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Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
I want to see the real numbers, because agents have a tendency to completely overhype and inflate numbers in order to make themselves look great. It's like the "monster" contract Colin Kaepernick signed, which turned out to be not so monster after all.
Overhype and posturing by both sides. And this has been going on since the Super Bowl ended. I have held off saying anything until now because it's a waste of energy to speculate too much. Now, however, there seems to be more substance to the rumors. I am guessing Wilson will sign this week, before or near the start of camp, mostly haggling about how much guaranteed money he will get.

Alpe d'Huez said:
But let's just pretend that Wilson ends up the third highest paid QB in the NFL. I hate to say it, but I don't think he's that good. Granted, I agree with Foxxy and think athletes are generally overpaid to begin with (not that the owners should just keep all the money), and Eli Manning is going to be way more overpaid than Russell, but if I created a list of the top 10 QBs for 2015, I'd probably put him on there. But not 3rd.
Yup. I'd agree with that. But I would say he has the potential to grow into the 3rd best overall (or best QB). It may likely take some retirements to get there. The rationale for giving him more money now than he's worth based on rankings (NFL top 100 he was 5th after ARod-Brady-PMann-Luck, Scout.com had him not even in top 5 after ARod-Brady-Luck-BRoeth-Romo, with Wilson-PMann-Brees getting honorable mention) is it puts off salary compression as other QBs get bigger money over the next 4 or 5 years. Not that I like it with all the starters being overpaid and SEA ticket prices going through the roof. As a side note, sky high ticket prices in SEA is driven more by season ticket holders than it is the team's owner/management. Even for nose-bleed seats, the season ticket holders are making money by selling off their $70/seat nose bleed section tickets for $300 to $400 or more, even when playing easy opponents... more for marquee games vs the like of DAL, NE, GB or any NFCW teams.

Alpe d'Huez said:
Then they lose him and hope they can draft someone to replace him? That's the risk. Or do they hope he plays more poorly this year, so they can pay him less next year? That won't work either. They're kind of stuck paying him at least something, try to get it incentive laden...
That's not going to happen. Now way SEA will let Russell go. Just wanted to get that out of the way. He is the best QB they have ever had, better than Matt Hasselbeck in clutch situations and getting wins when it should not be there. To get a really great QB in the draft who is also a great leader, you have to be lucky first of all just to be able to pick the guy, and then you have to hope he is the real deal. Luck was a no brainer, But no brainers do not come along very often, which goes without saying. Interestingly, RGIII was not a no-brainer selection. I said before that draft there were question marks about how his college play would translate to the NFL. That's how tough it is. It is too hard to draft a great QB, and SEA is not going to play in that game of Russian roulette.

And then, on incentives, Wilson has shown he does not need incentives to work harder than anyone else. In fact, his work ethic is so far off the charts that his rep in SEA is that of a robot on some never ending power source. Right there, that's the reason I'd say he's got potential to be a top 3 QB eventually. I would not even discount being the top QB eventually. I will never say something is beyond reach when there is that amount of heart in someone.

Alpe d'Huez said:
I don't know the team has a lot of room to push him though. Look at it this way. They can pay him a cheap $1.5 mil this year, and run the risk that he's unhappy and under performs. Then what? They franchise tag him? An arbiter will rule to pay him close to $20m anyway.
Very true he'd get $20M if franchised. That's why $21M is a good deal for SEA. I mean if a team is going to contend they are going to have to pay. But I do not think SEA is trying to push, manipulate, or coerce him into taking less money. It looks to me like they are trying to be fair, maybe more fair than some others would be. That's part of why I think he signs soon, after the guarantees are worked out.

Alpe d'Huez said:
Meanwhile, Goodell drags the Brady thing on and on and on. It's just laughable. And as I said before, the more I think about it, the more this should have been a 15 yard penalty at the start of the second half, and a fine for the team for each ball they tampered with. That's it. Now, it's become a joke.
I told y'all that would happen. Goodell should step down. But he won't.


The Hitch said:
on3m@n@rmy said:
p.s. Anyone interested in seeing how the Browns pan out this season? Due largely to injury, they lost their last 5 games last season to finish 7-9. Before that losing streak they were 7-4 and had some come from behind wins vs PIT and NO. If rookie DT Danny Shelton can help them get some QB hurries and plug up the middle they might be in a better position to win a few more games, especially since they lost a number of games by less than a TD. I'm interested, but it has nothing to do with Manziel either, who IMO needs more time.
That was partly due to an easy schedule. Those 7 wins include Tenessee, Jags, Bucs, Raiders and some of those were very close. Not saying they weren't good at times. They could have also beaten Pitssburgh and Baltimore. But they just as easily could have lost to Tenessee.

But they surrendered their chance at a good season this year in the 2014 draft. Taking Manziel when their own scouts had Bridgewater as top dog. Could also have taken OBJ who was the obvious pick.

Imagine they had walked out with OBJ and Bridgewater - what a more competent gm would have chosen. Say then they get 9 wins last year as a result and Josh Gordon doesn't resort to drugs because he's on a good team now.

they could be challenging for the superbowl this year. But the situation they have now, don't see it.
Right you are about all that. I will say though, after all the management and personnel mistakes they have made, they are remarkably in a position to have a breakout year. Make the Super Bowl? Not yet. Playoffs? Possibly if all goes as they hope.
 
