which players took below-market-value deals in the 90's during our superbowl run?
I don't remember any.
which season, in the last 6 years, were we not a couple of injuries or big plays away from winning our division?
we've lost 3 playoff games. so that's not good enough. but find me one team in this league that would be favored to win a playoff game @ the 2000 Ravens or @ the Colts. the home-field advantage they get (with help from the refs) especially in a playoff game, is almost insurmountable.
the biggest thing we need is the offensive juggernaut we had in the day. and that requires the chemistry, experience, and talent we had in the SB runs. it requires a QB with the ability AND a few years in the system. it requires more than 1 or 2 starting receivers. it requires good-to-great play at the FB and TE positions (this has been a serious issue for us). and it requires a consistent pass-rush. we got lucky with old Al Williams and the ex-Chief DE (can't remember his name). but the old pass-rushers these days want 10-mill, they won't sign a sweetheart deal to play for a contender. and when they do, we end up with IHOP.
you gotta get lucky to win a superbowl. and you've got to have a pretty good team. we've been getting half of that right ever since 98.