I am with the majority here and believe we HAVE to build through the draft. Enough trading away picks, if anything we should be trying to trade some of our guys who we could get some value for. That being said I also do not believe we should just sit out free agency, especially this year where the free agent market is the strongest it has been in years. There are 2 guys at 2 key positions of need we should target. Both of them are young and are realistic possibilities:
1.) Name- Ryan Kalil
Kalil is a center for the Carolina Panthers and is poised to hit the market as an unrestricted free agent. He is in his 4th season and is coming off a year in which he was named a pro bowl alternate and ended up playing in the game due to another players injury. This year he has been great once again on a horrendous Panthers team. It looks like John Fox is out next year in Carolina and they are a team that needs to completely start from scratch. I do not see the appeal in resigning with Carolina and I seriously doubt the panthers franchise him 2 years after they just franchised Jordan Gross at LT. Not only that but if they did Franchise him he would be making top 5 Left Tackle money which means they would be vastly overpaying for the center position. They are a team that needs to be slashing payroll instead of increasing it, especially after they will be forced to sign the #1 overall pick a ton of guaranteed money. Offensive Linemen WANT to play for Shannahan, they know he produces great lines and a great running game. Shannahan and Allen should do everything in their power to get this guy. He's YOUNG, he fits the system, and he's GOOD.
2.) Name- Sidney Rice
College- South Carolina
Rice is a WR for the Minnesota Vikings who had a breakout season last year. He caught 83 passes for 1300 yards and 8 TD's. This year he began the year on the PUP list and did not return until week 9 when mixed reports were coming out saying he was thinking of not playing once the 8 week PUP was up. He got into a little tisk with Vikings management and the relationship with that front office has been rocky. He has returned this year and performed well despite the chaotic state the Vikings are in and despite catching balls from T Jackson the past 2 games. I don't see why he would want to resign w minnesota, They have no QB, no head coach, NO STADIUM, and minneapolis isn't exactly the most desirable place to play for NFL players. He would instantly become the #1 WR here and big play receivers are definitely still interested in playing with McNabb despite some of his struggles. He is young, BIG, and possesses big play ability, a guy we should go after hard.
Signing these 2 guys would set up a plan of action for the draft and I would still look at trying to sign a starting OLB in free agency (the 2 biggest names out there are Lamar Woodley and Tamba Hali, not saying we should do it). I think we will end up 6-10 on the year and we will end up with a pick between 9-12. Ideally, Shannahan would move down from that spot with a team who has an extra 2nd rd pick. The top O linemen will still be there in the second and with a late first rounder I would take a stud DLinemen (Dline is LOADED this year in the draft) and with the 2 2nd rounders an interior O linemen and best player available between Free Safety, OLB (depending on free agency), DLine, and Interior Oline. However, if the skins stayed put and took a DL with the first rd and OL with the second i wouldnt complain.
Signing Kalil and Rice gives the skins the luxury of not having to use a high pick on a WR and maybe only 1 high pick on an interior OLinemen. I would be comfortable going into next year with Brown at RT, TWilliams at LT, Kalil at C, Rookie at Guard, and an open competition between Montgomery, Licht, Hicks, Cook and maybe a late rd pick for the other guard spot. Actually I would be ecstatic with that line. I also would be happy with Rice, Moss, Armstrong as our top 3 receivers. Kalil and Rice are very realistic possibilities and fit the plan of getting younger. We should make signing them a priority.