Article

2016 Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Offseason

It was Madden 2005. Trung Candidate hadn’t had a carry since 2003. A first round bust with only one tantalizing season with the St. Louis Rams in 2001 and a ten game starter with Washington in ’03. I had picked him up and turned him into a star. Shutting off my Playstation 2, the 12 year old me kept my imagination going, thinking about what it would be like to revitalize a player’s career and put him back on the map.

Franchise mode in Madden was the best for any kid who loved football but didn’t have a shred of the talent to play it. And that was me. Create the roster, draft the incoming class, look around the league while listening to the Tony Bruno Show.

It’s been forever since I’ve run a Madden franchise and if I did, the offseason would be the game’s highlight. To find my next Trung Candidate.

Thanks to the Internet, we can continue that without a video game. Fanspeak.com has set up a “Manage the Cap” simulator, a mock offseason. If you were around last year, we conducted one, and it was one of my favorite articles to write in my time here at Steelers Depot. To put my General Manager hat on, immerse myself into the game at a stupid, 12 year old level, and see how well I can run the Pittsburgh Steelers.

So that’s what we’ll do again. We’ll run through the Steelers offseason, sign and cut players, and using their offseason simulator, and we’ll finish things out with a mock draft. That’ll basically conduct our entire 53 man roster and we’ll see just how competitive this franchise can be. Or how bad I sink it.

Before we begin, a couple boring notes I gotta make.

1. The salary cap in the simulator isn’t totally accurate. Even setting aside $5 million for draft picks and working with a $155 million cap, the sim still claims Pittsburgh has $22.4 million free in cap space. That is certainly not inline with what Dave Bryanthe cap guru, has come up with. We’re going to use his number instead, and he has the Steelers at $9.8 million worth of space.

Because I can’t actually change Fanspeak’s cap number, we will subtract 9.8 from 22.4 to get 12.6, which will be our new zero. In this sim, I can’t go below 12.6 or I will be in the red and Omar Khan will yell at me. Money has already been set aside for draft picks, and knowing there are some players I am carrying to camp who won’t make it (the kicking battle, for example) I know I’ll naturally have some in-season space to sign free agents when injuries happen.

2. My goal is to attempt this in one take. No do-overs if I make a signing I don’t like or just do something idiotic (likely) to ruin my team. Kevin Colbert doesn’t get to erase the whiteboard and neither do I.

3. The sim, based on my experience last year, can be a little funny. We’ll just have to deal with whatever it spits out. You’ll see.

PRE-OFFSEASON 

Before I even begin the offseason, I want to lay out my current roster and all the players returning who are likely to make the team. It will help identify how far away I am to a 53 man roster and some areas I need to address.

QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones
RB: Le’Veon Bell, DeAngelo Williams, Fitzgerald Toussaint
FB: Roosevelt Nix
TE: Jesse James, Matt Spaeth
WR: Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant, Sammie Coates,
OT: Marcus Gilbert, Alejandro Villanueva
OG: David DeCastro, Chris Hubbard, B.J. Finney
C: Cody Wallace, Maurkice Pouncey
DE: Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, L.T. Walton
NT: Steve McLendon, Daniel McCullers
OLB: James Harrison, Bud Dupree, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Moats
ILB: Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Vince Willliams, Terence Garvin
CB: Ross Cockrell, Doran Grant, Senquez Golson
S: Mike Mitchell, Shamarko Thomas, Ross Ventrone
K: Chris Boswell
P: Jordan Berry
LS: Greg Warren

ROSTER NUMBER: 41

Bubble: Cortez Allen, Eli Rogers, Anthony Chickillo, Shaun Suisham

FA TARGET: DE, S, vet QB

I’ve also added a couple of bubble guys and a quick assessment of positions to target. You can quabble over the roster construction but I’m not putting a ton of thought into yet. Just looking for an idea of non-futures players under contract.

Restructures And Cuts

The pre-new year part of the sim. It is a fairly quick part of the offseason and I don’t even have a candidate to release. Cortez Allen would be the only name to consider but I want to bring him to camp, see if his balky right knee can hold up, and if it doesn’t, finally release him before the season begins. Physically, the talent is there, and I want one last look at it, even if it means I need to be a little stubborn about it.

Remember when I said the sim could be weird? Cameron Clear still shows up with a base salary on my payroll, even though he is now a membeer of the Indianapolis Colts. So I do away with him, officially letting him free. It saves me a little over 400K in space.

