When you live and die by free agency to build your team you end up here. You spend a gazillion picks on secondary, which still for the most part need a really good pass rush to be effective. No pass rush and those DBs become irrelevant.
We have Suh getting up there going year by year. You have Shaq the big question this year and don’t look now but we will be here with JPP next year. Sadly the best long term investment is Godwin, yet if being honest its the position you can easiest replace. You dont pay two #1’s. People applaud Tyler Johnson and we proved you can generate offense without a #1A WR. I love Godwin but if using brain opposed to heart, you let him go. AB cheaper, T Johnson or take Marshall/ Bateman? ( Hate to pass on Cosmi) That’s the reality. Gonna invest 35M in two WRs?? Who rarely played at 100% at the same time and knowing DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS! So anyway we slice it, Shaqs the priority.
Dont jump on me for this..YES, we won a SB but it took the ULTIMATE stars aligned for it to happen. I wouldnt trade it for anything or ever complain HOW or WHY. That said, we are stuck living and dying by the FA sword because SIX 1st/2nd rd picks from 2015-2018 are not on this team, Id argue SEVEN with OJ Howard non existent!!! So when I see “Lichts drafted so many good guys” or “He’s picked us some great players” , ummm NO. He was pretty bad pre BA/Bowles input. He nailed the easiest position with two WRs and 2 down RB who was second fiddle in postseason and had 4 extra 2’s to work with. Okay, got that out of my system.
I can promise you this, if you lose Shaq you lose a key guy who we don’t beat GB or KC without. It can be asked did both GB and KC having Tackle injuries aid a little in Shaqs play and the stars aligned, possibly? Or no, was it just Shaq being Shaq when Vea is in there. Which you would hope would be the case going forward. I think its the ladder.
So now regarding OP question, its this simple. Shaq with Vea a top 5-7 edge rusher? If so you pay him. If hes not, can you GUARANTEE a top 10-15 edge to replace him in next years FA class or draft for 3-4 years? If so then franchising makes sense. I don’t think we are guaranteed that ( see Raiders). Its why I say he gets the long term money.
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