Sunday, June 16, 2013

String of NFL offseason thoughts

Somehow the Tebow hype machine roles on and he managed to make another NFL team (for now). But for all the talk about his mechanics and slow delivery the bigger elephant in the room is the simple fact he struggles to read defenses. That is a crucial NFL QB skill, you have to know where you can complete a pass. Even if the Savior could quickly put the ball where he wanted, he would still throw into coverage.

Speaking of quarterback play in the AFC East inexplicably it appears that Mr. Buttfumble is going to be starting again for the New York Planecrashes. That’s right the same guy who should have gotten his foot-lovin’ coach fired, who everyone thought would be punted, who the Jets couldn’t find anyone to take in a trade even when offering to pay part of his salary (see below), and who drove superfan Fireman Ed into retirement (think about how hard it has to be for the Jets to get a superfan) will be under center Week 1.

Behold the power of a guaranteed contract. When the Jets’ “brain” trust overreacted to Sanchez not screwing up a run first defensive team they gave him a huge contract that guarantees him $8.25 million this year NO MATTER WHAT. If you are going to pay him that much money anyway why not start him? Hard to argue with that logic. Plus there is the fact his coach, Captain G.D. Snack, has LITERALLY tattooed his jersey (suggestively framed over his wife) on his body.

Sanchez won’t finish the season starting (barring injury to others) and Rex probably won’t either. After all New York did take West Virginia’s Geno Smith in the second round. Many thought he would be the first QB to go, possibly even at #1. Sure he’s since come across as an immature malcontent, but that just means he’ll fit right in. He’ll start plenty of games.

And I am not just saying this in reaction to Russell Wilson. Since 1996 twenty QBs have been taken in the second round. Nine started multiple games as rookies, six started half the season or more. Not always wisely (hellooooo Quincy Carter) – but who has ever accused this Jets regime of being wise? And now I will link to one of my favorite videos – and no, there are not similar videos for other teams.

(For the record I never had much animosity for the Jets before Rex showed up – they just always seemed listless).

Speaking of second round pick QBs, some of my Forty-niner Faithful brethren are getting a little over-excited about Kaepernick’s first twelve starts. He’s looked good and I do think he will be starting for many years to come, but there have been guys who started on fire and faded (did you know Rick Mirer was second for Rookie of the Year his first season?). All I am saying is don’t put him on Mount Rushmore quite yet.

Speaking of the 49ers and Mount Rushmore I would put Joe Cool, Ronnie Lott, Bill Walsh and the GOAT on theirs. I feel bad for Steve Young who would be on any other teams mountain

For an all-time NFL Rushmore I would keep Montana and Rice, but add in Barry Sanders and Lawrence Taylor. You could make an argument for Reggie White to replace Joe. I went with guys who were the best in their positions by the widest margins. No one argues another receiver was better than Jerry for example (save maybe the odd Don Hutson reference).

Finally I have been hearing some blame thrown on the new NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement for low salaries and a slow market in free agency this year. There is some truth to that, the cost of a franchise tag has gone down, meaning less talent goes free, and the salary cap is pretty flat (not necessarily due to the CBA). However the real issue is the mega salaries of the top players. Multiple QBs are now earning $20 million (or more) a year. That is one sixth of the salary cap. Some are complaining the new system hurts veterans, but this isn't about age - Cliff Avril, who is 27, got a subpar free agent contract too. While older veterans are indeed struggling to find teams almost no free agents got the contracts they were expecting this offseason. That isn't because teams aren't spending money (plenty of them are right against the cap), it is that they are spending money unevenly. I'd also point out the veterans have been getting visits, just not contract offers. Teams are interested in them, just not at their old prices.


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