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13 Jul 2012
Terms: five years, $100 million. He'll get a $37 million signing bonus.
Be afraid, Ted Thompson. Be afraid.
Posted by: Rivers McCown on 13 Jul 2012
81 comments, Last at
19 Jul 2012, 12:19pm by
At what point would having a great QB hurt your team's chances of winning the super bowl? Starting QB at 20% of cap space? Starting QB at 30%? 40%?
That's a very interesting question, because it seems as if you almost can't overpay a great quarterback. Brees recognized that and used it to his advantage.
I suppose you could ask NE's and Indy's decimated defenses whether or not you can overpay for a good QB.
Are you suggesting that Indy and NE have overpaid, since their defenses have suffered from neglect as a result, or that despite having invested much money in the QB position, given then run of great success the franchises have had, they have not overpaid?
If it's the latter, I'm in agreement.
I'm just arguing that you, in fact, can overpay for a good, even a legendary, QB. There is a salary cap, and at minimum 10 other players who need to be present on the field.
Even God cannot legally snap to himself.
You didn't give very good examples when the teams mentioned won double digit games and made the playoffs every year their QBs were healthy.
Sure, but NO, PIT, and NYG (and early Brady NE) won titles with quarterbacks of comparable ability (not identical; comparable) at much lower prices who came paired with substantially better defenses.
I realize that's an argument of shitty logical solidity, but I'm just using it as an prop for a comment about opportunity cost. There does seem to exist a point beyond which paying more is counter-productive to the team as a whole, because it starts to materially drive down the talent with which you can surround that QB.
The question is silly because the new contract almost cuts Brees' cap charge in half this season ... while the team is competitive, low cap number, dead money when he rides into the sunset.
The issue for the Patriots isn't Brady's contract.
The salary cap hit for Tom Brady is less than a million more than the salary cap hit for Mark Sanchez.
The problem is not that the elite QBs are paid too much.
I don't think you have to restrict that question just to great QBs. Aren't the Ravens in kind of a pickle b/w Rice and Flacco? Does anyone think Flacco is as important to that team as Rice?
I'll bite -- Flacco's more valuable to the Ravens than Rice. He's a consistently average starting quarterback. The Ravens would be harmed much more if you swapped Flacco with a replacement-level QB than if you swapped Rice with a replacement-level RB.
This is certainly counterintuitive because Flacco's average and Rice is a star, but as Tuluse says below, consistently average starting QBs are rare.
But Joe Flacco is not average. He is the 9th best QB in the NFL. He is better than Matt Schaub. He is better than Cam Newton. He is even better than Matthew Stafford.*
*Based on Ron Jaworski's QB rankings. Your mileage should vary.
Based, I'm guessing, on the all-important criteria that Flacco has 'proven he can win in the playoffs'? I usually like Jaws, but ew.
He mentioned it, but his primary reason was apparently arm strength. He was saying that Flacco has the strongest arm in the NFL and so he can "attack all areas of the field."
He can throw the ball to all areas of the field, just not particularly accurately, nor does he have a group of receivers that can get open in all areas of the field, although Torrey Smith has potential to be that kind of threat.
Flacco is good, but Rice is elite. I think Flacco would be easier to replace (within the confines of their current offense), but it's really an interesting question.
Flacco's not the 9th best QB here -- he was 14th in DYAR and 18th in DVOA for 2011. That's pretty damn average.
As I said above, that was Jaworski's ranking.
I'm not sure it's even the lack of great QBs that is driving up great QBs prices, but rather the lack of average and good QBs.
If you thought your team would be better off with a slightly lesser QB and stronger at other positions, it doesn't really matter because there aren't even enough of the lesser QBs to go around.
So as soon as you get a QB who is able to run an offense at an average or better level you pretty much need to do whatever it takes to keep him around. Otherwise you end up with Rex Grossman.
Your last sentence sounds like one of those DirecTV commercials showing the disastrous consequences of having cable TV. They should make a new one with an NFL owner. The ending would be something like this: "Don't end up with Rex Grossman. Get rid of cable and upgrade to DirecTV."
I think it's evidence that NFL offenses have gotten too complicated for their own good. The draft probably yields less than one QB per year who can proficiently run a modern NFL offense, even after a year or two learning.
It also seems that fewer teams are willing to make accommodations for the guy they have at QB. It's all about The System and if the guy doesn't fit the system exactly, they muddle along until they get somebody that will exactly match it. I wonder how many guys end up looking worse than they really are because the offensive coordinator continually exposes the guy's weaknesses, rather than catering to his strengths.
I was impressed by John Fox last year changing the system to play to Tebow's strengths. I'm not sure too many coaches in the league would have done that.
Another anecdotal example of choosing a QB over a "system": the Bears ditched Martz and are implementing a new offense that is much more tailored to Jay Cutler's strengths this year.
Of course, Cutler's probably on the other end of the most famous recent example of a coach choosing his system over a quality QB.
