Jake Long: This is the most talked about free agent. The problem becomes we aren't sure what we have here. I'd argue he is still a top 5 tackle in the NFL and those are hard to come by. Not real comfortable with what is behind him and really don't want to spend another draft pick on the offensive line again. My guess is he gets franchised at a huge contract so we can see with one more year (similar to what we did with Solai). What I would do: Sign him long term as a top 5 tackle with incentive filled contract if possible.
Brandon Fields: No brainer. Pay the man. He may be our MVP right now.
Randy Starks: Tough call here. The strongest part of our team is the defensive line and he is a key reason. Not sure what we have behind him, but feel he could be replaced if needed. I'd think we will re-sign him. What I would do: Sign him at similar contract of 5-6 million a year if he will agree.
Reggie Bush: This is another really tough pick. I think we will let him walk and go with Thomas, who has looked better at times this season and Miller, who is very explosive. What I would do: Re-sign if deal can be worked at average rate for a starting RB in league. I don't think he will get any superstar contracts and I think worst case we have a playmaker who will be part of 3 team backfield. If he asks for big money (over 9-10 million) let him test the market, I don't think he finds that kind of money.
Anthony Fasano: It will come down to the money. He is at 4 million now. If he is ok to stay or even reduce his contract he stays, if not he walks. What I would do: Re-sign at 3-4 million a year, then draft a TE to groom, since it looks like we struck out on Egnew.
Brian Hartline: Again I think it comes down to the money. I don't see him getting any better offers other places. If he is ok being paid as a solid #2 target, I think Ireland pays. What I would do: Pay at #2 rate.
Sean Smith: I can't stand him, but think Ireland knows he is one of only DB's that is starting worthy and will pay to keep him. What I would do: Tell him don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Chris Clemons: A developing player. We will pay at borderline starter rate. What I would do: Pay at borderline starter rate, but keep looking for FS in free agency. If I find an upgrade even for more money I take it and let him walk.
Tony McDaniel: Think we let him walk. What I would do: Let him walk.
Richie Incognito: Technically not a free agent, but could be cut due to big contract (4 million hit). Again not sure we have much behind him. Think he is on downslope of career and not sure he fits with Philbin's scheme of zone blocking. Ireland lets him walk is my guess. What I would do: Keep for the next year until we have a comfortable backup. I don't want to spend any high draft picks on offensive lineman this season.
Karlos Dansby: Not a free agent, but a 13 million dollar cap amount. Not sure what we do here. Think Ireland keeps so we don't have dead money from his ridiculous contract. What I would do: Cut him. Think he is a solid player, but not at that amount and we can find someone in the draft or FA to replace what he is doing cheaper, or pay the same for better player.
Big free agent targets: I think we target Linebacker and DB in free agency and possibly OL if the price is right at guard.
Rey Maualuga out of Cincy is a guy I'd give a long look at for replacing Dansby. If not him I'd look for us to draft an inside linebacker in top 3 rounds.
I think we will draft a cover corner, but we also may look at Derek Cox out of Jacksonville. Solid player who would be a good fit if Smith asks for too much or we just want him gone.
At safety I'd target Jarius Byrd out of Buffalo. Not only would he be a huge improvement, but he also would hurt Buffalo and leave them with a mess at safety.
I think in the draft we look at DB, WR, OL, TE and LB. With top 3 rounds (possibly double up at one of the spots if we really like a guy. What I would do: I look at DB/WR in round 1 without reaching and take best available. I then go the other spot or LB in round 2. I'd actually look to double up at WR/DB in round three also with TE being a spot to look at if someone slips through.