With the 2018 NFL offseason upon us, the collective focus of all 32 teams shifts toward player movement: The combine begins at the end of this month (Feb. 27); free agency kicks off shortly after that (March 12); and the first round of the draft is April 26.
In a recent piece on ESPN.com, the NFL Nation team pulled together a list of the most significant free-agent decisions facing all 32 teams.
My job today? To use the NFL Nation reporters' list and play general manager for each team, deciding whether teams should pay or pass on these decisions, factoring in player performance and impact, team depth, financial implications and more.
Some decisions involved the franchise tag. Some were big money, long-term deals. Others were about upgrading in the draft. Here's what I would do for the top significant free-agent decisions this offseason:
Cornerback E.J. Gaines
The Bills overhauled their secondary last offseason, investing a first-round pick in Tre'Davious White and spending lucratively to sign Micah Hyde in free agency. But two other moves -- a four-year deal for Jordan Poyer and acquiring Gaines in the trade that sent Sammy Watkins to the Rams -- proved to be critical in rounding out this group. The defensive system in Buffalo calls for cornerbacks with discipline and instincts, as it relies heavily on zone schemes (rather than featuring a cornerback playing on an island extensively). Gaines stood out in 2017 and seemed to fit right in with the new culture established.
Verdict: Pay Gaines to stay.
Wide receiver Jarvis Landry