Just when I begin to think we didn't do so bad in free agency this year, I consider this...here's a list of positions that we still need on offense in order for one to reasonably believe that we've improved from last year:
Center (other than Eric Ghiaciuc)
Offensive Tackle (maybe 2)
A second Running Back
Sure, fans can argue (1) we can still make a trade, (2) we can still sign some free agents, or (3) we still have the draft. To quickly respond:
(1) We most likely can't or won't trade anyone besides Chad Johnson, which would immediately create another need at WR unless you are comfortable with Laveranues Coles, Chris Henry, Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson next season. Sure, one (not me) could argue that you draft Michael Crabtree or Jeremy Maclin, trade Chad for a late first round pick or an early second round pick and draft an Offensive Tackle and a Center with the second round pick and whatever pick you get from Chad. But first of all, if Mike Brown didn't trade Chad last year, why would you assume that he would this year? I fail to understand how people speculate on that again this offseason. Secondly, it's a clear violation of the Too Savvy Rule.
(2) Nearly all of the good free agents that would provide an upgrade at the above positions are gone. After we didn't pursue the three best Centers available, Eric Ghiaciuc is among the best Centers left for crying out loud and look where that got Carson last year. For whatever reason, we keep bringing in decent Fullbacks and then not signing them all while not pursuing some of the most promising available (Leonard Weaver, Justin Griffith, Lorenzo Neal).
(3) We do still have the draft but if we start a rookie at all four of the above positions, could that possibly bode well for next season? What production did we get out of our rookies last year? The year before?