There is this myth that it takes a long time to put together an offensive line. It isn't true.
What you need to do is make consistent efforts and investments in offensive line play. It's the engine of your offense.
We have three guys on our offensive line who probably couldn't start on any teams in the nfl... That isn't a good start.
In 2005 we wanted to move to the 3-4. What did we do? We drafted 4 players in the first four rounds to fit the 3-4.
Ware, Spears, Burnett, and Canty. In free agency we signed Jason Ferguson. Even though Burnett did not become a starter, that is 5 moves dedicated towards 7 positions in one off season.
The next year we drafted two more within the first three rounds.
We have Tyron Smith. We should draft at least two offensive linemen early, and sign at least one or two offensive linemen in free agency. Simple as that.
The problem now is that we have a new defensive system to implement, and to do so we need a pass rushing defensive end, a dominant defensive tackle, a pair of wide range safeties, and a sam linebacker.
I would suggest that we can make due with much of what we already have.
We can re-sign Ernie Sims to be the sam linebacker, and that should be serviceable with Lee and Carter. We can use Ratliff for one more year, and use a rotation of guys like Crawford and Lissemore. The real issue comes at safety and defensive end. It would have been nice to have kept Adrian Hamilton. So the biggest worry is going to be budget.
That's why it becomes important to rework Ratliff and Austin. And look into our ability to save money on a guy like Free.