Ealy on his draft night when asked by a Sirius NFL radio analyst how it felt to be drafted on a team with the number 2 defense...."We'll be number 1 next year". Looks like the first two picks have the right attitude.
We are a run first, move the chains, field position offense. In order to make this work effectively you need a legitimate deep threat to keep the opponent from bringing a safety down in the box. These 4.3 guys will be in about every round of the draft, and it's not improbable that we could find one who would contribute in the 5,6, or 7 round. The most important part is solidifying the OL and DBs. Unless Gman/Rivera has identified a specfic WR that they will take if he's there, I would expect them to go OL/CB
We are quickly getting to the time when contracts will not have any guaranteed money. At that time there is no downside to cutting them before the 1st game unless they get injured. So Gman will most likely start signing players who want to find a seat before the music stops without any guarantees.
This is a great hire and gives two more eyes and years of experience in formulating our passing game. So far we have our 2 third down 6-10 yard , move the chain and red zone receivers in Cotcherty/Olsen. The rest is essentially a blank page. Our draft history in this area sucks and different imput is nesessary. We now have the opportunity to build from the ground up the WRs which will fit our scheme and match it with Cam's strengths. I would expect that there are 10-15 WRs who will be available to us after the top 3-5 go before our first pick. Historically many of these will have better careers than the earlier picks. With our cap situation, we are forced to depend on building the offense thru the draft and we MUST hit on at least one this May. We our bringing in all of the brain power that we can to make these decisions. Depending on how these scheme/draft evaluations proceed, they may end up honing in on very specific players, which might precipitate trading up/down on draft day to target a player.
Chip Kelly thinks his offense is more scheme oriented and less athlete specific. My guess is he believes (and we'll see) that he can replace DJ with a lower round draft choice. Philly is really in need of defense and I would expect them to go on that side. Where it may effect us is if a team which would have gone WR @1 signs him. It might actually push Cooks down since one less team in front of us would need a WR.
1. Gman ended up doing 89 a favor by releasing him when he did. No other roster bonuses were to be paid and some GMs would have waited until after the draft to cut him. Smitty's reaction to that would have gone viral.
1. Cotchery's signing was intended to replace Smith's veteran presence all along. In a Sirius interview he said that Gman contacted him on the opening day of FA and would have signed earlier except he was on vacation all week. He wants to mentor the young WRs , which 89 never wanted.
My Hardy analysis:
For any team, it's almost impossible to have 2 DEs signed to what are essentially max contracts. Everyone wants to keep Hardy but does it make sense in when we are already cap challenged and Cam is coming up next year. Does it make sense to tag him for one year and try to make a run. Does it make sense to let him go without current compensation and only the possibility of a future compensetory pick. This is where Gman makes his money and sets to foundation for the future of the franchise.
The puzzle is being put together:
1. A number of contracts have been restructured sooner than necessary to create additional cap room.
2. Cornerstones of the team are retiring/being marginalized. This sets the stage for Cam/Luke to assend to the main leadership.
3. Hardy has implied that he wants more than CJ. This won't happen here, but he still holds the key to the state of the franchise going forward. We CANNOT franchise him and keep him for one year. We still have some of the left over cap remanants of the hell we went thru with Peppers. However, we have to take the risk of tagging him for the ultimate benefit it could provide.
The franchise tag process:
1. We give Hardy non-exclusive tag. At this time we have to reserve the tag amount against cap.
2. Hardy signs tag, which he says he will do. The tag becomes fully guaranteed and his agent is allowed to immediately begin negotiations with other teams.
3. When he finds a contract which is acceptable, we have the option of matching it exactly ( no poison pills are allowed) , getting 2 first round picks if we don't want to lose him, or taking the best we can negotiate. If a trade is made, he goes completely off our books and we recover the tag amount for salarary cap purposes.
4. If he can't find an acceptable contract he can play under the tag and be a FA again next year. This is a distinct possibility with 2 other young DEs (Johnson/Bennet) as well as, good older ones in Tuck/Allen. However, if he realizes that the market is not what he thought and he wants to reduce the injury risk situation, we have a second bite at a new contract.
My Perfect Storm: Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonvile
1. They have $50 in cap space
2. They run a 4-3 and need a DE (2 if they release Babin)
3. With a new owner/coach they are looking to restart the franchise and put people in the empty seats.
4. They will take a QB with their first pick and get their get their young, proven DE with their second (no. 39).
5. Would the 39 pick be acceptable compensation for Gman, I don't think so. But instead of additional picks,he proposes taking Blackmon. If Jville is doing housecleaning (including possibly MJD) they may be willing to wipe their handes of him. He is still suspended and his career is hanging by a thread, but a change of senery may be what he needs and we get a former top ten receiver on the cheap.
Somebody slap me and wake me up. Now with Blackmon and the extra 39 pick, the draft becomes more exciting. With this exta currency we can afford to move around truely get the BPA. Additionally, we now have the cap space to sign a Tuck/Allen to a 2/3 year contact for half of Hardy and sign Gano, Mitchell and maybe Captain to multi-year contracts.
It wouldn't surprise me to pick up a QB in the 7th/UDFA to run the scout team and possibly develop as a backup. Boyd's stock seems to be falling and could fit in as a practice squad QB until he's ready to take over for DA.