The only other move I’m making here is the obvious: restructure Lawrence Timmons’ gaudy deal. With over a $15 million cap hit, Timmons simply isn’t worth that. But I still support him and want him to be the starter for the next 2-3 years and have zero intentions of replacing him. I hit the restructure button and the sim frees up about 6 million, now giving me $16.4 million in cap space. Remember, we’re using 12.6 as our new zero.

MockOFF1

Re-Signings

The part where I sign my own. Now the real stuff starts. I’m already nervous. There are a couple I feel I need to sign so I start with them: Ramon Foster, Steve McLendon, and William Gay.

I start with Foster. A veteran. A professional. A man much larger than me. He wants to get paid, it’s his last chance to do so his agent explains, and it’s an understandable point of view. Foster has never made much money in the NFL, never signing a contract worth more than $5.5 million, a three year deal back in 2013.

He’s played well and I want him back. He’s worth a pay raise but I’m not breaking the bank for him. I make a very fair offer and increase to 3 years, $9 million, with a $3.15 million signing bonus.

MockOFF2

I don’t want to strike out on my first chance. I make the offer and with fingers crossed, hope he accepts.

MockOFF4

 

He does! Now I don’t need to worry about finding a left guard early in the draft and with a little bit of confidence, move on to the next player.

Onto Mr. McLendon. The last deal he took was a 3 year, $7.25 million contact in 2013, or an average of $2.42 per year. So we have to be above that figure with his play, ability to stay healthy last season, and market inflation. I like sounding like I know about the market. Someone put me on Mad Money. Sell, sell, sell!

I do come in low on my initial deal. McLendon simply isn’t playing enough snaps to justify a big contract and it wouldn’t be fair to pay him more than Foster. I offer McLendon 2 years worth $5.5 million, an average of 2.75 per season. The signing bonus comes in at 30%, $1.65 million, to match the percentage of snaps he played.

MOCKOFF5

 

McLendon Mutombo swats me out of the room.

Still wanting him back, and knowing deals are a dance, I modify my offer.

A 3 year, $8.55 million contract with just about $3 million of it guaranteed. But McLendon still rejects it and I’m beginning to worry we aren’t going to get a deal done.

Another tactic. Increase the overall amount of the deal, even surpassing Foster’s, but lower the amount of guaranteed. If McLendon plays well, he can earn that money through his yearly base salary. My offer. 3 years, $9.6 million, and a $2.4 million signing bonus.

MOCKOFF5

I am spending more time than I ever figured on McLendon. I try to explain that we’re the one who took a chance on him as an undersized lineman out of Troy and put him in an environment he wouldn’t have been afforded in any other city.

I switch gears and try one last time. Smaller total contract but a larger signing bonus. A 3 year, $8.4 million deal with $3.78 signing bonus. If this doesn’t work, we’re going to have to let him hit free agency.

MOCKOFF5

Rejected. Again. We’re moving on, disappointingly.

Now to William Gay. It’s a bad year to try to sign a corner because the market is hot. Great for players, bad for nerds like me simming the offseason. I am trying to be fair to him and know I can’t low-ball him with 3 million annually. He’ll fly back home to Atlanta.

Gay has never signed a contract worth more than 4.5 million, a pretty amazing fact for a player who has been in the league for as long as he has been. He’s earned to cash in. My offer is 3 years, $13.2 million (4.4 average) with 3.96 of that coming in the form of a signing bonus.

MockOFF28

He quickly accepts it and we both walk away happy.

Mike Tomlin and I are sitting around later that day, and he begins to press to bring back Will Allen, his favorite player in the whole world. Despite Allen’s struggles, it’s almost not worth fighting coach over one of his guys. As you know, he can be pretty stubborn. And there is some merit to the idea. Bring him back not as a starter, but safety depth who can back up either spot. That third safety is almost as important as the starting strong safety, and it’s risky to ask a rookie to do it.

Allen takes the first off I sent, a one year, $1.35 million deal with a modest, 337K signing bonus.

After just three signings, because I can’t backload contracts like in real life, I’m left with only $9.5 million left in space. Already feeling the heat.

I try to offer a one year deal to Antwon Blake for nearly the minimum but he rejects it and I scurry on.

I’d like to bring Darrius Heyward-Bey back but knowing he probably doesn’t want to re-sign with a place where it’s only a matter of time until he becomes the #5 WR, it’s best just to move on.

