Dave Gettleman navigated a heavy set of problems to make 2014 a
successful year. A net change from inheriting $16 million over the cap,
to around $17 million under, as well as finding numerous contributors
and starters. He's been exceeding expectations.
I love that the offseason means discussion, and recently Gettleman
candidly spoke about the past offseason. What spurred this posting was
him saying that his gaffes didn't cost the team much, and then wouldn't
*Failing to close on 3 year deals - Gettleman reportedly wanted Captain
Munnerlyn and possibly Mike Mitchell on three year deals and ended up
having to push both to one year deals to get them done. You never want
to give away anything you don't have to, but the team would definitely
look better if it'd gotten both on 3, not 1. They might not be facing a
second full year of bargain binning at DB, maybe being able to rely a
little harder on the draft with the pieces they knew the had.
*DJ Moore - it's tough to criticize too hard when you pick up five new
DBs at a bargain rate and one of them busts out enough to be cut, but
Moore had the ability to push Captain Munnerlyn and yet barely played
because of injury. Since only Munnerlyn of the group of corners played
fulltime throughout the year (followed by starter-to-street-to-starter
Dray ton Florence), they could've used Moore. The impact is minimal,
since he'd have been a free agent anyway, but the team exceeded
expectations at CB and still didn't have enough there.
*Ed Kugbila - he still has time to turn it around, but you could argue
it doesn't look great so far. Kugbila has barely practiced, which is a
fact; the rumor is he doesn't work that hard and didn't even rehab
injury that well. He's definitely a man-child who can be powerful, but
the team could've used him to get around numerous other injuries.
Behind him, the next pick was David Bakhtiari, who played well at
tackle. Another small-school lineman, Earl Watford, didn't play for
Arizona this year, but I like him as well. You could argue that he put
himself in this position by not doing anything else to help the OL (Nate
Chandler you may argue is still a net positive) and pushing OL to the
4th round. That makes you reach a bit, maybe.
Don't get me wrong. The 2013 draft, even if you just assume that
hitting the first pick is a given, or that the second should be too
(Short's the best 2nd since Richard Marshall, which was 06), was a
success. Two DTs making the defense elite is worth the cost of doing
less other places, and AJ Klein was a steal who could start now. If
Kenjon Barner can contribute, it's a heck of a draft.
*Barner - I liked the idea of Barner, but (in a very small sample size)
he looks slight, he doesn't look powerful. Can he be a playmaker?
Absolutely. But he's not the least bit there yet. If you need a back,
and Carolina really didn't, hindsight says Andre Ellington is an almost
starter level player right now. Mike James was a good fill in guy for
the Buccaneers. Baccari Rambo would be interesting and would've filled
a need, though he missed a lot of tackles for Washington.
As well, you could argue pretty hard against two straight luxury picks
after a project in Kugbila. That's what happens when you're going
straight best player, as Gettleman states he did.
*Chris Gamble - I put this one here partly out of ignorance. I hear
his shoulder wasn't really to the point where he'd have continued to
play, possibly. Is that a rumor? I don't know. I do imagine that a
healthy Gamble would've been worth the risk, however. This is a reach
on my part, without all the info. They had to have the cap space
instead, and that part was well-spent overall.
*Jon Beason - I wonder if there was a compromise to letting Beason go
earlier? His per-game bonuses suggest something would need to happen
rather urgently, and it did. I don't think they ever intended to let
him go this early, so it's hard to criticize. He's a MLB, and a good
one. The Panthers have possibly the best one in the league, in part
because Beason was outright cursed here after signing a deal he
*Greg Hardy - pretty nitpicky, but he supposedly offered Hardy $8
million a year. I have no idea how close that was to getting the deal
done, but how smart would he look right now if he'd popped $10 mil a
year and sealed the deal? The team would have less money to get done
with vets, but at that point the Cam Newton contract becomes the only
critical situation. The rest is fluid. He played the market on that
one (or, maybe Hardy/Drew Rosenhaus did) and it didn't work at that
point. Regardless of how it goes from there, the cost of doing business
won't get less high, whether he leaves, whether he's signed to an
appropriate deal, or if he's a franchise player.