Talk amongst yourselves
Click here to buy PDF version.
Click here to buy PDF version
16 Jun 2009
Our question for today: Of all the offseason moves made by NFL teams, which one will prove to be the most costly?
Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 16 Jun 2009
62 replies , Last at
18 Jun 2009, 10:42am by
Starting Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez and expecting them to have comparable years to Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco last year. Too many things went right for the 5th year seniors to be able to play well as rookies.
Oh, and then there's the whole letting go of Jay Cutler thing
The Jets have not named Sanchez the opening day starter. If Rex Ryan thinks that, for now, Clemens gives them a better chance of winning, Sanchez will sit for the time being.
Thanks for reminding folks about the 5th-year piece. So many people fail to reflect on that as a factor in their success.
Whilst I agree entirely that Stafford was over-drafted and over-paid who else were Detroit going to find to play QB. The free agency cupboard was pretty bare and he does appear to have been the best QB in the draft. Playing him early should help him learn (if they can protect him) and his reads should be made easier by the presence of Megatron drawing a lot of coverage toward him. More so when you consider that it probably won't stop him catching the ball.
It isn't as though they are likely to lose any more games than they did last year. The only way is up for this team.
There is also sideways. 2-14 isn't that much better than 0-16, and ruining a rookie QB because he played before he was ready and got terrorized can easily lead to another era of consistently less than 6 wins.
I don't wish that on Stafford, particularly, but it is possible to mess up the kid and the teams future by starting him too soon.
Joey Harrington. Akili Smith. Tim Couch. Ryan Leaf.
I actually think Harrington could have been average if he had a better system to learn him.
If he went to the 49ers in 1989, I think he would have turned out OK. However, he should have been a late 2nd round pick or 3rd round pick, not #2 overall.
Playing him early has a much better chance of destroying him before he's ready for the pro level. The NFL is a wasteland for rookie QBs, with a scant few notable exceptions. And one would hope that the Lions' brass might be smart enough to realize that perhaps they aren't the most savvy at 1)identifying those gems that'll pan out, and 2)more importantly, developing those QBs into top-flight pros.
I will stand by my pre-draft position, that Detroit would've been better served taking the best lineman available, playing Culpepper, and either developing a 2-3 round QB this year, or picking a 'QB of the future' next year (hello, Bradford, Tebow, McCoy, and whoever else crops up this season).
I would say trading Jay Cutler for Robert Ayers and one of the two picks they traded to move up and grab Richard Quinn together with what may turn out to be a low first rounder next year was pretty dumb. They might end up regretting that for a long time.
I would also think trading Jason Peters for a low first round pick and some change was fairly dense by Buffalo. Why not just pay him? Just give him the money you gave TO.
I think cutting Jason Taylor and watching him re-sign with the team you sent a second round pick for his services less than a year ago must be a rueful moment. Although most of the really dumb decision making was done last offseason.
If by most costly you are implying a literal interpretation then I would have to go with signing Haynesworth for $100m. That cost a lot.
It's funny you mention Peters because I immediately thought, "If Peters plays like he did last year, the Eagles are going to rue staking their offensive line's future on him."
Also, I agree that there's no way Haynesworth justifies his price-tag and that the Redskins don't have some regrets there.
Also, if Al Davis is capable of human thought or emotion, he will rue this entire draft...
The cost will suck, definitely, but it's not like they don't have other options for LT on the team - they've got a guy who's already started at LT for the team and done very well. Well enough that there's a escalator in his contract if he ends up at LT. It's a little more dangerous for Buffalo because they don't have the kind of depth that Philly has at offensive line. And it's not like Philly couldn't just eat the cost if worst came to worst.
Do you mean Herremans or Justice? I guess the Eagles will be fine because they have so much o-line depth - but their off-season really has revolved around the o-line revamp, so if Jason Peters ends up being a liability, that will really hurt them. (I don't think that any other LT they have on the roster is a long-term solution).
Anyway, I just think that LT is one of those positions like QB that has so much riding on it that you can't afford to make bad decisions... But, you're right, the Eagles have enough o-line depth that I guess they're pretty covered if Peters is as weak as he was last year...
Herremans, who started for Thomas in 2005 and briefly in 2006 (the final game). He's a perfectly reasonable LT: probably about league-average. Some games he looked just okay at LT, other games he looked fantastic. He looked absolutely great at LT against the Falcons in 2006.
That's why I'm positive that Peters will look better this year than last; they wouldn't've bothered acquiring Peters for that much money if they weren't sure that he's very likely to play better than Herremans.
