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  1. #1
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    Free Agency - who ya got?

    I know everyone is currently focused on the draft with the combine, but who we target at #14 will largely depend on who we do or don't get in FA.

    Obviously the theme of this thread is defense. I think we'll have the cap flexibility to make one big "splash" signing along with one "solid" signing. This will more than likely give us a better idea on who we'll be looking at with our first pick.

    Care to predict what Emery will do in free agency? Feel free to toss in an early draft prediction as well if you'd like.

    Splash: Linval Joseph - DT - Giants. Would go a long way in shoring up our run defense. At only 26, could still be a center piece for a revamped DL.
    Solid: Willie Young - DE - Lions - Somewhat of an under the radar signing, but he is solid vs. the run and had more QB hurries than his sack number shows.
    Draft: HaHa Clinton-Dix - S - Alabama - If available, I'd have a hard time seeing Emery pass him up. He was with KC when they took Eric Berry. But the signing of Joseph would still allow us to take a smaller penetrating 3-tech DT or even a DE if we decided to pass on a S, so that was my thinking behind that as well.

  2. #2
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    Splash: None. We don't have the money right now for a splash, and I suspect that Emery doesn't want to keep us in a financial bottleneck by mortgaging years beyond 2014.

    Solid: Stealing from myself in the big KFFL mock offseason, but Alex Carrington has looked awfully good when I've seen him as both a DT and a DE. Then he hurt his knee. Al Woods would be the other side of the coin: a guy who can play nose and even some 0-tech if we go to hybrid looks, and who also has enough giddyup to get after the QB.

    Draft: Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois. Wouldn't mind taking him in the early second, and I sure wouldn't mind seeing us trade down once or twice to a point where that was our first pick of the draft. More a hope than a prediction, though.
    That the world is explicable is miraculous, and so explanations need not be the undoing of miracles.

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  3. #3
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    Signing TJ Ward and drafting Jimmie Ward would be pretty sweet.
    BEAR DOWN..................... AND WHILE YOU'RE DOWN THERE.....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by karhu View Post
    Splash: None. We don't have the money right now for a splash, and I suspect that Emery doesn't want to keep us in a financial bottleneck by mortgaging years beyond 2014.
    Not now, but we will once we get rid of a few overpriced vets and do something with Peppers. I suspect Emery wants to address the defense in some fashion, particularly a big DT, before the draft. I don't think someone like Joseph would be mortgaging the future.

  5. #5
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    if there's a big slash to be made — and i'm more in karhu's corner about the likelihood than in PCLL's — it's got to be either at DE or S. this year's draft has nearly a dozen DTs with value in the first 2-3 rounds of the draft, but about half that many DEs in the same grade range and only three or four Ss.

    all the same, i'm assuming the Bears aren't bidding on Greg Hardy or Michael Bennett.

    i'd throw some coin at Green Bay's Evan Dietrich-Smith (i like Garza, but he got manhandled more than a urinal flusher last season) and at Carolina's Mike Mitchell (here's your hat, Mr. Wright, what's your hurry?).
    Your Chicago Bears: still learning about this newfangled thing called the "forward pass."

  6. #6
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    I think we will definitely have the money to chase a guy (or several simultaneously with the idea of signing 1) up to the 8-10 million per year range. I do think Peppers gets cut ("has been a big part of this team" sounds like the type of thing I'd say before cutting someone like Pepeprs, or Urlacher), and we have total flexibility (and I think the intention, just remains TBD exactly how much) to convert lots of Cutler's 2014 base to s/b.

    All that said, I think it plays out more like Karhu has it. I think Joseph gets tagged (Giants have already talked about how their other FAs deserve to test free agency). Ward either gets tagged or signed by Cleveland (they have TONS of cap room). Hardy and Michael Johnson are way too expensive. So, the biggest possible splashes I see are guys like Michael Bennett or Red Bryant. I'd be okay with those guys. Or with cheaper alternatives like Carrington or Woods. I'd also be cool giving Wootten another shot at something like 2/$9 million.

    TONS of holes. Draft totally dependent on what we do in free agency. But my guess is we'll need 2 DEs, 1-2 DTs, at least 1 starting safety, and at least 1 young corner who has the talent to become a #1. IMO, Donald is the best player we have a shot at who fits a positional need (highly doubt we resign Melton). He has the best functional strength for a guy with his quickness I've ever seen. And his arms are plenty long enough. Yes, he might get engulfed by huge guards and by double teams. But we need to get past the pain we saw last year in our run defense. Points come out of the passing game. And the defensive stats most closely correlated to wins are turnovers and QBR against. We can be an average run defense and be a very good defensive if we force turnovers and disrupt the passing game. And Donald is no slouch against the run. It is very unusual for teams to double team the 3 technique in the NFL. It leaves a big fatty (or even a JAG like Paea) 1:1 with a headstart into a hole.