And that is it for my moves prior to free agency. It doesn’t seem like a lot, and I’m still bummed we haven’t been able to get McLendon signed yet, but I want to test the market everywhere else. It doesn’t mean someone like McLendon, Robert Golden, or Bruce Gradkowski can’t come back.

Free Agency – Day One 

My goal is to target a starting strong safety and a backup defensive linemen. Eric Weddle is available and that beard would inspire so many T-Shirts in Pittsburgh but the price tag is just going to be too high. $8 million per season would suck up almost all of my cap space.

I’m super upset my #1 target, Isa Abdul-Quddus isn’t on here. The Detroit Lions must have re-signed him. But my second choice of David Bruton, a physical safety coming off a strong season in Denver, is, and I immediately jump on it, looking to make an offer.

My offer to Bruton: 3 years, $12 million, and a $4.8 million signing bonus.

Almost the same signing bonus as Mike Mitchell and a little less per season. Bruton is a little older, he’ll turn 29 in July, so a shorter, smaller deal than Mitchell makes sense.

MockOFF29

 

We’ll have to wait until after Day One is finished to know if he accepted.

In the meantime, I set my sights on my defensive linemen. If you know me, you know I’m focusing in on two: Leger Douzable, my white whale, and Billy Winn. Douzable is clearly more athletic but Winn can stuff the run and chases the football. John Mitchell is in my ear to get Winn but I’m starting with Douzable.

Two years, 3.5 million, with just about a one million dollar bonus thrown in there.

I can’t offer too many contracts on day one. This isn’t real life. I can’t pull offers. If I offer five deals, and they all accept, I could be over the cap and be in big trouble. Always treading on thin ice.

I make one, low-ball for Steve McLendon, hopefully seeing a cold market and panicking, thus signing to me on the cheap. A two year, $4 million deal, and 600K bonus. A far cry from before but that’s the game.

Stepping back, I hit the “done submitting offers” to advance the sim and see who has signed with me.

MockOFF14

MockOFF11

Bruton signed, which is huge for us. We find our starting strong safety and don’t have to deal with another big money, for us anyway, contract, letting us send out a bunch of tiny offers the rest of the way. McLendon predictably declines and Douzable does as well.

Only one former Steeler signs on the first day. And it isn’t who you might expect. Bruce Gradkowski flies to Philadlephia, inking a 3 year, $6.9 million contract. Wow, Doug Pederson is going crazy in his first year.

Other notable signings include Quinton Coples getting way too much money from Carolina, Reggie Nelson going to Houston, and Arian Foster packing up to San Diego.

We’re one day in and I am already exhausted. My cap space has dwindled down to just $6.5 million.

Free Agency – Day Two 

I will resume my defensive line quest shortly but for the moment, turn my attention to a backup QB. Landry Jones is a borderline #2, and knowing what Tomlin thinks, he’d like to upgrade. “See what my options are” and that’s what we do.

Matt Moore has been the embodiment of a backup. 30 attempts since 2013 but he played well in Carolina and Miami previously, and that’s enough to tell me he can come off the bench cold and produce. He’s my first offer.

2 years, $2.6 million, 520K bonus.

I make one last attempt to sign Douzable, a player I’ve wanted since mid-season. His athleticism and ability to line up and down the line is really attractive but with limited space, I can’t break the bank.

2 years, $3.75 million, and a 1.5 bonus. About as good as its going to get.

I, uh, still don’t have a starting nose tackle. That…could be an issue. Granted, it is the least important position on my defense, but I didn’t really plan on not having McLendon back. Throwing a monkey wrench into everything. I don’t think he’ll will accept any offer I attempt and with a twinge of sadness, move on completely. Goodnight, sweet prince.

The nose tackle market is not exactly brimming with talent. Not that I have the cap space to swing it. These are just some of the low-tier names available to me. Going a little out of the box, I take a chance on Ishmaa’ily Kitchen. The Steelers are familiar with him. A UDFA, he moved his way up the ranks in Cleveland and had a productive 2014 with 43 tackles. He played just 16 snaps last season, splitting time with the New England Patriots and Lions, but he’s a plugger I should be able to get for next to nothing. I am Ray Searage and he is my broken pitcher.

The Kitchen offer: One year, $1.2 million, and 120K bonus.

With money so thin, I have to stop and do a rain dance for some good news. Time to hit that big magical green button.

MockOFF15

Welp.

Worse yet, another nose tackle I considered but never offered, Kendrick Ellis, signed with the Arizona Cardinals. The sim is beating me up.