Verily, me doth enjoy the finest of language used in thine football forum. Evil doers and Packer fans, rue this day.
Denver hiring Josh McDaniels is looking to me like the most rue-able decision.
It almost a shame he doesn't have any young star defensive players to upset.
Yeah... at this point I just feel bad for Denver fans. Even if everything works out fine with Daniels and they field a decent team, on the surface of things this off-season still has to have been just excruciating...
It's likely to get worse, given that Brandon Marshall has reportedly requested a trade.
Maybe the Bears can send Cutler to Denver for Marshall and Orton? I hear they're looking for a QB of the future... :P
Seriously though, if the Bears can entice the Broncos with a second and third rounders, my head would explode from gleefullnes.
oh oh! after that, they can hire shanahan on as an offensive consultant! Just because he doesn't want to do full-time coaching doesn't mean he can't help in training camp and in spot jobs during the season for a spare couple million....
Oh dear lord no. Anything but that!
This whole discussion could realistically be changed to, "which Denver offseason move will be rued?"
Unless someone is giving me odds, my money has to be on the whole Cutler affair. But here are a few other candidates for discussion purposes:
Was anybody else floored by the Jake Delhomme contract extension? 5 years and $20M in guarantees for a 34-year-old QB coming off of one of the worst playoff performances in history?
I could see Green Bay's move to a 3-4 defense ending in ruin and undermining another strong performance from the offense, if the right players don't adjust well to their new responsibilities.
Terrell Owens, as always, has the potential to go nuclear on his new team. But the opportunity cost from Buffalo/Toronto's point of view was pretty low, so I think the regret will be kept to a minimum.
Coaching moves are also always candidates in discussions like this. At least half of the new hires will end up disappointing their teams. McDaniels is already off to a lovely start in Denver, and I don't have a good feeling about how things are going to go for Mangini in Cleveland. And then there are the coaching moves that weren't made-- Childress retained in Minnesota; Wade's Camp Cupcake back again in Dallas.
re Jake: given the cap situation (and the Peppers vapor-lock), that was the really the only thing the Panthers could do. They had to free up some money this year. They pushed money to the uncapped year in 2010, regardless of if he is still playing.
I hope that he can get over the meltdown, and can be a solid (but not exceptional) QB, and can return them to the playoffs.
Here are a few that come to my mind:
Anyone else besides me think that keeping Lewis over Bart Scott in Bmore might be one of those "rue-ful" decisions?
As a Denver fan, the firing Shanny/Cutler fiasco is an obvious one... not sure if it could've played out differently once Shanny was fired (Cutler really forced the team's hand), but the end result could still be ugly. Not sure Bowlen would've been so keen to fire Shanny if he knew losing Cutler was part of the package... everything since then has been kinda pre-determined and/or understandable.
Starting the rookie QBs I think is a good one.
I think bringing in "he who shall not be named" will be a rueful decision if someone (Vikings) actually goes through with it.
How about Oakland going DHB over Crabtree?
I have to go with the entire Broncos offseason. From firing Shannahan, to hiring McDaniels who is looking like the leading candidate for the worst coach of the year, to trading Cutler to the one decision that DEFINITELY was neither pre-determined nor understandable and may turn out to be the worst move in a failure-ridden off-season: trading their own (instead of the Bears', or better yet, a conditional pick, whichever was lowest) first round pick for the last pick of round 2 to take a player with marginal round 3 grades.
And drafting Marino with their first pick is not very defendable either, IMHO. I'm sure hiring McDaniels will haunt Bowlen for a LOOOONG time.
FWIW, it was reported that the team they traded with would not accept the Bears' pick in that trade; only the Broncos'.
Now, whether they still should have made the deal...
Kinda goes to show you what the other teams in the league think of Denver's chances this year.
Am I the only one who gets the impression that the other team was thinking "This is the Broncos and for some reason they want to trade back in. Let's see just how much we can fleece them?"
And it worked. Man, couldn't they just have traded into the begining of the third round and kept next year's pick?
My first thought would actually be the obscene amount paid to Albert Haynesworth, but the Redskins aren't exactly known for regretting their stupididy. If they did, maybe they'd alter their behavior.
Brandon Marshall to the Jacksonville Jaguars for LB Clint Ingram and a 2010 4th Round Pick (NFL)
I dont think Cassell is going to do very well, and I suppose if it were me, and I was in N.E. I would of held onto him. If you lose brady again -- what then?
