1. My examples were last year's Championship teams. New England essentially has 2 on defense, Atlanta has one very young pass rusher, etc, etc. New England may add one or two free agent rentals a year but can get away with that due to how well the rest of their roster is constructed and having TB play really under-market value.
2. The Giants are not adding playmakers, they had five 1st or 2nd team All-Pros this past season and spent a ton of money on defense. It amounted to giving up 38 points and losing to the Packers in the first round. Contrast that with New England's two, one of which is leaving more than likely. We need a better system and better breadth of quality, 1-2 big name guys won't do that better than 6-7 competent ones.
3. In order to sign high-end free agents you need to commit to some amount of long-term money (usually), I agree it's possible to get a bigger free agent once we have a better idea of the direction our team is going, which is why I think patience is key. If we are looking at his time in KC as a template, nearly all of their stalwart defensive players were drafted.
No one may be writing that we need to "break the bank" but that's what the OP is implying by his post. Teams in our situation (rebuilding/struggling defense) have made big, cost eating signings before (Miami with Suh, Jacksonville with any defensive player of the past decade, Eagles with Asomugha, Byrd to the Saints, Redskins with Haynesworth, etc, etc, etc) and it never works out when the team around that player is crap. Then that team ends up eating that contract for years. Even the Broncos had a really good base through the draft before adding Free Agents.
4. Ok, and that amounted to 3 wins. My point is that we just need a defense to competent to win. For that we need to improve at every position, which is why it makes more sense to me to slowly build depth then add someone if needed later.
I think we are essentially agreeing so I'll just leave it at that. I understand wanting to sign bigger free agents, it is just crazy to me that people are already frustrated with Ballard.