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Old 12-16-2007   #1
Hottoddie
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Default If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

So, what do I have to work with & what do I need to do with it?

Off Season to Do List

1) I know I have $35+ million in available cap space to spend.
2) I have to set some money aside for my draft picks.
3) I have 4 major holes I need to fill immediately (LT, CB, RB, C) & I need depth throughout the team.
4) I don't believe FS is a major need position anymore, with the emergence of Demps. He just needs to get that damn brace off his arm. Harrison should be ready to play by next year as well.
5) I'm going to release Flanagan & Green, which should give me an additional $2.5 - $3.0 million in cap space. That'll give me ~$38 million to spend in free agency.
6) I only want to bring in guys in the 24-26 year old range.
7) I believe that Spencer, McKinney, Taylor, Weary, White, & all the rest of my players on injured reserve will be fully recovered & ready to go by next season. The only exception should be Dunta.
8) I've got to resign Davis, Demps, C.C. Brown, Kalu, Weary, & Clark. I'll wait on the rest to see how free agency & the draft plays out.

So, let's get started.

Free Agency

I'm going to target 4 key free agents immediately, but I'll have backup candidates for 2 of them.

1) Travelle Wharton (LT) (UFA) - Carolina: Unless they tag him (They probably will), I'll be in touch with him in the first minute of free agency & be offering him a near franchise tackle type of salary ($8-10 million per year).

1a) If he's tagged, I'll go after Max Starks (RT) (UFA) ($4-6 million) - Pittsburgh: Depending upon the coaches opinions, this would allow us to put Starks at RT & move Winston to RG or LT, with Spencer filling the other role.

2) Marcus Trufant (CB) (UFA) - Seattle: Again, unless they tag him (& they probably will), I'll be in touch with him right after I talk with Wharton. If you figure that Asante will get Clements type of money, then I have to be looking at paying $6-8 million per year.

2a) If Trufant is tagged, I'll go after one of these CB's (in this order).

Randall Gay (CB) (UFA) - New England ($2-3 million per year)
Drayton Florence (CB) (UFA) - San Diego ($3-4 million per year)
Domonique Foxworth (CB) (RFA-3rd) Denver ($2-3 million) I'll only go after Foxworth if I miss out on the first 3 & trade down in the draft to pick up another 3rd.

3) Landon Johnson (OLB) (UFA) - Cincinnati: LJ will make a great compliment to DeMeco ($3-5 million per year).

4) Tatum Bell (RB) (UFA) - Detroit: Either he'll opt out of his contract, or they'll cut him. I'm not sure which it'll be, but he will be a free agent ($3-4 million per year).

Well, that's all my free agent acquisitions & depending upon who I get, I'll have spent somewhere between $12-27 million. If I spent $27 million, it'll mean I signed 4 starters in Wharton (LT), Trufant (CB), Johnson (OLB), & Bell (RB) to fill 4 of our biggest holes before the draft rolls around.

However, the reality of the NFL is that I'll have probably signed Starks (RT), Florence (CB), LJ (OLB), & Bell (RB) for ~$19 million. I'd consider that a pretty good free agent haul though. That'll leave me ~$19 million to resign our free agents & draft picks. Now, on to the draft.

Draft Day

As of this post, we're picking in the 15-19th spot in the draft, depending upon how the strength of schedule shakes out. With my free agents signed, here's how I'll approach the draft. If I can trade down & pick up an extra 2nd or 3rd, I most likely will. While you never want to lose any games, losing these last 2 would sure go a long way towards giving me more leverage in trade down discussions. But, assuming we end up where we are now, here's what I'll do.

1) Jonathan Stewart (RB), Kenny Phillips (FS), Mike Jenkins (CB), Dan Conner (OLB)

3) Leodis McKelvin (CB), Steve Winston (C), Louis Holmes (DE)

4) Jordon Dizon (OLB), John Sullivan (C), Kyle Devan (C)

5) Kyle Devan (C), Andrew Bain (G), Eric Bakhtiai (DE)

6) Eric Bakhtiai (DE), Bruce Hocker (WR), Hercules Satele (G)

7) Bruce Hocker (WR), Caleb Campbell (SS), Lionel Dotson (DT), Eric Foster (DE)


Hehe, how's that for a list of no name draft picks? I guess it's a good thing I'm not Rick Smith.