Free Agency – Day Three 

Still determined, I up the ante on Moore. Now, we’re at 2 years for 3 million and a 600K bonus.

MockOFF16

Ok, so this isn’t my last offer. I have ten days in this sim and really want Douzable. One last crack and then I’m done, I swear. Start an intervention if I continue.

3 years, $5.55 million, 1.94 bonus. I hope you were sitting down for that. Only in Pittsburgh does that qualify as an exciting deal.

To mix things up, I start ground on a new player. Inside linebacker Tank Carder. A core special teamer for the Browns, he’ll replace Sean Spence. I offer to ride BMX bikes with him but he declines and tells me just to make an offer like a normal person.

The offer: 2 years, $2.5 million, 500K bonus.

If all three accept, I’ll be awfully close to my cap number so I have to pump the breaks and hope something interesting happens.

MockOFF18

This sim has become about as interesting as CSPAN-3. I’m so sorry for putting you through this.

Free Agency – Day Four 

Ok, new strategy. We’ll target Billy Winn, the second DL on our list, and make John Mitchell one happy guy. Three years, $4.95 million with a 1 million signing bonus. I’m just hoping someone, anyone, cares enough to sign.

And I take one last stab at Matt Moore. If he doesn’t accept, I’ll move onto the sad pile of other backup quarterbacks. Two years, $3.6 million, and a 1.08 bonus. They’re all playing hardball with me and I’m about to crack. It’s Gradkowski’s crazy deal throwing all of this out of whack.

MockOFF19

I somehow missed it in the daily recap but Antwon Blake actually signed somewhere else. What a world we live in. The conrerback market is thin and names I wanted, Sharecce Wright or Jerraud Powers, aren’t out there. I target Ron Brooks, a slightly undersized but speedy corner who has spent his time with Buffalo, mainly on special teams in 2015.

I offer him 2 years for $2.7 million and a 405K bonus. He’s crazy not to take that.

Time to see who has signed.

MockOFF20

He wasn’t crazy! We have finally signed someone and internally, I’m acting like this is the U.S. beating Russia. Pretty much the same thing as signing Ron Brooks.

Our pal McLendon signs a two year, $10 million deal with the Green Bay Packers. I was never going to come close to touching that number so I can sleep better now.

MockOFF21

My cap space drops one million, down to 5.5.

Free Agency – Day Five 

I move on from Moore and explore other QB options. Matt Flynn has some mobility and pockets of production. There is also Clipboard Jesus, Charlie Whitehurst. I start with Flynn, who has shown more accuracy in his career.

We start with a modest two year, 2.6 deal that includes a 260K bonus.

I come back to Carder, really wanting to get a deal locked up. I increase my first offer to two years, $2.8 million, and a 700K bonus. For today, that’s all we’ll attempt.

MockOFF22

We’re on a hot streak! I literally light up and clapped my hands, by far the saddest moment of my life, at the prospect of signing two backups.

Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs sign Malik Jackson to a 6 year, $42 million deal. Andy Reid calls and laughs at me for being a dweeb. He’s not wrong.

With those two signings, we’re down to 3.3 million left in cap space. If I could have just two million more dollars in the bank, I can finish out the rest of my signings. I’m looking through the paper for coupons. No luck.

Free Agency – Day Six 

I lied. I’m really sorry but I lied. I want Douzable. He’s my Fili Moala from last year. I don’t care if it costs me the rest of my money. He needs to be on my team. I lock Tomlin in his office and call Douzable’s agent.

Three years. $6 million. 2.1 bonus. Sign the dang contract, Leger. Literally no one else is offering you money.

I click, and look….

MockOFF23

 

 

I light up even more and yell out, making this the saddest moment of my life. Tomlin threatens to fire me. But I made the deal and all is well.

Sean Spence signs a four year, 22 million deal with the Chicago Bears for…reasons. Good job, good effort, Chicago.

MockOFF24

I’m now left with a little more money than I thought. $1.8 million. I can go out and try to sign one more player with my rainy day fund.

MockOFF25

Pulling up my free agent wishlist, my eyes jump to Jeff Linkenbach. I’ve done nothing to address an offensive line lacking some serious depth and though Linkenbach will never make headlines, he’s a versatile guy who has started everywhere but center.

The offer: 2 years, $2.74 million and a 548K signing bonus. I live for the two year, sub three million deal. Right in my wheelhouse.

MockOFF26

After a slow start, we’re rolling in the free agents.

With only 700K left to spend, I have to quit here and allocate that remaining money to my regular season, injury fund.