Good QBs rarely hit the market. The Saints caught a break that Brees was available in 2006 and can't count on lightning striking twice and likely don't want to bottom out to draft a QB. The Giants probably overpaid to keep Eli around a couple years ago, but the odds of them finding someone better weren't good. The Bills probably paid too much for Fitzpatrick, but after wandering in the desert they weren't going to risk it. Someone here as written it before- it's practically impossible to overpay for a good QB just because of how hard it is to upgrade.
This is my point. Good QBs don't hit the market because teams's don't have a choice. They couldn't downgrade to average QBs if they wanted to in most cases.
So did the Patriots just get lucky when they plugged Brady in in place of Bledsoe, and Cassell in in place of an injured Brady?
Did the Patriots get lucky that their 6th and 7th round flyers on QBs worked out? Yes. Yes they did.
Either the Patriots got absurdly lucky (like hitting a 1 in a million odds, twice), or they're good at evaluating/training/fitting a qb to the system.
I'm betting on the latter. For the same reason that the Packers "got lucky" with QBs so many times.
Getting a Hall-of-Fame-caliber QB in the sixth round is lucky. Recognizing that he's that good and developing him into a Hall of Famer is a credit to the organization.
Drafting a Hall-of-Fame-caliber QB in the sixth round is a credit to the organization.
Similarly, drafting Laurence Maroney and Chad Jackson is a debit to the organization (so to speak).
It's really not about luck.
what? how can you cite those two examples from the same organization and draw the conclusion that getting a hall of fame quaterback in the 6th was not luck? do you think they knew brady had a great skill set, but was so raw nobody else could see it, so they just KNEW they could wait six rounds to get him instead of say, five? or four? that is completely absurd
"Did the Patriots get lucky that their 6th and 7th round flyers on QBs worked out?"
Because they made their draft decisions using a dartboard and a blindfolded chimpanzee?
Well for one thing they're awfully lucky no other team chose those players before the 6th round.
Unless Belichick has some kind of mind control device to prevent other GMs from selecting players he is ambivalent towards.
There's certainly a luck element at play, and Belichick has said as much. The luck goes for Brady as well. At the time, the Patriots were deciding between Brady and Tim Rattay (who I thought was going to be great) and let the QB coach who worked both out pre-draft make the final choice. What if the Patriots drafted Rattay and Brady went to that fairly terrible 49ers team? It's not hard to imagine that Rattay's career would be much better, and Brady's much worse. Brady got lucky that he was drafted into a system that could get the most out of his ability and nurture his talent and drive.
As for why the Patriots didn't draft Brady earlier, Kraft had just given Bledsoe the (IIRC) biggest contract in league history, they had a reliable veteran QB on the roster (a John Friesz-type...maybe even John Friesz), and a young QB in Michael Bishop whom they were high on. That Patriots team had needs at every position except QB, so there was no way they would have drafted any quarterback in the first few rounds.
eek. never mind this whole post. I totally forgot about the dennis erickson debacle. carry on
(just read tim rattay's wikipedia page. How awesome would it have been if new england had signed him in 2008? then we could really compare and contrast!)
I'm goint to keep repeating this everytime somebody brings up matt cassel and 2008: the patriots played one of the easiest schedules in nfl history that year. the nfc west AND the afc west, plus the afc east was much much worse than it is today.
I'm not saying cassel is awful, but I do thing 'league average' is his ceiling
Except he had an exceptionally good year in Kansas City, as well. 27 TDs vs 7 INTs is way better than average. When he's healthy and in a system he's comfortable with, Cassel can be pretty darn good.
the 2010 chiefs also played one of the easiest schedules in football for that season, with their opponents posting a negative dvoa overall and the chiefs as a whole performing basically at the league average, and cassel ranked 16th among quarterbacks. so yeah, league average is his ceiling
If league average is his ceiling, than why was he able to put up a significantly better than league average DVOA playing for the Patriots? DVOA corrects for schedule.
Also, like was said above, League Average is pretty goddamn good.
huh? he was 20th in the league in dvoa in 2008, 17th in dyar. and that was while playing on the same offense that went 16-0 against a significantly tougher schedule in 2007. I must not be reading those numbers the same way you are.
league average is good, but nobody would claim that their quarterback position is set with league average, particularly when that is the BEST of all possible outcomes.
When will Eli get some respect? I don't think he's quite on the level of Brees, Rodgers, and Brady. But neither is anyone else (except maybe Peyton Manning). He's still on that next level and I think he's at the very top of it. If I needed a QB today, I'd take Eli over Rothlisberger, Stafford, Romo, Cutler, Flacco, Schaub, Newton, Ryan, Vick, or Rivers.
Until last year I was a huge Eli doubter, because he'd never put together even two very good years. However, in 2010 he was great and 2011 (adjusted for wacky pass numbers) nearly so, and he's younger than most of the top-tier guys.
It's obviously some combo of Brady, Rodgers, and Brees as the top three, with Peyton potentially breaking into the group if healthy. I'd say Eli, Rivers, Cutler, Romo, and Big Ben are the next tier, and it's pretty easy to make a case for Eli as at least the second best in that group.
That'd make him top-5 overall. A step down from the top three, yes, but still hardly a bad place to be.