Anyway, what would you do, if you were Rick Smith?
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Last edited by Hottoddie; 12-16-2007 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 12-16-2007   #2
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

Our #1 FA target should be the Burner, sign a mid level CB, draft a LT in the first
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Old 12-17-2007   #3
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

Agree with tulexan, Michael Turner should be on top of our list of FAs to sign

Last edited by rollinstone18; 12-17-2007 at 01:47 AM.
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Old 12-17-2007   #4
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

First off I believe you are a bit high on the available cap space, it will be closer to $25M IMO after the rookie cap and resigning of the Texans FA you are targeting. Davis and Demps will be looking raises, Demps was cut due injury from a 4M(?) a year contract, believe me, he wants to be back at that level.

The release of Green this season might be to costly, a May 1st cut saves $1.5M this year but cost you $5.5M in dead money next season. Plus the interview with Kubiak point that Green is still the #1 in there current plans for next year. And cutting Flanagin will save you $500K

I agree with your concept of not going for the glamor guys (Turner and Samuels) in FA.
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Old 12-17-2007   #5
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

first, excellent post Hottoddie

1. 35 million does seem high for this season, think thats the following year. 20-25 million sounds about right.

2. Rick will need accurate assesment of the IR/PUP players from the medical staff, several were starters (Dunta Robinson, Fred Weary, Jason Simmons, Earl Glenn) that would have seen due large increases as free agents.

3. I know they always evaluate the roster on a continous basis, this year they have alot of attractive unrestricted free agents that deserve extensions, Danny Clark, Andre Davis, Will Demps, Matt Turk, N.D. Kalu, Charlie Anderson, & yes Ron Dayne.

4. Lock up DeMeco Ryans long term. The Texans have done a good job extending their own players (cap friendly) like Andre Johnson last season. I would take the cap hit this year to ensure Ryan stays with the Texans by rewarding him with the contract he richly deserves.

5. Aquire Free Agents who address needs.

RB Michael Turner, big bucks.

RB Tatum Bell is more likely given his Denver connections, the fact hes been hurt alot & unused in Detroit (discount) knows Kubiaks system well.

CB Asante Samuel, big bucks.

CB Domonique Foxworth, RFA, Denver Broncos is someone who Rick Smith is very familar with I think the Texans will at least tender him an offer.

OG Alan Faneca, big bucks.

OT Travelle Wharton, good young tackle that could also swing inside & play guard if needed. is just under the big bucks heading but just might be in the Texans price range.

6. The Draft. I'm in favor of trading down if a LT is not available or selecting a cb if unsuccessful in Free Agency/Robinsons full recovery in doubt. Too early for me to project much beyond the 1st rd. but I can offer feedback on your 1st rd. selections, for instance its doubtfull Stewart comes out, Kenny Phillips & Malcom Jenkins selected early while Connor plays the same position as DeMeco. 1st. rd. should look more like-

1. Sam Baker/Jeff Otah LT's, Mike Jenkins/Reggie Smith/Antoine Cason/Aqib Talib CB's
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Old 12-17-2007   #6
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

I think our first order of business should be resigning some of our key guys (ie. Demps, Davis, Dunta, etc.)

Second we should look to sign a high profile free agent (ie. Faneca, Starks, Samuels, Trufant, Turner, etc.) I would prefer we sign one of those two CB and/or one of those two OL. I think that the RB class in this draft is extremely strong and I think we land a franchise RB (Stewart, Mendenhal, etc.) in the middle of the first round. We need to stay relatively conservative with our money but we do have the room and the need to sign one big money guy.

Third we need to address some of the other positions of need with mid to low level FAs. Two positions of need I think we can address with mid-level FAs is a SLB and a pass rushing specialist DE. We should also add depth at any chance we get.

