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Houston to Cut J.J. Watt

The Texans and J.J. Watt agreed to a mutual separation. Like an old married couple! It's a bit of a surprise that Watt wasn't traded somewhere, although his contract was pretty high and not really at any kind of discount. Watt was still playing at a high level last year at age 31 but the Texans finished 30th in defensive DVOA anyway. Watt had just five sacks but SIS has him with 30 hurries and four passes batted down. He'll be one of the top free agents on the market, but he's a short-term fix because of his age. Where do you expect him to go?

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78 comments, Last at 16 Feb 2021, 3:43pm

2 This was a pretty consistent…

This was a pretty consistent playoff team a few years ago.  JFC, the amount of incompetence in this organization is mind-boggling.

24 13 months ago, they were…

13 months ago, they were coming off a first-round playoff win, had one of the best young QBs in football, and had arguably the top WR in the league. Now they're almost certainly one of the three or four most hopeless teams out there.

3 I can't help but think he'll…

I can't help but think he'll end up in Pittsburgh, playing with his brothers. (As a Colts fan, would love to see him in Indy, though.)

4 Cap and Championship intersection

With JJ saying he wants to compete for a championship, but many teams pinched by the shrink in cap room, my guess is he goes to the Bucs. No one else has a top QB, cap room, and openings along the defensive line.

Maybe Barrett or Suh re-sign, but the bucs certainly made a push for all the older stars they could last year.

I don't see the Ravens, Chiefs, as being likely. Maybe Pitt.

Maybe outside shot at GB if they do a bunch of restructured and exactly what JJ is looking for contract wise.

To me a really interesting question is when do FA's sign in free agency and how the QB carousel impacts where veterans offered short term deals (1 year due to cap) might go.

5 Its funny but when Andre…

Its funny but when Andre Johnson left the Texans, I called him the best player in franchise history though that title was likely to be supplanted in a few years by Watt himself.

And now I say Watt is the best player in franchise history but is likely to be supplanted as well in a number of years. 

 

 

25 I don't think Watson will…

I don't think Watson will successfully push his way out of town. The Texans have all the leverage because he has four years left under contract, and there is almost no chance they could get a fair trade offer for him.

35 Maybe, but I don't think…

Maybe, but I don't think Watson is likely to supplant Watt anyway. Maybe from a pure marginal value standpoint, but I don't think a really, really good QB should be elevated above one of the greatest defensive players in history in these kinds of discussions just because of the position he plays.

37 Maybe not but most of the…

Maybe not but most of the time a Hall of Fame quarterback or a running back is usually regarded as the best player in franchise history. I'm trying to think of which franchises have an icon on the defensive side that is remembered most.

 

I can come up with some: the Giants with Lawrence Taylor, the Rams with Deacon Jones, Ray Lewis for the Ravens, Brooks or Sapp for Tampa,  maybe Derrek Thomas with the Chiefs but he's probably been supplanted now. Also I guess you could argue mean Joe Greene or Mel blunt for the Steelers.

 

If they get a full career from Watson, I suspect he gets remembered more especially given the showman nature of his game.

39 What about these?

Reggie White for the Eagles?

Deion Sanders for the Falcons?

Dick Butkus for the Bears? (Probably Walter Payton for most people?) 

Bruce Smith for the Bills? (Probably Jim Kelly or OJ for most people?) 

48 Reggie white shares his…

Reggie white shares his legacy with GB where he won his ring. I think Philly's icon is McNabb? 

 

Same deal for Sanders though I have no idea who is the Falcons icon. Maybe Mike Vick or Matt Ryan?

 

Bears is definitely Walter Payton. I think he's the most beloved sports figure in Chicago history. That's an incredible thing to reconcile considering the obvious.

Bruce Smith is exactly the right example. He's easily the objectively best player in that franchise's history. But I think Kelly is the icon.

53 Icon vs. best player

Oh - I thought you were equating "icon" and "best player" in your prior post. I wasn't trying to differentiate - I was trying to point out examples where the best player in franchise history, and an icon, was on the defensive side of the ball.

White for the Eagles could be it, for instance, regardless of his time in GB. 

59 Maybe this is nitpicky, but…

Maybe this is nitpicky, but I believe the best player to ever don a Packers uniform is Reggie White.

