Originally Posted by everlong
I'd like to see a plan that gives us the 1992 Cowboys Oline with the 2007 Giants DLine.
I'm estimating the 2014 cap will be about $128M (it has been reported to be $126.3M, but a number of "experts" have suggested that it will be a bit higher, around the figure I've used). According to Miguel we currently have $115M tied up in salaries/bonuses plus $5.6M in dead money, for $120.6M, putting us $7.3M under the cap. We have about $4M carryover from 2013, which would put us $11.3M under the cap.
I. Cuts / Restructures:
1. Cut Vince Wilfork. Painful, but smart. 33 years old in December, coming off an Achilles' tear, overweight $7.5M cap savings.
2. Cut Dan Connolly. 32 years old this year, mediocre, $4M cap hit, $2.5M cap savings.
3. Cut Adrian Wilson. 34 year old this year, coming off of IR, $1.8M cap hit, $1M cap savings.
4. Restructure/extend Stephen Gostkowski ($4M cap hit), Matt Slater ($2.3M cap hit), Steve Gregory ($3.5M cap hit) and Tommy Kelly ($2.5M cap hit). All are in a contract year in 2014.
#1-3 saves about $11M in cap space. #4 could save another $4-5M or so. Call it $15M of additional cap space, giving us about $26M to work with.
II. Off-Season Trades:
1. Trade Ryan Mallett for a high 2nd round pick. I know, someone has to be willing to do it. But there are definitely possibilities (Houston, Cleveland and Minnesota are the top 3, and all have 2nd round picks in the 33-40 range).
2. Trade a 6th round pick to Minnesota for Matt Cassel. Cassel is going into a contract year and has an option to void it within 5 days of the start of free agency. He will likely be no better than #3 on the depth chart, and has a $3M cap hit. He restructures, a la LeGarrette Blount last year.
III. Internal FA Signings:
1. Aqib Talib, CB.
2. Julian Edelman, WR.
3. LeGarrette Blount, RB.
4. Dane Fletcher, LB.
All these guys love being with the team and want to be back, depending on the $$$.
- Let walk: LB Brandon Spikes, OC Ryan Wendell, OL Will Svitek.
- LS Danny Aiken could be brought back on a minimum 2-3 year deal, but I wouldn't tender him. A long snapper can be found as a UDFA.
IV. External FA Signings:
1. Alex Mack, OC, Cleveland. 6'4" 311#. Pro Bowl caliber player.
2. Linval Joseph, DT, NY Giants. 6'4" 323#. Underrated DT who is very strong against the run but can also push the pocket.
3. Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Detroit. 6'5" 265#
4. Nick McDonald, OL. Cut by Pats this year due to injury, re-signed for minimum $$$. Can play all 5 OL positions.
If Julian Edelman prices himself out of the Pats' range, then WR Emmanuel Sanders (Pittsburgh) or Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia, probably on a 1 year "prove it" deal) could be options.
V. 2013 Red-Shirt Additions:
1. Armond Armstead (6'5" 305#) returns and plays a hybrid DT/DE role.
2. Mark Harrison (6'3" 240#, 35" arms, 4.37 40 time) returns and is converted to a hybrid WR/Move TE role.
VI. The 2014 Draft:
I'm assuming the Pats will get 6th round comp picks for Danny Woodhead and Donald Thomas.
- Trade #29 (640 points) to San Francisco for #56 and 61 (632 points)
33. DE: Trent Murphy, Stanford (6'6" 261#) or Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame (6'5" 303#, can also play DT).
56. DB: Lamarcus Joyner, Florida St. (5'8" 190#) or Kyle Fuller (6' 194#).
61. DE/OLB: Marcus Smith, Louisville. 6'3" 258#. Another Jamie Collins.
- Trade #62 for a high 3rd and a 5th round pick (similar to the 2011 trade back from 60 for 73 and 138).
3a. OG: Gabe Jackson, Mississippi St. 6'3" 340#.
93. RB: Devonta Freeman, Florida St. 5'8" 203#. Ray Rice clone who has played in a RBBC system. Will allow us to not be dependent on Shane Vereen.
4a. OL: Billy Turner, North Carolina St. 6'6" 316#. Can play both tackle and guard. Plays with a Mankins-like mean streak.
- Trade 4B and 6th round picks for 2 5th round picks.
5a. TE/Move TE: Richard Rodgers, Cal. 6'4" 245#. Has numbers which compare closely with those of Ebron and Amaro. Played slot receiver for Cal this year.
5b. DT: DeAndre Coleman, Cal. 6'5" 315#. Has played 3-4 DE as well as 4-3 DT. Reminds me of Muhammad Wilkerson. Size measurables are very similar to Ra'Shede Hageman.
5c. WR: Cody Hoffman, BYU. 6' 3 7/8" 217#. Poor man's Jordy Nelson. Not a burner, but very underrated, in a very deep draft.
6 (comp). DB: Jonathan Dowling, Western Kentucky. 6' 2 1/2" 198#. Former 4-star Urban Meyer recruit to Florida. Can play FS or outside CB.
6 (comp). FB/H-back: Trey Millard, Oklahoma. 6'3" 253#. Coming of an ACL injury which drops him. A jack of all trades who can play the H-back position as well.
7. Moon Shot: Larry Webster, DE/TE conversion, Bloomsburg. 6'6" 259#. Son of former Pittsburgh Steeler's center. Very athletic, former basketball player.
That leaves me with the following:
I. OL circa 1992-1993 Dallas:
- Starters: LT Nate Solder (6'8" 320#) - LG Logan Mankins (6'4" 308#) - OC Alex Mack (6'4" 311#) - RG Gabe Jackson (6'3" 340#) - OT Sebastian Vollmer (6'8# 320#)
- Reserves: Marcus Cannon (can play tackle or guard), Billy Turner (can play tackle or guard), Nick McDonald (can play all 5 OL positions).
- Not to mention TEs Rob Gronkowski (6'6" 265#) and Brandon Pettigrew (6'5" 265#) when the Pats want to play power formations.
II: DL circa 2007 NY Giants:
- DE: Chandler Jones (6'5" 270#), Rob Ninkovich (6'2" 262#), Trent Murphy (6'6" 265# when bulked up)/Stephon Tuitt (6'5" 303#), Michael Buchanan (6'5" 255#).
- Additional DE/outside pass rush capability: Armond Armstead (6'5" 305#), Dont'a Hightower (6' 2 1/2" 270#), Jamie Collins (6'3" 250#), Marcus Smith (6'3" 258#). Collins and Smith are uber-athletic, explosive players who will be moved all over and used to wreck havoc. They will be an integral part of the pass rush.
- DT: Linval Joseph (6'4" 323#), Tommy Kelly (6'6" 324#)/DeAndre Coleman (6'5" 315#), Sealver Siliga (6'2" 325#), Chris Jones (6'1" 309#), Armond Armstaead (6'5" 305#).
- Additional DT capability: Stephon Tuitt (6'5" 303#) if drafted; Chandler Jones (6'5" 270#) can play inside in NASCAR packages
How does that work for you? I think that plan also addresses TE, WR, RB, QB, LB and DB, but you specifically asked about OL and DL.
That blueprint works for me. I think it upgrades every unit to championship-potential caliber.
Then draft Kevin Hogan, Christian Hackenberg or Devin Gardner in 2015, wash, and re-rinse.