Let me start this off with this is my opinion which is based on trading less picks, getting younger, selling high and allowing players that we've invested in to sink or swim. I prefer a draft system where the best player available on your board is chosen regardless of need. In order for that to work you need to fill holes in FA so you're not pushed into a corner during the draft.
I consider young being under 27. Sure you have to consider the player's use up to this point since many are over-used early in their career but for the most part age is a good base factor to use. The focus for me in FA is UFAs and no RFAs. I dislike the idea of the previous team having seven days to match the offer while you sit there and watch the next best players get signed. I hate the idea of giving up draft picks for an RFA.
The Plan after the jump
The Plan for 46 active players next season which in reality is 45 plus QB3.
QB-Stays as is. You say Thigpen has value? They know, that's why they traded for him. I see Thigpen making the move to QB2 and hopefully they can make a case to the NFL for Pat White to get designated a non-QB. In that case it allows us to go Henne, Thigpen and then a developmental player at QB3 whether that's through FA, late round or undrafted. Player count-3
HB-Here's where I get to have some fun. Spiller is the guy for us in round 1. The surprise is Ronnie is still here too. The odd man out is Ricky and I'd being lying if I said I was sad to see him go. I think he's reestablished value in the last two years. I know he's said he's going to retire but he's also said his mind isn't made up totally. He has an $8 mil judgment that he still has to consider and the Tuna has his ear. Maybe he can sell him on the trade. Maybe he just gets cut. Cobbs, Hilliard and Sheets battle for the final spot. Player count-3
FB-Lou will need an off year before they even think about replacing him. Player count-1
WR-I think we all like our receivers but we'd all like to ungrade our receivers as well. Time for some more fun. We'll add Boldin to this group because we have the players to trade and the high pick Arizona covets. I'll be marking a few guys as trade bait (like Ricky although I doubt this would be a destination) so I'll say Boldin comes here for our 3rd plus 2-3 trade bait players. Rounding out the group we've got Bess, Hartline, Ginn and Turner. Cam is the odd man out and he's easily considered trade bait. Player count-5
TE-Call me crazy but I like Fasano. I think 2009 was more of a down year as opposed to what he actually is. I'm a fan of Haynos as well. Sperry and Nalbone should create some competition for them. I've already used the 1st (Spiller) and 3rd(Boldin) so taking a TE in the 2nd or 4th is out of the question for me. I'm guessing Nalbone is the odd man out since they've already cut him once. Player count-3
T-It's nice to have Long and Carey. Garner was a nice surprise that showed the ability to compete at G as well. The Fins roster has him listed as a T so I do too. Player count-3
G-Smiley and Thomas did a good job last year with Garner spelling them as well as Berger who helped at C. Player count-3
C-Grove will return healthy and will be given another chance to get the job done. Berger did a good job of backing him up last year, Player count-1
DE-Langford and Starks have proven to be answers. Merling and McDaniel battle for the 3rd spot with the loser becoming trade bait. Player count-3
NT-Some would say Wilfork or Hampton but the more I think about it I see Wilfork definitely getting tagged and I think Hampton might as well. The Dolphins get lucky and have Terrance Cody fall to them in the 2nd round. Match him with Ferg who gets him on the right track in regards to conditioning and prep. Solai might be trade bait due to is age and ability to play NT. Player count-2
OLB-JP is gone. Whether he's trade bait or not is yet to be seen. In my world JT is gone as well. Now I have some more fun. Big surprise of the offseason...Julius Peppers. Wake, Anderson, Moses, Walden and a mid level FA, late round pick or undrafted player battle for the other four spots. Player count-5
ILB-Crowder is toast and he gets us some value in return. How much value I'm not sure of but he is worth something. Time for even more fun. Dansby is brought in to complete the total overhaul over the LB corps. Ayodele is a goner. Dansby lines up with the winner of a camp battle between Torbor and our 4th round pick, who I wouldn't want to even guess is because I'm sure there's enough here already to debate. Throw in a mid level FA, late round pick or undrafted player to compete with Torbor and the 4th and it's done. Player count-3
CB-Davis and Smith did a great job considering they were rookies. Will Allen returns as great insurance. Jones eventually resigns.. Throw in a mid level-FA, late round pick or undrafted guy to compete with Jason Allen who if he doesn't redo his deal should get cut in the first place. Player count-5
FS-Antrel Rolle gets released and signs with Miami immediately. Clemons stays to continue to develop while also playing SS. Player count-2
SS-Wilson gets a chance to compete with Bell. If Wilson shows signs then Bell is traded. If Wilson stinks it up then Bell is retained while Wilson is cut. Not sure if Culver is worth anything but I didn't want to forget to mention him although I think he's a goner as well one way or another. Player count-1 with Clemons backing up.
K-DC$ needs to fail before they replace him at this point. Player count-1
P-Carpenter looks to be solid as well. Player count-1
LS-I'm going to spend time learning this position inside and out because it bothers me that a roster spot is dedicated to this position and no one can manage these duties. John Denney returns only because I don't knwo enough to say he doesn't. Player count-1
That's it, 46. Keep in mind this is a game day roster and doesn't include inactives. I've accounted for our first four picks but I haven't accounted for any picks we may acquire. I think the only stretch here that I'm seeing is the Peppers signing. I think Dansby is reasonable but to think we'll get both is a bit much. Thankfully this is just my opinion but in the end the only player we're giving compensation for is Boldin and the compensation should be reasonable. The fact that Peppers, Dansby and Rolle should be had without compensation makes them a real option in my mind regardless of the the monetary commitment.
Hope you've enjoyed.