Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Mar 2007

Dolphins Give Joey Porter $32 Million

The Miami Dolphins have signed former Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter to a five-year, $32 million deal, including $20 million in guarantees. The three-time Pro Bowler will play opposite Jason Taylor in Miami's 3-4 defense. With Porter gone, the Steelers have very little depth at linebacker, which explains why Tully Banta-Cain will visit Pittsburgh tomorrow.

UPDATE: Check that, Banta-Cain has signed with the 49ers.

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 06 Mar 2007

120 comments, Last at 12 Mar 2007, 8:39pm by pharmboyrick

Comments

1
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 3:33pm

The Dolphins desperately needed another aging player.

Still, I do like this signing for a year or two - especially with a player with a lot of experiencein the 3-4 who can help the other guys transition.

2
by Mike D (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 3:34pm

ESPN is reporting Banta-Cain signed w/ the 49ers.

3
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 3:35pm

1.

I agree, its a decent pickup, except they basically paid what the Patriots did for Thomas.

4
by Marko (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 3:38pm

I doubt that Tully Banta-Cain will visit Pittsburgh tomorrow, considering that he reportedly has agreed to terms with the 49ers. Click on my name for the story.

5
by Charles the Philly Homer (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 3:39pm

Now THAT is a guarantee percentage.

6
by GlennW (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 3:44pm

> "I agree, its a decent pickup, except they basically paid what the Patriots did for Thomas."

Is that wildly out of line? The players are the exact same age, and imo Porter has been the better player over his career, although Thomas may have more left in the tank. I'm not sure that there's that big a difference, except for the fact that Porter was cut (for only marginally justifiable reasons) and that looks bad.

7
by PaulH (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 3:45pm

Another huge contract by the Dolphins for an aging defensive player who is arguably starting to decline?

It seems like they would have learned their lesson by now, but I suppose not.

It's reasons like that why the Dolphins haven't won anything in forever and why that organization has all of the appearance of a train wreck.

I imagine the Dolphins will soon come to regret making about 60% of this 32 million dollar contract guaranteed money.

8
by cd6 (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 3:49pm

Jason Taylor from one side and Joey Porter from the other? Sucks to be the other AFC East QBs.

9
by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 3:51pm

Would Steeler fans have preferred to keep Porter for this money?

10
by Charles the Philly Homer (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 3:57pm

8:

This time next season we'll be talking about how the two of them have lost more steps than Rocky Balboa can climb.

11
by steelberger1 (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 3:58pm

RE 9: Uh...no the Steelers wouldnt have kept him for this money...they dont have the cap room. If they did have the cap room...doubtful, but they dont overpay for anyone.

I dont see why signing Thomas to the same deal was the "best acquisition of the offseason", yet signing Porter was a waste because he is an aging player.

Newsflash...they are about 5 months apart in age fellas and I have to agree that Porter has been much more dominant in his career.

Joey may be starting to decline, maybe not. He had a bad year during a season when everyone else on the team had a bad year.

I think this is a great pickup for the Fins. Congrats on the payday Joey.

RE 8: You aint kiddin.

12
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:03pm

6

Yes, they are both about the same age, etc. Theres a major difference though: Porter is starting to show obvious signs of physical decline. Thomas isnt.

13
by steelberger1 (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:05pm

what signs are those exactly?

14
by Ted (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:11pm

The signs were that he could not beat a tackle to the quarterback all year. His only sacks were scheme sacks when he beat a running back or TE. Watch the home Baltimore game, got owned by Jamal Lewis and was stonewalled by Adam Terry, a rookie RT making his first career start. It was terrible. Porter hasn't done anything for two years except last year's playoff run.

15
by GlennW (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:12pm

> "Would Steeler fans have preferred to keep Porter for this money?"

Not this money, but for the one remaining contract year at $5m, yes. (That's me speaking, not a consensus of Steelers fans or anything.)

16
by steelberger1 (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:12pm

The news of Joey Porters demise has been vastly overstated IMO.

He led his team in sacks, got 2 picks, 1 TD, and 5 passes defensed. That is an obvious sign of physical decline? Not to mention that he missed 2 games this year and his entire team didnt perform well.

17
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:13pm

Hey Pat, how are the finances on this new OLB?

People are saying that Porter is showing "obvious" signs of decline while Thomas is " fresher" as if it's some fact or something.

I think since people just learned about Thomas 1-2 years ago, and they are already " sick" or Porter, they think that Thomas is younger and " fresher". There is an argument that since he was a backup he is " fresher" which supports that argument. Do you think Thomas was just laying on the bech while Porter was bashing his head against a brick wall? I'm glad some people are calling out this questionable logic.

18
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:15pm

Steelberger, I'm with you. Porter is now seen as a washed up old vet, while a guy the same age that " jumped onto the scene" is a smart vet pickup for the Pats.

They are the same age but one guy is old and washed up ( while leading his team in sacks), while Thomas is Deion Sanders playing Corner, Ted Washington at NT, Ray Lewis's brother at LB, and Ed Reeds clone at S.

19
by Andy (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:15pm

#7:

The Dolphins D has been excellent in recent years. The "aging players" on D (Kevin Carter, Keith Traylor, Vonnie Holday, Jason Taylor, and Zach Thomas) all played at an extremely high level last year.

So what lesson were they supposed to learn? Joey Porter is 30 and he's a freaking beast.

I like this signing A LOT.

And I like the Welker trade. Welker is a nice player and that's about it. I'd much rather have the #60 pick in the draft. The seventh rounder was icing on the cake.

Maybe I'm a homer (of course I'm a homer), but I can't criticize any of Miami's offseason moves (even cutting McMichael). If we can trade Chambers for a 2nd rounder, I'll be extatic!

20
by steelberger1 (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:16pm

Re 14: And when NFL personell say the same thing about Thomas (that he isnt a good on run d, he cant beat tackles, he benefited from the players around him)....that isnt true? That is just Patriots haters talking?

21
by Eddo (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:17pm

17: Chris, I definitely agree with you here. Something tells me the Steelers will regret cutting Porter.
Personally, I'd prefer a guy who has consistently been a very good OLB (Porter) over a guy who all of the sudden has a career year in his walk year at age 29-30 (Thomas).

22
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:18pm

8

I doubt their that worried. Blitzing only works if you have an even remotely competent secondary.

The Dolphins desperately need more youth. I sort of like the Joey Porter signing, but that team is getting old in a big way. Who on the Dolphins would you say is young and talented, or shows much promise for the future? Ronnie Brown. Wes Welker before he got traded away.

23
by steelberger1 (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:29pm

22: How many times did Brady get his lunch handed to him in the 2nd Miami game last year?

Miami had a very good pass rush last year (3rd in sacks), and adding Porter isnt going to hurt it.

