Besides, you made it sound like he couldn't do it physically. That's what I wanted to know the differences in.
Sitting out a year isn't a big deal as long as he is working on his game. You don't just all of a sudden forget how to play
Not saying that all. No he won't lose his ball hawking ability at all, at least I certainly don't think he will. His speed and agility should stay the same as long as he is working out and not doing stupid crap.
i don't see the difference. Every player in an investment as long as you are making money.
Draft pick or not
You have to play early draft picks more than you do later draft picks. You also don't have to give a FA a lot of money. You can give then a low salary and load their contracts with incentives based on performance that they will take just because they want another shot in the league. Worked out pretty well for Michael Vick I would say.
There is a huge difference in a team taking a gamble on a first, second, or third round draft pick rather than signing a FA.
Yes, I would take a gamble on TM in the 5th or 6th round if he is sitting there. But I would not take a risk on him right now with his off the field crap in the 1st or 2nd rounds because of the money that requires.