If we are assessing greatest player of all time irrespective of their position and really that means someone who is as close to peerless as possible... Reggie White belongs on a short list with a couple other names, with Jerry Rice probably at the top.

63 I think you'd have to go…

I think you'd have to go through at least 5 Steelers 'best ofs' before you got to an offensive player.  For sure the most iconic players to me were defensive.  I grew up in the 80's hearing stories about the Steel Curtain with the same reverence  the Pope got.

12 I mean

The situations are completely different and I can think of a lot of reasons why. Starting with age and position. 

13 Linebackers aren't…

Linebackers aren't quarterbacks. 

 

Clear start over rebuilding mode. Watson is surely gone to whoever gives Houston the highest bid. (Also makes me wonder if the Rams or Lions tried a QB trade with them. Perhaps the Rams were more desperate to get Stafford and/or get rid of Goff than the Texans were wanting to get Stafford/get rid of Watson, thus why they gave up so much.)

21 If it was a more well-run…

If it was a more well-run franchise, I'd argue that they're trying to increase Watson's value by making him seem unavailable. With how the Texans are running everything right now? I don't even have a guess at what their plans might possibly be.

28 The whole "he's unavailable…

The whole "he's unavailable thing only works to create a bidding war or get the player scared.  Watson has no reason to be scared, and a bidding war is unlikely when Watson has to approve the trade, but is especially unlikely after the draft.  Realistically if round one starts and houston hasn't traded him they have almost no leverage.  Competent teams would have run the risk calculations, decided on the point at which they have to take the last best offer.

Somehow I feel like houston is going to take the stubborn route.  Which is a disaster waiting to happen.  For example, assume watson no shows from required off-season activities and communication.  Houston cannot go into training camp with a starting qb who doesn't have a playbook and expect to compete.  So at that point they either have to beg him to stay and somehow get it to work, or trade him once almost every team has their qb plan set (many might shuffle this for Watson, but also with cap situations the suitors will also go down.  Plus obviously it's not until 2022 that they get any draft picks.

Even well-managed teams can lose value to cranky superstars.  I agree with you that houston seems likely to screw themselves out of more value.

41 Houston cannot go into…

Houston cannot go into training camp with a starting qb who doesn't have a playbook and expect to compete.

Houston cannot expect to compete, period. Not this season, and not next. Sitting Watson for a year, or two years, makes absolutely no difference to the team's prospects of making the playoffs. Trading him for a king's ransom is obviously the best possible outcome at this point (short of a change of ownership persuading him to reconcile himself to staying). But a trade worth making can only be achieved by credibly committing to keeping him if a good offer is not forthcoming.

I have no faith whatsoever in the competence of anyone in the organization, so I imagine what will actually happen is they'll trade him for some stale Doritos in September, but taking a couple of firsts and putting a brave face on it is not the right way to play the situation.

43 I don't want to rehash all…

I don't want to rehash all the arguments from last month, but if a team offers two first round picks and their quarterback (or another player(s) if their QB isn't at least a legit NFL starter), the Texan should jump on it yesterday.

The deal's unlikely to get better, and the sooner they can settle this mess, the better -- both from an internal remove-the-sideshow-let's-move-forward standpoint, as well as maximizing the teams interested standpoint.  The longer this drags out, potential trading partners are going to go to their Plan Bs.

I hear what your saying that they're going to suck anyway, so let him sit.  I would argue that they'll suck significantly less with 2 #1s and a new starting quarterback than with nothing.  Those #1s are going to go through some growing pains, and now is a great time to do it.

It seems Houston things that other teams are as careless with draft picks in acquiring players than they are.  I can see McNair thinking "if Tunsil cost two, than Watson must be worth five!"

49 To be fair

I dont think the Texans should be forced into a bad trade. If I were the Texans I wouldn't trade him for anything short of a haul just because the draft is upcoming. If they trade him before/during the draft they lose $5.66m in cap space as opposed to trying draft people he'd like (WR?), try to convince him to see their new leaf and if not, post 6/1 trade him and save $10.54m, hamper the acquiring team and collect future assets like the Lions did (although Staffords contract was less restrictive). But bringing up the Lions, I'm not trading Watson, especially pre-draft, for anything less than what Stafford got (even if it was in part to dump Goff but what negative value he had, Watson makes up for in age and ability). 