24
by tim (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:31pm

LB's Ages in '07:

New England:
Bruschi - 34
Vrabel - 32
Colvin - 30
Thomas - 30

Ravens:
Lewis - 32
Scott - 27
Suggs - 25
?? - ??

Steelers:
Haggans - 30
Farrior - 32
Foote - 27
?? - ??

Miami:
Thomas - 34
Porter - 30
Spragan - 29
Crowder - 24
(Taylor) - 33

Ind. Stats (Tkl, Ast, Sack, Int, FF, PD, TDs)

A. Thomas - 64, 19, 11, 1, 0, 6, 1

J. Porter - 40, 15, 7, 2, 0, 3, 1

Cost:
$20 million guaranteed, $35 over 5 years

vs.

$20 million guaranteed, 32.5 over 5 years

Oh no, Miami's aging!! Miami makes stupid Defensive signings! Uh huh. (Or maybe Miami has one of the scariest LB Corps in the '07 season!)

Also, is Porter declining and A. Thomas ascending or were Polamalu taking over the Steeler's D while Ray Lewis is declining in Baltimore? (Yes, you don't want Joey in coverage, but that's what JT is for.)

25
by steelberger1 (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:38pm

Porter isnt awful in coverage...he isnt great, but I wouldnt consider him a liability.

26
by cd6 (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:39pm

22

I'll just second what post 23 said.

Also, I'll suggest that the only people more troubled by this signing than opposing QBs will be anyone in Miami who owns a miniature horse.

27
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:42pm

Good call tim. I'm glad people are getting called out for their comments.

I guarantee you next week Peter King won't be nearly as thrilled about the Joey Signing in Miami. He will either use that same argument that Miami " got older and overpaid" or he will say that Joey isn't a good "fit" for the team. Sort of like how he said Aaron brooks cares more about money than football. Peter King make some condescending comment about Porters mouth or his character. Forget that Porter and Thomas are virtually the same age, and getting the same money, but PK won't be nearly as thrilled.

28
by tim (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:43pm

Young (Promising) players in Miami (D only):

Channing Crowder, OLB - 24
(Derrick Pope, MLB - 25)
(little used, little experience because of LB depth, possibly equal to A.T. 3-4 years ago -- looked amazing in '04 subbing for injured Zach)
Matt Roth, DE - 24
Fred Evans, DT - 23
Kevin Vickerson, DT - 24
J. Allen, DB - 24 (yet to show potential)

29
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:46pm

Does anybody want to turn back the clock and remember what people were saying about Miami last year?

They brought in Daunte Mcnabbfumblepepper and they were supposed to be a "suprise" team that was going to overtake New England for the AFC East.

If anybody trades NFL futures, they will remember that the Dolphins odds fell through the floor and they went from a "sleeper team" to basically one of the favorites as according to the odds.

Oh what a season makes. I seem to remember ESPN touting Washington as the most complete team in the NFC as well ( that addressed all of their needs). Something tells me they aren't as high on Adam Archuleta, Brandon Lloyd, and Christian Fauria this season.

30
by Andy (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:50pm

#29:

What is your point?

31
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:52pm

I never said Porter was a bad signing. I do like the signing - I think the Pats will get more out of Thomas then the Fins will out of Porter, but I still don't think it's a bad signing.

My comments on them aging is that eventually, the team will reach a point when they're going to break down - through injuries, declining physical skills. and I think a lack of youth is going to kill that team in a year or two.

Players get old. When they get old, they get slower and they get hurt. You can't always just hope that next year it won't happen - and in my opinion, the Dolphins look like they're doing just that.

32
by GlennW (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 4:54pm

I can see the difference between the Patriots' and Dolphins' situations being that the Pats were just a couple pieces away from returning to the Super Bowl, whereas perhaps the money could have been better spent by the Dolphins towards the future. But only perhaps; if the Dolphins don't have many other viable options, then yeah, try to improve the team as much as you can in the shortterm.

33
by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:00pm

Thanks for the opinions on Porter, Steeler fans.

I think this is a good signing by the Dolphins. But from my perspective, it's kind of hard to tell how much difference it will make against the Pats offense, given how they play against the Dolphins no matter who's in there. :)

34
by J (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:02pm

#24 -- Well, first of all, the Dolphins have already cut Spragan. Secondly, age is considered a bigger problem on the Dolphins' D because they've got age issues around all the front 7, not just at LB.

Over the last few years, they've taken on a bunch of older guys on the D-line (Carter, Traylor, Wilkinson, Zgonina, Holliday) and this year, they've already cut or traded away 3 of them... and it's not like they've got a bunch of talented young guys to take their place.

At least the Pats have a d-line that's both very good, and very young, to help take some pressure off their older linebackers.

And finally, the Pats and Dolphins are in two very different positions -- what would be a good signing for one isn't necessarily good for the other. The Pats have been consistent contenders for a while now, and were pretty damn close to appearing in their 4th SB in 5 years last season. For them to pick up a guy who fits perfectly w/ their scheme at their biggest area of need who's got another 2,3, 4 good years left... that's a good idea for them.

For the Dolphins, who are still probably a few years away from serious contention, signing a 30 year old LB makes less sense.

35
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:03pm

#30- I was just looking back on what a year makes for the Dolphins. Those same fins that just signed Joey Porter. Is that allowed?

36
by GlennW (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:03pm

Btw, the Dolphins again return to Pittsburgh this season, which should be mildly entertaining...

37
by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:08pm

Oh, forgot to say: I think it's Thomas' versatility that will allow the Pats to get somewhat more out of him than the Phins will get out of Porter. I don't think age is a factor. I don't think either signing is out of line financially with the return.

Clearly the Dolphins have decided they can make some moves and come back swinging, rather than needing to rebuild, so this signing is in line with that strategy. Will the Phins go strictly 3-4 at this point, I wonder?

38
by tim (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:12pm

GlennW, your comment suggests that either of these deals are big blockbusters that will keep these teams from making big signings in years to come.

I don't see it. The $20 mill guaranteed is a lot, but not much for LBs that would be the #1 defensive player on 20 other teams.

Yes, Miami is ditching alot of players, but I think this has more to do with Return on Investment with respect to defensive players, Welker an undrafted player for a #2 and #7 was too good to pass up and was only worth initially a 2-tier tender, and McMichael had a big bonus coming and I think Cameron wants to go in a different direction at TE and send a message (to the whole receiver corps) about conduct and dropped passes.

When you consider Clements, the OL signings, etc..., these are two of the most valuable and VALUED free agents. No matter how close they are to the Super Bowl, Miami signed a huge asset at a slight premium.

39
by seamus (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:13pm

The Dolphins front 7 is full of older guys, and has been for years.

The Dolphins front 7 is the strongest unit on the team, and has been for years. A defense full of 30-somethings can easily be one of the NFL's top 5.