The Browns are scheduled to play against the AFC West and NFC West as well as a game against the Jets and the Titans. I just don't see it. I see two games I would expect them to win. Week 2 and 3 against the Titans and Raiders. The rest are against teams that at this moment look to be better than them. Except that gimme in week 15 that is. ;)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Cleveland_Browns_season

When McCown had his good streak in Chicago he had a good offensive line protecting him with Marshall, Jeffrey, and Bennett receiving and Forte running/pass protecting. Still IIRC he had a lot of almost interceptions. Meaning with a little less luck his stats would not look as good.

Last year he had a horrible offensive line and two big outside receivers In Evans and Jackson. It did not go well.

In Cleveland he will have a great offensive line. Which might work wonders for him, but his receiving corps is on the small side. The big one is Bowe at 6.2" and Hartline at 6.0". Otherwise he has got guys that are 5.7 and one 6.2 4th rounder.
http://www.ourlads.com/nfldepthcharts/depthchart/CLE

In other words. Perhaps not getting hit so much can get him in the groove. But he will still have to adjust to the smaller catching radius of his Targets.

But for me the big question mark is if they can improve their run defense enough. They gave up the most yards per game on the ground last year.
http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?archive=false&conference=null&role=OPP&offensiveStatisticCategory=null&defensiveStatisticCategory=RUSHING&season=2014&seasonType=REG&tabSeq=2&qualified=false&Submit=Go
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
I want to see the real numbers, because agents have a tendency to completely overhype and inflate numbers in order to make themselves look great. It's like the "monster" contract Colin Kaepernick signed, which turned out to be not so monster after all.

But let's just pretend that Wilson ends up the third highest paid QB in the NFL. I hate to say it, but I don't think he's that good. Granted, I agree with Foxxy and think athletes are generally overpaid to begin with (not that the owners should just keep all the money), and Eli Manning is going to be way more overpaid than Russell, but if I created a list of the top 10 QBs for 2015, I'd probably put him on there. But not 3rd. Even if I try to use a crystal ball and look to, say the 2018 season, I'm still not sure he'll be the third best then. In fact, with a balloon contract the team is going to not be able to spread the wealth and sign other key players. He'll slowly lose them around him, and struggle. Probably back to about 10th best QB overall.

I don't know the team has a lot of room to push him though. Look at it this way. They can pay him a cheap $1.5 mil this year, and run the risk that he's unhappy and under performs. Then what? They franchise tag him? An arbiter will rule to pay him close to $20m anyway. Then they lose him and hope they can draft someone to replace him? That's the risk. Or do they hope he plays more poorly this year, so they can pay him less next year? That won't work either. They're kind of stuck paying him at least something, try to get it incentive laden, and try, hope, ask, in the future he'll restructure contracts, a la Brady, to pay for less cash to help the team, when he's already done that? NFL.com is saying he has not rejected any Seattle deal yet, just that the talks are ongoing.

Meanwhile, Goodell drags the Brady thing on and on and on. It's just laughable. And as I said before, the more I think about it, the more this should have been a 15 yard penalty at the start of the second half, and a fine for the team for each ball they tampered with. That's it. Now, it's become a joke.

Going back to the Timmy Chang comments. One thing I honestly left out was that it wasn't just that he piled up all those yards on short passes, which he mostly did. But he also played in a run and shoot, in a very soft conference. Same thing with Colt Brennan who followed him. Though Colt threw less interceptions, and had a slightly better arm, maybe. It's the same reason NCAA stars like Andre Ware, or Kliff Kingsbury and BJ Symons from Texas Tech never got anywhere in the NFL. When you throw on almost every down, in a five wide set, and most passes are between 5 and 15 yards, you're going to pile up the numbers. The guys at Hawaii just played against even weaker competition. If you look back at RG3 at Baylor, his career actually started this way with a lot of screens and quick slants. But he had a much stronger arm, and when he developed deep field accuracy, their entire offense changed around that, and look where it took him (at least until he got hurt in the NFL).

In some more amusing news, Adrien Peterson says he's going to try to rush for 2,500 yards this year. The Vikings actually have a fairly talented team, but this is laughable.

And best for last, Chip Kelly says no, he is not like the Kardashians.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000503829/article/chip-kelly-everyone-wants-their-private-life-private
Exactly! As soon as the stripes figured that something was off they should have done something, but they didn't (until half time anyway). Slap the Pats & TB with a fine. This is not a "game suspension" offense.

The NFL doesn't have season long psi data so they don't know how many balls were out of psi range.

I still find if funny that they scored 17 points with 11-12 psi, and 29 points with 12.5 psi.
 
29-0 in the second half. They completely blew them out after a somewhat competitive 17-7 first half (where Brady threw an int).

And I am not biased about this. I admire the Pats greatness, Brady and especially Belicheck, but am no fan of theirs. You all my recall I am a Raiders fan, and still think the "tuck rule" was the biggest BS call in NFL history.

Goodell, whom I once supported for staying the course after Tagliabou, working his way up from the bottom, and helping get through a big CBA without a lockout or strike, has dropped to the nadir of sports commissioners. He's just pathetic.
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
29-0 in the second half. They completely blew them out after a somewhat competitive 17-7 first half (where Brady threw an int).