50 I would hardly call two #1s,…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I would hardly call (for example) two #1s, including the #2 overall, and Sam Darnold a "bad trade" for a guy whose not going to play for you anymore.  I'd call that a damn good trade.  Maybe you can counter and get another mid-range pick or lineman in the package, but if that's the best offer out there, then that's what the market will bear.  Take it.

51 Darnold is dead weight

with his fully guaranteed contract. You can get two firsts anytime this offseason. I dont think anyone is gonna change their offers, drastically, after the draft. I wouldn't.

64 I was just using the Jets as…

I was just using the Jets as an example, but I believe Darnold's contract is an issue.  He has one year left on his rookie deal, and then the 5th year option.

Many people think he's still got lots of upside once he gets himself rid of Gase.

However, you can substitute the Jets out for any team you'd like.  It doesn't change my point.

68 There are at least 25 teams…

There are at least 25 teams in the NFL that should be thrilled to part with 2 first round picks and either their current QB or their best non-QB player for Watson. Granted, he has veto power so I don't know how many of those 25 teams would actually be viable trade partners, but if Watson ends up being traded for that little I will be astounded.

I feel like the floor is at least the equivalent of 3 firsts (I would count a young QB with upside like Tagovailoa as one of the firsts), and probably higher than that if we're talking about the teams who can only offer 1 first in each of 2021/2022/2023. For one thing, a team that is already a playoff team in 2021 is almost guaranteed to continue to be a playoff team upon acquiring Watson, so a team like that would be offering 3 picks in the 20s which is a lot different than a team like Jacksonville, NYJ, or Miami that can offer a top 3 pick this year. (As a Bears fan, it pains me that the one time I'd actually love for Ryan Pace to mortgage a bunch of picks they just don't have the draft capital to compete).

 

71 I think three is a good…

I think three is a good number but its still not "fair value" for Watson. 

In theory, there is a trade value for every single player, including Mahomes. If the Lions offered their first and second round picks for the next 30 years, I suspect the Chiefs would do it.

I think for a player like Watson, offering up 4 or more first rounders is probably too much because you need to build a team around him and that's an absurd amount of low cost talent you are forking over. It might make sense if you have a roster tailor made to win right now, like say the 49ers, but I think that fact dramatically reduces the number of teams Watson makes sense on. 

72 Three firsts (including a…

Three firsts (including a player equivalent) is the floor?  Three first round picks is a lot of draft capital.  I can't think of a single player in the history of the NFL that was traded for three firsts (note, my memory is not great).  I think Herschel Walker had three firsts and three seconds, but at least one first was conditional, and the Cowboys sent a bunch of picks back too.

So while 2 picks and Tua might be the trade, I think that's much closer to the ceiling than the floor.  And there'd most likely be later picks and/or players going back to Miami.

I think we're getting carried away, because QBs of this quality rarely become available.  Just how good is Watson, really?  Would Russell Wilson be worth three firsts at the same age?  Wilson is a far superior quarterback.  Would Tom Brady have gotten three firsts at that age?  Probably not, because if someone offered that, there's little doubt Belichick would have accepted it.  Prime Manning and Mahomes....yeah, if they were available, perhaps someone would have offered three first rounders, and been refused.  But Watson's not them.  I'd love the Patriots to pick him up.  I would not want them to spend three first rounders to do so.

73 Stafford just got traded for 2 1sts, a 2nd and a starting QB

It's not outrageous. You say it's to dump Goff but that value is just made up in the fact Watson is 25 and a lot better than Stafford...has ever been.  

So yeah Watson is really that good. Wilson isn't far superior. Maaaaybe slightly, right now that is but that could flip any year now (coming from a Badger fan).

Watson was picked with two 1sts and that was at a time that he was unknown in the NFL. Now we know he's good and a top 5 QB in the league an extra 1st isn't that crazy. You seem to just be low on him/too high on others. There's no way 2 1sts and a player is closer to the ceiling than the floor. What do you think the floor is? A...2nd?

76 I just don't see it. Even if…

I just don't see it. Even if that top 5 pick is #1 overall, in a year with a QB prospect who is considered to be as close to a sure thing as a prospect can be, I think that would be incredibly low value for Watson and I think a number of teams would be very happy to beat that offer.

