I think it is awful hard to imagine our draft when we haven't had the free agency phase yet. Many of our issues can be addressed with free agency, but I think we will be going back to a philosophy from year's past, instead of the last few years in which we spent for high level free agents. I think we'll get some blue chip type guys, who will fill holes. As we all know, there are many holes on this team, but there is only so much money to be spent.
We currently have around 34 million in cap space, but with the expected release of Nnamdi, we should get up to 44 million. Then you need to take out the money that will be paid to rookies for the upcoming draft, which should be around 7 to 8 million. Lastly, I believe that Howie believes we should have some flexibility with the cap, and wants to carry over a sum from year to year, so when we can make a push to be a contender for a Superbowl, he has the cash to grab that extra one or two free agents to push us over hte top (and I honestly think that is a good idea).
So, with that all said, that gives us around 27 million to spend (take out rookies and 10 million to save for future signings and/or to carry over). I feel that we should be able to land 3-4 good, quality players with that money. We can't go for a superstar, but good quality players.
First off, we need to replace Kurt Coleman. I am still holding out hope that Nate Allen will come around, and having a competent safety paired up with him may be useful. Coleman can serve as the backup and play special teams, so with his experience, he's a great bench guy to have. The other safety could be Goldson. He would be our one highest priced FA. I am thinking 4 years, 28 million. Other possibilities are Chung and R.Johnson, who would be a cheaper alternative.
We also need to get at least one CB (as I am hoping we get Millner in the draft), and I think Sean Smith would be a perfect fit for the aggressive, physical style of play that we want to transition into. Smith should see a contract around 6 million per year, as the market for CBs is getting more and more expansive as we have more veterans trying to guage their value. The list of alternatives is growing by the day, so I wouldn't worry too much about getting a #2, or a bench guy, depending on what we do with the draft.
The lines need to be addressed as well. We need a DT and we need a big guy. I'm thinking a guy like Alan Branch, who is a huge guy, would be ideal. We will have Graham/Cole working on the edges with Flecher Cox, which should give us a good pass rush. So our DT needs to be able to gobble up blockers and allow our LBs to get to the ball. Branch would be a cheap guy to put into that spot, but also, we could get some other DTs in the draft with big bodies who are primarily a run stuffer.
On the offensive line, I would love ot get Winston. We could even sign him the same contract he had, 4 years for 22 million. This would allow us to switch Herremans back to Guard and hypothetically give us a line of Peters, Mathis, Kelce, Herremans, and Winston. With depth being provided by some of our bench guys, with a few picks in the draft for camp battles. We will be using a new offensive line philosophy, so some guys may be better, who in the past have not been the greatest.
So, I would love ot get Goldson (7 millioin), Sean Smith (6 million), Branch (4 million), and Winston (5.5 million). That close to 23 million and helps to shore up our defensive backfield, our D-Line, as well as the offensive line. The rest can be done with some other low price FAs, and the draft.