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View Full Version : Gosselin - Smart NFL teams spend little in free agency


Claynus
03-18-2008, 04:42 PM
Great minds think alike! :D

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/columnists/rgosselin/stories/031808dnspogosselin.28cf9c5.html

I love what the Green Bay Packers have done thus far in free agency.

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

The Packers haven't signed any players in free agency nor have they lost any. The Indianapolis Colts also haven't signed any players.

Football is figuring out what baseball discovered in the 1970s you can't buy a championship. Which is contrary to public perception.

There's a frenzy in the fan bases of 32 NFL teams each off-season. Spend. Buy free agents. The bigger the contract, the better the signing. If you're not spending, you're not trying to get better as a football team.

Au contraire.


The Green Bay Packers haven't panicked in free agency at the thought of Aaron Rodgers or another quarterback in charge. The Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks each signed a free agent to a contract in excess of $39 million last off-season. In addition, the Washington Redskins gave aging middle linebacker London Fletcher a $10 million signing bonus, and the Jacksonville Jaguars gave journeyman offensive tackle Tony Pashos another for $9 million.

All the while, the New York Giants were sitting out the spending spree. To borrow a Jerry Jones term, the Giants were "keeping their powder dry."

The Giants wound up signing one free agent to fill a specific hole on the depth chart, bottom feeding in late March for linebacker Kawika Mitchell. They gave him a modest one-year, $1 million deal.

Mitchell is now wearing a Super Bowl ring and 2007 multi-millionaires Leonard Davis (Cowboys), Eric Steinbach (Browns), Nate Clements (49ers), Patrick Kerney (Seahawks), Fletcher and Pashos are not.

In 2006, the Indianapolis Colts signed only one free agent, and he wasn't even a position player kicker Adam Vinatieri. The Colts wound up winning the Super Bowl.

In 2005, the Pittsburgh Steelers also signed only one free agent wide receiver Cedrick Wilson to a four-year deal worth less than $10 million. He didn't even start for the Steelers. But guess who won the Super Bowl that year?

Free agency never has been and never will be the answer. Teams are realizing the game's best players no longer become free. So the smart teams invest their salary cap dollars in re-signing their own players.

Back in the 1990s, you could sign a difference-maker like Reggie White or Deion Sanders in free agency. But with each passing year, the quality of free agents decreases, yet the quantity of the money increases.

I had breakfast with an NFL head coach last week, and he shook his head at the fiscal craziness, saying that average players are getting superstar money.

There were 112 players signed in free agency through the end of business last week. Only 28 of them were primary starters in 2007.

The annual list of signees has become a litany of older players (safety Sammy Knight and offensive linemen Alan Faneca and Damien Woody), players coming off injury (guard Justin Smiley, defensive tackle Chuck Darby and cornerback Jason Webster), players who have lost starting jobs (running back Chris Brown and defensive backs Drayton Florence and Tank Williams) and underachievers (offensive tackle Kwame Harris and wide receivers Jerry Porter and Keary Colbert).

In short, expendable commodities.

Talented young starters still in their 20s such as running back Michael Turner (Atlanta), linebackers Landon Johnson (Carolina) and Demorrio Williams (Kansas City), and safety Gibril Wilson (Oakland) in this year's class of free agents are few and far between every off-season.

You can count on the fingers of two hands the free agents this decade who have played to the level of the money and duration of the contract.

So the smart teams don't overreact to the market and offer superstar money to non-superstar players. You rarely get what you hope for and what you pay for in free agency. The smart teams don't sign contracts they will live to regret teams like Green Bay and Indianapolis.

OnTheWarpath58
03-18-2008, 04:46 PM
Another excellent Gosselin article.

el borracho
03-18-2008, 05:13 PM
OMG!! We're going to win the SuperBowl!

el borracho
03-18-2008, 05:15 PM
By the way, didn't the Packers sign one of the first premier free-agents to win the SuperBowl back in the mid-90s. Some minister who liked to sack quarterbacks but also liked to give elocuent speeches on cultural differences.

keg in kc
03-18-2008, 05:16 PM
By the way, didn't the Packers sign one of the first premier free-agents to win the SuperBowl back in the mid-90s. Some minister who liked to sack quarterbacks but also liked to give elocuent speeches on cultural differences.Free agency was a whole different ballgame back in the early days. Even Carl was more-or-less competent back then.

