So far, so good. That's how I would characterize Ireland's offseason so far. Never a fan of Ireland, but I'm like what I see up to now. I believe Jeff tagged the proper player in Starks, has prioritized the right Free Agents (Hartline, Moore, soon to be Clemons?) and has dragged on over valued FA's Long and Smith. So below is my blueprint for the open FA season and draft (focus on main signings only). As always, comments and critiques welcomed.
Jake Long - Simply not paying an oft injured LT 6-figures long term. I personally believe the LT position importance has decreased with the new rules governing QB hits below the knees and to the head. I think premium pass rushers are more inclined to rush anywhere on the line with more exotic blitzes and schemes being introduced. Bottom line is Long is too unreliable and his play has declined versus his contract demands
Reggie Bush - I was/am a proponent of resigning Bush, but it looks like the dollar figures are not aligned. If Philbin & braintrust think Miller is ready for prime time, I won't fight it.
Sean Smith - Simply think he's not worth the money. League worst statistics giving up TD's and 1st downs; no ballhawking ability. And he wants $10M/year? Huh?
Dimitri Patterson OR Richard Marshall - Could be Marshall if his back isn't 100%. Not sure what cap hit would be though, so perhaps the commenter gallery could enlighten. Either way, I doubt Miami flies with both guys at cost.
Chris Clemons - Solid player, if not a ballhawk. Statistically excellent in coverage according to PFF. Doesn't make a ton of mistakes just plays very solid football (3 years/$9M)
Dimitri Patterson - He'll probably be cut & restructured, and this will be needed if we let Marshall walk. Could be solid nickle CB (2 years/$6M)
*Extended* Reshad Jones - Time to lock him up before he starts getting expensive (4 years/$18M)
Matt Moore - Already done. Good move for mentor and competitive backup purposes.
Brian Hartline - Received market value contract
Free Agent Signings
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - Has been mostly a good player with occasional inconsistencies. Not the greatest tackler ever. But in terms of measureables, defending passes and some ball hawking skill, he's the best CB on the market. Has the makings of an elite CB if he can work through the inconsistencies. This has the makings of a risky signing in some ways, but the payoff could be huge. Instantly replaces Sean Smith as a 'truer' #1 CB (4 years/$35M)
Greg Jennings - Perfectly suited for this offense and probably has the ability to accrue 1200 yards and 10 TD's for the next 2-3 years if healthy. Can't take the top off like Wallace but less headaches and can run any type of route. Lowish #1 WR but a legitimate one nonetheless (3 years/$25M + incentives)
Eric Winston - Or an Eric Winston equivalent at RT. Providing Martin can build on an ok rookie season at LT, Winston should hold the fort well for a few years at RT (3 years/$13M).
Danny Woodhead - Well suited for a 3rd down back role he was given only intermittently in NE. Good production totals of a touch basis (4.8 yards/carry, 10.7 yards/catch). Nice complementary back in our inexperienced backfield, plus he catches the ball better than anybody we have.
#12 Xavier Rhodes - Stud CB with all the measureables. Plays press well, and can play zone. Proved in the combine he can trail #1 receivers downfield. If Coyle can get the most out of DRC and Rhodes, could potentially make a lethal combination.
2a Robert Woods, DeAndre Hopkins, Justin Hunter - I'm going to defer comment here since I haven't seen all these prospects. I couldn't tell you which one is the best. But take the best WR available with this first pick.
2b David Amerson - Not sure he'll still be here, but I'd be willing to trade a 4th to move up a little in this round. Amerson definitely needs some technique work at the next level, but he proved speed in not an issue. Could rotate him into the FS spot eventually and have him play nickle or dime coverage (replaces Carroll, Stanford)
3a/b BPA OL, DE etc
So that's the plan. I feel this strategy is well balanced, as we either draft or replace overpriced or underachieving veterans. We greatly improve the secondary, and make adequate provisions for the OL and backing up Reggie Bush's departure. We also add 1 semi stud at WR through the draft and grab Greg Jennings. Thanks.