As for Watson's quality, he just put up a top 5 DYAR/DVOA season playing for the most dysfunctional organization in the league, with very little offensive talent around him. (It's a neat coincidence that every one of the 4 QBs above him played for a team that not only made the playoffs, but advanced to the conference championship or further...oh yeah, and 3 of the 4 are either obvious hall of famers or on a HOF track). It's difficult to compare across eras but I would argue that if he is traded, he will be the most valuable player ever traded so I would expect an unprecedented trade package.

We routinely see players get drafted for, effectively, 2 first round picks when a team moves up enough in the first round that they trade away a 2nd first round pick. RGIII was effectively drafted with 3 first round picks and a second round pick, and he didn't even go first overall. (Now, I'm not arguing that Washington was intelligent to give up that much for him, just pointing out that it has happened). Whatever Watson's ceiling may be, I think he has played well enough in his first few years to prove that he has a significantly higher floor than any rookie no matter the pedigree. Barring injury, Watson is definitely an NFL starter for the next decade.

As for the argument that trading away multiple early round draft picks can limit a team, that's true to some extent but I think there are at least two factors that help to mitigate that when the player you're acquiring is a young, great QB. One is that there is a very wide gulf between the top and bottom of the first round. As I said before, if your team is picking around the early 20s today, you can pretty much be assured that after acquiring Watson you're picking there - or later - for the next few years. I know there is no single agreed-upon estimation of draft value, but I don't think I'm wrong to suggest that 3 picks in the mid-20s starting this year and in the next 2 years are worth the same or less than a single top 5 pick this year. The other factor is the position. QB is not only the most important single position in football, but it's the position where it's hardest to find great players outside the first round. If you trade for Watson, you definitely aren't looking for a first round QB anytime soon, so that mitigates the loss of those picks more than trading for, say, Kahlil Mack when you don't have a QB.

All that said, I hope I'm wrong and you're right, because if the market for Watson really is around a couple of first rounders, then I can see Ryan Pace overpaying the market and bringing him to the Bears by giving away his next 3 1st *and* 2nd rounders, and maybe even a player or two. I would be more than satisfied with that. Based on what I believe the market to be, I don't think the Bears have enough to compete.

78 That's cheap.

The Texans traded #25 and what eventually turned out to be #4 to get him. Probably not the regret they had. I do that if I was any of the top 5 teams this year, Jag, Jets, Dolphins, Falcons or Bengals.

11 2 thoughts

Two thoughts on this.  First, the number cannot be low enough to stop me from taking the under on the Texans next year.  Second, it looks like Watt wants a Super Bowl chance, and he is channeling his roots in his farewell video, so if GB doesn't jump all over this, they are not trying (cap can be worked around, if they want to).  

15 i feel like Watt is exactly…

i feel like Watt is exactly within their free agent wheelhouse. GB doesn't spend on big time free agents unless they are Reggie White.

They seem to love those veterans who are just at the end of their primes/over the hill but they think they can squeeze out that last bit of value from. Think Charles Woodson and Julius Peppers. 

19 This. Plus, if Packers…

This. Plus, if Packers release Preston Smith as a post June 1 cut, that frees up 12 mil in cap space for this season. Putting that plus a Bahktiari or Rodgers restructure towards Watt feels like an extreme no-brainer

20 They've been pretty active…

They've been pretty active in free agency since Guteknust took over. Even beyond big ticket guys like the Smiths and Amos, the number of moves they've made recently to bring in borderline starters and veteran depth like Billy Turner, Christian Kirksey, Rick Wagner and Devin Funchess would have been pretty atypical for the "old" Packers.

GB can definitely make the cap work if they want Watt. The easiest way for them to make space (besides cutting Preston Smith, I guess) would be to push more of Rodgers' money into the future. But any adjustment to Rodgers' contract would seem to make it less likely that Jordan Love takes over before 2023, if at all. So they might only get one year (or zero years) to actually evaluate him on the field.

I don't care at all if they chase a Super Bowl window and the circumstances don't line up to give them an extended look at Love - if he fails, just treat it like any first round pick that didn't work out. But... will the Packers feel that way?

22 They've been pretty active…

They've been pretty active in free agency since Guteknust took over. Even beyond big ticket guys like the Smiths and Amos, the number of moves they've made recently to bring in borderline starters and veteran depth like Billy Turner, Christian Kirksey, Rick Wagner and Devin Funchess would have been pretty atypical for the "old" Packers.