That should set us up for the draft fairly well. Ideally, I would like to sign Faneca and/or Trufant, a SLB, and a DE. Then draft Stewart or Mendenhal in the first and a LT in the third. I'm not one who thinks that Spencer can make it back to LT but I think with Pitts, Spencer, and (hopefully) Faneca we will have some nice competition for the guard spots. That leaves LT as a bit of a question but with Salaam, Butler, and (hopefully) our third round LT we should have some healthy competition there too.

I know there is a lot that will happen between now and March but, overall, I think we need to improve at SLB, LT, RG, RB, CB (Bennett has looked good but I'm worried about Dunta,) and RDE (move Mario to LDE.) However Smith would like to do that is fine with me.

Last edited by nero THE zero; 12-17-2007 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 12-17-2007   #7
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

Neither Starks nor Faneca fit our system. They are both maulers.

I think Turner is a product of Lorenzo Neal and the Chargers line more than anything else, and won't be worth the money he will get.

A trade down for Felix Jones, Stewart, Slaton, or another back if there are no good LT's available.
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Old 12-17-2007   #8
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The1ApplePie View Post
Neither Starks nor Faneca fit our system. They are both maulers.

I think Turner is a product of Lorenzo Neal and the Chargers line more than anything else, and won't be worth the money he will get.

A trade down for Felix Jones, Stewart, Slaton, or another back if there are no good LT's available.
That's a good point about Starks and Faneca. Faneca, the guy I'd most like to have, is also a guard and I feel that we are fairly well off at that position. I'm not sure how high Kubiak is on Butler but he shows a lot of potential. If he is not the guy hopefully we can find a lower profile guy ith finesse and add an impact corner like Trufant.
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Old 12-17-2007   #9
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

Our projected cap space isn't in the top 10; link:

Team
Signed Players 2008 cap room

1. Tennessee
39 $40.85 million
2. San Diego
44 $33.03 million
3. Jacksonville
43 $32.69 million
4. Buffalo
49 $32.05 million
5. New Orleans
39 $31.69 million
6. Cincinnati
48 $31.45 million
7. San Francisco 4
8 $30.91 million
8. Cleveland
42 $30.31 million
9. Arizona 3
4 $30.27 million
10.N.Y. Jets
45 $27.72 million
11.Oakland
40 $25.98 million
12.Tampa Bay
48 $25.90 million
13.Miami
48 $25.56 million
14.N.Y. Giants
49 $24.47 million
15.Detroit
42 $23.50 million
16.Houston
43 $22.91 million

17.Dallas
40 $20.61 million
18.Kansas City
44 $20.27 million
19.Chicago
52 $19.80 million
20.Pittsburgh
43 $18.61 million
21.Green Bay
48 $18.37 million
22.Philadelphia
49 $17.17 million
23.Denver
49 $16.77 million
24.Minnesota
49 $14.88 million
25.New England
41 $10.93 million
26.St. Louis
45 $9.61 million
27.Seattle
44 $9.55 million
28.Indianapolis
48 $8.49 million
29.Carolina
35 $6.05 million
30.Atlanta
52 $5.79 million*
31.Baltimore
42 $5.00 million
32.Washington
45 -$20.72 million

* Not including unspecified potential rebate from contested return of Michael Vick's pro-rated signing bonus.
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Old 12-17-2007   #10
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

Who is clark ? # 65 ?

Need a RB option in every round. There are going to take at least one.

There was period of about three weeks where Flanagan absolutly sucked. Now you can say that he shook off the rust. You could say that as a group they came together.
Or you can say there is no way in hades Flanagan is stout enough to handle the DTs in our didvision. That was the reoccouring theme all season. They come up agint an elite DT that was on top of his game, they got smashed like a wormy apple.