So who cares if Porter is 30? If you sign a 23-year-old, he's just as likely to be gone in 5 years due to injury or free agency.

40
by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:16pm

#30- I was just looking back on what a year makes for the Dolphins. Those same fins that just signed Joey Porter. Is that allowed?

Sure. The only thing is the tone of your writing and some of your exaggerated words suggest that you're not simply looking back, but instead arguing with someone. Since half the time nobody's arguing with you, it ends up looking like Ed Norton in the parking lot scene from Fight Club.

41
by mmm... sacrilicious (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:16pm

#28:
Show me the day when Evans, Vickerson, and Pope are starting and I'll show you the day when the Dolphins' D ain't that good anymore.

Every team has its young players with "potential". Few of them pan out.

42
by Andy (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:24pm

#30:

I legitimately did not know what your point was.

#41. I hate to agree with you. Vickerson got cut too, by the way.

43
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:29pm

40- The first rule about Fight club is NOT to talk about fight club.

Seamus- I always think about that. Teams always want young guys to " build for the future" in all sports, but how often does that young guy play out his future elsewhere?

Griffey and A-Rod were supposed to be the bright future for the M's but neither are a Mariner.

Joey Harrington and Charlie Batch were supposed to be the future Quarterbacks in Detroit but where is there future?

I agree that a 22 year old can also be gone in 5 years just like a 30 year old.

NFL is the kind of a league where teams are constantly redefining themselves. The future is NOW. The Rams can go from 400-1 odds to win the superbowl, to favorites the very next season, based on the work of a former baggage boy at the super market.

The Bears stunk a few years ago, but they have been the kinds of the NFC the past 2 years.

2 years is eternity in the NFL, and there will always be " suprise teams".

Joey might not be a Dolphin in 3 years, just like the younger Ed Reed might not be a "future" Raven. He might get some mega deal by some other team.

44
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:29pm

39

That front 7 is really old. and it hasn't been really old "for years". but its core players are the ones that are getting close to the point where retirement and ineffectiveness start coming into the picture. Jason Taylor is coming off a career year - but it's just that, the best year of his career. It can't be assumed he'll come right out and do just as well again this year.

Which defense full of 30 somethings has been in the top 5? The Pats had an ancient LB core but were pretty young at most of their other positions, and had an offense. The Bucs were ancient across the board - and they played like it.

We've all seen this happen to teams before, where over the course of a year, their team just explodes, and it's especially true on Defense - the statistics on this site even show that defense is more variable then offense. The Redskins went from a top defensive unit to one of the worst in the league. The Bucs went from effective to worthless. All it takes is a couple injuries to certain players - and those injuries are more common and stick around with older players - and you wind up with an ineffective unit.

Might the Dolphins come out and play just as well next year? Maybe. But they're going to have a lot of front 7 players breaking down at once soon, and when that happens, they better hope their O is at Colts-like levels if they want to remain competitive.

45
by Ron Mexico (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:30pm

41- Potential isn't worth a damn.

46
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:32pm

Hey Pat, how are the finances on this new OLB?

Hell if I know. There's no way this contract is what it appears on its face, but without seeing the details, who the devil knows what it is.

A 4 year, guaranteed contract worth $20M total wouldn't be pretty cheap for Porter, actually.

47
by Skin Patrol (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:34pm

12M signing bonus

48
by Israel (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:40pm

#34 The Pats have been consistent contenders for a while now, and were pretty damn close to appearing in their 4th SB in 5 years last season.

T'would've been fourth in six years.

49
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:43pm

I don't think this is a particularly good deal for Miami. Not because I'm convinced Porter is declining, but because I'm pretty convinced that the Steelers are usually right about personell decisions. I'm sure the Steelers have let players go that have gone on to have big careers elsewhere, but I can't remember the last time it happened. More fresh in the memory are Randle-El, Kendrell Bell, Kimo von O. Steeler linebackers, in particular, seem to struggle when they leave Pittsburgh.

50
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:45pm

Players get old. When they get old, they get slower and they get hurt. You can’t always just hope that next year it won’t happen - and in my opinion, the Dolphins look like they’re doing just that.

And in sports, athletes and teams tend to get old suddenly, and it's not pretty.

51
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:46pm

"At least the Pats have a d-line that’s both very good, and very young, to help take some pressure off their older linebackers."

Thats exactly it. The pats, other than their linebackers, are VERY young. Most of the guys are still on their first contract. Theyre also ready to win now, so signing a vet to big money at a weak spot is a decent idea.

The dolphins on the other hand, just traded away young talent, and then signed a veteran to big money who will probably retire before theyre competitive again.

52
by hwc (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:50pm

Jason Taylor from one side and Joey Porter from the other? Sucks to be the other AFC East QBs.

Not if you can hit Wes Welker on a quick hot-read slant.

53
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:54pm

#47: Thus implying there's an $8M option bonus backed somehow if not taken. The question is, how is it backed?

If it's a $12M signing bonus (plus min salary), with an $8M option bonus that if not taken turns into a series of $2M, $2M, $3M guaranteed salaries, that'd actually be pretty cheap.

54
by tim (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 5:59pm

"Over the last few years, they’ve taken on a bunch of older guys on the D-line ... and this year, they’ve already cut or traded away 3 of them… and it’s not like they’ve got a bunch of talented young guys to take their place."

Wait, they need to get younger, but now you fault them for cutting the old guys?

Yes, they picked up Wilkinson as insurance for Traylor last year for cheap and they traded him for a sixth. Horrible!

They held onto Holliday, and let Carter, Traylor, Zgonina go. And?

(Sorry, I missed Spragan and Vickerson leaving in all the recent moves.)

That leaves Rodrique Wright, Fred Evans, (and maybe Manny Wright), and Holliday on the line. Wright and Evans do have and have shown talent... they also have seen little play time behind the old stalwarts.

And Miami is positioned to get Alan Branch or Amobi Okoye with #9.

So it's not Wilfork and Seymour. But Ty Warren and Jarvis Green aren't anything special...

So... NE's LBs are older and more likely to suffer major injury than Miami's LBs. Miami's line is completely unknown but young (with the exception of Holliday) and an obvious area for improvement in the draft.

For the cost, not significant considering the necessary rebuilding anyway, it's a GREAT move. That's my point.

55
by hwc (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 6:00pm

Personally, I’d prefer a guy who has consistently been a very good OLB (Porter) over a guy who all of the sudden has a career year in his walk year at age 29-30 (Thomas).

I don't know where people are getting the idea that A. Thomas has only had one good year.

His stats are available at nfl.com and elsewhere. He has strung together three excellent years -- in sacks, in passes defensed, in tackles, etc.

Don't forget that he has also been named to a Pro Bowl as a special teams player.