A recap of the free agents brought in:

S David Bruton: 3 years/$12 million
DE Leger Douzable: 3 years/$6.1 million
ILB Tank Carder: 2 years/$2.8 million
OT Jeff Linkenbach: 2 years/$2.74 million
CB Ron Brooks: 2 years/$2.7 milion
QB Matt Flynn: 2 years/$2.6 million

In addition to the Steelers we have re-signed.

CB William Gay: 3 years/$13.2 million
LG Ramon Foster: 3 years/$9 million
S Will Allen: 1 year/$1.35 million

Has there ever been a more Steelers-looking free agent class? Six street free agents no one has talked about and a few you’ve probably never heard of with practical re-signings relative to market value? That’s what Kevin Colbert lives for. I bet he has a lower back tattoo with that sentence.

2016 NFL Draft 

Going into the draft, the team is in pretty good shape, but we have a couple of areas to address.

Nose Tackle – Because we still don’t have one. Oops.

Tight End – Nothing in free agency worth grabbing, especially for the limited amount of money we had to work with

Outside Linebacker – Ignored it completely in free agency. In position to grab a good one early on.

Cornerback – Because it’s become practically mandatory to add one each year.

Here are your draft picks with a breakdown for each after. One caveat. My 7th round pick is WR Trevor Davis from Cal, not Bryce Treggs. He was not on the list of available picks so I had to temporarily replace him.

MockOFF27

Round One: Vernon Butler/NT Louisiana Tech – 6’3/5 323

Andrew Billings came off the board at 16 and he would’ve been my guy at 25 had he fallen. Reggie Ragland was also off and with the re-signing on Ramon Foster, there isn’t a compelling reason to take Josh Garnett.

The decision came down to Butler versus CB Mackensie Alexander but I went with Butler. I can live with my starting corners. I can’t with my nose tackle and Butler is a fantastic athlete who is capable of playing in sub-packages and getting after the quarterback. That is mandatory for any defensive line, regardless of scheme.

Round Two: Jalen Mills/CB LSU – 6’0 191

Surprising myself a little bit with this pick, I had never mocked Mills before in any attempt I’ve done, even just for fun. He’s a corner/safety hybrid who didn’t run great, but has length, shows explosion, and looks like a little more athletic Ross Cockrell. Mills has a high football IQ and might be the best CB in this draft at breaking on and disrupting the three-step game.

At corner, he offers some size so many people are clamoring for.

Round Three: Nick Vannett/TE Ohio St – 6’5/6 257

I told you he’d be the most cliche pick to Pittsburgh but given the team needs, it makes sense. Vannett has length, can block, and is a natural catcher, even if he didn’t see much time doing that at Ohio State. The Steelers now have two young tight ends to build up to go along with the old rickety vet in Matt Spaeth.

Round Four: Joe Schobert/OLB Wisconsin – 6’1/3 244

I didn’t get the chance to get a great edge rusher in the first two rounds. This might be a slight reach but is really just on the high end of where he’s projected to go. I watched Schobert before the Senior Bowl and came away generally impressed with his play, especially effort and knack to make big plays. Took over the Badgers’ game versus Iowa. The Steelers get an edge rusher to develop.

Round Seven: Tyler Johnstone/OT Oregon – 6’5/4 301

He’s tough, battling back from torn ACLs in 2013 and 2014, and was impressive at the Combine. A long, athletic body, who could spend a year on the practice squad.

Round Seven: Taveze Calhoun/CB Mississippi St – 6’0/3 192

Though the Steelers usually like their corners to run faster, Calhoun is tall and can be an exception. He’s a wicked hitter that has shown ball skills, picking off six career passes. He’ll make the group around him better and be a terror on special teams.

Round Seven: Trevor Davis/WR Cal – 6’1/1 188

True to tradition, the Steelers take a wide receiver. Davis ran a blazing 4.42 40 at the Combine and proved to be a kick return threat at Cal, something the Steelers need.

Final Roster Overview 

After the draft, I filled out my 90 man roster with seven UDFAs. Using the rest of the futures players and those who finished on IR. The only changes I made were removing Clifton Geathers, corner Montell Garner, and kicker Ty Long.

