Thought id join in on the speculation and wish lists for the 2011 off-season.
Unlike some on this board I don't think we will make a huge splash in FA. With that being said though, I do believe we will be quite active this off-season with the new regime taking over. A new coach and GM should lead to a little more player turnover then a usual off-season. I hope we can pull in a couple solid middle of the pack additions to go along with a quality draft. Add a decent veteran stop gap QB and we should have no problem contending for the NFC West next season while also developing a QB for the 2012 season.
With that said, here we go...
Let walk/don't re-sign/Cut:
Manny Lawson - (Will demand too much for what he brings to the table)
Brian Westbrook - (Will decide to go where there might be more PT)
Parys Haralson - (Under performs and over priced)
David Carr - (Garbage and we will bring in our own Vets to work with rookie)
Eric Heitman - (Overpriced with the emergence of Bass at center)
Takeo Spikes 2 Yr - (Leader, great locker room guy, and plays very well inside with Willis)
Ray MacDonald 3 Yr - (Solid DE in our 3-4 scheme)
David Bass 4 Yr - (Good season as our center and earned an extension)
Dashon Goldson 1 Yr Tender - (Let him prove his worth after a sub-par season)
Travis LaBoy 1 Yr - (Solid situational pass rusher)
Aubrayo Franklin Franchise Tag - (One more year while we develop his replacement
Nate Clements - (Restructures his contract)
Tony Wragge 2 Yr - (Solid back up at C and G, and will come cheap)
QB Bruce Gradkowski - Bring him in along with Johnson to compete for the starting job next year, while our rookie QB is being groomed. Gradkowski is underrated in my opinion and is a tough gamer type QB who at the very least can be a solid back up in this league.
WR Malcom Floyd - Gives us that big bodied sturdy receiver we have been lacking in recent years. Can make the tough catch and create mismatches with his size.
CB Chris Carr - CB depth and also has good return abilities if needed.
S - Dawan Landry - Had a solid bounce back year after a couple of rough seasons that followed an outstanding rookie year. Still has plenty of potential and shouldn't come at an extremely high price.
Trade: Trade a 6th in '11 and a 5th in '12 for QB Josh Johnson
And yes I have been browsing the Webzone long enough to know that we all expect an off-season in which we get Nnamdi, Champ, Tamba Hali, Lamar Woodley, trade for Kolb, while still maintaining our high draft picks for this year and the future! Problem is that just isn't gonna happen. With that said I do believe we will be able to secure some mid-level NFL free agents that can come in and help solidify our team.
2011 NFL Draft:
1st Round (7th Pick): Trade down with Detroit (13th Overall) - Von Miller, OLB Texas A&M
Lions trade 1st (13th Pick), 3rd (75th), and 5th
49ers trade 1st (7th)
Detroit jumps up to land their lock-down CB. Either Peterson if he makes it there or Amkumara if Peterson is gone. 49ers get the extra picks and are able to target a high motor, athletic, pass-rushing OLB. We finally land someone who can consistently rush the passer. Which in my opinion is a higher priority then CB. All DB's look and play better when there is pressure on the opposing QB.
And I realize there are concerns about Miller's size. For those who see his size as a concern please look at the following:
James Harrison (6' 242) - 36.5 sacks from '08-'10
Elvis Dumervil (5'11 248) - 19 sacks in '09
Robert Mathis (6'2 245) - 74 sacks in 8 years career
Von Miller (Measured 6'2 237 w/ 34" arms at the Senior Bowl)
Quotes from the Senior Bowl practices:
A couple of NFL scouts have mentioned “we knew he had an impressive burst off of the edge in pass rushing drills, but his skills in coverage and his overall play has been impressive going against some of the best seniors in the country.”
“What we’ve seen here is that he can drop into coverage,” said ESPN’s Todd McShay, indicating that Miller’s return for his senior season to polish his game paid off. “He’s an absolute playmaker on every passing down.”
“Two words,” said Mayock. “Defies. Gravity. Bends parallel to the ground. This guy comes off the edge and it’s scary how quick he gets to the quarterback. In my notes from the season, I had the word ‘wow’ written (about Miller) more than any other player.”
2nd Round (44th) - Andy Dalton QB TCU
QB of the future. Here is a recent tid bit from Eric Branch's article on the QB search for the 2011 Draft - "Hmmm. It’s hard to trust what general managers say – or what they seem to say – leading up to the draft. But it sure sounds like Baalke and Harbaugh could be targeting a savvy quarterback dripping with intangibles."
Quote on Dalton from Senior Bowl - "He's always around the QB coaches or offensive coaches, always asking questions, always talking, always engaged."
Dalton is known for his intangibles, football knowledge, and most importantly being a winner.
Round 3 (From Detroit) - Rashard Carmichael, CB Virginia Tech
Athletic and aggressive CB with good speed. Mix him in with Spencer, Clements, Carr, and Brown and with the added pass rush our secondary should have a much improved year.
Round 3 (Original pick) - Titus Young, WR Boise St.
Quick and speedy receiver that has shown the ability to adjust and make tough catches.
Round 4 (Original pick) - Brooks Reed, OLB Arizona
Add another potent pass rusher - Can never have enough pass rushers (Think steelers D)
Round 4 (From San Diego) - Sione Fua, NT Stanford
Solid NT that is very familiar with Fangio's 3-4 hybrid defense
Round 5 (From Detroit) - Stanley Havili, FB USC
Smaller athletic fullback with great hands and ability out of the back field
Round 5 (Original pick) - Noel Divine, RB West Virginia
I don't believe Westbrook will be back. Devine can be our 3rd RB/Change of pace back
Round 6 (Original pick) - Traded to TB in Josh Johnson deal
Round 6 (From Seattle) - Chris Conte, FS Cal
Started off his career as a CB. Big, athletic safety with good cover skills. At the very least we get a good special teams guy
Round 7 (From Detroit) - Jeff Maehl, WR Oregon
If you watched any Oregon games this year you would be very familiar with Maehl. He makes plays all over the field. Not a burner, but a good solid receiver with very reliable hands.
Round 7 (Original pick) - BPA
I think pass rush and QB are our biggest needs and with this draft we would secure our QB of the future (Dalton) and significantly upgrade our pass rush (Von Miller and Brooks Reed)
[ Edited by ajax1188 on Jan 26, 2011 at 15:56:33 ]