56
by tim (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 6:01pm

Evans is very likely to start this year so we'll see. Pope played great against the Pats, but they threw that game two years ago, right? I think, with very limited exposure, Matt Roth is already proving to be another great End.

I agree potential is just that. And NE completely rebuilt their Defensive front over the last 4 years (Warren -'03 and Wilfork -'04). Miami is doing it this year, but they've got 2-3 young guys who didn't have to start right away.

But in addition to the potential of young players that don't start, you have to consider young players who don't start because of extreme talent in front of them - Traylor, Thomas, etc.

(It's not as if I've even remotely suggested that Miami is a team in contention... I've just suggested that it's nearly an equally strong acquisition. What I have a problem with is the notion that, since the Pats rebuilt their front 3 years ago and usually don't spend money, this is brilliant... while their LBs are still old and lacking depth, and Miami who has acquired older FAs who still deliver, are repeating the same problem or even getting worse while consistently having a strong Defense, a very necessary element in the AFC East.

57
by johonny (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 6:04pm

So he's going to play TE/Slot reciever/outside linebacker/left tackle and quarterback? Woot superbowl!

58
by Ron Mexico (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 6:04pm

49- What are your thoughts on Plaxico Burress? He has all the physical talent but drops balls, wants the ball every play, commits dumb penalties, quits on routes, and is a mouthy pre-madonna. I am not sure a guy like Plax ( who is very physically gifted) would take, taking a backseat to a guy like Hines Ward in a receivers corps.

Plax and Joey Porter don't break Laws, but them seem to talk too much for the steelers and their image.

When I think of the Steelers I think of a classy and old fashioned organization that doesn't have hot dogs on their team, and builds through the draft. They don't really sign many free agents, or big name free agents, and always seems to be losing people.

59
by Skin Patrol (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 6:10pm

Pat-

"If it’s a $12M signing bonus (plus min salary), with an $8M option bonus that if not taken turns into a series of $2M, $2M, $3M guaranteed salaries, that’d actually be pretty cheap."

I find this scenario unlikely, based on my limited understanding of the motivation of contracts from a player's perspective. Adam Archuleta's contract had the poison pill that does precisely what you state above because his agent knew the contract was structured in such a way that the 'Skins planned on voiding prior to its completion. You put in a poison pill like that to protect your money. The pill has to be more expensive than the actual consequences for that to be effective, thus why Archuleta's 5M option bonus turned into 5.6M guaranteed salary. It made less sense for the team to refuse the option because it would cost them more. If it was less, they've got less incentive to ignore the option.

If the option is 8M than the guaranteed money would be more than 2+2+3=7M, in my opinion.

Whether that changes how cheap the contract is in anyone else's opinion I haven't the foggiest. I wouldn't presume the evaluate the financial sense of a contract without knowing the specific team needs, systems, players, etc. involved. I'm not that familiar with any of the principals involved.

60
by Matt Weiner (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 6:19pm

49: I’m sure the Steelers have let players go that have gone on to have big careers elsewhere

Vrabel, for sure. Before that, Kevin Greene had 52 sacks in four seasons after the Steelers let him go in '96; that seems more like an analogous situation, since Vrabel didn't play much. But usually the Steelers seem to do a pretty good job of letting their LBs go at the right time -- Gildon, Holmes, Kirkland as well as Bell didn't do much elsewhere. (Did they?)

61
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 6:23pm

#58: that should've said $2M, $3M, $3M.

Adam Archuleta’s contract had the poison pill that does precisely what you state above because his agent knew the contract was structured in such a way that the ‘Skins planned on voiding prior to its completion.

Yes, exactly, which is what I think Porter's will be as well.

It made less sense for the team to refuse the option because it would cost them more. If it was less, they’ve got less incentive to ignore the option.

It doesn't cost them more. It costs them less. On a 3 year timescale. On a 1-year timescale, it costs them more. But if they were to decline the option, and keep him, Archuleta's contract turns into a 4-year, ~$10-12M contract.

If they were to exercise the option, in 4 years, he'd have made $17M.

In addition, just to make things even nicer - they can trade Archuleta, and all they're on the hook for is his signing bonus. Considering his salaries are relatively cheap ($1M, $1M, $3.6M) it's no big deal for the other team, and Archuleta might sign a new contract (voiding the old guarantees) for a bit more money.

62
by Ron Mexico (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 6:24pm

Do you guys remember Gregg Lloyd? Those Steeler fans loved him and I loved those " Avoid Lloyd" banners they used to put up at 3 rivers.

63
by Al 45 (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 6:24pm

re: 54

So it’s not Wilfork and Seymour. But Ty Warren and Jarvis Green aren’t anything special…

I'm sorry, but I can't tell if this is tongue in cheek or not. Are you really suggesting Ty Warren isn't anything special?

I really hope I was reading that wrong and you were somehow being sarcastic.

64
by tim (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 6:25pm

"Jason Taylor is coming off a career year - but it’s just that, the best year of his career. It can’t be assumed he’ll come right out and do just as well again this year."

Really?

Year/Tkl/Scks/Int/FF/Pass Def/TD

2000,37,14.5,1,2,5,1
2001,47,8.5,1,4,6,1
2002,45,18.5,0,7,8,1
2003,37,13,0,3,2,1
2004,40,9.5,1,2,9,0
2005,52,12,0,4,9,1
2006,40,13.5,2,9,8,2

Seems pretty damn consistent. I think maybe you are mistaking the press giving him a lot of attention for a string of 3 out of 4 games, where he delivered some thrilling highlights over all other defensive players, for one career year.

65
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 6:34pm

I wasn't saying that A. Thomas just had 1 good year. What I was saying is that he's just received that press recently, and since he is still "new" to fans they equate him to being "young". On the other hand, Joey Porter has been in the limelight a while and is seen as "old" even though they are the same age.

66
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 6:36pm

Re: 57

I hadn't thought of Burress, but his traditional stats certainly look better than his FO stats. His DVOA last year was just 1.3%. Not particularly impressive but still 44th in the league.

Net, I don't think the guy is an elite receiver or even an average #1, but he is a productive starter. I suspect you the reasons he was allowed to leave have more to do with the issues you outlined than with receiving production.

67
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 6:48pm

Mawbrew- I think Burress "could" be a top notch WR but I don't see the guy pieceing it all together. I think it's a big risk for the Giants to have Burress and shockey on the same team. There are a lot of premadonna receivers in the league NOT named Owens and the Giants have two of them on the same team.

I think the deceptive thing about Burress is that sometimes he can make that amazing jump ball catch that makes sportscenter, but the sportscenter viewers also don't get to see the drops, penalties and times when he quits on a route, or deflects a pass that gets picked off. I guess you could call it the Barry Sanders/ Mike Vick/Dwight freeney syndrome. Every highlight makes TV, but we don't get to see the negatives that go along with that player so fans have this enhanced view of the guy. Barry Sanders was a Great ( not good) player, but if I never watched a game and only watched highlights I would think the guy runs 55 yards for a TD on every carry. He certainly had his share of "no gains" to go along with those magnificant touchdowns.