Quote:
6. The Draft. I'm in favor of trading down if a LT is not available or selecting a cb if unsuccessful in Free Agency/Robinsons full recovery in doubt. Too early for me to project much beyond the 1st rd. but I can offer feedback on your 1st rd. selections, for instance its doubtfull Stewart comes out, Kenny Phillips & Malcom Jenkins selected early while Connor plays the same position as DeMeco. 1st. rd. should look more like-
There are couple of young backers coming out. Don't know if we're interested. Butler will be playing in the New Mexico bowl in a couple of days. When you're watching UCF Moffit is raw but very athletic. UCF also has an intereting DB for day two.

Very good job Hottoddie. Rep your way.
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Old 12-17-2007   #11
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tulexan View Post
Our #1 FA target should be the Burner, sign a mid level CB, draft a LT in the first
We got it.
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Old 12-17-2007   #12
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

I'm against signing Turner, I just don't think he will be worth what we give up. Like it was mentioned earlier, Fanaca and Starks don't fit our system. They are both big, powerful players more geared towards a smashmouth, power blocking scheme. I would never sign a LT in FA and expect him to be able to start. It doesn't happen. No team, regardless if they have a Pace in front of that player, will let a legit LT walk. You draft LT's.

Now, I'm not really too concerned with our current team, but I love the whole draft talk. I don't think we need to be worried about our position to the point of throwing games. Ever. However, let's assume we end up with pick #17 for instances...in a deep class such as this years (assuming the premier JR's declare) we would be towards the end of the line on the supposed elite prospects at skill positions. I think it would be possible to trade out of the first for an early second, similar to what Dallas did last year with Cleveland. I also think we could trade down towards the end of the first, probably in about the 24 range and land a second rounder this year as well.

At the end of the first/early second, we will find the type of players we actually NEED for this team to play consistently. I think Sam Baker will fall, Oher is falling now, and those are two blue chip talent OT's to consider. Also, with the early second, we could be looking at a legit RB with someone like Mendenhall or Felix Jones, two RB's I'm very high on as far as NFL potential goes. I think with the 3rd round pick, we could be looking at a few options, depending on how FA shook out. We could be looking for a CB, in which case the guy from Tenn State would be a nice option. We could look at FS, in which Steltz from LSU would be a great pick. We could be looking RDE, in which Bruce Davis from UCLA would be a great pick.

Really, it is still too early to be able to honestly go much deeper than that at all. I have just started reviewing tapes, and it will be a good while before I will even attempt to throw out an honest mock. I will probably put out a big board like I did last year to help some of you out though.
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Old 12-17-2007   #13
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by threetoedpete View Post

Need a RB option in every round. There are going to take at least one.
Well, a few more options for 3rd-4th round are guys like Kevin Smith (I really like him) and Mike Hart.
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Old 12-17-2007   #14
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The1ApplePie View Post
Neither Starks nor Faneca fit our system. They are both maulers.

I think Turner is a product of Lorenzo Neal and the Chargers line more than anything else, and won't be worth the money he will get.

A trade down for Felix Jones, Stewart, Slaton, or another back if there are no good LT's available.
I have no problem baring outrgeuos costs, age, with going after these two guys...my question with them has always been what are you going to do with Winston and Pitts. Seems like double dipping at the same spot to me.


The only problem I have with Turner is if they wanted the guy they should have drafted him the year he came out. They didn't and this HC doesn't so I'm guesing...we won't. Kubes is going to pick "His" guy. I think and do not know for a fact that Kubiak likes to pick the raw guys run them through the ringer and coach them up. Not saying that Turner is not a tallented option. What I'm saying is this HC has a way of developing RBs and that is what he knows. And he is sticking to it. And that is my story on Turner the burner and I'm sticking to it.

Another thing is are they going to settle out Green ? Some seem prety certain they are. I'm not so sure they are. Danye's locked. He's not going anywhere. They're going to have to hack some spots off the roster come febuary. If they hack Green...I'll start to swallow Turner the burner.