I think they viewed Kevin O'Connell as having greater upside than Cassell. He was a rookie last year, he's at least now got a season of clipboard-holding under his belt.
So, you don't think Cassell is particularly good (you don't think he's going to do very well), but you also think the Patriots were wrong to let him go? So you think that the Patriots should have paid $14M for a not-very-good QB?
They shouldn't have franchised him to begin with - nobody was going to give him 14mil on the open market. At least then if he gets it - kthxbai Cassel - but if he doesn't get it they can get him back at market value. I watched every snap of his NFL career, including preseason, and let's face it... the guy couldn't find a way to get RANDY MOSS the damn ball. He couldn't complete a pass over 15 yards. Moss would be 3 yards past the CB with the safety squeezing Welker and Cassel would pull it down to run for 6.
No, no one would have given him $14M on the open market, but that's not the issue. Someone would have paid more than a true backup QB is worth.
Therefore, the only way for the Patriots to keep him was to (a) overpay by franchising him, then not trade him, or (b) overpay him (for a backup) on the open market.
The original poster said he believes that Cassell won't be very good in KC, which I can reasonably infer means he's not worth what KC is paying him. The only way he'd still be in New England is if he got the same contract, at least, and there, he'd be a backup. I don't see how the Patriots will regret the move.
I've watched every snap also, and I completely disagree. He found a way to get wes welker the ball 100+ times. He found a way to carry a team with an absymal defense to 11-5.
Yeah, it was great when he'd just chuck the ball over the middle, Welker would have to adjust his route to go get it, and then Welker would eat the linebacker's shoulderpads. It was just as great to see Moss behind the safety waving his arms around like he needs a taxi while the announcer openly wondered if Welker was getting up this time.
You've got a point, but he did run the cleanest 2 minute drill I've ever seen (against the Jets). Seriously, it was more a tribute to the team's execution than anything else but it was absolutely PERFECT. I remember the team just lining up in complete unison play after play with no wasted motion whatsoever.
Does anyone have video of that whole drive? I want to see if it is as good as I remember it.
That 2 minute drill was a great example of the quality of the people around him... all he had to do was communicate the play to them and they all did their jobs perfectly. Cassel only had so much to do with that - and frankly it took him 4 years to get to where he could manage an all pro offense that does everything around him at a high level.
Wait until he has to run that same drill with the Chiefs.
The Panthers' failure to find a resolution to the Peppers situation?
I vote for the Vikings keeping Brad Childress as the worst move of the off-season.
The Eagles thinking that Peters and the revolving door known as Stacy Andrews will help their o-line. They had a great draft, but I think their non-draft OL moves are going to come back to hurt them.
I think he would have done ok with the Pats asa safety net... but I don't think he is going to have any offensive line, any protection, or any decent receivers now. I think Cassell is doomed.
However, as a back-up in New England -- he's perfect. He has a ton of weapons, a great offensive line, and he knows the game plan and the play book, etc etc
As for now, since he is no longer with New England - and he no longer has sucha great supporting cast, I think he's going to get creamed.
But there was no way for the Patriots to keep him around without overpaying. He was a free agent. Their choices were:
(a) franchise him and keep him to back up Brady;
(b) franchise him and trade him;
(c) let him go to free agency and sign him to back up Brady;
(d) let him go and sign elsewhere.
Option (a) would have cost them $14M for a backup quarterback. That's ridiculous, considering they firmly believe Brady will be fully recovered by the season's start.
Option (b) was what they did; it cost them no money (in fact, they got an expensive veteran LB off the books) and gained them a second round pick.
Option (c) would have cost them at least what the Chiefs gave Cassell, which, through Google, I found to be six years, $36M guaranteed. Again, this is expensive for a backup quarterback.
Option (d) would have cost them nothing, but also gained them nothing.
So, due to Cassell being a free agent, the Patriots didn't have a lot of choices. They were either going to lose Cassell or wind up drastically overpaying to keep him as a backup. They wound up losing him, but also gaining a draft pick in the process. I think they did OK.
I never heard that the Chiefs gave Cassel a new deal yet. Do you have a link?
My apologies, I jumped the gun on an article I saw (see Enigma's post #41 below).
I still think it's fair to assume whatever deal Cassell and the Chiefs reach would be ridiculously overpriced for a backup QB, which would have been the case in New England.
I think the worst offseason move is easily the German porn quality cluster-eff that McDaniels made of the Broncos. That is only the start of his plan, folks. In one swift move the guy put himself into Matt Millen territory - not even Millen was Matt Millen until he had screwed up 8-9 times.
