If I were Stan Kronke, I would be asking some reliable football people to decide if a coaching change is needed. He wants to win, I am sure he will make the right decision. Lets talk about something more interesting and intelligent shall we? Lets talk about the roster issues and how we address these needs to produce a winning roster.
First thing to understand is that the roster and the salary cap have equal consideration into all decisions. Cost benefit analysis when considering both factors is what all franchises must do. Talking about roster moves or restructures without the other is a fairytale plain and simple.
Let's do a reality check. We have $10MM to sign FA's and our 2012 draft call to fill the following holes:
On Offense:#1WR, #2WR, #2RB,#3RB, #2QB, OLG, 2 backup OL, #3TE, #4TE.
On defense, #1 3-tech DT, #1CB, #2CB, SLB, WLB.
Holes to be filled: #1WR (likely Lloyd)- This is a must fill - the offense cannot afford to draft a rookie and deal with learning curve and pro level adjustment - we need to true #1 pro now for this system - its Lloyd and considering our cap issues - he is even a better fit.
#2WR (could be Clayton)- We will see if he can regain his 2010 form after the injury. Considering cap issues, if Clayton doesn't perform we will likely stick with what we have.
OLG (bell is FA)- Got to be a decent FA or high draft pick.
#2, #3 RB - Both are FA - Jackson is good for another year, but it makes a lot of sense to draft his replacement or at least a solid #2RB.
#3, #4 TE - Bajama and #4 TE are FA Backup OG-OT - Wragge and Goldberg are FA.We may need 3 backups next year, 2 is pretty thin and reduce WR to 6.
#1CB Bartell is a nickel/dime corner in 2012 or his career is over, 2CB Fletchers 2nd knee surgery pushes him off the starting lineup (#3-#6 CB is where he should land and his cap cost is very cheap and worth keeping him on)
SLB - Poppinga is FA WLB - Leber is FA 3-Tech DT - Robbins is slipping big time - we need a penetrating DT.
Between the draft and $10MM in cap space, all of these needs cannot be filled properly. So lets look at our roster, below you will see of what is to come in 2012.
I believe we will have a lot more than $10MM in cap space when all is said and done:
Ron Bartell - 2012 to waive him would free up $5MM in cap space. He was due $6.2mm in non-guaranteed salary and had an already paid option bonus pro-rate of about $1.2MM = $5MM.
Jason Brown - 2012 cap cost 7.2MM. Includes $5mm non-guarnanteed SALARY + Signing bonus prorate $2.2. We can waive him and get $5MM in cap space or reduce salary.
Craig Dahl - $1.2MM voidable year 2012, could add $1.2MM in cap space to waive
Fred Robbins - 2012 non-guaranteed salary $3.75MM. Could waive and get $3.75MM in cap space.
Jason Smith 2012 Salary $10MM, option bonus prorate 2012-2014 $3.25 per year. Waiving would create $10mm in cap space for 2012.
Drafting a starter at any of these position clearly enables the FO to waive any of these players and creating a lot of new room under the cap. Most likely IMO, I think we will get $5MM from waiving Ron Bartell, and restructure Jason Smith and get another $5MM - reduce salary to $5MM from $10MM, reduce or waive Robbins. So we would have about $22mm in cap space to fill all of these needs. I did an excel spread on the cost to fill these holes and this scenario would provide the cap space to accomplish this.