The draft is complete. Free agents have come, but mostly gone. Deals have been extended. It is time to update the Hawk Blogger 5-Year Roster Outlook.
All the draft picks and the key free agent changes have been added
2015 Notable Possible Departures
Baldwin would seem to be headed toward an extension. The two recent receiver draft picks could impact that negotiation, but I’m expecting a deal to be done prior to camp. The trio of Malcolm Smith, K.J. Wright, and Bruce Irvin all come up in the next two seasons. The team needs to decide who their SAM is between Wright and Irvin, and then decide if Wright, Smith or newly-drafted Kevin Pierre-Louis is their starting WILL. I won’t be surprised if both Wright and Smith walk. If they re-sign Wright, Irvin’s future here becomes far cloudier. The situation at corner will turn desperate if some players do not step forward this year and prove they can take Maxwell’s place next season. Jeremy Lane in the early favorite to ascend, but we need to see what Tharold Simon, Erik Pinkins and the rest can do. Nickel corner is position to watch. Phillip Adams was signed as a reliable and quality veteran, but he is on a one-year deal. It would be ideal for a young player like Akeem Auguste to step up, as he would be less expensive. Both backup safeties also are up after this season. Look for some fierce competition there, and the potential for a guy like Dion Bailey to surprise.
2016 Notable Possible Departures
Lynch could easily be gone a year earlier depending on a variety of factors. He will be 30 by 2016, and it’s hard to imagine him staying on top of his game. Some decisions will need to be made on the offensive and defensive lines. I see Okung being re-signed if he can have a healthy 2014. Michael Bowie, Alvin Bailey and Justin Britt will have a lot to say about the make-up of the line, and how much the team needs to spend to keep guys versus grooming their young players to ascend. The defensive line is aging. Mebane and McDaniel will be 31 in 2016. The organization desperately needs to find young talent that has the potential to be a starter in the middle of the line. That is why guys like Dewayne Cherrington, D’Anthony Smith, Jimmy Staten and others will get every chance to impress.