Pretty much this. The whole "Packers don't sign free agents" is a relic from the Ted Thompson (May he rest in peace) era. Add Marcedes Lewis to your list and you have 7 starters of varying degrees (8, if you want to count what Funchess' role would've been). That's a far cry from the Super Bowl-winning team that had Woodson, Ryan Pickett, and that's about it.

18 "First, the number cannot be…

In reply to by jds

"First, the number cannot be low enough to stop me from taking the under on the Texans next year. "

If Watson is gone, I think the mean win total is probably 2 or 3 with a reasonable shot at 0-16. I mean, besides a good player in Tunsil and some solid receivers, theres nothing else on that team. Their defense is abominable and has no draft picks or cap space. Tunsil aside, the rest of the line sucks and they've inexplicably tied up a lot of resources in running backs - the perfect marriage when your defense is routinely surrendering touchdowns.

David Culley might be a great head coach or a lousy one and it probably won't matter. Sucks for him but at least hes getting paid. 

46 Poor?

27th/79 PFF OTs. 2nd highest grade of career. 43rd in offensive snaps but t51st in sacks allowed at 2. 

He was their only good OL

52 He was 29th ot in sis points…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

He was 29th ot in sis points earned.

So let's assume he's about the 15th best starting lt.  That's not good.  That's average.  Now I clearly was to harsh calling him poor, I was thinking his ranks were out of LTs not OTs, but he's making top money and they spent exhorbantly to get him.  His cost is a big problem, and as you said, this was his best year.  If he doesn't get a lot better, Hou is going to be far worse off in short, medium, and long term for having him.

54 2nd best year

2019 was his best. But goes to show no one OL, even blindside T, can move the needle that much. The trade was always going to be bad when you factor in positional value. He's not bad individually but two firsts for 1/5th of an OL is almost never gonna get good return value.

16 Watt is going to have an…

Watt is going to have an interesting dance between winning now and salary demands. He seemed to have a good year, but clearly is past his all pro/ dpoy years. And yet, his reputation on and off the field + his pedigree means he can get a pretty hefty contract if he wants it. Just how much is he willing to sacrifice in chase of a ring? 

If its all about the ring, then try to get to KC or GB imo. Tampa is a good choice as well but Brady will be 44. Seriously, AT SOME POINT hes going to suck right???

58 LOL

I live outside of Pittsburg, and to hear the fans talk, they are at least a million miles away.  And while not as egregiously bad as the Saints, their cap situation is a still pretty dire—fourth worst according to OTC.

60 If the field is 100 yards,…

If the field is 100 yards, then they're 90 yards away from contention, because they can't go further than 10 yards per play.

They can't protect Ben long enough, Ben isn't throwing deep and the coaches only call dink 'n dunk to protect Ben. It's a circle jerk that cost them the end of the season and the playoffs.

And the HC didn't see any problem in that.

 

 

61 The HC who went 12-4 with…

The HC who went 12-4 with said QB (could’ve been 13-3 if they had played to win in week 17), won a division with 2 other playoff teams in it, and kept the playoff game against Cleveland close despite nearly everything going wrong. Also that HC has made a number of changes to the offensive staff during the offseason, so obviously, he thinks that they can approve in that area as well. 
 

Get your facts straight. 

65 I'll give him / them kudos…

I'll give him / them kudos for going 11-0 in the season. That doesn't happen often and is quite a feat.

But when the Ravens figured them out, all the following teams had to do was copy paste the Ravens game plan and win.

Which they did, because the Steelers didn't change one thing on offense. They continued to run shotgun only, they continued to ignore the 'man in motion' concept that exists in football, they continued to ignore that play-action is a thing.

If a fan like me can predict the play calls on the Steelers offense during a game, don't you think professional players on defense can't?

And the HC, the man responsible in the end, signed off on this for 5 weeks in the regular season and 1 in the playoffs.

 

66 How much of Tomlin's…

How much of Tomlin's reputation is spared if Ben doesn't melt down early in that playoff game? 

Honestly, the Steelers weren't doing much different the first 11 weeks. They just were winning a lot of close games and the offense was relying entirely on quick throws. The Colts game they did go deep a lot and it happened to work out, but Big Ben has aged and everyone knew it.

Tomlin isn't as great a coach as some others and has some serious gameday flaws, but the Steelers have always been competitive and I think that's a testament to Tomlin. 

