I would rather not bring Connor back. We can get a linebacker in the draft for less money, and still be as productive as Connor been. At defensive tackle, I wouldn't be opposed to releasing Fua. Wasn't a big fan of his where we drafted him, and after seeing him get thrown around like a rag doll, he will only be taking up a roster spot on the team. Replace him with Shirley please. At corner, Brent Grimes should be available, but I could also see him going back to the Falcons. The same goes for Carlos Rogers. So we will have to draft a good corner in the draft, and luckily for us, this is a good draft for corners.
I think we have a better defense than most are saying. Our biggest liability was those two DTs. Teams was running amok with those guys in there. Now, we look respectable. We get Beason back, Edwards back, draft a corner, and we will be good to go.
Fair enough about Connor. Under normal circumstances I would completely agree with you, but we need to get a linebacker for somewhere and I would be hesitant to draft one considering our other pressing issues. With one healthy starting quality linebacker on the team, our FO will consider offering an extension to Connor.
I disagree about your assessment on the DT positon. You don't just cut Fua. DTs are one of the slowest developing positions due to the physical demands and in college them being able to manhandle players easier. In all honesty, Fua played better than McClain. McClain was supposed to be explosive and generate pressure. He really didn't and was next to pointless in the run game.
If we follow your thoughts, our starting LBs are TD/Senn, Beason, Anderson with Hardy, McClain, Edwards, Johnson on the DLine. Honestly, there are big question marks against TD, Senn, McClain and Edwards being starter quality. Add on top of that our MLB tore his achilles tendon this year and will not be running at 100% (from my knowledge this is a two year rehab to get complete strength back). I just don't think you can be confident about the defence with question marks about half of your front 7.