I think it will be at least the 2013 season, before we are ready to make a serious run at the Superbowl, it has been said in various other threads that we need at least 19 players to replace others to give us depth in some positions and starters in other notably CB, OG and Safety.
I think JJ has now come to realise this, he has also realised that he can also improve the team by hiring better coaches in the last 2 seasons we have seen new coaches come in at Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Line, Secondary Coach, Offensive Line and Wide Receiver to name a few. That's not to say we wont try to go out and get there, more that it won’t be the end of the world if we don't; hopefully we can win at least 2 play off games in 2012 and get to at least the NFC Divisional play offs. Then by 2013 we can make a strong run at it.
As previously discussed, we will have around $million in cap space to make a move when F.A opens plus maybe an extra $million if we cut Newman and a few others, Bennett, Ball, and Dockery. $25 million seems a lot of money to be able to spend in FA and in an ideal world, where we would only add 2-3 quality F.A players; however I believe we are going to need 4-5 FA players this season.
I do not think we will be able to make a run at Carl Nicks the amount of money that he is looking for rumored $70+million dollars is going to be far too much for us, you only need to look at the last Pro Bowl Guard to get a big contract and that was Logan Mankins he signed a 6-year $51 million deal with $30 million guaranteed and $20 million signing bonus, worked out on average around $8.5 million a season (inc bonuses) so if we add 20% to those figures for Nicks ( he is still only 26) would give him around $36 million guaranteed, $24 million signing bonus; with base salary, bonus and guarantees each season he would be looking at around say $9-10 million per season.
We are going to need a veteran QB to back up rather than draft a late round flyer, we already took McGee 3 years ago and he has to yet develop taking another drafted QB will still leave us in the same position, would anyone be happy with McGee or 5th round QB starting if Romo gets injured again and misses say 4-5 games?
An experienced Center is also needed, some one who could help develop the likes of Costa or Kowalski.
We also need cover at D/L ILB and Safety, plus if we can re-sign Robinson ( there is a lot of Wideouts who will be in FA this year so all being well it will keep his salary down) and Fiametta.
I can also see us offering 1-year deals to Elam, Brooking, Holland and James mainly to add some depth to the squad and come summer camp they can fight it out with the UFA Rookies, and late round draft picks for a place on the 53 man roster. We will however, wave goodbye to Bennett, Ball, Dockery, Buheler, Walker, Ogletree, Griesen, Morris & Coleman.
So in the draft it comes down to OG v CB for that all elusive 1st round pick, do we go Jenkins at CB or Decastro at OG, I think we should go DeCastro, Jenkins is a very good CB but there is good depth at CB this year which means we could easily draft a starting CB in the 2nd round. DeCastro is the premier O/L in this years draft and is being talked about being a potential Pro Bowl Guard within a few years of starting in the NFL so rather than look to sign a Pro Bowl FA Guard for $60 - million dollars it would be far more economical to sign one in the 1st round this year and not have to worry about paying that money for at least another 5 years.
My draft for 2012 would be:
1. David DeCastro OG Standford 6.5 310
2. Stephen Gilmore CB South Carolina 6.1 193
3. Harrison Smith SS ND 6.2 214
4. Josh Norman CB Costal Carolina 6.1 190
4. Shea McClellan OLB Boise 6.3 258
5. Tank Carder ILB TCU 6.2 228
6. Rhett Elison TE 6.5 250
7. Ishmaaly Kitchen DL Kent State 6.3 334