I understand that at this time number one is not an option, but this was prepared prior to today's news. I also obviously lack opportunity to interview players and do not know fully salary cap implications or free agency status of everybody with the new CBA. However, this is a thumbnail sketch of how I would begin if I were GM. Feel free to laugh - I know I am only a fan.
If I were GM of the Colts, I would….
1. Pursue Jeff Fisher to coach the team. He has experience in building a successful team and near super bowl winning team. He is also someone Peyton Manning respects and would be willing to work with. Thank you Jim Caldwell, respect you as a person, just some people are not meant to be head coaches.
2. Seek to renegotiate Manning’s contract – three years, far more cap friendly considering just paid him a truckload without return. Would not be heavy-handed in doing this, amicable in an effort to do what is best for both parties.
3. Resign Pierre Garcon and Reggie Mathis. Mathis may be the more difficult one financially.
4. I try to resign Jeff Saturday for 2 more years.
5. I try to reward Wheeler for consistently playing hard by resigning him – but cautious realizing a bit of tendency for injury.
6. I let Gonzalez and Brown go, Wayne becomes a cap casualty.
7. I seek to extend Austin Collie through 2015
8. I check the feasibility of signing free agent WR Brandon Lloyd and S LaRon Landry
9. I take a stab at signing Marshawn Lynch or Tolbert – Tolbert being more likely as Lynch will probably cost too much.
10. I cut Collins, Painter, and Brackett (Brackett being the most painful, but little choice)
11. I trade to Washington the top pick for no less than 2 first round picks and 2 second round picks a fourth round pick, and Ryan Kerrigan knowing I will probably be unable to sign Mathis. Washington is desperate for Luck and will mortgage their future for him.
12. I then trade Washington’s first round pick (6) and Dallas Clark to St Louis for the second pick and draft RGIII . RGIII will blossom under Manning’s tutelage and will flourish when Manning retires in 2-3 years, and Clark provides Bradford with a much needed target and veteran offensive presence.
13. I now have my QB of the future and my D-end of the future.
14. If necessary, I trade back into the late first round to draft Jerel Worthy, DT Michigan St
15. Depending on trades and free agency signings, I look for a speedy, intelligent running back, a promising safety to learn alongside Bethea, a strong-physical cornerback, and some depth for LB and O-line.