BigChiefFan
03-18-2008, 05:18 PM
There's great FAs every year, to suggest otherwise is ignorant.

The players cost more in FA when their highly sought after, what a novel concept.

chiefforlife
03-18-2008, 05:20 PM
The Packers and Colts missed the superbowl by a game or two. They dont need a lot of help. We were 4-12 with a 9 game losing streak. I think we could use a little help.

Im not saying we should do what the Raiders or Jets did but we are going to have an enormous amount of pressure on our draft to get it right in every round. A Free agent or two would take some of that pressure off.

Claynus
03-18-2008, 05:21 PM
The Packers and Colts missed the superbowl by a game or two. They dont need a lot of help. We were 4-12 with a 9 game losing streak. I think we could use a little help.

Im not saying we should do what the Raiders or Jets did but we are going to have an enormous amount of pressure on our draft to get it right in every round. A Free agent or two would take some of that pressure off.

They'll sign some FAs after the draft most likely.

CrazyPhuD
03-18-2008, 05:25 PM
print em!

Frosty
03-18-2008, 05:27 PM
OMG!! We're going to win the SuperBowl!

Nope. If you'll notice, each of his examples only signed one FA. The Chiefs have signed two.

CP blew it again. :doh!:

keg in kc
03-18-2008, 05:33 PM
There's great FAs every year, to suggest otherwise is ignorant.

The players cost more in FA when their highly sought after, what a novel concept.Then call me ignorant. The days of "great FAs" are over. Teams now just don't let their star players go. If a player hit's the market he has red flags, whether it's age, injuries, attitude or a combination therof. If you want a stud player who's in his prime or approaching it, you have to draft him or trade the farm for him. Because the odds of finding that kind of player in March is miniscule, and generally the teams that do hit on a free agent like that find them the way we found Priest Holmes.

Hell, if you want an example of just how much free agency can kill you, just look at the Chiefs from about 1998 to 2005. For every Priest Holmes, there's about fifty Shawn Barbers and Kendrell Bells and Dexter McCleons and Glenn Cadrez. The list goes on and on and on.

Want to flourish in free agency? Don't spend a lot of money. Spend a little bit of money in a smart way.

OnTheWarpath58
03-18-2008, 05:38 PM
The Packers and Colts missed the superbowl by a game or two. They dont need a lot of help. We were 4-12 with a 9 game losing streak. I think we could use a little help.

Im not saying we should do what the Raiders or Jets did but we are going to have an enormous amount of pressure on our draft to get it right in every round. A Free agent or two would take some of that pressure off.

Pressure off of what?

Carl's hopes and dreams of getting to 8-8 ASAP?

You don't build a skyscraper in a day.

You don't build a Championship-caliber football team in a year.

Reerun_KC
03-18-2008, 05:43 PM
Pressure off of what?

Carl's hopes and dreams of getting to 8-8 ASAP?

You don't build a skyscraper in a day.

You don't build a Championship-caliber football team in 19 years. /Carl

FYP

DTLB58
03-18-2008, 05:51 PM
By the way, didn't the Packers sign one of the first premier free-agents to win the SuperBowl back in the mid-90s. Some minister who liked to sack quarterbacks but also liked to give elocuent speeches on cultural differences.

And the MVP of that SB win, some Heisman trophy winner that was drafted by another team that now trades all their picks away.

Huffman83
03-18-2008, 05:56 PM
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milkman
03-18-2008, 10:22 PM
By the way, didn't the Packers sign one of the first premier free-agents to win the SuperBowl back in the mid-90s. Some minister who liked to sack quarterbacks but also liked to give elocuent speeches on cultural differences.

Gosselin addressed that.

Back in the 1990s, you could sign a difference-maker like Reggie White or Deion Sanders in free agency. But with each passing year, the quality of free agents decreases, yet the quantity of the money increases.