That would mean they go from 22 million of cap space down to sixteen ? What did those guys tell us at the time of the Green signing...it wouldn't hurt very much ? We haven't had much luck with signing guys close to the thirty line is all I know. It's always something with those guys. Salaam has been the exception, not the rule.
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Last edited by threetoedpete; 12-19-2007 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 12-17-2007   #15
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

wow, drafting 20 players. that'd help you out tremendously.
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Old 12-17-2007   #16
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

While we are stacked at recievers, I like the Hocker pick. Good size, good speed, good hands.
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Old 12-17-2007   #17
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

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Originally Posted by YoungTexanFan View Post
Well, a few more options for 3rd-4th round are guys like Kevin Smith (I really like him) and Mike Hart.
I really doubt Kevin Smith falls that far, his stock has been rising........I see him as pick in the round which we have no draft pick in.
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Old 12-17-2007   #18
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

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Originally Posted by Hottoddie View Post
So, what do I have to work with & what do I need to do with it?

Off Season to Do List

1) I know I have $35+ million in available cap space to spend.
2) I have to set some money aside for my draft picks.
3) I have 4 major holes I need to fill immediately (LT, CB, RB, C) & I need depth throughout the team.
4) I don't believe FS is a major need position anymore, with the emergence of Demps. He just needs to get that damn brace off his arm. Harrison should be ready to play by next year as well.
5) I'm going to release Flanagan & Green, which should give me an additional $2.5 - $3.0 million in cap space. That'll give me ~$38 million to spend in free agency.
6) I only want to bring in guys in the 24-26 year old range.
7) I believe that Spencer, McKinney, Taylor, Weary, White, & all the rest of my players on injured reserve will be fully recovered & ready to go by next season. The only exception should be Dunta.
8) I've got to resign Davis, Demps, C.C. Brown, Kalu, Weary, & Clark. I'll wait on the rest to see how free agency & the draft plays out.

So, let's get started.

Free Agency

I'm going to target 4 key free agents immediately, but I'll have backup candidates for 2 of them.

1) Travelle Wharton (LT) (UFA) - Carolina: Unless they tag him (They probably will), I'll be in touch with him in the first minute of free agency & be offering him a near franchise tackle type of salary ($8-10 million per year).

1a) If he's tagged, I'll go after Max Starks (RT) (UFA) ($4-6 million) - Pittsburgh: Depending upon the coaches opinions, this would allow us to put Starks at RT & move Winston to RG or LT, with Spencer filling the other role.

2) Marcus Trufant (CB) (UFA) - Seattle: Again, unless they tag him (& they probably will), I'll be in touch with him right after I talk with Wharton. If you figure that Asante will get Clements type of money, then I have to be looking at paying $6-8 million per year.

2a) If Trufant is tagged, I'll go after one of these CB's (in this order).

Randall Gay (CB) (UFA) - New England ($2-3 million per year)
Drayton Florence (CB) (UFA) - San Diego ($3-4 million per year)
Domonique Foxworth (CB) (RFA-3rd) Denver ($2-3 million) I'll only go after Foxworth if I miss out on the first 3 & trade down in the draft to pick up another 3rd.

3) Landon Johnson (OLB) (UFA) - Cincinnati: LJ will make a great compliment to DeMeco ($3-5 million per year).

4) Tatum Bell (RB) (UFA) - Detroit: Either he'll opt out of his contract, or they'll cut him. I'm not sure which it'll be, but he will be a free agent ($3-4 million per year).

Well, that's all my free agent acquisitions & depending upon who I get, I'll have spent somewhere between $12-27 million. If I spent $27 million, it'll mean I signed 4 starters in Wharton (LT), Trufant (CB), Johnson (OLB), & Bell (RB) to fill 4 of our biggest holes before the draft rolls around.

However, the reality of the NFL is that I'll have probably signed Starks (RT), Florence (CB), LJ (OLB), & Bell (RB) for ~$19 million. I'd consider that a pretty good free agent haul though. That'll leave me ~$19 million to resign our free agents & draft picks. Now, on to the draft.