And I am not biased about this. I admire the Pats greatness, Brady and especially Belicheck, but am no fan of theirs. You all my recall I am a Raiders fan, and still think the "tuck rule" was the biggest BS call in NFL history.

Goodell, whom I once supported for staying the course after Tagliabou, working his way up from the bottom, and helping get through a big CBA without a lockout or strike, has dropped to the nadir of sports commissioners. He's just pathetic.
I had the wrong total in my post and didn't notice it until I read your post. I'm not sure if I had the score of another game in my head or what...there's no question I've lost my mind so that might be it!
 
Goodell/NFL hold firm on the Brady four game suspension. Apparently, his destruction of a cell phone that held critical communications he made during the deflategate period was a key factor in Goodell's decision. Sounds as though Brady with the union will fight this in federal court. I'm not familiar with the legalities, but with the season coming up soon, can he get an injunction or whatever to allow him to play while this is going on? And would that even be a good idea? Suppose he can play, and the decision, against him, is handed down in December. He could miss some critical games, maybe even postseason games. If the latter actually happened, I think we would see a full scale revolt against the NFL, which would make the griping by Pats fans up to now seem like a picnic.

Unlike some here, I think Brady should have been suspended, but this soap opera really is getting out of hand now. At the least, it should be settled before the regular season begins--really, before the exhibition season begins--and now it appears it won't. It isn't going to help the NFL's image for this to be hanging over them and Brady during the season.

AZ Cardinals hire a woman for Assistant LB coach. Will be interesting to see if more follow any time soon. I don't see this as just a victory against gender discrimination, but much more, an acknowledgement of the role that psychology plays in the game. Women certainly have as much to contribute in that area as men, and might even bring a somewhat different perspective. I think it's pretty well established that on average--though there is great overlap--women tend to be better team players, because they are less driven by competitiveness. All team sports demand both, of course, so having both men and women as coaches makes a lot of sense to me. I'd like to think that if a woman had been a coach for Miami a couple of years ago, Richie Incognito never would have happened.
 
Let me get this straight, Brady will be suspended four games for destroying a cell phone, so the Patriots will miss him including a week 5 game against the Dallas Cowboys who will have Greg Hardy playing? The same Hardy who was charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend by grabbing her, throwing her into furniture, strangling her, and threatening to kill her? The league itself said there was viable credible evidence, including physical marks, from four occasions of violence against her. She however didn't show up in court after a civil settlement was agreed to. Meaning, they paid her off. So that's okay by the NFL standards, but Brady destroying his cell phone - likely because he didn't trust Goodell to interpret anything he texted however Goodell felt, and said whenever he gets a new one he trashes the old one, or the SIM card, as he doesn't want the info out there - for being "generally aware" (per the Wells report) about the balls being under-inflated, gets the same suspension? Really? That's the precedent? That's going to look great in week 5 when Brady isn't there for deflating footballs in a blowout game and trashing a cell phone, but Hardy is on the field after beating the crap out of his girlfriend. Brilliant NFL, just brilliant!

If I count correctly, we have 10 weeks until the first NFL game. Can a judge hear Brady's appeal, and file an injunction before then? And then there are the lawsuits after that of course.

I'm still confident that had this been anyone else, and the rules clear with defined standards (which they weren't until last week), and the referees had been on top of it, or Tagliabou or Rozell had been commissioner, this would have been quickly settled by a penalty, and a fine and that would have been it. Instead, it's about Goodell.

Hey. Maybe Aaron Hernandez will be released and Goodell will let him play?
 
I think a shorter, two game suspension might have been justified, but I wouldn’t argue no suspension just because Hardy got only four games. Hardy probably should have gotten more, maybe even been banned from the NFL—presumably he didn’t because the evidence against him was based on testimony that was later retracted, certainly there was no video a la Rice, nor even a confession as there was with Rice—but just because Hardy might have gotten off too easy doesn’t mean Brady’s suspension should be adjusted accordingly. In fact, Hardy initially got a ten game suspension, it was the arbitrator (not Goodell) who reduced it to four games, and reportedly the union is considering appealing that, too. You want to be outraged, think about that.

Also, in an important sense, Hardy vs. Brady is apples vs. oranges. Suppose Brady had been caught betting on NFL games. He probably would have been suspended for life, like Pete Rose. Is betting on games worse than domestic violence? Not in the world off the field. But the penalty is more severe, because the penalty is about the impact the violation has on the game itself, not on civil society.

Brady didn’t just destroy the cell phone, he did it on the day he was supposed to turn it over. And he didn’t destroy another old cell phone that had no relevant messages on it, so clearly he wasn’t telling the truth when he said he destroyed the one phone because he always destroyed old phones. So he compounded his original act by lying and trying to hinder the investigation. IMO, he comes off looking really bad. You can yada yada yada all day about how this was a Mickey Mouse violation, but once an investigation starts, even if you think there never should have been one, there are certain rules and legal niceties you're supposed to respect. As far as I can see from what's surfaced, Brady didn't.

Here’s a good discussion of the legal issues involved.

http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/13332578/new-england-patriots-quarterback-tom-brady-nflpa-likely-come-short-court-challenge-roger-goodell-decision

Question: Will Brady succeed in court and stop the NFL from suspending him for four games?