The landscape of free agency has changed since the early years.

chiefforlife
03-18-2008, 10:28 PM
Pressure off of what?

Carl's hopes and dreams of getting to 8-8 ASAP?

You don't build a skyscraper in a day.

You don't build a Championship-caliber football team in a year.

If we are going to improve ONLY through the draft then that puts a lot of pressure to get it right, the draft that is, in every round.

No one is talking about a championship team in one year. We do have to get to 8-8 before we can get to a championship team. The pressure now is all on the draft.

Short Leash Hootie
03-18-2008, 10:29 PM
building with free agents hasn't worked for us this decade, so I am happy we are doing it through the draft...getting draft picks, even shitty ones, for Sims, Tynes, Hall, Green, Bennett, etc...was just plain great GM'ing no matter how much you want to hate Carl Peterson.

KcMizzou
03-18-2008, 10:49 PM
Sometimes doing nothing is a wise move.

Micjones
03-19-2008, 01:03 AM
building with free agents hasn't worked for us this decade, so I am happy we are doing it through the draft...getting draft picks, even shitty ones, for Sims, Tynes, Hall, Green, Bennett, etc...was just plain great GM'ing no matter how much you want to hate Carl Peterson.

Again, that's not a reason to demonize the process.
It's the decision-makers we should be upset with.

Mecca
03-19-2008, 01:06 AM
Generally championship teams aren't built in FA, they can find some players that help out there but the core doesn't come from there.

KCChiefsMan
03-19-2008, 02:32 AM
if we just sign Jared Allen to a long term deal, I'll consider this a successful offseason

Ultra Peanut
03-19-2008, 03:04 AM
In baseball terminology, a lot of these big-money free agents fail to perform enough above replacement level to make their contracts worthwhile. That means there are cheaper options who can fill that role adequately and enable the team to spend more money on someone who's actually WORTH it rather than the first warm body who asks for a truckload of cash.

The Williams and Darling signings were nice bargains, but the best move so far may have been not tying up an overpriced player for several years.

BigChiefFan
03-19-2008, 07:52 AM
Tell it to the Pats. The FA KINGS.

BTW, since when did the Packers become the role model for the best ran franchise? They didn't win the big dance last year and had one of the best QBs in the game-let's see how well they do this year without a QB. The packers are just a convient comparasion because they didn't do much in FA-BFD.

milkman
03-19-2008, 07:57 AM
Tell it to the Pats. The FA KINGS.

BTW, since when did the Packers become the role model for the best ran franchise? They didn't win the big dance last year and had one of the best QBs in the game-let's see how well they do this year without a QB. The packers are just a convient comparasion because they didn't do much in FA-BFD.

I'm betting that Aaron Rogers plays at a high level.

He won't make some of the mistakes that Brett Favre made, because he doesn't have that strong arm and gunslinger mentality, but he is actually a better fit in the west coast offense than Brett Favre ever was.

The problem he faces is the fact that he will be playing in Favre's shadow.

That might prove extremely difficult to overcome.

milkman
03-19-2008, 08:00 AM
Tell it to the Pats. The FA KINGS.

BTW, since when did the Packers become the role model for the best ran franchise? They didn't win the big dance last year and had one of the best QBs in the game-let's see how well they do this year without a QB. The packers are just a convient comparasion because they didn't do much in FA-BFD.

The FA Kings?

Until this past season, they didn't sign a lot of big names, unless you count Seau, who is on his last legs.

And Moss wasn't a free agent.

They built that team's core through the draft, and filled holes with free agents.

Fish
03-19-2008, 08:06 AM
Rick Gosselin impresses me more with each article he puts out.... and the guy's mock drafts are arguably the best out there.


Good article here.

BigChiefFan
03-19-2008, 08:10 AM
The FA Kings?

Until this past season, they didn't sign a lot of big names, unless you count Seau, who is on his last legs.

And Moss wasn't a free agent.

They built that team's core through the draft, and filled holes with free agents.
They always sign big names-Rodney Harrison, Stallworth, Colvin, etc...

