From what I can tell, Buffalo just doesn't have the cap room to resign Levitre and Byrd - AND - to be able to go after big name F.A.'s. Part of the problem is the contract Fitzpatrick signed. Whether we keep him or dump him, he's getting like 8 or 9 million this year. So, when you look at where Buffalo could stand to add F.A.'s - LB, WR, TE, and QB - you almost have to forget about QB, unless it's a guy who is so cheap he probably would be less effective than Fitz (and whats the point in that?).
If Buffalo signs Levitre, franchise tags Byrd, they'll have somewhere in the neighborhood of 7-10 million to work with, I think, after cutting the roster down a little. Now, if they get a young QB in the first or second round, a WR and LB, all in the first 2 or 3 rounds, that would leave them with the cap space to go and sign some viable LBer's - guys to get us by until we can draft better replacements......
Though I agree that it would be difficult to sign all of the FAs you listed.....our situation is nowhere near as bad as you are making out.
At this point, with the Wilson/Barnett cuts we are 27.9M under our spending amount(cap + rollover).
Cutting Kelsay, McGee & Brad Smith will see us being 37M under.
Counting Levitre & Byrd as FAs....and using your list, we need to sign......FS, SS, ILB, OG, WR, QB & TE
When working a new contract, it is common to work it so that the cap hit for the first year is somewhat less than the average year of the contract.
Also, cutting Fitz will see another 8M(?) of cap space come through in 2014.
Safeties and TEs have relatively low salaries.....and there are no star ILB FAs on the market as yet so that salary will likely not be a bank-breaker either.
Unless we go for Flacco or Smith, any FA QB will likely not be over 5M/year......and that's assuming we have to re-work Smith's contract. If we were to trade for him, he will only cost $7.75M(?).
By my figuring we could manage to pretty much sign Levitre & Byrd.....plus a top FA WR.....plus Landry(SS)....plus a mid range LB & or TE.
It's only if we get Flacco or Smith for QB that we would start having trouble.
Edited by Dibs, 12 February 2013 - 02:08 AM.