TE: JP Holtz/Pittsburgh
OL: Ross Burbank/Virginia, Ben Clarke/Hawaii, John Weidenaar/Montana St
OLB: Miles Pace/Virginia Union
CB: Blake Countess/Auburn
P: Alex Kinal/Wake Forest

QB (4): Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Flynn, Landry Jones, Dustin Vaughan
RB (6): Le’Veon Bell, DeAngelo Williams, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Daryl Richardson, Rajon Neal, Abou Torre
FB (1): Roosevelt Nix
TE (5): Jesse James, Matt Spaeth, Nick Vannett, Xavier Grimble, JP Holtz
WR (10): Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant, Sammie Coates, Trevor Davis, Eli Rogers, Shakim Phillips, Levi Norwood, Issac Blakeney, Tobias Palmer
OT (7): Marcus Gilbert, Alejandro Villanueva, Jeff Linkenbach, Matt Feiler, Brian Mihalik, Tyler Johnstone, John Weidenaar
OG (6): David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Chris Hubbard, B.J. Finney, Cole Manhart, Ben Clarke
C (3): Cody Wallace, Maurkice Pouncey, Ross Burbank
DE (5): Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Leger Douzable, LT Walton, Cashaud Lyons
NT (4): Vernon Butler, Daniel McCullers, Roy Philon, Lavon Hooks
OLB (7): James Harrison, Bud Dupree, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Moats, Joe Schobert, Anthony Chickillo, Miles Pace
ILB (7): Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Vince Willliams, Terence Garvin, Tank Carder, LJ Fort, Jordan Zumwalt
CB (10): William Gay, Ross Cockrell, Senquez Golson, Ron Brooks, Cortez Allen, Doran Grant, Taveze Calhoun, Al-Hajj Shabazz, Isaiah Frey, Blake Countess
S (9): Mike Mitchell, David Bruton, Will Allen, Shamarko Thomas, Jalen Mills, Ross Ventrone, Ray Vinopal, Jacob Hagen, Jordan Dangerfield
K (2): Chris Boswell, Shaun Suisham
P (2): Jordan Berry, Alex Kinal
LS (2): Greg Warren, Matt Dooley

42 on offense, 42 on defense, 6 on special teams. And I wasn’t even looking for that symmetry, I swear.

And my projected 53 man roster.

QB (3): Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Flynn, Landry Jones
RB (3): Le’Veon Bell, DeAngelo Williams, Fitzgerald Toussaint
FB (1): Roosevelt Nix
TE (3): Jesse James, Matt Spaeth, Nick Vannett
WR (5): Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant, Sammie Coates, Trevor Davis
OT (3): Marcus Gilbert, Alejandro Villanueva, Jeff Linkenbach
OG (4): David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Chris Hubbard, B.J. Finney
C (2): Cody Wallace, Maurkice Pouncey
DE (3): Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Leger Douzable
NT (2): Vernon Butler, Daniel McCullers
OLB (5): James Harrison, Bud Dupree, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Moats, Joe Schobert
ILB (5): Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Vince Willliams, Terence Garvin, Tank Carder
CB (6): William Gay, Ross Cockrell, Senquez Golson, Ron Brooks, Doran Grant, Taveze Calhoun
S (5): Mike Mitchell, David Bruton, Will Allen, Jalen Mills, Shamarko Thomas
K (1): Chris Boswell
P (1): Alex Kinal
LS (1): Greg Warren

Not much of a shakeup here. I’m too attached to some of the players I brought in. Replaced Berry with Kinal, who really impressed me at the Senior Bowl. Only one draft pick, Johnstone, doesn’t make the roster, and I’m pretty happy overall.

And a projected ten man practice squad because, hey, why not.

RB: Abu Torre
WR: Eli Rogers, Shakim Phillips
TE: JP Holtz
OL: Ross Burbank, Tyler Johnstone
DL: Lavon Hooks
OLB: Anthony Chickillo
CB: Blake Countess
S: Jacob Hagen

A couple of roster final thoughts. It might look like the secondary needed to be upgraded more, and you always wish you could do better, but remember Mills acts as a wildcard. He can be a corner or a safety and really wind up serving as a sub-package player the way Golden was in 2015.

I worked hard to make a difference along the defensive line and that’s probably what I’m most proud of. I don’t know if overall, my roster got significantly better, but a tiny bit so, and with good health, can compete for the Super Bowl once again.

If you’ve read it all, a gold star and unlimited Depot subscriptions. And please, give it a shot yourself. Below are links to Fanspeak’s Manage The Cap and On The Clock. Try it out for yourself with the same cap restrictions I put on myself. Type out your whole process – go crazy. I promise I’ll read it.

So Mr. Colbert, this is my resume. Am I hired?

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