They play FA the right way-they see a player that fills a need and upgrades the position, so they'll spend-if it doesn't upgrade the position, than they don't bother. Balance is the key. Those saying that you build completely through the draft just don't get it. EVERY TEAM has FAs.

milkman
03-19-2008, 08:21 AM
They always sign big names-Rodney Harrison, Stallworth, Colvin, etc...

They play FA the right way-they see a player that fills a need and upgrades the position, so they'll spend-if it doesn't upgrade the position, than they don't bother. Balance is the key. Those saying that you build completely through the draft just don't get it. EVERY TEAM has FAs.

IIRC, Harrison was a June cut, and Stallworth was something of a risk because of his injury history.

Colvin was one of the few highly sought after free agents they signed.

Almost no one is saying we need to build completely through the draft.

Most of us think that the core needs to come through the draft, then fill holes in free agency.

Signing high profile free agents at this time for the Chiefs isn't really a good plan.

Hoover
03-19-2008, 08:35 AM
Colvin was a huge bust for them.

BigChiefFan
03-19-2008, 08:35 AM
IIRC, Harrison was a June cut, and Stallworth was something of a risk because of his injury history.

Colvin was one of the few highly sought after free agents they signed.

Almost no one is saying we need to build completely through the draft.

Most of us think that the core needs to come through the draft, then fill holes in free agency.

Signing high profile free agents at this time for the Chiefs isn't really a good plan.
So they Chiefs haven't drafted anybody in the past twenty years?

Carl is still running the ship, so our team will be built with players like Bartee, Warfield, and Saivaii.


The plan is great in theory, but we all know who's making the selections, so I don't have much faith in the PLAN.

keg in kc
03-19-2008, 08:36 AM
The Patriots were completely built through the draft. They're about the worst example you could use if you wanted to justify the idea that what the Chiefs are doing this offseason is wrong. Hell, they're the model for drafting well and going after guys who fit their 'team concept' in free agency, rather than banking on singular 'stars' due to name recognition. And none of their guys (including Randy Moss, the only real exception to the 'name' rule) signed to outrageous contracts. They spread their money around wisely.

Which is exactly what the Chiefs need to do if they're going to dig out of this hole. KC needs to build and develop a core of players through the draft (something that hopefully started in 2006, we're two drafts in now) and then use free agency to fill in the holes.

Oh, you can try to build through free agency (if there are players available that fit your plan, which is becoming a bigger issue every year...) and trades, but if you do that, you risk disabling your franchise over the long-term. As the 2001-2005 Chiefs demonstrate. And, really, the Chiefs for 5 or 6 years before that, as well.

Peterson's tried it his way for nigh on 20 years, it's long past time to try it another way.

Chiefnj2
03-19-2008, 08:37 AM
Comparing the offseason strategies of teams that made the playoffs (and won a Super Bowl) to a team that lost 9 in a row to end the season is silly. Obviously the team that lost 9 in a row has a problem with overall talent.

BigChiefFan
03-19-2008, 08:39 AM
Colvin was a huge bust for them.
He got injured. They've already canned him. He was still a big name.

milkman
03-19-2008, 08:52 AM
So they Chiefs haven't drafted anybody in the past twenty years?

Carl is still running the ship, so our team will be built with players like Bartee, Warfield, and Saivaii.


The plan is great in theory, but we all know who's making the selections, so I don't have much faith in the PLAN.

You're right.
The Chiefs drafts through the years have sucked ass.

But it's been pointed out many times that while Carl is ultimately the man responsible, he has drafted according to his HCs desires.

Whether or not that has changed as has been speculated, the fact is, even if Herman ****ing Edwards is only given a voice, and not in charge, Cael will draft Herman ****ing Edward's players.

Will that result in better drafts?

Who knows?

We'll really get a better feel for that this year.

But in the end, building this team through free agency has failed.

It's well past time to take a different approach.

If it doesn't work, the morons in charge will be gone in a couple of years.

keg in kc
03-19-2008, 08:54 AM
If it doesn't work, the morons in charge will be gone in a couple of years.We hope.