As Bill might say, we are onto the offseason!
Once the Super Bowl is over and a new league year beings I think of Bill Parcells. As we know he lost the power struggle to draft Cedric Jones over Terry Glenn. In his final press conference where he announced he was leaving he said
“If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries.”
What should Bill and Nick Caserio shop for this off season? Let’s look at the positions.
RB = I’d cut my losses with Gillislee and move on. My guess is Dion Lewis gets a deal that is too rich for their blood and moves on as well. I’d keep Burkhead and use two late round picks on backs with fresh legs. I’d feel a lot better about Josh eventually taking over if he featured more designed runs. This is the 3rd Super Bowl loss where he didn’t utilize the running game enough. Philosophically speaking I’m getting annoyed with them abandoning the run every time they get stuffed for no gain. Next year they need to run the ball at least 47 percent of the time.
OL = Solder won me over this year. His start wasn’t the greatest but eventually he righted the ship. I want them to take another tackle for (1) the sake of depth and (2) just in case Cannon’s injury is serious. Tony Garcia is a project. Over time I think Scarnecchia will turn him into a quality NFL tackle. Keep Shaq Mason and pick up an undrafted guard as a rookie free agent.
WR = I want to draft another receiver. My gut is telling me Malcolm Mitchell’s knees will cut his career short. Edelmans’ ACL tear could affect his ability to cut and juke defenders. Let’s try like all hell to keep Danny Amendola. He’s tough, reliable and clutch in the playoffs. If I had my way they’d put him on the PUP list then unleash him in the playoffs. Cooks, Amendola, Hogan, Britt, Dorsett, Mitchell and an unnamed rookie give Tommy a skilled group to work with.
TE = Dwayne Allen worked out OK this year. He’s a fair blocker and decent pass catcher. Am I the only guy who thinks he’s the second coming of Jermaine Wiggins? Both guys are similar in build. You could trust them to catch anything even though neither were very fast. As much as you appreciate them you still want them to upgrade at the position. Bill might think of Allen as a cap casualty. Gronk came into the league with a bad back. Realistically he’s suffered enough major injuries that I don’t think he’ll have Jason Witten’s longevity. We need to prepare for life without him. Let’s spend a draft pick on a tight end.
QB = I bet if Jimmy stayed in New England he’d have 2-3 championships of his own. The recent success of Jimmy and Jacoby renews my faith in Bill’s QB judgment. Hoyer is a useful veteran and fine backup. If God forbid something bad happened to Tommy I think they’d go 10-6 with Hoyer and lose in the divisional round. Hoyer is getting older and that’s why they need to dip into the draft again. Draft Tommy’s successor, sign him on Day 1 and give him a clipboard. If I were a betting man I’d put my money on Tommy winning a 6th then retiring to placate Giselle. Basically I’m expecting a new QB in 2020.
QB II = Recent history shows teams need to spend a high pick on a quarterback in order to win a championship. For the sake of this column I’m defining rounds 1-3 high, 4-5 middle and 6-7 late. Let’s take a look at the evidence.
2017 = Nick Foles 3rd round
2016 = Tom Brady 6th round
2015 = Peyton Manning 1st round
2014 = Tom Brady 6th round
2013 = Russell Wilson 3rd round
2012 = Joe Flacco 1st round
2011 = Eli Manning 1st round
2010 = Aaron Rodgers 1st round
2009 = Drew Brees 2nd round
2008 = Ben Roethlisberger 1st round
2007 = Eli Manning 1st round
2006 = Peyton Manning 1st round
2005 = Ben Roethlisberger 1st round
2004 = Tom Brady 6th round
2003 = Tom Brady 6th round
2002 = Brad Johnson 9th round
2001 = Tom Brady 6th round
2000 = Trent Dilfer 1st round
1999 = Kurt Warner undrafted
1998 = John Elway 1st round
1997 = John Elway 1st round
1996 = Brett Fav-ruh Favre 2nd round
22 years is a big sample size. Johnson, Warner and Brady are the outliers but otherwise my point is backed up by the evidence.
Over the past two years I’ve been a tad uneasy about their draft picks. Cooks worked out great in exchange of their first round pick. After that their draft class was thin with only 4 picks. Rivers already ripped up his ACL. Garcia hasn’t played yet. Deatrich Wise was great this year for a rookie. McDermott is in Buffalo. Goodell screwed them out of their 2016 first round pick. Cyrus Jones hasn’t shown he can play in the NFL.
If Bill wanted to trade down and acquire more picks I’d be OK with it. I’d also like to grab an LB and 2 DL in the draft. Thankfully there is also trades and free agency to improve the roster. Gostkowski has missed enough kicks lately. Let’s get him competition so he steps up his game. Malcolm Go Butler is probably gone. He was basically benched in the Super Bowl so there is probably Katy Perry Taylor Swift level bad blood between him and the team. Let’s get a proven vet to pair with Gilmore.
Time is slowly healing the wound of the Super Bowl loss.
We are ON to 2018!