I think it's very simple and it's probably been mentioned several times here already, but, here's my version:
There are three critical things that must be done this offseason for us to continue as a growing team (I sound like Pioli now...):
1. Re-sign Brandon Carr
If any of you have read my posts, you know that I wrote a letter to the guy saying he needed to stay. If Carr leaves, we'll have to try to replace him with someone else (duh!) who isn't best friends with Flowers and who isn't used to playing in our defense. Hands down, we'd have one of, if not THE best, secondaries in the league with Carr, Flowers, Berry, and Lewis. In today's pass-happy league, this is INSANELY important.
2. Re-sign Dwayne Bowe
Did I mention this league is pass-happy? Well, to be pass-happy, you need good receivers. I know we have more than Bowe, but I feel that if we let Bowe go or trade him, we completely turn our backs on what our fearless leaders (Hunt and Pioli) preach to us all the time: "We want to draft and grow our own players." If they let Bowe go, they're basically saying, "Yeah, so we lied...what's new?"
I also realize to be pass-happy, you need a good QB (not going there in this post). I've come to terms with the fact that Cassel is probably going to be the guy in 2012. Therefore, don't we need a guy who can make insane catches due to poorly thrown passes? Exactly. That means, we need Bowe to stay.
3. Shore up the O-line
That means we need to spend some money. Go get Carl Nicks, Pioli! We have potential in Hudson and Asamoah, and I feel that Albert is good, so we need another guard and DEFINITELY a right tackle...that goes without saying. Therefore, I say we sign Nicks and go back in time and release Richardson instead of Gaither...but really...we should sign Demetrius Bell from Buffalo, too. It doesn't necessarily have to be those guys, and I'm no whiz at salary cap stuff, but I'm thinking, "Hey, if we're not gonna spend the money on a QB, let's at least spend it on some dudes that will give Cassel the 10 seconds he needs to go through his progressions."