jagstang76']I honestly think we're in a reasonably good position. I'm sure that McKay, in all his wisdom, will have some tricks up his sleeve as to how to manage the cap and provide breathing room in order to make improvements.[/quote]
Yeah, I can agree with that. As far as I can remember, the Falcons have never really been in a dire situation when it comes to the salary cap. We've never been in a situation where we needed to cut a tremendous amount of salary. Usually at the worst we were always in a position like we are now where we were a little bit over ($3-5 million), or started under ($3-10 million under), which meant we were more likely to spend.
Unfortunately, with Vick's contract, we are soon going to be approaching a time where we will be in a position where we might have to cut significant salary. In '07, Vick's cap hit will be over $10 million, and as far as I can remember, only once have we ever had a player eat up so much cap (Chandler I believe had a cap hit of $8-12 million one year). So these next 2 drafts (2005 and 2006) will be very important in terms of getting young talent to help boost the overall talent of the roster, because by 2007, we will likely have to part ways with players like Smith, Dunn, Price, Weiner, and Webster. So of course, that's why it's smart if the Falcons can add decent players at RB, DE, WR, OT, and CB in this year's draft to make those eventual departures much easier. I have faith in McKay too. A good GM (which I think I could eventually become
, always can see moves that he can make 2 or more years in advance). It's all about a blueprint.
A couple guys I like in the draft on defense are CBs Browner and Bartell
I think McKay wants to add size and speed at the cornerback position, so that eventually we will be able to play more man coverage. That's where DeAngelo will eventually shine, and right now Webster I believe is a liability in that area. Considering how old/slow we were at corner this year with Mathis & Beasley, we were forced to play zone. it's a shame that a guy liek Derek Ross couldn't work out for us. I htink possible one of the few FA moves we may make is to bring in a younger nickel corner to possibly replace Mathis/Beasley.
As far as FAs go, I have been thinking that Chris Hovan would be a great addition. He can play both NT and UT for us, and he wouldn't be too expensive.
I'm going to have to disagree on this one. Hovan's play has slipped so dramatically since his rookie year, that he was benched in favor of Spencer Johnson. Anybody that read my draft preview
last year knew that I did like Johnson, but come on, Hovan is a former 1st round pick! Johnson should be a rotational backup! Hovan is a guy that seemingly has cared more about the weight room than doing anything on the field the past few years. Bottom line, he has not been a factor at all for the Vikings for two whole seasons. Two rookies: Kevin Williams & Johnson have made him look stupid. I don't want him here. I doubt coming to Atlanta will boost his overall play.
Plus I think he will be very expensive. WR, DT, and CB will be positions that will always be expensive to sign quality players, because of the overall lack of top players. Teams are almost always constantly looking to add players at these positions, because unlike many other positions on the roster you need more than just 2 quality starters, but need a good #3 guy as well. Hovan, Tony Williams, and many other average-above avg. DTs will see their asking prices increase significantly, just like Rod Coleman saw his last year. Coleman ended up being worth almost every penny, but I don't think you will see the same from Hovan & Williams, along with Jason Ferguson, Pat Williams, etc.
I really think the best option for the Falcons is to sign a bargain basement (I will again stress RODNEY BAILEY!!!), and then hope to get some more help int he draft. Although I'm not happy about it, if push comes to shove, I can live with Lavalais in the starting lineup. I'm hopeful that Lavalais will make significant strides this off-season and improve on his play from last year, by getting into better shape, etc., but just I'd be much more comfortable if he entered August not as the starter, but rather the #3. Unfortunately, considering that this is a weak FA class for pass rushing DTs as well as a relatively weak draft class, we really don't have that luxury.