you dont trust ballard you dont think he knows his plan already . the next year when needed to sign leonard nelson and smith , AC will take off 16 million cap space kelly drops down per year and glow is gone . that can be well over 40 million in new cap space . the key to keeping a team going is the draft look at the ravens they lost tons of great defenders in the early 2012 range and hit in the draft and now they still have a elite defense .
You may be right.
But improved upon by free agency and not the draft likely means more money. In some cases much more money depending on the player.
That formula of how much more money vs how much more performance is the math that makes or breaks many GM’s.
my main point is a lot of these guys on this list are dirt cheap . even the veterans who are playing well are old so they will be cheap . plus your not counting the draft . we could still resign houston autry rhodes plus keep a lot of cheap depth guys and be okay . houston is making 8 million a year and now he is two years older and his sack numbers are gonna drop from last year we could get him for 5 million autry for 7 and rhodes for 7 and still have 21 million to sign a bunch of cheap depth guys like cox harris pascal muhammad and go get a cheap veteran wr
While those are good points I think it all depends on who is there at their pick. If a LT worth the #1 pick get him. It's not a sure thing that AC will be here. He may retire. IMO his play has deteriorated, may be age related?
Rookie contract also enters the picture.
Do we blitz enough to need a 1st rd pass rusher in this defense? We get plenty of pressure rushing 4.
Plus did Rhodes earn more than a 1 year deal? I am sure he will have a couple of teams that will sign him as good as he has played. He was signed to a prove it deal and he proved it.
Plus you can ignore Ballard may be looking to make a deal up or down in the first round. Lots of direction this draft could turn.