Answer: No, Brady will not succeed. Although he enjoys top-of-the-line legal representation and his lawyers will file a brilliantly written lawsuit, his effort to stop the suspension is doomed. There are two reasons why: First, federal judges are reluctant to reconsider the rulings of arbitrators; second, Goodell produced a decision on Brady that is brilliantly reasoned, meticulously detailed, and well-written. Goodell's recitation of the evidence of the tampering with game balls is powerful, and his description of Brady's attempt at a cover-up is persuasive…

In a notorious case involving former Los Angeles Dodgers baseball player Steve Garvey at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2001, the high court ruled that even when the arbitrator's decision is "improvident or even silly," it does "not provide a basis for a court to refuse to enforce" the arbitrator's decision.
We should all remember LA had the same problem when he tried to take USADA into court. Judges don’t want to get involved in arbitration decisions. The players agreed to this kind of set up. They may think it’s unfair, but if they really object, they can pursue another profession.

Q: What will Brady's lawyers argue in their attempt to reverse Goodell's ruling?

A: Led by the estimable Jeffrey Kessler, the Brady legal team will argue that Brady did nothing wrong, that the Wells report failed to establish that Brady had a role in the inflation of the game balls, that the penalty is too harsh, and that Goodell was not a neutral arbitrator. None of these arguments offers a compelling reason for a judge to reverse Goodell's decision. All of the arguments were raised in detail in the arbitration hearing, and Goodell answered each one of them in exquisite and persuasive detail in his 20-page opinion. It is difficult to imagine a judge reconsidering any of them. The players gave away the idea of a neutral arbitrator when they voluntarily agreed in collective bargaining that the commissioner would make the final decision in conduct detrimental cases.
Q: What was Brady's biggest mistake?

A: There was more than one. There is little doubt that Brady blundered when he refused to cooperate with the Wells investigators by turning over his phone and his text messages. He made it even worse when he destroyed the phone. And then, incredibly, after he had destroyed the phone, he and his lawyers suggested to Goodell that Brady routinely destroyed his old phones when he purchased a new one. The problem was that the Wells investigators had already found an old phone that Brady had not destroyed.
However, this is interesting:

Q: Bloomberg is reporting that the NFL filed a lawsuit in New York on Tuesday, beating the NFLPA and Brady to the punch. What's this about?

A: The NFL is clearly worried that Brady and his lawyers will file their lawsuit in Minneapolis, where NFL players have achieved historic triumphs over the NFL, including several decisions by Doty [one involved Peterson]. The league attorneys filed their lawsuit first in New York, hoping that the league would have a greater chance of success. The league used a procedure known as a declaratory judgment lawsuit in its effort to win the race to choose the ultimate courthouse.
Update: Brady and Kraft have issued angry responses. Brady insists he and the assistants did nothing wrong, and that he turned over all records he was asked to turn over. He also says he was never going to give them his cell phone, making him sound somewhat like Hillary and her emails. He says he was rebuffed in his attempt at a settlement with Goodell, but a source close to Goodell says that Brady was offered a reduced suspension if he basically would have confessed and apologized. Kraft basically admitted he initially accepted the suspension because he thought by being contrite the suspension would be reduced.

Seems to me that Brady has painted himself into a corner. He's not going to admit to a shred of wrong-doing, despite the large amount of evidence against him. Standing on the beyond reasonable doubt excuse really doesn't cut it here, it's like trying to get off on a technicality.

This is going to get ugly. Actually, it already is.
 
Laughable, and ugly.

What this is actually about, has nothing to do with deflated footballs. It has to do with ego. Who has the bigger ego. And who thinks they have more power. If you think about it, especially after this ruling and the reported negotiations, is that Goodell expected Brady to say he was sorry, and kiss the proverbial ring, and Brady being so stubborn and competitive, that he would have none of it, regardless of how much he knew about deflated balls. That's all this was about. Brady giving in, and how doing so labeled him.

This leads us to forever wonder what the tone was like when they met. Did Goodell seem at all contrite? Did Brady? Did Goodell say he felt it wasn't a huge deal, and was overblown, but he did want Tom to take some accountability, as some of the balls were deflated. Or did he expect Tom to cop to it all, admit it was wrong, and wrong to destroy his phone, talent be damned, and that was the only way he would get any reduction in suspension. We'll probably never know.

As to the busted cell phone, I'm no lawyer, but I think a better argument for Brady would be (would have been?) that he destroyed the cell phone out of fear, because he didn't trust Goodell and the NFL and felt that he was already going to the gallows, and the NFL would interpret whatever Tom wrote in the most negative light possible.

The strange thing about this, is that I still really don't think it will have a huge impact on the season (other than the hype). I don't see the Patriots going 4-0 with Tom, or 0-4 with Garoppolo. It may actually help Belicheck (and Garoppolo) prepare for the future and see if he's their guy. And even if they did go 0-4 with Garoppolo, I wouldn't count the Patriots out of the playoffs, even a repeat SB run. What would be most interesting, is if they go 4-0 without him, and Brady loses his first game back against the Colts.

Meanwhile, here's a good article from ESPN on what to expect from Garoppolo filling in for Tom.

http://espn.go.com/blog/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4782904/examining-jimmy-garoppolos-nfl-game-experience
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
As to the busted cell phone, I'm no lawyer, but I think a better argument for Brady would be (would have been?) that he destroyed the cell phone out of fear, because he didn't trust Goodell and the NFL and felt that he was already going to the gallows, and the NFL would interpret whatever Tom wrote in the most negative light possible.
it couldn't look more guilty... and then to offer up a "business as usual" excuse made it look even worse.

your explanation would have been a lot better, you should be in NFL pr!


