Being seriously in the running for a championship needs more than getting a quality draft. And this year it means more even than getting starters from the draft. (Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz and Tony Moll started games in their first year; and, contrary to Mr. Mrs.Colledge (ie Kevin), Daryn was never a quality starter.
I agree with the majority of your post, but here is the rub, developing, resigning and keeping quality depth costs money. Having a top 5 QB costs a ton, albeit currently we have him on a bargain type deal allowing us flexibility.
Currently, as it stands we have roughly 6 million in cap space, cutting Clifton more than doubles that. In a way, I wish the Collins issue was more definitive, that way we would know more about the holes we have to fill and the cash available.
But lets be honest.. all teams, even the Champs have holes to fill, every year.
But hitting the FA market early, more often than not, is overpaying the talent available. Even the blue chip of this class, Mario Williams, has some issues and risks to him.
So I am not saying we will not be a player in the FA market, but expecting us to make a big splash just isn't prudent either.
Let the market play out a bit, if Wells moves on, then we know we have 4 to 6 million to play with for a replacement or filling other holes. IMO, Wells is a nice player, solid as a rock, but not a dominate point of attack player. If he is after 8 million a year.. so be it and good luck.
The other element of this is whom can come in and fill one of the holes upon the team, and we agree on the open spots that need filling. Here are some of the top guys that may come off the market early..
defensive end Mario Williams
defensive tackle Jason Jones
defensive end John Abraham
defensive tackle Paul Soliai
defensive end Mark Anderson
defensive end Kendall Langford
defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley
defensive end Andre Carter
defensive end Matt Roth
defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin
defensive end Luis Castillo
defensive tackle Trevor Laws
defensive end Jarvis Moss
defensive tackle Pat Sims
defensive end Trevor Scott
defensive end Israel Idonije
defensive tackle Amobi Okoye
I don't know about you.. but outside the expensive Mario Williams, there just isn't anyone really to go nuts over. Maybe Myers if Wells moves on.
Landry would be a good fit prior to his injuries, now IMO, he is going to be overpaid for a player that lacks range.
Manny Lawson would be an interesting fit at the right price.. long kid with some leverage.. but not worth overpaying early.
Within the next week or two, with the draft approaching around the corner, the market will come back to the teams so to speak. Not to mention that post draft there will be some other players that become available. Trade is always an option as well..
My point of this all.. patience. Let the market establish itself as the Receivers are dominating the first couple of days.. then start to look to add pieces as the costs start to level off and players start to get a bit anxious.
Sprinkle players in.. but we don't have a ton of room to just open the checkbook and sign away. Either that or create more holes by cutting some of the players currently upon the roster.
All part of the balancing act.