Despite the crushing losses to Miami where we outplayed them and blowing a 14-0 lead to KC - We're not that far away! Don't listen to the media hype! No need to blow things up and start over.
Take these steps are we're in the playoffs next year and beyond.
GM - Champ Kelley
This is a no-brainer. Permanent promotion to GM. Keep the scouts and player personnel staff in place. This is critical to keep continuity and hit the ground running instead of spending the offseason firing and hiring, all new strategy, priorities, etc.
HC - Antonio Pierce
Being a HC is more than X's and O's. It's about being a leader of men. High standards, high expectations, toughness and accountability. AP has already shown me he's the man for the job. The players agree. Give him the reigns and see where he can take it. He could be the next Tomlin, Jim Harbaugh or Dan Campbell. Let the coordinators handle the X's and O's. AP decides whether to keep Bo at OC or bring in a new guy. PG stays at DC as does most of the position coaches.
QB - Aidan O'Connell
The kid has already shown me he's a competent starter and he's *just* getting started. Forget chasing the 'next Mahomes' we have a guy we can build around. Now that *doesn't mean* we stop drafting QB, but we don't chase. Target 2nd round or later. Obviously we need to sign a vet backup QB. Cut JimmyG but then offer to resign him for a vet-minimum backup salary. He kind of owes that to us for stealing $33M this year. He's not getting a starting deal somewhere else and he might want to stay in Vegas. He's a great backup QB. If he walks there are plenty of good options available in FA for minimum cost. Of course Hoyer gets released but not until final camp cuts - can still use him as a mentor and camp arm but he's not on the roster next year.
The OL has been a big problem for years. We haven't drafted and developed an above-average OL since Kolton Miller. That has to change. 3 of our 5 starters are on one-year contracts so we're going to have to sign FAs. Bring back James, Van Roten and Eluemenor on low-cost extensions - but they should have to compete in camp with drafted rookies. I want to see at least 3 OL drafted and another 2 added in UDFA. We have to build a consistently above-average OL otherwise we'll never improve regardless who's under center.
Same story. The DL has stunk for years. They've actually played a little better this year but the inconsistency is crippling. 2 of the 4 starters are journeymen on one-year contracts. We've missed on several recent picks but we *have* to keep drafting DL. At least 2 of our draft picks need to be DL and add a ton in UDFA. Sign the best DT available in FA and pay him top money. We'll have the cap since we're not paying big for QB anymore.
Everyone returns next year - nothing needed to do other than draft a flyer WR late and add several UDFAs to compete. You can find rookie gems to supplement and compete - but the core is already in place.
3 year contract extension for JJ. We need him. He's 60% of our Offense and has shown no signs of slowing down. Release Bolden and Abdullah. Brown, White will have to fight for a roster spot in camp. Draft RB late and add a ton of UDFA and FA competition in camp. We *absolutely* need a legit RB2 and RB3. Go find the next Pacheco - he's out there.
Meyer has proven he's a TE1. But he's the only TE under contract next year. Bring back Hooper on a cheap one-year deal. Draft TE on day 3 and bring back RFA Fotheringham to compete in cap.
I actually like where we're at at LB. Not great, but not terrible. Everyone returns next year and we should add to the group with a draft pick. If we could hit on a stud LB in the draft it would help us dramatically.
We're actually in pretty good shape here. JB looks like a good draft pick. Hobbs is a stud but I'm not extending him until 2025 with the injury history. Jack Jones looks like he can play - and we've got him for 2 more seasons for cheap! Well done AP. Would like to keep Amik but he might get bigger money elsewhere. Love to see Sam Webb make the 53 fulltime and be a regular rotational player he's a big CB with sound fundamentals. Facyson is a massive disappointment with injury but he's under contract next year so he'll compete. Extend Tyler Hall on a one-year deal. Look to draft CB in any round. Safeties are set with Moehrig, Epps, Pola-Moa and Chris Smith all returning.
We currently have 9 picks and we need to hit on all of them. Focus on trench players we're good at skill positions at the moment but we need massive upgrades inside. Don't chase QB - let one fall to us later in the draft. This is a good class there's going to be a good player available on day 2 or day 3 to compete with AOC.
I want to see no less than 5 lineman drafted and one QB, LB, WR and CB
Build. Don't rebuild. We have good players in critical positions - no need to blow it up. But we do need continuity, a rational offseason and a great draft. Keeping the current staff in place allows them to hit the ground running. Give them 3-4 years if they fail then rebuild but now is not the time.