First, I think we have a great core of young players, possibly the best in the league. Our defense is full of young potential and current stars, and our offense shows some real potential with Geno, Ivory, and Kerley. Now I am not naive in thinking he have a great offense, but we are at least building in the right direction. However, I believe in building through the draft, but also complimenting those picks with good veteran players. With that being said here is my offseason plan:
Cuts (Saving in parenthesis):
Antonio Cromartie (9.5 mill): A decent talent, but really seems to be wearing down. I'm not sure if we can contribute all of his decline to injury, or if it is going to be a reoccurring trend. I would rather us just part ways and get a younger top tier corner that can be around for 7- 10 years at an elite level.
Sanchez (8.3 million): Not sure this needs explanation. However, I truly believe in Geno. He showed glimmers of promise with virtually no talent. Sanchez would just create more of a distraction than it would be worth.
Santonio Holmes (8.25 mill)- While trying to get younger and better we should not have a deteriorated locker room cancer around. We had a good run with Holmes, but I lost all faith in him at the end of the 2012 offseason, and would be disappointed if he is still on the roster.
Mike Goodson (1.3 mill)- This is strictly a precaution. I really like Goodson as a player, but he seems to always be in trouble. We are not talking a locker room fight or a bad drug test. He is involved with serious legal issues that we do not need in our locker room.
Alex Green David Nelson, and Clyde Gates($2.1 million)- I just do not see the production. I want only Ivory and Powell as our current RB's remaining on the depth chart. Maybe he does get to camp, but I do not see him on our final roster. As for Gates and Nelson we need real quality NFL talent at the wr position. He did an average job on a below average team. Again maybe Nelson makes it to camp, but I do not see him making the final roster.
David Harris (5 millions): This is probably my boldest move. However, he is a slow slightly below average LB, in my opinion. Do I really want to spend $7 million dollars on that? Not really. I also think Davis is ready to take the helm as being the leader of our LB corp.
With the projected $22.2 million we currently have, and the $32.9 million in saving we have from cuts , we have roughly $56.6 million to work with. A very large sum of money to make us real contenders in the NFL.
Resigning (cap hit this year):
Already signed: Cumberland, Lankster and Walls. I believe the total cap hits for these three players are $3 million. ($1.7 for Cumberland, $.645 million for the rest. I believe these are all good signings. I'm a big fan of Cumberland, since I'm an Illini fan,and used to watch him play at the college level. He can be a decent threat in the passing game if given the chance.
Ed Reed 2years $3.6 million ($1.9 mill)- Increased the quality of play of all our young guys. Maybe not a top level guy anymore, but can back up Antonio Allen and play in the nickel and dime packages. It would be a cheap option with no guarantees for 2015.
Austin Howard 4 years $21 million ($6 million)- May not be an elite talent, but he is improving. He is an above average RT, but can really take that next step this year. Plus I am a believer in continuity in the trenches.
Nick Folk 3 years $9 million ($3 million)- Our best offensive player and getting more accurate by the year. Plus I absolutely love the name Folk Hero.
Calvin Pace 2 years $3.5 million ($2 million)- Maybe he is a an old player, but 10 sacks is ten sacks. Besides why break the bank on an OLB when we have an in house guy that can get the job done for another year.
This equals $15.9 million dollars against the cap in locking up our own guys. While it may seem like a lot, these are moves I believe that it is necessary to solidify our young talent, while keeping contributing veterans. This leaves us $40.7 million to work with.
Emmanuel Sanders WR 4 years $18 million (5.5 million)- A solid route runner with elusive speed. He has sure hands and is pretty good in the return game if i remember correctly. He is probably my favorite wr in the class and will not cost as much as a Decker.
Alterraun Verner, CB 5 years 62 million (15 million)- A front loaded contract for the best corner back on the market. He can play zone or man to man. He is also only 25 years old. He only gave up two td's and defended 4 passes. I say welcome to the green and white.
Jon Asomoah, G 3 years 14 million (4.7 million)- A solid starting guard that excels in the run game. I could also see us going with Schwartz here, but I would prefer the cheaper option here.
Brandon Pettigrew, TE 3 years 11 million ( 3 million)- A complete TE that would compliment Cumberland very well. He may not be the next Gronk, but he can certainly stretch the field. He has been criticized for his hands, but he is certaintly an upgrade over what we have now and for a decent price.
Andre Roberts, WR, 2 years 6 million (3.5 million)- only 24 years old and put up nearly 800 yards in a crowded wr corp in Arizona. He has a great set of hands and can really stretch the field on these underneath routes. Similar to Jeremy Kerley, but may be a little more athletic.
Tavaris Jackson QB, 2 years 3 million (1.7 million)- A reliable back up coming from a good system. Not overly athletic but a very smart QB. Plays similar to Geno, and would be a reliable back up in the event Geno goes down for a few games.
This equals to 33.4 million dollars against the cap. This has a decent blend of frontloaded and backloaded contracts so we wont be cash strapped next year. This only leaves us with 6.8 with the draft still to go:
Draft Round 1:
Brandon Cooks, WR- The most product receiver in college football and absolutely lit up the combine with his measurable. If he were 2 inches taller we are probably talking about a top ten pick. 4.3 speed and 1700 yards is good enough to be the best wr on our team from day 1. I'll take his talent and toughness all day long.
Round 2: Jimmie Ward S- This kid is an absolute stud. He covers well and plays the run. Probably my favorite defensive players in the draft.
Round 3: Bishop Sankey, RB- a 225 pound running back with 4.4 speed. He also rushed for 21 tds and 1800 yards. Excellent combo of size and speed.
Round 3- Adrian Hubbard OLB- Very productive OLB that can cover or blitz. He has had a difficult past couple of months so he has probably dropped to the 3rd round. With Pace and Barnes already in place, he could just learn the position and flourish in situations.
Round 4: Jared Abbrederis WR- A very productive WR despite a bad signal caller. He runs in the 4.41, so he is not a burner. However, he runs clean routes, gets decent separation, and always finds the open pockets.
Round 5: Aaron Colvin CB- An ultra physical CB that loves to get dirty. Reminds me a lot of Richard Sherman. However, he blew his knee out and may not be ready for the start of the season. This allows us to grab him this late.
Round 5: Marion Grice RB- My favorite pass catching RB in the draft. He may not be Dri Archer fast but he can catch and go. Would be excellent to have this guy as our third down/pass catching running back.
Hopefully you guys enjoyed my draft, and hopefully my math was correct. We wont have a lot of roll over money,but I feel this is Idizik's time to shine. Let me know what you guys think.