You do realize, Cutler asked for a trade before McDaniels was even hired,correct?
Lots of guys ask for trades and then get talked out of it by a competent new head coach. That's his job - his very first number one upfront job - to make sure he and the young franchise QB are on the same page. Instead McDaniels went and tried to trade for a guy who isn't half as good, failed, then told the crybaby franchise QB he already had in hand to suck it up and be the man said QB isn't going to be. McDaniels played every part of that wrong enough to be the failblog posterboy of the offseason.
The reports of Cassel signing a six-year, $36 M deal were erroneous. He has confirmed as much himself per Tom Curran of NBC:
Matt Cassel just texted me this message after I looked for confirmation on the deal he was said to have signed.
"Thank you, but I haven't signed a deal. I don't know where they are getting their info."
Nothing new has come out since then. If anything, one would expect Matt Schaub's deal (six years, $48 M) to be starting point for Cassel's contract.
Denver takes first and second place for a: hiring McDaniels and b: losing Cutler. You decide which order to put them in.
A contender for 3rd place might be the Browns hiring the dynamic duo known as "Mankok". That might prove costly.
Phil Simms is a Cretin.
Tom Brady will rue the day he met that luscious little succubus of his. He once stood alone as undisputed King Of All Men; now he's merely an alarmingly metro-sexual boy toy who nearly drowns in kayak accidents. She has stolen his football soul and devoured it. His mojo is a memory and it's never, ever coming back. It may sound ridiculous now but remember where you heard it first: Brady will not last 8 games in 2009. He will retire after the season and never play again. Etched-in-stone certainty.
If that happens I doubt Brady will be particularly rueful. Patriots yes, Brady no.
Look at his options:
1) Being the meat in a Bubba-Turf sandwich & possibly having your knee "Theismaned" by one of the various linebackers that are faster, stronger & heavier than LT1.
2) Making the beast with two backs with one of the world's mst beautiful women & living off your combined investments - remember she earns more than him...
I know which one sounds a whole lot more palatable to me...
CAPTCHA "Television dolt" - but which one? There's so many...
LT is just LT
Tomlinson is LdT
I'll go ahead and say the Chiefs acquiring Matt Cassel will be rued the most.
The Chiefs gave up a second round pick in acquiring him, were forced to acquire a high-priced, old LB in the deal on a team not likely to actually compete until past said player's departure, and have to pay Cassel $14 million (!!!) this season. All while Cassel is far from a sure thing, isn't under contract past this season, and their other quarterback, who is dirt cheap, seemed to have the light turn on at the end of 2008/9, and would be running in a spread offense under Todd Haley that mimics his collegiate offense.
Seems a little risky.
Some of these moves (Owens, Cassel, keeping Childress etc) will only ruin a season. We need to focus on the Franchise-Killers. IF Stafford busts on a hugh contract that will be rued (but can you rue killin a franchise that's barely alive?).
Seems to me that McDaniels is out on his own with that one.
Five years from now, will the failure to come up with a Collective Bargaining Agreement be the the most rued? When the NFL contracts by 4 teams due to banktuptcy and top four teams buy up all of the big talent?
When the NFL contracts by 4 teams due to banktuptcy and top four teams buy up all of the big talent?
But the Redskins are only one team...
I was including the rest of the NFC East, as well.
Firing Shanahan, because it directly led to everything else (the hiring of McDaniels, the loss of Cutler, the impending loss of Marshall, the changing of the offensive scheme, the drafting of Moreno, and most overlooked- the loss of the scouting department that was responsible for acquiring Cutler, Scheffler, Marshall, Kuper, Harris, Clady, Royal, Hillis, Dumervil, and Wesley Woodyard... all in the last 3 years).
If I can't pick Shanahan for the domino effect, then I'm going with firing the Goodmans (the guys who brought us pretty much the entire '08 Broncos offense, and the only two quality pieces on the entire '08 Broncos defense) in favor of a capologist, and then entering the draft with a first-time head coach, half a scouting department, and only 100 names.
Another vote for hiring McDaniels. Realistically, of course this excercise should have been conducted next March or so... Anyhoo, when you put together the Cutler situation and the cover-your-eyes awful draft decisions this IMO has to be the clubhouse leader.
On a slightly different topic, anyone else noticing that the BB coaching tree is having about the same amount of success as the Jimmy Johnson coaching tree?
© Football Outsiders, Inc. // Site powered by Stein-Wein // Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties