop him at our own pace. If he hits it could make our pass rush the best in the league and make defensive turnovers less of a rarity.
-ASJ might not excel at anything, but he’s very good at everything. He would be an excellent #2 immediately, and could potentially unseat Cumby as the starter sooner rather than later.
-Abbrederis is my personal "No, not there" player as Crackback has termed it. He runs excellent routes and looks like he could develop into a complete receiver. I don’t think he’ll ever be a top tier WR, but he’d be an excellent addition to our offense and a nice target for Geno to grow with.
-Skov would be Harris’ replacement after this year. He’s not very fast, but he’s technically sound, he’s smart, and he’s a leader, which Rex should love.
-McCarron would be brought in to push Geno. Unlike many people I think he’s actually going to be a capable starter, but if not you have a very good backup.
-Thomas’ 40 time may say he’s not exceptionally fast, but he plays faster than that on tape. He’s not a bell cow, but could be a Darren Sproles type and we could surely use another playmaker. He could also be used on kick and punt returns.
-Stinson would fill the need made by letting Douzable go, and Dunbar has already shown an ability to develop just about anybody into a productive player
QB- Geno, Cassell, McCarron
Rb- Ivory, Powell, Thomas
WR- Jones, Roberts, Kerley, Abbrederis, Hill
TE- Cumby, ASJ, Sudfeld
OLine- D’Brick, Winters, Mangold, Asamoah, Howard, Schlauderhoff, Aboushi, Campbell, Freeman
Dline- Wilk, Shelly, Snacks, Kenrick, Stinson
Linebacker- Harris, Davis, Coples, Pace, Barnes, Barr, Skov, Bellore
Cornerbacks- Milliner, Shields, Wilson (I’d resign after this season), Walls, Lankster
Safety- Decoud, Allen, Landry, Bush
Long Snapper- Purdum
(That accounts for 48 of the players on the 53 man roster, the other spots would be used for special teams and depth by whoever wins their job in camp)