I would be fine with risking money on Long. He's a worthwhile investment regardless at a greatly valuable position.
I don't see why Mike Tolbert is an idiot. He wanted to come home. He was a great fit on the team this year.
Watching Lawan handle Clowney in the Outback bowl has me really hoping he falls to us.
The reality of the situation is that we'll need players to take significant paycuts no matter what. I think many of them will. The ones who need to but don't will probably be shown the door. Even if that clears up a ton of cap space, we won't be able to afford Long. There's always someone who will be willing to take a chance on a premier player who's been on a bad team, off his game, and injured. And somehow those teams always have more cap space than we do.
(Amusingly, Geoff Schwartz is a free agent this year and could play RT while we groom a rookie OT. And he's still relatively young. Would definitely be an upgrade over Bell.)
Meanwhile, on the D-line, re-signing Dwan Edwards should be a priority. Ron Edwards isn't particularly expensive in 2013 either, but I would still draft his replacement. I still like Kearse and Neblett as backup DTs. I'm not sure Fua should be around next year, but that's a decision that will come later, not sooner.
I keep hearing Jairus Byrd mentioned here, and I think he'd be a great choice to plug in right away at S. With Nakamura as depth and ST, I'd still look for another S in the middle rounds of the draft.
While I liked Schwartz when he was here, I think there are several better options. I'd probably prefer any OT that goes in rounds 1 or 2 over a guy who hasn't started a game since 2010.(Amusingly, Geoff Schwartz is a free agent this year and could play RT while we groom a rookie OT. And he's still relatively young. Would definitely be an upgrade over Bell.)
I just looked it up, and apparently we have Dwan on contract for next season. He's due to make $3.65M. I'm somewhat happy to find this, because if for some reason Dwan falls off next season we won't pay nearly as much in the long run.Meanwhile, on the D-line, re-signing Dwan Edwards should be a priority. Ron Edwards isn't particularly expensive in 2013 either, but I would still draft his replacement. I still like Kearse and Neblett as backup DTs. I'm not sure Fua should be around next year, but that's a decision that will come later, not sooner.
Apparently Ron is going to make $3.3M next season, so I'm fine with keeping him regardless of if he takes a cut. It'd be awesome to see him take a cut, but he has no reason to given A.) He's only been on the team two years and has no ties, and B.) he's worth $3M.
I'd love to have Byrd, but if we don't get him, everyone is wanting to predict Matt Elam to us, which I don't think would be bad. If we manage to get Byrd, I'd be content with re-signing Sherrod Martin, but not for a lot.I keep hearing Jairus Byrd mentioned here, and I think he'd be a great choice to plug in right away at S. With Nakamura as depth and ST, I'd still look for another S in the middle rounds of the draft.
NOTE: Many of these players have already been given all of their signing bonuses, so I don't know if all of these cap figures will be right for each season.
- Smitty is due to make $6.25M. He's obviously worth it given that he's our only consistent WR, but maybe he'd be willing to take one to improve the team, even if it's only by $1M. He's due to make $8M and $11M in 2014 and 2015 respectively, so he's going to have to take a pay-cut at some point to stay on the team. I'd love to think Smitty will still be commanding a double team constantly in 2015, but it's a little off to expect that.
-Gross has a base salary of 8.7M, and a total cap-hit of 11.7M. He's been in Carolina his entire career, and I'd hope given all the money he's made that he'd be willing to shed some of that contract to help the team.
-DeAngelo has a base salary of around 5M, plus he has a signing bonus of 3.2M. If he truly wants to stay, he could take a pay-cut to his over-priced salary. If he doesn't, we could trade him for a 3rd/4th rounder or just cut him and save $5M.
-Gamble has a total salary of almost 11M next season, and from what I can tell, only $3M of that is guaranteed. If he doesn't take a cut to his 8M base salary, he could potentially get the boot, despite being one of the best CBs in the league. He's missed 20ish games in three seasons.
-Beason has made $9M the last two seasons to do nothing, so hopefully he'd be cool with taking a cut to his almost $10M total salary for next year. He might be pissy about losing his starting spot to Kuechly though, in which case he'd need to be traded/let go, but maybe after next season. From 2014 on he makes around 11M per season.
