A GM's job is to put talent on the field, coaches on the sideline and Lombardi's in the trophey case. That said, I don't see the need for a lengthy rebuilding process here. I see Peyton back next year at 100%, and I see him playing at a high level the next 3-4 years. I would NOT draft his backup this year, I would cut Painter and Collins and keep Orlovsky. I don't see Caldwell as a Super Bowl coach. He's a little too conservative, and when you're playing for keeps, he keeps disappointing. I would interview Fisher and Gruden, both have expressed the desire to coach Manning, and both seemed genuinely excited when discussing the possiblity of doing so. That's what I want in a head coach - EXCITEMENT for the opportunity!
We have several free agents to ponder, Saturday, Mathis, Wayne, Garcon, Brackett... I would take a close look at our cap space to see what I can actually do this year and beyond. I would try to sign Saturday and Mathis to 3-4 year contracts. I would try to sign Garcon to a 4-5 year deal. I would let Brackett and the others go but keep the door open if they don't sign on with another team. Wayne I'd consider franchising, but only if I've got Saturday and Mathis signed on for next year. I would certainly sit down with Peyton and Freeney to discuss the possibility of renegotiating their contracts to give us more to work with.
I would definitely trade the #1 pick to the highest bidder. I would demand multiple picks this year and next, and I would use those picks to fill obvious holes on defense (corner, DT, safety). I would consider using next year's additional picks to trade up this year to bring in as much defensive help as I can THIS year! Once the defense has been addressed, I would look to add depth to the offensive line, look to add a special teams returner and a WR to learn under Wayne.
I would ensure there was enough cap space after signing our vets and rookies to bring in free agents, just in case we didn't get everything we needed in the draft. My plan is to build a solid defense to give Peyton a legitimate shot at another title or two before he retires. I would look to draft his replacement in 2014, and I would NOT be opposed to trading up to get him. Because by then I would expect to have a defense that can withstand the growing pains of a rookie QB season.
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