68
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 6:51pm

"I’m sorry, but I can’t tell if this is tongue in cheek or not. Are you really suggesting Ty Warren isn’t anything special?"

63, I hope hes being tongue in cheek. I really am starting to think that Ty Warren is a better end than Seymour is. And thats seriously saying something.

Jarvis Green would start on most teams. Hes a decent run stopper, and a great pass rusher. He just isnt as good as Seymour/Warren.

69
by GlennW (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 7:01pm

> "If it’s a $12M signing bonus (plus min salary), with an $8M option bonus that if not taken turns into a series of $2M, $2M, $3M guaranteed salaries, that’d actually be pretty cheap."

Pat, didn't you just say (in .46) that even a 4-year $20m contract wouldn't be cheap? I don't think it is anyway, particularly, but I also don't believe that all these "guaranteed" numbers we're seeing represent the number that will actually be paid out (i.e. the absolute minimum that the contract allows for). Maybe closer to the average of the guaranteed number and the total potential value... why again would the team ever exercise the option bonus and make the cash payment as opposed to paying out the lower salaries over time (in this case eliminating the additional $12m in the deal)?

70
by Skin Patrol (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 7:08pm

"It doesn’t cost them more. It costs them less. On a 3 year timescale. On a 1-year timescale, it costs them more. But if they were to decline the option, and keep him, Archuleta’s contract turns into a 4-year, ~$10-12M contract.

If they were to exercise the option, in 4 years, he’d have made $17M."

I only really view it based on the amount of money it costs the team to cut him. Excercising the option and then cutting him costs the team the 5M option and then the remaining 4M of signing bonus left, or 9M. Not exercising the option (by cutting him, for instance) costs the team 9.6M.

I understand that the option excercised adds 5M to what they pay, but the team doesn't have to pay him the base salary.

The only way the roster bonus costs more is if the team plays him throughout his contract. None of that changes the definition of guaranteed money vs. unguaranteed money.

"In addition, just to make things even nicer - they can trade Archuleta, and all they’re on the hook for is his signing bonus. Considering his salaries are relatively cheap ($1M, $1M, $3.6M) it’s no big deal for the other team, and Archuleta might sign a new contract (voiding the old guarantees) for a bit more money."

Can you void guaranteed money? How exactly? (Serious question as I'm curious; I've heard of players buying out of their contracts but from what I gather new contracts don't void the old guaranteed money. Mark Brunell took a pay cut by signing a new deal, but the guaranteed money from his old contract is still going to cost the Redskins no matter what.)

71
by Reinhard (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 7:12pm

I remember an interview where Huizenga was saying: "I want to win, I want to own a winning franchise, I don't care what it takes, I don't care what it costs."

Personally, I don't think 30 is that old, I would definitely trust Joey Porter to continue to play at a high level for at least 4 more years, and it is too hard to plan past 4 years into the future.

72
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 7:18pm

#69: Typo. Should've said "would be cheap."

why again would the team ever exercise the option bonus and make the cash payment as opposed to paying out the lower salaries over time

Not exercising the option voids the extra year. Depends if they want to keep him or not.

I only really view it based on the amount of money it costs the team to cut him.

And that's where I'm saying I disagree. Realistically, no one cuts a free agent player until at least three years in (unless you're the Falcons or Giants, apparently). So if you look at the contract as "4 years, $12M, with a $5M option (due in the second year) for 3 additional years at $5-6M/year" - the fact that the first 4 years are guaranteed is basically meaningless.

In this case, think of it as probably a guaranteed 4 year, $20M contract with an option for an additional year at $12M.

Can you void guaranteed money? How exactly?

The guaranteed future salary merely states that if the team terminates the contract, they'll still pay you. If you terminate the contract by retiring, they're no longer obligated to pay you.

If you don't pass a physical at the beginning of the year, in addition, you don't progress in your contract if it wasn't due to a football injury.

Plus, of course, if you trade someone, all future salaries/options are due to the new team, not the old team.

73
by MJK (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 7:21pm

Don't have a chance to read over the whole thread right now (only made it to about post 24, and my boss is coming in in a minute or two), so apologies if I say something that's been said already.

The main differences between the Pats signing Thomas and the Phins signing Porter:

Age - Yes, chronologically, they're almost the same age, but:
Total games played in:
Porter - 122
Thomas - 96
Total tackles+assists (i.e. at least the number of times siad player has slammed into another large man at high speeds):
Porter: 461
Thomas: 371

In football wear and tear terms, Porter is about 25% older than Thomas.

Secondly, the Pats LB corps was deteriorating fast and in desparate need of an upgrade, especially in the coverage department. Except for maybe WR, it was probably the weakest aspect of the whole team, and the rest of the team was reasonably sound. So they spent a lot of money to bring in an accomplished veteran LB that specializes in coverage.

The Miami LB corps was actually pretty decent, especially its pass rush, and was one of the few areas that, in my opinion, was not screaming for an upgrade. QB, WR, TE, O-line, secondary--a lot of needs. So Miami spends a lot of money to bring in an accomplished veteran LB that specializes as a pass rusher.

Even if both Thomas and Porter were exactly equally as good and exactly equally likely to decline (which I do not believe is true), I have to vote for the Patriots making the better signign because for the same amount of money they helped their team more.

That being said, I don't think this is a bad signing for Miami. I'm a NE fan and I'm now dreading the two games against Miami. Even if they can't beat NE, they can pretty much knock Brady's head off for 3 hours, and that's not a good thing. Assuming that Porter isn't completely washed up (I don't think he is) and that Taylor doesn't majorly regress (I don't think he will), it's a bad year for QB's to be facing the Dolphins. I hope the Phins CB's can cover, because they're going to be seeing a lot of max-protects...

74
by James, London (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 7:26pm

Cap and salary ramifications aside, what's interesting about the Porter signing is what it says about the Dolphins belief in Culpepper.

If you think Culpepper isn't going to be effective, you don't sign a veteran LB. What you do is cut or trade the vets you already have an start again.

OTOH, if you believe that Culpepper is going to return to his 2003-04 form, then it you keep a veteran D together, hope it can hold up for one more season and see what happens.

The Porter signing leads me to believe that the 'Fins FO (and Head Coach) think that Culpepper is going to return to Top 10 QB form and that they'll contend for the post-season next year.

As a 'Fins fan I'd like to believe it but it's difficult to see. Among other things they'll need an O-line and the AFC East is getting easier.

75
by GlennW (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 7:29pm

> "Not exercising the option voids the extra year. Depends if they want to keep him or not."