Just on Wilson's contract, some are saying he has proven that he doesn't need incentives to perform, I would challenge this saying that this contract that he is negotiating now is the incentive he's been playing for these last years.

And in a sport such as the NFL which every year sees multiple seasons end in the blink of an eye, i can understand a player's need for guaranteed money, just as i can understand a team's need to not have too much riding on it.

interesting to see how it plays out and i hope however much they give him guaranteed they're also prepared to spend a good deal on their 1st string left tackle, the 2nd string left tackle plus the rest of their O-line. you gotta protect your investment.
 
Pats will be fine without Brady. Generally teams do well with a new qb anyway, especially if not a rookie, since there's not much tape on the player. In garopolos case, he has all off season to prepare for 3 games, then the bye week to prepare for Dallas. They also get a 3 day headstart on buffalo and have a week headstart on Dallas so have big advantages there. Jags should be easy. Might be more difficult when Brady comes back going 12 weeks straight.
 
Well, Russell Wilson's dael has been inked, making him the 2nd highest paid QB in the league. The numbers don't need to be inflated like the reports on Kaepernick or Dalton's contracts. Wilson gets a staggering $30m signing bonus, and $60m in guarantees. Here's a good article from USA Today, saying now he has to earn it. And how the team is potentially going broke in the long run. paying all their big name players. It's a huge risk, similar to what the Broncos have done, and Raiders did over a decade ago. If it doesn't pay off, they'll be in salary cap hell, or worse, with a heap of dead money on the books by about 2018 or beyond. But if they do win the SB this year or next, which is when it would most likely happen, it could all be worth it in the eyes of many.

http://usat.ly/1I8KmIh
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
Well, Russell Wilson's dael has been inked, making him the 2nd highest paid QB in the league. The numbers don't need to be inflated like the reports on Kaepernick or Dalton's contracts. Wilson gets a staggering $30m signing bonus, and $60m in guarantees. Here's a good article from USA Today, saying now he has to earn it. And how the team is potentially going broke in the long run. paying all their big name players. It's a huge risk, similar to what the Broncos have done, and Raiders did over a decade ago. If it doesn't pay off, they'll be in salary cap hell, or worse, with a heap of dead money on the books by about 2018 or beyond. But if they do win the SB this year or next, which is when it would most likely happen, it could all be worth it in the eyes of many.

http://usat.ly/1I8KmIh
Good read in the USA Today. He will definately give it his best shot to go earn it. But the article did not really say anything about going broke or going into cap he11. The article's one reference to the cap had to do with speculation on when Wilson, if he does perform to expectations or exceed expectations, and other players like Luck and Rogers might return to the bargaining table (e.g. 3 years for the others, 4 years for Wilson, or sooner for any of them, as with SEA's Michael Bennett and Cam Chancelor who are either holding out of camp or saying they would like a remake of their deals). The article noted that the cap limit is growing, which implied a couple of things that the article did not state; A) teams will continue to have more cap space become available, and B) players being aware of that might try to take advantage if they do perform well. Hence, the reason why some players may seek a new deal even if they still have years remaining on their existing contracts.

But we can talk cap a bit here. I cannot speak for any team really on that matter. But in Seattle's case there are a couple of indicators:
1) SEA (GM Schneider) did not rush into a deal right after the SB. He took his time. Meaning he gave it a lot of thought, and analyzed exactly what they can do for Wilson and what impact that will have on their future cap space. Heck, they probably even take the growing cap limit into account in projections. So I'm glad SEA did not plunge into a deal with Wilson immediately after the SB. Had that happened it would have been reason for concern, especially when other more pressing things like assessing the upcoming draft would be more important.
2) We have not yet seen how well SEA GM Schneider can manage cap space in the long run. What we have seen is how well SEA has drafted in lower rounds, where many of those low rounders and UFAs have performed very well as starters (MLB BWagz, CB Sherman, OLB Wright, other CBs who came and went (Maxwell, Thurmond), WRs Kearse and Baldwin, TE Luke Wilson, RG and converted DL JR Sweazy, LG Bailey, and they have quite a few others in camp now who have fought off a number of adversities and might be ready to contribute). How does all that draft success play into cap management? It really goes without saying, but when any team starts to shell out big bucks to players who have earned it, they have to be able to make up the difference with the cheaper young guys. Formerly, SEA had a cheap young QB and cheap young defensive backs. Now they are all big timers. So, an example of what might happen in SEA: Michael Bennett got a big contract extension a year or two ago and is in camp but has made it clear he wants more money. Enter rookie draft pick DE/OLB Frank Clark. Clark is an extremely talented and versatile player who can play several different positions. Just what SEA likes. Clark has been disruptive in the backfield, but shows maturity through discipline and patience. He maintains his lane and does not get out of position. There is a potential for Bennett to become a cap casualty and be replaced by someone like a Clark. That's how you manage cap space. And SEA has done it with other positions, particular on the offensive line where they are converting mean aggressive DLinemen to play OLine, because 1) they have Tom Cable, who may be the best in the business, and 2) so many college OLinemen today are not being taught the skills in college to execute NFL level running attacks and blocking schemes. Too much focus at the college level is pass blocking.