-Given how little we need him, James Anderson needs to be dropped/restructured (by a lot). He's only making $4.5M next season, but he's only useful in run-defense, plus he's the weakest link of our 4 startable LBs. He could be replaced in FA OR a mid-round draft pick a lot cheaper.
-Cutting Clausen next year would save a little over 1M. We could cut him and not have to worry about a #3 QB, because let's face it, if Cam goes down we won't be competing for anything anyway.
The only FA's we have to potentially re-sign next year are Derrick Anderson, Sherrod Martin, and Captain Munnerlyn.
-Ron Edwards - He's a key cog to this defense, but he's relatively expensive and could be expendable if a NT is taken early.
-Garry Williams - The Panthers can save about $1 million by cutting him. Seems like a no-brainer given the opportunities he's had and the potential he's shown in them (little to none).
-Geoff Hangartner - Not that I don't like him, but due more than $1.5 million next year in base salary. He could be on the chopping block for a cheaper option.
Don't forget, we'll need to resign Dwan Edwards. He was the key to the improvement of our DL, if you ask me. He deserves a long-term deal and a raise.
People who need to take paycuts: Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart (the price of keeping Double Trouble together), Jon Beason (coming off his second IR season), Chris Gamble (IR and age, combined with an enormous cap number), James Anderson (he'll be a backup, though he may just get cut). I don't think Jordan Gross needs to take a paycut to be around next year, but it'd be great if he did.
Sure, there are better options than Schwartz, but how many of them are going to be available? At the very least, Schwartz is a solid and versatile backup who can fill in at RT or G. And he's still relatively cheap ($550k in 2012). If we draft an OT in round 2 that isn't ready to start right away, Schwartz is an upgrade over Bell until the new guy is ready. Of course, that's all dependent on Schwartz being healthy.
Where did you see that we have Dwan Edwards under contract for 2013? I'm seeing him as a free agent. If he's not under contract, that's obviously a priority.
Who's mocking Matt Elam to us? Why would we take a SS in Round 1 when NT and OT are much higher priorities? There should be plenty of decent safeties in Round 3, and with Godfrey being able to play either position, it shouldn't matter whether we draft a FS or SS.
Why the hate for Garry Williams? The O-line started solidifying again when he took over at RG. I think he's a solid backup G (even if he's listed as a T).
I don't think we can afford to cut Hangartner, as there's no one on the roster right now to take his place as starting RG. We may finally have a chance to shore up the OL; I'd be hesitant to change that.
I'd like to see us part ways with Clausen at this point, and start looking for a long-term backup for Newton. I'd still re-sign Anderson, as he's been effective in his limited snaps as a backup and can help the new guy learn the offense.
No way is Stewart taking a pay cut on a deal that he literally just signed. Will not happen, I can guarantee that right now.
Dwan isn't under contract for next season. I assume he looked it up on spotrac, who mistakes Ron's contract for Dwan's. Confusing, I know.
We don't have a third round pick. I would like Elam in round 2, though.
Williams has never been impressive to me. He's fairly expensive for a backup who has proven little. We can find cheaper options.
A new GM coming in doesn't really have an attachment to Hangartner. He's a useful piece, but that is a lot of money a team that is desperate for money can save without make a truly consequential cut. We would miss him next year, and he's been solid for us, but he's replaceable if he needs to go for our cap situation. We can't keep everyone.
Best DT / OT or BPA.
I don't think keeping Hangartner is a matter of attachment, it's a matter of not having someone who can step in and not being able to spend a mid-round pick at the position. We'd basically be looking at a FA or starting a late-round rookie -- with an FA, we may be looking at the same figures anyway; with the rookie, it'd be cheaper, but production would likely be much lower. I think you can look at replacing him next year, but probably not this year. Besides, having Hangartner next to a rookie OT would probably help the rookie's development.
I think the last line there is the hardest pill to swallow. We can't keep everyone... even if the players who should take pay cuts do so.
I would like to see us move up and grab a top 5.......we have a spare RB and ILB.....we need the best OL and DT not 3ed best.