Well, before you can even Draft I believe you have to know a direction you want your team to be headed. So I am going to begin my thinking right there. I believe it is more important to fix the Offensive Line of this team than any other aspect of the team. One thing I need in order to fix the OL is cap room, so the first thing I am going to do is get Anthony Spencer’s deal done to free up some more cap room to make moves.
After giving Spencer a long term deal I am going to release Lawrence Vickers, Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau with my thanks for their efforts in 2012. Yes, I am releasing both of last year’s starting Guards. I do not think either of them did enough to help the team. I am also going to release Doug Free and designate him as a June 1 release. This means his cap room, a reported 7 million dollars of it, will not be available to the team until June 2. I am more disappointed in Doug Free than any other player on the 2012 team. His cost combined with his lack of effort means he is gone.
Obviously I have now created serious needs on Offensive Line for this team with three of my 2012 starters gone. My first move with the money from Spencer’s deal, the existing cap room, and the release of the two starting Guards from last year will be to sign Free Agent Right Tackle Tyson Clabo, and name him the 2013 starter. Other candidates would be Eric Winston and Andre Smith. I especially like Smith, but I feel their asking prices are too high and I like Clabo’s work ethic. He entered the NFL not as a top ten draft pick like Smith was, nor as a 3rd round pick as Winston was. Clabo was an Undrafted Free Agent, who managed to not only be the only one of the three who made a Pro Bowl squad, but also last year played on what I consider the best O-line in the NFL. He’s 31, which means I will look at him as a short term solution rather than a 10 year one.
My second move will be to sign Brandon Moore and plug him in at Right Guard. Moore is a year older than Clabo at 32. Like Clabo he has also made a Pro Bowl, he also adds the added benefit of having played for Bill Callahan. If I could only get one of these two in Free Agency it would be Clabo and I would keep Nate Livings and move him to RG. I think acquiring both is quite possible, and not at huge costs. Both are far better run blockers than we have had, and while not spectacular players, they are team players and that is what we need.