General manager Ted Thompson has stuck to his guns in free agency again this year by staying away from signing high price players from other teams. He was able to retain two key players in Randall Cobb and Brian Bulaga to shore up the offense again this year but while keeping the offensive side of the ball in tact he has lost a couple key players on defense. Davon House signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tramon Williams left for the Cleveland Browns so what was once solid position in the secondary is a injury away from being a disaster. Both House and Williams were way over paid by football standards so Thompson did the right thing by letting them walk but where he is sleeping in free agency is by letting a few of the bargain corners (as I like to call them) get away.
Patrick Robinson (1-year, $3 mil), Alan Ball (1-year, $2 mil) and Sterling Moore (1-year, $1.525 mil) while these guys are not a Williams or even a House they could have been good plug and play corners for depth, along with the draft Thompson could have made a scary situation a little more comfortable in case of injury to the guys I imagine will be starters this year in Casey Hayward, Demetri Goodson and Micah Hyde along with core corner Sam Shields.
McCarthy stated at the owners meeting he is expecting his young players to make the next step to fill the positions they were drafted for. Hayward has shown he is capable of being a good corner as long as he can stay healthy, Hyde has also moved from safety to slot corner in certain packages so its not like they don’t know the system, this will be their chance to become the starters. Goodson is still raw not seeing a single snap as corner last season but he played on special teams so he should know the playbook well enough to be a decent back up.
Inside linebacker is where most fans are freaking out about also. I, on the other hand, don’t believe its that bad and may even be better with the release of Aj Hawk and Brad Jones. Sam Barrington showed he is a solid starter, we all know Matthews saved the season last year with his move inside and if all else fails they have that option available this year as well but I think their ILB is already on the roster with the likes of Carl Bradford, Nate Palmer, Joe Thomas who I really liked last season before he injured his knee, he was making a case to be on the 53 during preseason so with him coming back and playing on the practice squad the latter part of last year he could make a run for the job again this season, they also signed a player from the IFL – Bruce Gaston who, from what I have seen on some video is a thumper with speed. So as I said ILB may be on the rise this year but I am sure Thompson will draft one of the big names to shore up the position.
My position of choice to be concerned for and the one I believe should be addressed in the first round is the middle of the D-line, Raji and Guion are uncertain players this year and it looks like Thompson agrees or he would have signed one or both by now, There are a few big guys that will be around at #30 like Eddie Goldman, Jordan Phillips and Carl Davis who could be great additions to the run defense this year and with a solid middle on the line the ILB position is a lot easier to play for the rookies!
Well these are just a few idea’s thats been running through my brain lately let us know your thoughts about this off season in the comments below or on our facebook fanpage!
Go Pack Go!