Pawns in the Shanaplan: Free Agents

We could know by the end of the day when the "offseason" can begin. If a stay is denied then it will be good on two fronts: 1) Rookies can get in and get the playbook...and 2) Free agency can begin. But what veteran free agents should we be targeting now that we know the additions to the club through the draft? In my eyes, the two most glaring, unaddressed holes are on the offensive line and at cornerback.

Johnathan Joseph, CB: Joseph would be a prime target if Carlos Rogers is not brought back. He is a former 1st round pick for the Bengals and is one of the NFL's most underrated players. I would argue that you could get Joseph a lot cheaper than Rogers, and make your roster three years younger at the same time. He has been plagued by injuries, at times, but so has Rogers for that matter.

Offensive Tackle: I'm assuming Jammal Brown or Ryan Harris will take up this spot, so I won't go into much detail. I also think Matt Light could be a dark horse as a one year stop gap. I would also love to steal Doug Free just to send a dagger to Jurrah.

Davin Joseph, G: I think if we can pick up a free agent that can start at guard or center then we'll be in pretty good shape. The Bucs basically tendered every FA to be, which means pretty much nothing. They have made it clear that Joseph is a priority to resign, but maybe Bruce Allen could persuade his former draft pick to join the Skins.  My back up plan would be Harvey Dahl from Atlanta, who just has not been given any commitment from the Falcons over the past two years.

Barrett Ruud, ILB: I don't think this was a great draft for 3-4 ILBs, but I was a little surprised one was not taken. Ruud is another former Allen draft pick and could step into the starting spot next to London Fletcher. I'm also trying to think long term at this position because London can't last forever. Ruud will be 28 at the start of the season and probably has a number of solid year left, so if Fletcher retires in a year or two then Ruud could take over the middle and then you could rotate a guy like Perry Riley into the opposite starting spot when he is a little more seasoned.

I wasn't initially high on drafting a bevy of skill positions players in the draft (WR/RB), but I think it has done us a great service financially. The receivers and backs that we drafted came relatively cheap, where as they would have been extremely overpriced in the free agent market. This leaves us with a great deal of change in our pocket where we can target some solid players at a couple positions of need. The "Draft First, Free Agent Later" experiment is looking like it may pay off for this team.

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