They're going to have to make a decision on what to do for nose guard in this years draft. I don't know, and leaning against the team re-upping Snacks. 2010 would be his 10th year.
I see a lot of people saying the same thing. I don't see it that way. NT is not a position where players just decline rapidly when they reach his age. Since the big boys can still be effective when they get a little older and a little bigger, he could be playing at just about his current efectiveness level for the next five years. Look at Rodgers. And guys with his skill set don't hit the market that often. I'd go out of my way to sign him to another five years.
I think they'll do a short-termer, convert some cap to bonus and tack on a couple of years. Unfortunately, I think Snacks's play has not been as crisp the last couple of years, unless someone pisses him off. He's gotten handled by single teams more often, and I see him getting tossed aside in the slop like he never did before. IMO, the conditioning showdown with Tomlin wasn't all for show. And Hokie had a nice fill-in when Hamp was injured, but that was a while ago now, and I wonder if he'd be all that effective if called on for a major stint.
Put it this way, in addition to Hamp (will be 32) and Hokie (will be 33), why did we bother keeping Scott Paxson as a #3 NT, if there wasn't some concern?
I'd like to see us draft a DE in R1-3, with Smith (will be 33) and Keisel (will be 31) both having had injuries the past two years, and depth/youth an ongoing question. In fact, I think we could upgrade Keisel some. Then, maybe around R4 or later, add a small-school NT, at the very least to push the depth issue, and perhaps see if he can develop into a starter and anchor the line in a couple of years. And since we'll have an extra R7, I'd throw in a late project DE as well, just for kicks.