The key to winning in the NFL is the draft. The San Francisco 49ers should be the model for this. Jim Harbaugh acquired his franchise quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second round while also managing to rejuvenate longtime bust Alex Smith.
Most of the stars on the Niners have come from quality drafts. The offensive line is 80 percent homegrown. Playmakers Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis were all acquired via the draft. On defense, superstars like Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, NaVorro Bowman and Dashon Goldson were the product of strong drafts.
Playing the free-agency game is tricky. The Philadelphia Eagles learned the hard way when they went through their "Dream Team" splurge in 2011, trying to bolster their roster through free-agent signings.