Okay, then this is where I have the problem. The option bonus decision at the beginning of Year 2 to void Year 5 of a 30-year-old Joey Porter's contract at a total savings of $12m is automatic (actually, it would be for anyone at $12m). Is there really this much "for bragging purposes only" in these contracts? I understand that the back end of contracts are often fictional, but I thought that the final-year decision was usually deferred until close to that time such that if the player really produces, there's at least a chance that he could earn that money. Isn't there some kind of tradeoff involved somewhere?

76
by Skin Patrol (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 7:38pm

Pat-

"In this case, think of it as probably a guaranteed 4 year, $20M contract with an option for an additional year at $12M."

But the Redskins want to cut him but won't only because of the guaranteed money. I never think of the guarantee portion in terms of years either.

The Redskins signed Archuleta to a 10M guaranteed deal that paid out around 600K, 600K, 1M, 4M, 5M, 6M, 5M like that. It could've cost them 5.6MK in the 2nd year or else (my understanding) guaranteed the salary. Meaning it doesn't change from where it is paid out, it simply means that the team owes 5.6M IF they cut him. If they don't it's paid out like normal.

So yea, like 12M in 4 years if the option is excercised. That's pretty cheap, we agree, although I'm the surprised one because Pat is saying the Redskins signed a smart contract.

The funny part is how that 10M guaranteed is paid out. You can only chip 1M of that 5M signing bonus away a year and either ditch 5M of it in year 2 or else pay out 5.6M (which you'll likely pay a lot of anyways if you choose not to excercise the option).

"The guaranteed future salary merely states that if the team terminates the contract, they’ll still pay you. If you terminate the contract by retiring, they’re no longer obligated to pay you.

If you don’t pass a physical at the beginning of the year, in addition, you don’t progress in your contract if it wasn’t due to a football injury.

Plus, of course, if you trade someone, all future salaries/options are due to the new team, not the old team."

1. I don't think any player signs a contract like the one Archuleta did with the intention of retiring before they're paid the guaranteed money.

2. I don't think any player signed a contract like the one Archuleta did with the intention of failing a physical.

3. In this case it wouldn't make a difference. Even if future options are due the new team, trading a player before you've excercised their option means you've failed to excercise the option (meaning 5.6M becomes guaranteed) meaning you have to pay that in accordance with the trade/cut rules -- if pre June 1st X if after June 1st bla bla bla. Conditional clauses that lead to guaranteed money do not go to the new team. I do not think trades can affect the amount of guaranteed money in a contract.

77
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 7:43pm

I should note that I don't know that's actually what the contract is. That's just a complete and utter guess.

I understand that the back end of contracts are often fictional, but I thought that the final-year decision was usually deferred until close to that time such that if the player really produces, there’s at least a chance that he could earn that money. Isn’t there some kind of tradeoff involved somewhere?

I don't think turning down that option bonus is as automatic as you think. For one thing, the $12M extra wouldn't be that big a deal - it's one contract year, plus money spread over 3 others.

78
by johnt (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 7:44pm

Its especially ironic that people like the Thomas signing and not the Porter signing for reasons of "versatility". Porter is one of the very best 3-4 cover OLBs in the league. Even when his pass rush has tailed off (and it has), he has remained as good in coverage as ever and dropped into zone for the Steelers much more than any of their other LBs with the possible exception of Farrior (not common for an OLB). I actually see these signings as quite similar - Thomas looked better because he had a much better supporting cast this year but I guarantee you he cannot beat a LT man on man any more than Porter can (and there are maybe 3 OLBs in the league who can). Thomas will probably look a little better again due to a better supporting cast (especially DL), but I think the two players are close to the same thing at this point.

79
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 7:52pm

although I’m the surprised one because Pat is saying the Redskins signed a smart contract.

Why does everyone constantly think I hate the Redskins?! I do not hate the Redskins. I like watching the Redskins. It's only illegal for an Eagles fan to like the Cowboys.

It should also be noted I thought it was a bad contract at first- then I realized what the 3-year part really entailed.

2. I don’t think any player signed a contract like the one Archuleta did with the intention of failing a physical.

I don't think anyone intends to fail a physical.

As for retiring early or not - that more has to do with Porter, who's fairly old. It's not really the team's concern if football beats the crap out of him. It is his.

I do not think trades can affect the amount of guaranteed money in a contract.

Sorry, you're wrong there.

If someone trades a franchise tagged person (that's a guaranteed salary) the old team is not charged the money. The new team is.

When the option bonus isn't exercised (in Archuleta's case, and probably in several of these), the salaries escalate, and 3 years become guaranteed salaries. Not money. Salaries.

The team is only on the hook if they release Archuleta (terminating the contract). If they trade Archuleta, the other team takes the contract. If they choose to play him, he'll get those salaries. If they choose to terminate the contract, they'll have to pay the money.

80
by mmm... sacrilicious (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 7:54pm

#58: Thinking of Plax as pre-Madonna is sort of a postmodern concept...

81
by throughthelookingglass (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 8:07pm

58,80 What is a pre-Madonna? I was thinking it's something like Isis or Hera, but I'm not completely sure.

82
by Skin Patrol (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 8:22pm

Pat-

I am not asking just to be contrarian but...

"When the option bonus isn’t exercised (in Archuleta’s case, and probably in several of these), the salaries escalate, and 3 years become guaranteed salaries. Not money. Salaries.

The team is only on the hook if they release Archuleta (terminating the contract). If they trade Archuleta, the other team takes the contract. If they choose to play him, he’ll get those salaries. If they choose to terminate the contract, they’ll have to pay the money."

Are you certain?

Trades and cuts are treated identically in other instances, so why would they be treated differently here? My understanding of the scenario was that Adam Archuleta's Salary becomes Guaranteed, but once a $ becomes guaranteed it ceases to be salary. It is paid out (unless the team terminates his contract) as salary, but the instant the team terminates it is paid out just like normal guaranteed money -- ie. in accordance with the June 1st rules.

By the way, are you certain that it becomes guaranteed SALARY? I understand that the salary money becomes guaranteed money, but I had never heard it characterized as becoming "guaranteed salary". I thought it simply became guaranteed money paid out in a manner similar to salary. Signing Bonuses are paid out in clear cut intervals but that doesn't mean they are guaranteed salary.

I simply have a hard time believing that a trade could void the 5.6M Archuleta is guaranteed. Either the new team accepts the guaranteed money (meaning that is factored into the value of him as trade bait) or else the team trading him is forced to pay the money that is now guaranteed. I lean towards the latter since that is how all other guaranteed money is treated; I have no reason to think this instance is any different besides you saying it is "guaranteed salary", a term I have not heard.

I am thrilled to see you say kind things about Redskins contracts.

