As we approach “cut day”, FA and ultimately the draft I have a “plan” for the fish. The overall philosophy is rather simple – keep tanney upright and bolster our run D… I believe this should be good for another win or three and hopefully the playoffs. Here we go:
That was “then”… this is “now” (IN RED)… how close was “my plan” to what the parade makers made happen… let’s take a look:
Hartline and/or Gibson – I like them as possession “guys” but not at current investment levels (especially Hartline). The caveat here is a possible restructure for Hartline… I’d take that but he shouldn’t. Find a way to work with Matthews and get him on the field as a “replacement”. There’s also depth on the practice squad
CORRECT… Told you seal fat makes you smarter… seriously though, these moves become even more obvious when you grab Jennings and pick up Parker in the draft (and Stills via trade)
Finnegan – thanks for the solid half year old timer but once you got banged up you were a liability. Cut him and maybe negotiate a cheaper “show me” but I’m cool to let him walk and let the youngsters step up (see below)
CORRECT… Retired… Even better… dirty F
Ellerbe – made a mistake… you’re terrible… bye-bye…
CORRECT WITH A BONUS… Never would have thought we’d get something for him… let alone someone who makes my “keep Wallace” statement below less relevant
Wheeler – you’re worse, but don’t really save us money by cutting so I’m ok if we keep you for STs and/or when we’re up by 100
CORRECT… Bye… you’re terrible
But Don’t Cut…
Wallace – his numbers don’t match his contract but his impact on our O overall does in my opinion. The dude also works hard and clearly cares. Sure he returned to diva status late in the season but he’s a WR and the end of our season was deplorable. Philbin can’t just keep throwing away talent because they’re difficult to work with. Also, and as per above, give tanney more than 3/10ths of second to throw the ball and I bet those deep ones get a little easier
WRONG… I blame my constant fraternizing with US brethren via this blog… I don’t cheer against this guy but this current crop of pass catchers is a better fit overall.
Pretty Please Resign…
Clay – dude a legit pass catching TE and when healthy (and with a larger Simms only getting better) a match up problem in multiple TE sets. He breaks tackles and gets YAC which few others on our current roster can say
WRONG… I would have loved to keep this guy but a) not at the cash the Bills gave him (although good on them if they wanted him that bad) and b) Cameron, if healthy, could in fact be an upgrade, especially in the red zone where we needed help
Jimmy Wilson – won’t cry in my seal soup if we don’t keep him but the kid is a 7th rounder who plays multiple positions relatively well… Keep him for his versatility.
WRONG… We handled his departure in the draft and FA… moving on
Resign, but please don’t EllerWheel it…
Odrick – he’s a tweener and maybe better in a 3-4… if someone’s going to give him $5-6M, thanks for playing. Something less than that, sure, you’re good enough in rotation to be a solid contributor
DRAW… Grabbing Suh and Philips makes this a no brainer… he got his coin elsewhere… good luck to him
Starks – you’re old and virtually disappeared during/after Denver… you want to stick around at a very reasonable price, sure… otherwise, many thanks, you were a good soldier
DRAW… See above
Sign in FA
I don’t know enough about all those available, the cap, etc. to create a specific wish list but this team needs to become more committed to building through the draft and just top up via FA. As such, no big names necessary (although Suh would be amazing if we can somehow make that happen) but grab some depth at S, G, DT and LB
DRAW… I said at the start fixing our run D was essential… one player doesn’t necessarily do that but man this guy will help… a lot.
Nail the top end of the draft again Hickey
Please find a starting MLB and G and a nice RB steal in a later round to compliment 97-yarder Miller.
TBD… I guess, but I feel comfortable saying our 1st round pick was very solid… get Philip’s head on straight and Hickey should be 2-0 in his first 2 drafts (everything after round 2 is a crapshoot to me) THAT SAID, I really wanted more OL help via the draft than what we achieved.
Davis and Taylor are ready at CB… I believe they can/should be… remaining healthy is their wildcard. I’m also keen to see what Billy Turner can offer at G, Francis, and one of the two Johnson’s at DT, McCain at LB/DE and of course Jordan… put the kid out there somewhere and see what you have please!
DRAW… Some prays “answered”… others not so much… I think Suh and players like McCain will “mask” our holes at LB… I really do love our O so long as our Gs aren’t an epic failure… which is very much on the table at the moment…
So 3 “CORRECT”, 3 “WRONG” and just as many “DRAWS/TBDs”… guess I’ll keep my day job… That said, I remain cautiously optimistic about this team and think continuity (with a coach who has hopefully learned the nuances of the role that will help us win close games late) + an ascending qb is enough to get us out of purgatory and into the playoffs… I HOPE…