I'm not sure how many of you are familiar, but ESPN South writer Paul Kuharsky does something where he gets into the minds of the AFC South teams. He hasn't done this in a little while, and with a new coaching staff in place I think it is time for an update. So this is what I think they are thinking:
We finally have our coaching staff in place and now we can start to figure out what plans are for the future. With free agency looming, fans will know a lot more about what they can expect defensive from us in just over a month. While we would love to get a long-term deal done with All-Star cornerback Alterraun Verner, he has said he will test the waters of free agency and he has earned the right to do so. Hopefully with the depth at the CB position in FA this year, we can find a way to get him back and feature him as the face of the defense.
Also, we have some big cuts we need to make too. Chris Johnson and David Stewart were great players in their prime, but with a combined $16 million due next year alone we just can't afford to keep them. Maybe David Stewart will retire and can end his career with the team that drafted him, but if not we will have to cut ties.
With that money, maybe we will look at a big name player like Brian Orakpo to be the crown jewel of our free agent class. If not, maybe signing a big NT like Paul Soliai or Randy Starks, or maybe a 5-technique like Jason Hatcher or Tyson Jackson might be a nice, cheaper option.
Either way, a lot of the mystery of this team will disappear when we make our moves in free agency, and with an estimated $25.5 million in cap room (after cutting CJ, Wimbley, Stewart, Stevens, and Fitz) we will definitely have a chance to make some moves.