I cannot say how the way SEA does things will work out for SEA in the long run, but give it 4 years and we will begin to see. But if any team is going to make contract moves like SEA has, I'd say SEA has as good a chance of succeeding as any, given everything said above.

Of greater importance is what allegations like the one against Jets Sheldon Richardson will have on how the NFL is perceived by the general public, and by the sponsors. As was the case in cycling, when perceptions denigrate too much the sponsors dry up. As said here before, the NFL is not immune to sponsorship and fandom drying up. Here is the article about Sheldon's case:
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2535672-sheldon-richardson-allegations-shows-some-nfl-players-still-dont-get-it?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=nfl
He was arrested for leading police on a high speed (120+ mph) chase through residential neighborhoods with a 12-year old child as a passenger. Here is a snip from the article that sums up the issue:
The league office understands what effect these incidents can have on perception and how perception can shape, and at times, be treacherous. If a perception starts to stick that the NFL is lawless, eventually, the high ratings and big money won't mean anything.

People want to think the men they are cheering for are at least pseudo-decent, people who care about children and women. Many in the league do treat their children well and take care of them. They do treat their wives and girlfriends well and love them.

But this is why perception is such a dangerous thing. It can alter reality, and the reality is it seems like this league is crime-ridden. That seems harsh, but that is the perception.

The NFL is formidable, but it's not impervious. It can lose power and influence the way baseball did over steroids or the NBA did in the 1970s when the perception was that it was drug infested.
 
Good post. I would like to see a long-term analysis of NFL teams budgets and dedicated salary information. USA Today did one two years ago, but I haven't seen one since, or I am not sure where to look. We hear lots of talk about player costs, and I recall a year ago media reports on long term financial commitments the Broncos had. But I'd like to see some real numbers.
 
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Good post. I would like to see a long-term analysis of NFL teams budgets and dedicated salary information. USA Today did one two years ago, but I haven't seen one since, or I am not sure where to look. We hear lots of talk about player costs, and I recall a year ago media reports on long term financial commitments the Broncos had. But I'd like to see some real numbers.
That would be interesting for sure. Another thing that would be interesting that would take a lot of work is to see each teams draft picks over the past 4 or more years and where those players are at today. Especially the middle to low rounders and undrafted free agents. Teams that do well in that area of the draft (e.g. NE has done this as long as Bill has been the HC) are teams that can stick around and be a part of the playoff picture year after year. It escapes me now who did this and when, but I think this has been analysed a couple years ago.

Fanduel did an article yesterday saying pretty much what I did in that last post. Here's the link:
https://www.fanduel.com/insider/2015/08/01/russell-wilsons-contract-highlights-a-tougher-stretch-for-seahawks-roster-management The piece from that article I was referring to is this (and this fits not just for SEA, but any team who is shelling out new big contracts):
Can Seattle continue to field talented teams into the future?

Absolutely.

Will it be as easy as it was for the past couple seasons when their most important player (Wilson) was on his rookie deal?

Absolutely not.

How the Seahawks brain trust manages the cap over the next couple years will completely define their longterm success as an organization. They will need to continue hitting on mid-round and late-round draft picks, while finding value free agents at other positions. If not, their potential dynasty will go by the wayside like so many talented teams with supremely talented quarterbacks in the past.
Build through the draft, and repeatedly hit on those inexpensive mid-low rounders and UFAs. Any team can get lucky and hit once in a while, but the key is to repeatedly be able to find diamonds in the rough. The only way to do that is to know what qualities to look for, do an exceptional job scouting, and have a strategy based on available talent.

An example of how this can play out is the recent signings of SEA's Wilson and MLB Wagner to big contracts. Compliment that with free agent signee Ahtybah Rubin (Browns) last March, and last year's 2014 low rounders along the DL who were injured early in 2014 and are now battling in camp for a spot (Marsh, Hill, cancer survivor Jesse Williams), all made it possible (while essential) for SEA to release DT Tony McDaniel yesterday after the Wagner signing as a salary cap clearing move. Tony played well but was pretty much just a hole plugger, and the younger cheaper guys have more upside.

Anyway, this is an exciting time of year. Can't wait.
 
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4 years, 60 mil guaranteed :eek:
I´d do a Leaf. No tiny doubt about it. Take the money and run. Get off with your body intact. And as nice side-effect: Show the GMs how dumb they are. Dumb beyond help...
Why was SEA good? Because they did not have to pay much money for their QB. In 1-2 years, dumb GM will realize a team needs 22 quality starters on the field to prevail. Not just one.

The best outcome is a so-so suffering a la NYG with Eli (and may another luck streak in the playoffs without an offense).
The worst? 2-14 in two years, first pick...
 