Draft Day

As of this post, we're picking in the 15-19th spot in the draft, depending upon how the strength of schedule shakes out. With my free agents signed, here's how I'll approach the draft. If I can trade down & pick up an extra 2nd or 3rd, I most likely will. While you never want to lose any games, losing these last 2 would sure go a long way towards giving me more leverage in trade down discussions. But, assuming we end up where we are now, here's what I'll do.

1) Jonathan Stewart (RB), Kenny Phillips (FS), Mike Jenkins (CB), Dan Conner (OLB)

3) Leodis McKelvin (CB), Steve Winston (C), Louis Holmes (DE)

4) Jordon Dizon (OLB), John Sullivan (C), Kyle Devan (C)

5) Kyle Devan (C), Andrew Bain (G), Eric Bakhtiai (DE)

6) Eric Bakhtiai (DE), Bruce Hocker (WR), Hercules Satele (G)

7) Bruce Hocker (WR), Caleb Campbell (SS), Lionel Dotson (DT), Eric Foster (DE)


Hehe, how's that for a list of no name draft picks? I guess it's a good thing I'm not Rick Smith.

Anyway, what would you do, if you were Rick Smith?
First, Houston pro football agrees with your cap figures and that is what I use. $35m
http://www.houstonprofootball.com/cap2008.html

Second, Under #6 above you say bring in only guys 24-26 yet Travelle Wharton's B.D. is May 19, 1981 making him 27 before 08 season. He missed most of 2006 & I want to know what he has looked like 07 to draw the bucks you are willing to pay? He is short at 6'4" but weight is good. How are his feet and slide ability? I'm not against a 27 yoa LT but brought it up.

Third, I thinks Demps will play solid last two games and should be starter in 08. If Harrison turns out as have the other Smith draft picks, the kid will be the starter by midseason.

Fourth, I think Samuel CB can be signed five years 60 million with a good up front guarantee and the guy has 6 INTs. Enough said. DR probably not ready for several games. We need to get strong start & allows DR time to heal.

Center will be McKinney and better of Flannagan & White, like it or not. Unless a late rounder shocks and delivers.

Our holes are LT, RB, and OLB with above scenario.

Unlike others my glass is half empty on LT. I believe Baker and Clady will be gone by 17. So, I trade and pick up a 2nd round.

Draft: 1st: RB Stewart, (I'll be surprised if he is there but I've seen mocks with him going early 2nd round). Ray Rice, Felix Jones, Hart or Ian Johnson will satisfy me. *Note, I'm not so sure Green will be cut. I can see Green, 1st round RB, Dayne and He who will be named later.
2nd: OLT We have two to look at; Chris Williams Vanderbilt 6'6" 315 @
5.25 and Mike McGlynn Pittsburgh 6'5" 318lbs @ 5.25 Tony Hills from
U.T. I am off/on about. If none of these are avail at this pick I go
clear off the chart for ALex Boone Ohio State 6'7" 325lbs. Something
"whispers in my other ear" that this guy is going to be very steady.
3rd: *If Mike McGLynn is still on board, he is mine. He can play LT,G &
C. I need an OLB here so Cliff Avril Purdue 6'3" 250 4.78. Our DBs will
much improved especially with Samuel anchoring one side. He can
move up on passing plays if needed.
4th: FS Quentin Demps or Marcus Griffin who is moving up.
5/6/7 BPA
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Old 12-17-2007   #19
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

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Originally Posted by badboy View Post
First, Houston pro football agrees with your cap figures and that is what I use. $35m
http://www.houstonprofootball.com/cap2008.html
Per the asterisk on the provided link; *Note: The Texans will likely exercise a $12 million option bonus on Mario Williams' contract

$35M -$12M = $23M to play with (minus Rookie Contracts of course)
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Old 12-17-2007   #20
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Default Re: If I were Rick Smith, this is what I'd do.

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Per the asterisk on the provided link; *Note: The Texans will likely exercise a $12 million option bonus on Mario Williams' contract

$35M -$12M = $23M to play with (minus Rookie Contracts of course)
understood but not done deal. Seems like we need the cap space this year.
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