So just to play devil's advocate a bit, is it possible the RB brass saw the moneyball movie, and was convinced by Curtis (and his brilliant political science and sociology training) that this was the way to go for this season? The premise of moneyball is not just cheapness, but winning by finding unrecognized value through statistical analysis.
The plan was always to go cheaper, younger, and more local after Henry retired, and it seems that decision was made well before Curtis was even in the picture. Curtis didn't convince the brass of this approach, he was hired because he fit the approach.
Pretty good article from Ives about it, with this quote from Petke:
“I don’t think I’m ready to talk about that right now, but we have a very good plan for the future, and it is going to take understanding from our fan base, understanding from the media perhaps,” said Petke. “We want to build something, I want to build something, and I think that we have a good idea of how to do that.”
Basically they're trying to copy what RSL and KC have been doing instead of trying to keep up with LA and Seattle.