Do not Resign/CutCro not worth the money
Braylon/Holmes Keep one and let one go, I have no idea who stays and who goes
Brad Smith love the guy, but we just cant afford everyone
Damien Woody Hunter has played well enough and comes at half the price
Ben Hartstock Saves $1.6 million and can be replaced by Mulligan
Bryan Thomas Saves $3.6 million, at some point we have to go with the young guys, replaced by Kiwi (below)
LT Saves us $2million. Gut says keep him, he was solid this year. But him staying keeps McKknight on the bench and Greene can carry the load, especially if Lewis becomes our 3rd RB.
Gholston The money hurts either way, but I dont want him holding a roster spot and we can give the $400K in savings to Hunter
Jason Taylor Saves $2.7 million
Brunell Saves $1.3 million We need to find a backup, hopefully we keep Clemens at the vet minimum.
Eric Smith Too much money for marginal production, replaced below by Hagg
Pryce/Richardson Age, enough said
Braylon/Holmes Not sure which one
Ellis I just dont think we can afford a big name.
Harris Hopefully we can get him in the $6 million a year neighborhood
Pool Once he learned the defense, he really came on in the 2nd half of the year
Kris Jenkins Hopefully an incentive based contract gets him here, and saves us $2million
Mark Sanchez He is close enough (if not there already) to Jet for life status, so adding a couple years to ease up the $14 million hit this year is not a problem.
Free Agents I know people will be disappointed, but I dont see us being able to afford a big time FA:
Mathius Kiwanuka Speed that we desperately need, along with 3-4 and 4-3 experience
Early Doucet Decent slot WR, need to find a replacement for what we lose with Smith and the Holmes/Braylon departure
Jeremy Trueblood Inexpensive former Starter at RT, can serve as swing tackle backup until Ducasse is ready in 2012
1st Trade down to top half of 2nd, acquiring an additional 3rd round pick
2nd #1 choice Phil Taylor, but take best of heyward, Wilkerson, Austin, etc
3rd A DE-OLB Brooks Reed
3rd B S Eric Hagg
4th LB Mark Herzlich
5th - WR Austin Pettis
6th - RB Dione Lewis
Defense:We need to improve the speed of our Front 7 and find a way to cut salary in order to afford to keep the core of the team in tact. We get the speed we need through new starting OLB Kiwi, and by playing Westerman, our 1st round pick, and Reed on defense on passing downs. We are taking a risk that Wilson takes a big step forward, but Cro was brought here to beat manning. He would have been eaten alive by Collie anyway, and the long term way to beat the colts is playing at home in the playoffs and running the ball. Long term Herzlich replaces Bart Scott in 2012.
Offense:There isnt much to do here. We lose a WR and there isnt much we can do about it. Keller needs to have a bigger role, and we look to the 2012 draft to improve WR. The Oline is solid and we spend a ton of money there, and its all well spent. Ducasse needs another year until hopefully he becomes a player. Hunter earned a short starting stint, especially at his cost, and Turner is a solid backup. Trueblood is just an experienced body.
The key here is that we get back to ground and pound. Sanchez is improving and I expect another big step forward, but we can have a good offense with greene, Holmes OR Braylon, Cotcher, and Keller. Plus while we were all down on McKnight he played a good game (Buffalo or not, those were NFL starters) .he can run, catch, and has the speed to break big plays. We need to have a consistent offense with these guys.
At the end of the day .veteran players (sorry LT, BT, JT) cost more money, break down easily, and are slower then younger guys. Yes experience is great, but speed wins these days and we have to trust that Rex can take fast, good players and put them in the right spot to succeed. Plus we have enough veterans on the team to keep everyone together.
Cro's replacement is Kyle Wilson. I know its a huge step for him, but as a 1st round pick, with the athletic skills, he has to get a shot at some point.
Plus, we underwent a huge change in defensive philosphy as the year wore on. We are not strictly a man coverage-blitz defense. We are going to be playing a lot more underneath zone and will be able to help kyle out.
Its a risk I know, but we drafted these guys for a reason...hopefully he works his ass off and gets in there next year.
Hasn't Kiwi mostly played with his hand in the dirt, does he have the fluidity to play standing up, could he cover?
I have some doubts about that too. He is a great athlete, there is no question about but opposite of Pace we need a real speed demon, a guy who can fly and commit terror off the edge. I'm not sure if Kiwi would be that kind of player. Propably not. But if he comes cheap we might still plug him there instead of BT and draft a speedy guy...
Kiwi is a great athlete and did play one year at OLB for the Giants, but I defnitely wouldnt say he is solid in coverage....for us he would be a rush-type DE. I do think he is fast enough to be an edge rusher in our defense.
Herzlich is being projected as a 3-4 ILB with his decrease in speed, but once you hit the 4th round with him, its worth the risk. You dont have to question heart, character or how much he wants it. With him its does he have the speed back or not.
I read some more on Dione Lewis too...just love the guy, espeically in the 5th round area or later. Not great measurables but a damn good football player who can get yards and is used to grinding it out in the cold.