Originally Posted by PittPete
why would Aaron Smith retire? Prior to his injury, he was playing at a pro bowl level and has been biting at the bit to play again.
Yeah, he does play well when he's healthy, but he'll turn 35 in April and has suffered 3 serious arm injuries in the past 4 years. Torn Biceps, torn rotator cuff, torn triceps, all were season-enders.
He also has to deal with his son having cancer, which makes his effort and dedication to the team much more admirable.
I'd love for him to come back next year, but he's a serious candidate for retirement.
Hampton(s) showing his age? Ask the Jets offensive line how old he looked. Mangold got thrown around like a ragdoll. Casey will be with us for another 3-5 years.
I agree with you here, Hampton isn't really showing his age, nor has his age really caught up to him. He might have lost some speed, but that doesn't really matter for a 3-4 run clogging NT. NT's usually play at a high level well into their thirties, so from a physical standpoint Hampton could still dominate for at least two more years. It just depends on whether he'd like to come back, as he'd be 34 next season.
The position we need to beef up most is cornerback which is not on your list at all. Ike is our only above average corner and he is a free agent.
This. If I were to do a list, it would look something like this:
We need a starter, not depth, at RG, meaning that guard should automatically be our #1 need, even if it's not what we address earliest. CB too, McFadden and *** are good enough to hold down the fort, but they'll never turn into something amazing. Crezdon is still a question mark, and Keenan Lewis just can't seem to get out of Tomlin's doghouse.
OT is a need based on depth, as I can see Flozell retiring after this year, and there's no legitimate reason to expect Tony Hills back next year. That leaves Max Starks, Willie Colon, and Jonathan Scott, which has two above-average starters, and a capable backup.
DE is a need based solely on the future, as Keisel, Hood, and Eason are a pretty good rotation for us right now. Same for NT, but with Big Snack and Hokie.
WR and RB are specific needs for me, as I want one type of receiver and one type of RB. I'd like a vertical threat. Not sure if that's what they're called, though. Not a deep threat like Wallace, but rather a guy that can jump up and get the ball, like Plaxico, Fitzy, and future rookie Jonathan Baldwin. RB, I'd like a change of pace back like Devine, except that he's too small, haha. Maybe Kendall Hunter. If we address it in FA, my #1 choice is still Jerious Norwood.