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Take all back... my last post. I got wrong infos. That happens when not counter-checking.
Actually Wilson has """only""" 31.7 mil guaranteed money. That is 11th highest between NFL OBs... And now the surprise, non-surprise. Guess what guys. Guess... Yes, Kelly... our Kelly has signed Bradford for 50 mil guaranteed. OMFG. That is the 2nd most behind Rodgers. :eek:
Otoh, Alpe... we shall have that one expected. Now it´s clear why he threw away all his talented players. The money is all-in on his butter arm QB. What a farce Kelly is. Really loking forward the Eagles mess. It shapes up more and more. :)
Btw, Nick Foles has 543.520 $ guaranteed with the Rams. Yes, no typo: The better QB has 1/100 of the worse QB cashed in. It shows the epic proportions of the Kelly insanity... And the guys in SL laugh their asses off. I guess they check every five minutes if they are dreaming or if that is real.
http://overthecap.com/position/quarterback
 
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Have read a little deeper in this site now...
So the 50 mil Bradford is guaranteed for the whole contract years (including past). Thus Philly is only :rolleyes: hit with 13 mil this year for this back-up QB winning the lottery. Next year he is FA. Who knows, may Kelly signs him a new 200 mil contract to make sure the Eagles go over the cap space... :D
After all, SL is still wayyy better off with Foles "cheap" contract. Almost nothing guaranteed for him. Actually he has to work for his money, while Bradford cashes in no matter what...
Oh, and btw: If you guys dig deeper you´ll see SEA is in big trouble for cap space this year anyway, but also to some extend already for next year...
 
A long and very interesting article on the method behind Kelly’s madness.

Understanding Chip Kelly’s plan for the Philadelphia Eagles requires abandoning everything you thought you knew about football.

It’s not a simple plan. It’s certainly not a conventional one. But it’s not just some ego trip or scattershot player grab, either.

“It was perceived as if this was random, all over the place, but I think this was a well-thought-out, clear plan,” said Joe Banner, former Eagles president and general manager.

Kelly’s plan is holistic. It weaves together elements of NFL management—player acquisition, scheme, sports science, cap spending, coaching, practice techniques—that are rarely connected in any meaningful way. It’s also bolder and more aggressive than anything the NFL has seen in decades.
Banner believes that we missed the big picture while itemizing the trades, signings and departures of the Eagles' offseason and gawking at the sheer amount of change. “I think it’s unique, but not in the ‘conventional wisdom’ way,” Banner said.

The personnel turnover made headlines, but Kelly’s underlying vision—and his determination to pursue it—is the real story. “What’s unique is the extent of the willingness to turn over and start with new players, trust that you can coach them up quickly and get them to function as one group. Most coaches are afraid to do that.”
The Eagles’ offseason transactions flew in the face of both conventional wisdom and the football management survival instinct. A new coach on a rebuilding team might swap quarterbacks, running backs, and much more to jump-start his regime. But coaches of 10-win teams are hardwired to keep the team intact for 10 more wins so everyone stays employed…

“The conventional wisdom in the league is: ‘No, no, you can’t have this much change.’ I personally don’t agree with that,” Banner said. “I think if you have the right coach, he should be able to manage the cultural challenges. If you have the right position coaches, they should be teaching well enough to get them ready.”
Every element of Kelly’s plan relies on every other element: For the personnel plan to work, the science must keep high-injury-risk players healthy, the culture must integrate the newcomers, and the up-tempo scheme must prove that, over 16 games and the playoffs, it is more advantageous than exhausting. And each of those elements, in turn, must inform and support the other.
But innovators of past generations can see the logic behind Kelly's approach. Vermeil was known for his cutting-edge (and brutal) practice regimens when he took over the Eagles 40 years ago. He believes that the practice tempo provides a simple, obvious edge. “He’s getting about three times as many reps throughout an entire practice in the same amount of time that somebody else is. That correlates to an advantage.”

Not everyone was a fan of the pace. Cornerback Cary Williams, now with the Seahawks, complained last September to NJ.com that after exhausting practice weeks, some players “don’t have legs” on Sunday. He revisited those comments on an ESPN Radio interview in June, saying that “we were exhausted and we got outcoached” and “we got our teeth kicked in” in the Eagles’ late-season games.
Yes, questionnaires, with how are you feeling today-type questions. “We fill out daily surveys so we always have open dialogue,” said linebacker Connor Barwin. “Coaches can look at them and understand where the group’s at. Does everybody feel fresh? It’s not just that they are out here looking at us, deciding how they think we feel.”

Kelly isn’t a tyrant forcing weary players through endless drills. He’s using a culture of player feedback to inform the science that drives the conditioning that makes his scheme feasible; the uniqueness of the scheme, practice habits and conditioning science all feed back into the culture.
“All the players they drafted are high-character, smart guys,” Banner noted. Kelly targets draft choices who have earned or are on track for their college degrees, and he stresses academics in player interviews.

But the Eagles have their own buzzword that is not often heard elsewhere: open-mindedness. “We’ve added through free agency guys who are high-character, open-minded guys who want to learn and be part of the team,” Kelce said. “I don’t think we have gotten any guys that are selfish, close-minded, aren’t gonna be ready to take on the new system.”
Earlier in camp, Kelly’s statements about Bradford’s knee revealed a detailed, procedural approach with a little more nuance behind it than the typical head coach’s we’re waiting for him to get better injury assessment.

