Originally Posted by Wolf6151
If I'm Rick Smith, I'd be very cautious re-signing Cushing because of his injury and PED history. I think both are factors that work in the Texans favor when/if the Texans re-sign Cushing, and the fact that ILB is a lesser paid position than OLB. It sucks that in the modern salary cap era of the NFL a team can't always re-sign the players that they draft and build. Just like losing Barwin and Quin sucked, Cushing may be a salary cap casualty. Remember Watt will be getting a new contract in a couple years and I imagine it will be huge. Rick is probably already looking down the road and positioning the team financially for that contract.
People may think I'm crazy, but I think it's best to trade away players that are not the number one guy on either of your offensive or defensive unit, unless he has no red flag or just too good to let go.
The talents that come out of college are plenty.
Guys are bigger, faster, stronger, quicker, can jump higher, etc.
Use the acquired pick(s) to either stock up talent or combine them to trade up for a better choice.
Use the extra money for a short-term one-to-two year vet FA.
Rinse and repeat.
(Since the more talents coming out of college, the more FAs will be available in the off-season.)
Spend a lot of resources on scouting and player development.
Some of the college players have great athleticism but lack reps due to one reason or another.
A big guy may have a poor eating habit; or he could have "skinny legs" (poor base) without a proper conditioning program to enhance that base.
(Jonathan Jenkins, for example, is top-heavy, and can get pushed around or cut down more often than he should be.)
Most of the college coaches get pressure from the school alumni to perform NOW (not unlike companies in the stock market), they think more about "what work now" and often don't have time to develop a certain weakness area of players.
Obviously, I'm only skimming the surface of the topic.