I think Tomlin is like the Matt Stafford of coaches. Sure, you could do better but you are almost assuredly going to end up with worse if you move on. 

67 You are aware that it’s…

You are aware that it’s difficult to beat a good NFL team when defenses know that you’re qb is shot, right? Were you giving Payton grief whenever defenses realized that Brees couldn’t throw down the field anymore, stacked the box in response, and made life difficult for the New Orleans offense? Tampa put 10 guys in the box for the love of god. (IMO playing him after the rib injury was coaching malpractice given that NO could’ve made the super bowl this year with a real qb.) How about Peyton’s last year in Denver? Could they scheme away the fact that their qb couldn’t throw more than 10-15 yards downfield?

Frankly the fact that the Steelers were able to mask their offensive issues for so long is a testament to coaching. I’m pretty sure that 20+ other coaches in the league wouldn’t have been able to do so. And again, they were right in the playoff game and playing hard until the very end even though things went wrong on nearly every dimension. 

27 Houston Sports

The Houston sports world started going to hell as soon as AJ Hinch pulled Zack Greinke. 

 

I'd never think that after the whole Trash Can scandal, the Osuna fiasco, and Launch Control that the Astros would still be the best-run sports franchise in Houston.

30 Pittsburgh seems obvious...

Pittsburgh seems obvious with his brothers there, but they would have a hell of a time fitting him under the cap.

I think he'll probably go to Tampa on a short term deal.

31 IDK

I'm guessing he's a natural fit for the Rams. They don't have picks so they need free agents. They'll probably be calling his agent. 

33 The Rams are already going…

In reply to by johonny

The Rams are already going to lose a lot of key defensive starters to free agency due to cap issues, so I don’t know how they’d fit Watt in unless they restructure a bunch of contracts.

57 I know

But the Rams always seem to find a way. They appear to be mortgaging the future every offseason. 

32 Ring Discount

IMO he's not going to let money get in the way of a ring at this stage of his career, so he'll be willing to take a modest deal with incentives.  For that reason the only team I can think you can rule out due to cap problems is the Saints.   He may want to play with his brothers in Pittsburg, but since they're either going to have the corpse of Big Ben or a new guy at QB his chances of a ring there are poor.

 

My guess at destination is either GB or KC.

44 Bakh just restructured.

Coincidence? Perhaps but GB is back in his home state. Wife plays in Chicago. He's getting older and already has made a lot of money so he could ring chase w/the back to back NFCN champs that have made the NFCCG back to back as well. 

I believe he'll end up there. 2nd place is with his brothers in Pitt but they aren't as good of a team and they have even less cap space somehow. 

69 I would love it but it won't happen

I have to believe it's my green and gold lenses that make me thinks it's even possible.

Of course when you see things like this:

J.J. Watt was double teamed more than any other edge rusher in the NFL last season – at a rate 30.1%, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Za'Darius Smith was second (27.2%).

That really makes me want to see it happen. Having the 2020 top two double teamed defenders on the same team in 2021 would have to have some impact even if both of them are declining. Note, I don't think Z is declining. He was worse than 2019 and he'll be 29 next year, but the 2020 decline has a lot of explanation in the above quote. Watt may be declining. The higher double team rate has something to do with how much better than teammates he was. It also says a lot about the major decline of Preston Smith. 

70 Dont be so down. They are the odds favorites

Bucs will likely use their space to re-sign, Lavonte, Gronk, Shaq, etc. Chiefs have even less space than us. Maybe the Bills but eh...feels like they're farther away from the top imo. Only thing stopping it I reckon, is the FO not really trying. Hope I'm wrong because this year could be it in terms of SB, if they really try.

75 I'd love to see Watt as a…

I'd love to see Watt as a Packer, but I wonder - if they're going to free up enough cap space to add a veteran starter, would it help the team more to try to bring in a CB? Between the open #2 starter spot and the lack of depth, I think it's pretty clearly their biggest roster need and the area where their money could probably go to best use, depending what the market looks like.

77 I think they can do a good amount.

Like I said above, I'd just restructure everyone to open up as much space as possible. With that you can take fliers on guys like AJ Bouye for a probably a couple mil. Then there's the draft too. Don't have to miss out on one of the best DE of the generation. Most probably won't want to play in GB (for dumb reasons).