Kelly believes the Eagles’ 21st-century rehabilitation and conditioning techniques can get injured players healthy and keep them that way. If it works, Kelly gets excellent players like Alonso and safety Walter Thurmond at bargain prices and, potentially, a franchise-caliber quarterback, which is a bargain at any price.
The principles beneath the “sports science” banner have been adopted around the world since the 1976 Olympics, when Australia was shut out of the gold-medal podium and decided to do something about it on a governmental level. The Australian Institute of Sport was founded, grant money became available and Australia soon grew into a world leader in athletic nutrition, conditioning, physiology and biomechanics. Hanisch studied and worked both in Australia and at Bowerman before joining the Eagles staff.

“What James has brought back to the U.S. from the Australian system is the all-inclusive look, not just at whether they ate well or bench-pressed well that week, but did they sleep well, did they recover from the activity the way you would expect? Were they sore the next day, beyond the way they should be?” Hahn said.

The Bowerman model fits what we know of Kelly’s model: energy drinks, sleep monitors and so on.
Kelly’s lieutenants don’t speak like typical NFL coaches. There’s plenty of patois about trusting the process and giving 110 percent. But they also casually drop principles of Bowerman-style sports science into their discussions of players when not talking about pedagogy or early-childhood development.

“He talks about everything: how you teach guys, how you talk to people. He gets you reading different articles,” McGovern said of Kelly. Yes, articles.
Coaches reading articles about the mind, players filling out daily surveys, coaches truncating meetings to accommodate the real attention spans of 24-year-olds: None of this is standard NFL operating procedure. Just like an offense without huddling and an offseason without obvious boundaries, this is new. It’s scientific, it impacts the team culture, and it’s designed to better integrate new personnel.
The Eagles sometimes sound more like Apple or Google than a conventional NFL team, with Kelly as the Steve Jobs who kicks down cubicles and encourages innovation, all the while inspiring—and demanding—absolute fealty.
It all starts with Kelly. But it doesn’t end with him. Autonomous, collegial coaches shape the culture and the players. Scientific principles inform the coaches and condition the players, who are willing to accept the science because they have embraced the culture. The tempo grew from research, dictates the practice methods embraced by the coaches and necessitates the science. Unique practice methods entrench the culture.

It’s cyclical. It’s complicated. And it’s unlike anything the NFL has seen before, which is what makes it so confusing and easy to dismiss as a doomed experiment.
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2511711-chip-kelly-and-his-relentless-assault-on-the-status-quo
 
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Teams record in 2014 with insane QB contracts (30 or more mil guaranteed):
92-83-1 = .526 Winning Pct. = translates into a 8.4 regular season. Good; Pushing money up the arse of some greedy ball throwers gives you 0.4 more wins than a trou-and-trou average NFL team. Is it worth it? Hell no. 22 players must work together to have success, plus two at least average leg swingers...
Playoff-Record in the 2014 season: 3-5 (.375 "Winning" Pct.), one lousy championship game appearence, zero conference titles, zero Super Bowl appearences, and ofc zero Super Bowl wins...
I could do the GM job. At least as "good" as them throwing money after a single player. Difference is: I would save the owner big time money. I would do the job for 50.000 $...

Conclusion (as noted by me before):
1.) SEA is doomed in the near future
2.) Philly is doom doomed anyway
3.) NYG was and is doomed as long Int-King Eli gets the shots

Bonus super doom: PM fails in the playoffs. :D
 
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FoxxyBrown1111 said:
Teams record in 2014 with insane QB contracts (30 or more mil guaranteed):
92-83-1 = .526 Winning Pct. = translates into a 8.4 regular season. Good; Pushing money up the arse of some greedy ball throwers gives you 0.4 more wins than a trou-and-trou average NFL team. Is it worth it? Hell no. 22 players must work together to have success, plus two at least average leg swingers...
Playoff-Record in the 2014 season: 3-5 (.375 "Winning" Pct.), one lousy championship game appearence, zero conference titles, zero Super Bowl appearences, and ofc zero Super Bowl wins...
I could do the GM job. At least as "good" as them throwing money after a single player. Difference is: I would save the owner big time money. I would do the job for 50.000 $...

Conclusion (as noted by me before):
1.) SEA is doomed in the near future
2.) Philly is doom doomed anyway
3.) NYG was and is doomed as long Int-King Eli gets the shots

Bonus super doom: PM fails in the playoffs. :D
Interesting huh?! Kaper, Ryan, Cutler shouldn't be making top money so they skew the numbers (Brees too really). Brady is #3 or #4 highest paid, but Belichick and crew are good at putting solid guys together no matter what the top five make. The key is that you need 30 players all playing at or near top level. Seattle can still be a top team no matter what Wilson's contract is if the management can still put 29 other top guys on the field. Wilson will play at least as good, if not better, but what will happen around him?
 
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Kaep isn´t in the list, Brady also isn´t (ofc not, Beli knows what he does, the GOAT)...
And SEA will pay dearly. They are already in big cap trouble, which will even rise over Wilsons contracts years. SEA is doomed, simply coz they overpay their running QB. What you think will happen if all the talent around him breaks? When he will be forced to pass 50 times in come from behind tries? It will show you his real worth (actually there is none in "running" QBs)... No "god speaks to him" will help out. And dumb GM will realize it too late.. Coz simply releasing Wilson (once his efficiency drops as realistic side-effects of less talent around him) will not cut costs, the him hefty pushed up the arse dollars are already wasted cap dollars for years to come...

The key is that you need 30 players all playing at or near top level
Absolutely. Beli shows it every year, and other teams still don´t learn. It´s beyond me...
 

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