    Donald love aside, we could easily (partner willing) trade back to about 20 and still land a player at a position of need who would normally be a top 10-12 pick in most drafts. We got lucky in that guys like Lewan, Mike Davis, and Brandon Cooks all had stellar workouts. Lewan and Davis are almost certain to go ahead of us (or could be trade-up options) and Cooks is a clear target in the 20's. Meanwhile, we're loaded with needs, and can move back.

    Fun offseason.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderspirit View Post
    if there's a big slash to be made — and i'm more in karhu's corner about the likelihood than in PCLL's — it's got to be either at DE or S. this year's draft has nearly a dozen DTs with value in the first 2-3 rounds of the draft, but about half that many DEs in the same grade range and only three or four Ss.

    all the same, i'm assuming the Bears aren't bidding on Greg Hardy or Michael Bennett.

    i'd throw some coin at Green Bay's Evan Dietrich-Smith (i like Garza, but he got manhandled more than a urinal flusher last season) and at Carolina's Mike Mitchell (here's your hat, Mr. Wright, what's your hurry?).
    That's why I just don't see us taking a DT in the first round...
    We also need another CB.

    I'm predicting a splash with a DE, Draft secondary in the 1st (CB or S), DT in the 2nd, and follow up with the other secondary position in the 3rd round.
    Solid would be maybe signing a mid grade DT before the draft as well. Most likely bringing back Ratliff as they like him. My dark horse is bringing in Browner (CB) and suffering through his suspension if any games remain.

    Draft is Dennard or if they like one of Pryor or Ha Ha better.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PC Load Letter View Post
    Not now, but we will once we get rid of a few overpriced vets and do something with Peppers. I suspect Emery wants to address the defense in some fashion, particularly a big DT, before the draft. I don't think someone like Joseph would be mortgaging the future.
    Totally agree; Joseph would be a terrific investment. I guess I just didn't want to stack speculation on speculation: we can only comfortably afford Joseph if we move Peppers and/or Briggs. Without moving a vet, any competitive contract we offered Joseph would be backweighted to a point where this year's bottleneck projects an extra year or two down the line, and I don't think that's in our plans at all.
    That the world is explicable is miraculous, and so explanations need not be the undoing of miracles.

    After you talk about the hole in her nipple, where do you go with it? You’ve got nothing.

  9. #9
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    Far as I can tell, if we retain every ERFA and RFA we can, we're all the way up to 47 men on the roster. We desperately need leadership at all three levels of the defense, but even if we clear a bunch of cap space, we're not going to be able to afford big signings at every position of need. We're going to target some impact players, but we also need to solidify the roster with a bunch of depth signings.

    Come to think of it, if New Orleans can't/won't offer Rafael Bush an RFA tender in the next couple of weeks, he's exactly the sort of guy I'd like to see. Kevin Boothe could back up every single position on our O-line and start credibly at center if Garza's truly done and Boggs isn't up to snuff. Those sorts of signings, drab as they may be, might be the keys this year.
    That the world is explicable is miraculous, and so explanations need not be the undoing of miracles.

    After you talk about the hole in her nipple, where do you go with it? You’ve got nothing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderspirit View Post
    if there's a big slash to be made — and i'm more in karhu's corner about the likelihood than in PCLL's — it's got to be either at DE or S. this year's draft has nearly a dozen DTs with value in the first 2-3 rounds of the draft, but about half that many DEs in the same grade range and only three or four Ss.
    That was my reasoning on why we sign Joseph. IMO, our first order of business (I hope) should be stuffing the run. It doesn't matter if we have Julius Peppers in his prime if the rest of the front 7 is making Reggie Bush look like Gale Sayers.

    You get your big run stuffer in FA, so when the draft rolls around you are free to take Ealy at 14 if you want a pass rushing DE, or Donald if you want a penetrating DT, or Dix if you want a stud at S. If you take Ealy or Dix, as you mentioned, we could still grab a DT in round 2-3.

    OK so maybe this is more wishful thinking than what I expect Emery to do. :)

  11. #11
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    Splash: TJ Ward

    Solid: Linval Joseph

    Draft: Kony Ealy
    The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

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