83
by McGayTrain (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 8:28pm

RE #74 - the Dolphins' "belief" in Culpepper has little meaning. Huizenga believed or was convinced that Culpepper could play last year. Otherwise, we wouldn't have been reading/watching the heartrending stories about Drew Brees, AKA Bayou Savior.

Admittedly, Saban was in on Culpepper. But Huizenga has purse power. I don't think we can give the same weight to the Dolphins' decisions as those of the Pats, Broncos or Eagles. Also read: Ricky.

That said, I am worried by the Porter signing, being a Bills fan.

84
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 8:34pm

#82: Yes. Read the relevant text of the CBA as to what a "signing bonus" is.

The only thing that accelerates onto a team's cap when a player is traded are all remaining prorations from a signing bonus, and a guaranteed salary is not one of the things listed as a signing bonus (signing bonus includes things like an option bonus, when paid or guaranteed.)

The text under guaranteed contracts contains
1&2) limitations for guaranteed contracts extending past Final Capped Year.
3) guaranteed money accelerates (reduced for inflation, mind you! which is where that $5.6M comes from!) when a player is released (not a player whose contract is traded).
4) wacko guaranteed/unguaranteed/guaranteed payments are a nono.
5) guaranteed money counts immediately.

That's it.

By the way, are you certain that it becomes guaranteed SALARY? I understand that the salary money becomes guaranteed money, but I had never heard it characterized as becoming “guaranteed salary�.

Yeah - virtually everyone describing that contract in particular describes it as guaranteed salary.

They have to do it that way. They can't just say "well, we guarantee we'll pay you $5M in 2007" in 2006. If you do that, you have to start prorating the money immediately in 2006. Even though you haven't paid it yet.

85
by Adam (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 8:35pm

That is an absurd amount of money for Joey Porter at this point in his career. He did most of his damage last year in the opening game against Miami (two sacks and a pick-six). He had two sacks in Oakland, two against Bruce Gradkowski and one in Cleveland.

Beyond that? Zero the rest of the season.

Granted there is more to playing defense than getting sacks, but Porter struggled to get anywhere near the QB and for any sort of pressure when he did rush.

Thanks for the great memories Joey - and they were in fact great - but if this is your price now then the Steelers are better off.

86
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 8:39pm

Either the new team accepts the guaranteed money (meaning that is factored into the value of him as trade bait)

Nonono, that's what happens! The new team accepts the new contract, with the guaranteed money.

So yeah, his value would be reduced a bit. But contracts of $1M, $1M, $3M (or so) are extremely cheap. Plus the Redskins could just trade him in 2009, in which case his guaranteed $3M in that year isn't a big deal.

also, in #84: #5 should say "guaranteed salary for a given year counts against a salary cap immediately at the beginning of the league year."

87
by Jerry (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 9:08pm

Do you guys remember Gregg Lloyd? Those Steeler fans loved him and I loved those � Avoid Lloyd� banners they used to put up at 3 rivers.

When Porter was a rookie, he wore 95 in training camp, and looked good enough as a third-teamer in exhibition games that Lloyd's number seemed to fit him. (Porter switched to #55 to avoid the Lloyd comparisons.)

An article about Greg Lloyd, Jr. and his relationship with his father is linked on my name.

88
by Adam (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 9:43pm

95 + 91 = Sack

Best TRS sign ever.

89
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 10:16pm

Guys, the phrase is "prima donna." Although, given Ms. Ciccone's career, I have to admit that "pre-madonna" is both funny and pretty accurate. This is one of those things like "excuse me while I kiss this guy" and "there's a bathroom on the right." I forget what they're called, but as soon as I stop typing, I'm going to try to find the reference.

90
by ABW (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 10:50pm

curmudgeon, it's called a mondegreen.

91
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 11:19pm

Oh, also: #82:

Guaranteed salaries for a player cut do not have a "June 1st" rule. The June 1st rule is covered in 7(b)(ii)(2) - the acceleration of guaranteed salary is covered in 7(d)(iii), and makes no reference to the previous section. The June 1st rule says "unamortized signing bonus amounts", and future guaranteed salaries are not signing bonuses under any of the provisions of 7(b)(iv).

92
by Lord J Rocka (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 11:57pm

I have been Borating all night long, but I just had to come in here and comment on this signing.
I think Porter could play well in Miami, but the Dolphins are playing with fire by bringing this guy aboard. Porter has had off field problems and Miami could be a bad city for him.
I also think Cam Cameron isn't man enough to control Porter, whereas Bill Cowher had the hammer in Pittsburgh.
Well, that is what my old man said.

93
by MCnugget (not verified) :: Tue, 03/06/2007 - 11:58pm

everyone things thomas young
porter old

FOOLS FOOOLS I SAY

94
by Lord J Rocka (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 1:06am

re: 83

Cool name, brother.
As a Bills fan, you should be worried about the Eags. The vicious Eags will batter the Bills this upcoming season.

95
by NF (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 2:31am

83: "Why does everyone constantly think I hate the Redskins?! I do not hate the Redskins. I like watching the Redskins. It’s only illegal for an Eagles fan to like the Cowboys."

I'm an Eagles fan, and while I'll agree that the hatred of the Cowboys by Eagles fans is virtually unmatched in American sports, the rivalry is only kept up on one side. Before 2005, what was the last Cowboy-Eagles game you could remember that really mattered to both teams and was close?

In my opinion the biggest rivalry involving the Eagles is Eagles-Giants. Going way back to the Miracle in the Meadowlands, up to the craziness of the two regular season games and the playoff elimination of 2006, not to mention the two games the Eagles came so close to winning in 2005, ridiculous things seem to happen every time the Giants and Eagles play. Heck, David Akers got into a fight on the sidelines in the Giants bench after the opening kickoff of the second game of the season. I think these teams actually have a personal dislike of each other. There's also the proximity factor, as the only team that plays closer to the Giants than the Eagles do is the Jets.

96
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 2:46am

Before 2005, what was the last Cowboy-Eagles game you could remember that really mattered to both teams and was close?

It will take a long, long time, and many, many demolitions of the Cowboys for me to forget what happened in the early 1990s.

97
by steelberger1 (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 9:02am

re 92:

Joey Porter hasnt had off field problems...he has ON field problems (which is where problems belong).

His dogs might have had off field problems...but not Joey.

85:

You cant take away certain games and try to make a point about Joey's season.

If I take away Thomas's best 4 games of the season he is left with 55 total tackles, 6 sacks, and no ints.

I am done arguing this, so I will just say it.

New England signing a 2 time ProBowl, 30 yr old LB was brilliant.

Miami signing a 3 time ProBowl, 30 yr old LB was a stupid move.

There, now I have been assimilated.

98
by bengt (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 9:51am

#17:
I think that Joey Porter was likely lying on a beach for longer than Adalius Thomas. He was the one who prepared for 'swim functions at South Beach', remember?
#89:
I have learned my Hendrix well, but I don't get the one with the bathroom. Can someone please explain?

