How I see, or would like to see, the offseason move along is we sign Winston TODAY! Then after that I think we give Tolbert a call, and see where he is at. McNeill will probably still make a visit, but it will be more just to get to know each other at this point. No reason to keep it other than to get more info on the guy, and we all know how Pioli loves to do his due dilligence. Then before or after the Cotchery visits I think Tolbert signs with us, and then Hillis or Tolbert will be our FB. Doesn't matter because we would have PLAYERS there. Quinn out of who is left at QB in free agency is the most likely to sign here, because of the Crennel connection. I don't know if he will or not, but we all do know that at best he will be Cassel and not out play him. At worst he will be 3rd string.
After this it is time to turn towards the draft. And even before that I see two glaring issues on the horizon. Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson. Dorsey is going into his final year of his contract, and Jackson's salary will BALLOON up to around $13-$14 million next year. Jackson isn't as major of an issue until next winter. So either start talking reworking the deal, or have it come to a head next February. Dorsey is the bigger issue. Now don't get me wrong. I like Glenn. I think he has done a good job of the transition from possible DT playmaker in a 4-3 (1 season), to DE in a 3-4. But I do not think he is the best fit for this defense. I still feel a bit sorry for him, being forced to play a position that he will only be average at. When he knows that as a DT in a 4-3 he could get back to what he does best. And yes I know that Jackson and Dorsey are two of the best 3-4 DE run stoppers. My only argument to that is, just because they are ok to good at one thing is that enough to keep covering their weaknesses long term (ala Cassel)? Now Dorsey is making a decent chunk of change this season and I do think Pioli will look to trade Dorsey for a mid round draft pick. He will look to the 4-3 teams and try to start a small bid war in hopes to at best get a 3rd when he will likely get a 5th. It will free up a decent portion of cap space, and we can just resign Gilberry ( who I am surprised isn't getting a ton of attention from 4-3 teams). Gordon can be a decent stop gap for a season. Or maybe pick up Shaun Rogers for a cheap contract so we will feel a bit more eased that instead of worring about who to place at DE and NT. This way at least one of the position's is solved for a season.
The reason I say this is because the lingering Dorsey and Jackson issues financially will impact Albert's as well. Albert wont get top 10 money, but may ask for at least top half of starting LT money. Or maybe a tad more. At least I think. Heck it may even effect Bowe's contract status depending on if we don't get a long term deal done. With 4 major players on this team coming due for a raise at the same time...you can bet someone will not be here. With Dorsey traded that is one less problem to worry about, and we can use that extra cap space for Albert and/or Bowe. Jackson has a chance to get the deal reworked or will flat out get cut before next league year. Which will give even more cap space to help Albert and Bowe.
Onto solving one problem and creating another with Dorsey being gone. THE DRAFT. I am for two guys if we do not trade down. DeCastro and Poe. DeCastro would be hard to pass up as would Poe. DeCastro is, as Mike Mayock would say, a plug and play guy. Poe is all potential at this point. Which I would not be upset with either. But for this article and arguement I will go with Poe. People want to say Poe is a NT. I don't see it that way. With his ability and the right coaching I think he can be a great DE in a 3-4. Ability he has. I don't worry about that. Coaching I trust on defense. If Crennel and Pleasant can turn Shaun Smith, Amon Gordon, Glenn Dorsey, and Tyson Jackson (all 4-3 DTs and DEs) into competent and usable 3-4 defensive lineman. Then I won't worry about Poe as a DE in a 3-4.
Now looking ahead that would be Jackson, Rogers/Powe, and Poe as a possible starting line. I actually see this as a decent upgrade with Powe, and Poe growing and learning for years. Just imagine, if you will, Poe with his size hassling the T and G while Tamba comes around the edge. Tough choice, and you better be strong and tough to stop them. Alas this is one man's opinion. And honestly I wouldn't hate this. And isn't that at the very least all we can ask for?