99
by Fat Tony (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 10:33am

re: 98 "there's a bathroom on the right" is mishearing CCR's "there's a bad moon on the rise"

100
by Al 45 (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 11:07am

re: 97

New England signing a 2 time ProBowl, 30 yr old LB was brilliant.

Miami signing a 3 time ProBowl, 30 yr old LB was a stupid move.

You know, if everything was looked at in a vacuum, and what you stated was all we went by, you may actually have a point.

The reality, however, dictates that there are many more factors than simply just age and the ability and versatility of the players. The Patriots MAJOR concern was LB, followed closely by WR.

The Dolphins did not have a major concern at LB, they have one all over the damn field... WR, QB, DL, CB, etc... their linebackers are the least of their concern.

What people are alluding to, more than anything, is that the money they spent on Porter would probably be better spent upgrading another portion of their team.

The Dolphins and Patriots, in regards to age and needs, are in two vastly different places. The Dolphins are horrible... but were pretty damn good on defense last year. Adding a Joey Porter to their strength while simultaneously ignoring their weakness is not as good a move as the Patriots adding a player who PERFECTLY fits their system at a position they were in dire need of addressing.

101
by foolcentral (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 11:31am

re.100

SSLB was one of the Dolphins' biggest needs and weakest positions last offseason - they couldn't upgrade it through free agency and went through the season with a crappy platoon system of Spragan/Newman/God knows. The fact a large part of the rest of the team sprung leaks all over the place doesn't change that it was still easily one of the three biggest need positions for the Fins coming into this offseason.

102
by foolcentral (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 11:38am

And by the way. Capers was the DC in Pittsburgh and the scheme is pretty much the same in MIA as it is in PIT, or so I thought. So why wouldn't Porter be an ever better fit for the Phins than Thomas for the Pats?

103
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 12:19pm

Why do people mention Capers was the DC in Pittsburgh? That was like, a freaking billion years ago (1994!). LeBeau runs an entirely and completely different system.

104
by Al 45 (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 12:25pm

RE: 101

I guess if you honestly believe that LB was a huge concern for the Dolphins, after releasing Harrington, McMichael, and trading away Welker, then there's really no room for discussion here.

I mean, in simplistic terms, looking at pts/game, the Dolphins were 5th in the NFL in allowing points. Yet they were 29th in scoring points.

Somehow I don't think problems on defense had anything to do with their inability to make the playoffs last year.

105
by Skin Patrol (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 1:00pm

Pat-

Sorry to bug you and I should just find it myself, but do you have a link to the CBA agreement?

106
by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 1:25pm

You should just find it yourself, considering it's the first page linked if you search for "NFL CBA" on Google. :D (It's here).

What you're looking for is this, though, Article XXIV.

107
by Matt Millen (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 1:49pm

I thought Jason Taylor was retiring?

108
by MJK (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 1:53pm

through the season with a crappy platoon system of Spragan/Newman/God knows.

Wow, it's morning. I just read this line as "carppy platoon system of Spragan/Newman/God" and thought

"Hmmm, God is a crappy SSLB? Who knew? I guess he can't be good at everything... oh, wait... I wonder what God's signing bonus would be? And would he be a better punter than ROBO-Punter?"

109
by cd6 (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 2:14pm

Adalius Thomas' first trip to the pro bowl was as a special teams player, so as a starting linebacker hes more like a "one and a half pro bowler."

Of course, his other trip came in a contract year.

What's the point of what I'm saying here? I DON'T KNOW!

110
by hwc (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 3:33pm

"Adalius Thomas’ first trip to the pro bowl was as a special teams player...."

Yeah. As a 270 pound gunner on coverage teams. Wes Welker said on NE radio that the first time he saw Thomas bearing down on him, he made sure to fair catch the ball.

The specials teams Pro Bowl invite probably means more to Belichick than the other one.

111
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 3:47pm

Re 90: Thanks, ABW, it is a mondegreen. That's why I like FO--what other NFL discussion site gives you information like that?!

112
by mactbone (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 3:52pm

Re 110:
Because a team of Larry Izzo's, Larry Whigham's and Ike Reese's would have a great defense...

113
by foolcentral (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 7:37pm

re.104. Then there isn't any room for discussion. SSLB was a much, much bigger need position than backup QB and no.4 WR, and anyone who actually follows the Fins in depth knows it. Capers is on the record as saying it was a prime focus in the upcoming draft.

re.103. Sure about that? Joey Porter disagrees - go listen to his interview on the official website.

114
by Peter Libero (not verified) :: Wed, 03/07/2007 - 8:13pm

108: Presumably God could automatically win the game without doing anything, or for a lesser display of power, do things that no robot could, like make the kick get muffed and returned for TD every time. Some non-omnipotent god like a Greek one might not be able to manage that well though.

115
by steelberger1 (not verified) :: Thu, 03/08/2007 - 9:35am

Well, whatever. Good pickup for Miami...I guess this gives me a reason to root for the Fins in the East (except when they play the Steelers).

116
by Al 45 (not verified) :: Thu, 03/08/2007 - 2:31pm

SSLB was a much, much bigger need position than backup QB and no.4 WR, and anyone who actually follows the Fins in depth knows it. Capers is on the record as saying it was a prime focus in the upcoming draft.

Yep... because they were really struggling allowing the 5th fewest points per game in the NFL last year. But man, they had a ton of success scoring the 29th most points per game on offense.

117
by 10K (not verified) :: Thu, 03/08/2007 - 3:21pm

"Yep… because they were really struggling allowing the 5th fewest points per game in the NFL last year. But man, they had a ton of success scoring the 29th most points per game on offense."

Yeah, because the Offensive FAs (at their need positions) are so good! If they overpaid for Porter, wouldn't they have been burning money to get Steinbach?

Who do you think they should be paying for on the Offensive side of the ball?

If you can't think of anyone, do you think that should mean you abstain from picking up someone they think is a fit on the Defense?

118
by Al 45 (not verified) :: Thu, 03/08/2007 - 3:34pm

Where did I argue that they had to make a move for someone else?

foolcentral is stating that Joey Porter filled their number 1 need. I'm simply showing that that position is ludicrous.

It really is that simple.

119
by Chad Plank (not verified) :: Thu, 03/08/2007 - 9:23pm

re: 92

What do you mean by "Borating"? Did you mean boating?

120
by pharmboyrick (not verified) :: Mon, 03/12/2007 - 8:39pm

I think the reason that most people favor the Thomas over the Porter signing is that it was done by the Pats who have respected management and recent success and the FIns have had a recent history of big name busts. Thomas has an edge because he will be going to a much better coached defensive team with toms of stability. BTW, I am not a fan of either Mia or NE.