I'd take Rivers and Roethlisberger over Eli. I'd take all three over Brady. Peyton, with his injured season is the wild card. Rivers is a bit of a question mark too since he is coming off a season significantly worse than his earlier work.
This eli thing is just baffling to me. He was a very good qb all year, but no one outside of the most ardent giants fan or his own family really felt he was elite. As soon as the confetti fell, hes been ushered into the elite club. It just is amazing that playoff wins continue to get way too much influence in the perception of the qb.
Even in these playoffs, eli was good, sometimes great, but hardly dominant. The giants offense got bailed out by some fluke turnovers in the 49er game; well that and the 49ers offense decided not to show up.
Even against ne, they scored only 22 pts, this against a sieve of pass defense like new englands.
I can only assume that Brady was meant to be Romo. Building a new franchise, yes, you'd probably want Rivers and Eli instead of Brady due to age, but I don't see how anyone could claim that they're playing better than Brady now.
For me the knocks on Brady would have to be; others have suceeded in his system even to the extent of making the playoffs, he seems to feel pressure more than he did as a younger player and that whilst his stats are very impressive when you watch him play he hardly has to make any particularly difficult throws - and never really has. I do see a very good QB but what impresses me most about the Pats offense is the versatility and production of Belichick's scheme. Pats fans would probably object to this but they shouldn't, coaches don't get injured and can keep coaching way past 40. All the talk in this thread is that you can't overpay a top QB top coaches, whilst possibly even rarer, fall into the same category.
I've felt for a while now that Martz could be one of the greatest QB coaches ever if his ego didn't prevent him from taking a job lower than coordinator.
You don't really want him in charge of protections or playcalling, but he's managed to raise the play of just about every QB who's played for him.
I'd like to know who made the playoffs replacing brady, because it certainly wasn't matt cassel playing against the easiest schedule ever
I'm guessing it's PR and lack of balls. Suppose the Saints had traded Brees. They could have gotten a lot in return plus salary cap space to bring in even more players. But the people in New Orleans would never forgive them. Unless they actually pulled it off and won again. Besides, just the fact that they were known to be shopping Brees would cause an uproar. Hence the lack of balls.
We are number one. All others are number two, or lower.
Relative to Brooke Lopez - YES.
Im just curious what people think of the saints offensive talent and if they had to insert a replacement level qb into their offense. For arguments sake, lets say the qb was kyle orton(not totally farfetched as orton is now the backup in dallas), would the saints offense still be effective? Would it collapse like the colts offense did?
I suspect, just off subjectivity, but it would suffer but not appreciably because the saints(at least before nicks left) had the best guard tandem in the league, the best all purpose running back(and probably the best current rb in the league given the passing shotgun era we are in), and a dynamic tight end combined with a productive receiver in colston. Now of course, it could all be brees just making the talent look better than they are(see peyton manning), but thats why this is so tough.
Then ask yourself what if orton were in green bay or orton was in new england. In the latter two, both have had examples where backups have come in and played exceedingly well.
My guess is that an Orton-led Saints offense would still be above average, maybe 10th or so. Orton is better than replacement-level (and Painter/Collins are worse), and they do have plenty of offensive talent plus a system where Orton would be a good fit.
But we're still talking about a drop of about 25% Off. DVOA from last year, or about 1 point per possession (the Saints were 2nd in both, with 37.8% Off. DVOA & 2.98 pts/pos; 10th was DET with 11.8% and HOU with 1.97). With a bad defense and average special teams, that would make the Saints close to a .500 team overall. If they use the money saved wisely, then maybe they become a 9-win caliber team, fighting for a wild card spot.
I guess that raises the question of what is replacement level? First, its easy to say painter and collins suck but remember the colts talent as a team was pathetic so maybe those qbs are slightly less terrible than their stats indicate. But beside that pt, i think painter and collins aren't replaceable, they are sub replaceable/ belong third on a teams depth chart. To me, replaceable is any qb that plays just well enough to keep his job but is one or two bad seasons away from being dumped. This is going to sound controversial, but i think alex smith is the perfect example of replaceable. hes fine when your team is good and your defense is playing well(hes not losing them games), but hes hardly a consistent performer that you can count on to score when your defense is sucking.
As far as the saints, i think with orton their offense would be better than top 10. Remember, brees himself in 2010 had the number 10 offense despite having just a weaker running game and worse screen receivers. I hate saying brees is overrated because hes clearly an elite qb, but i think qbs in general are overrated. They're given far too much credit when the talent around the qbs has clearly improved. Slot receivers and tight ends and especially running backs have completely changed the fortunes of short passing. In the past it took long gamble deep passes to get big plays from passing, now screens and short passes with yac basically can almost duplicate that with 1/4 the risk.
The original Bill James definition of "replacement level" was "freely-available talent", which for our purposes is the street free agent who a team brings in when a guy is injured in week 7. Painter and today's Kerry Collins would seem to fit that definition. (Obviously, individuals might do especially well or especially poorly, but we're looking for a general level.)
FO has an official definition that it uses for quarterbacks: "we analyzed situations where two or more quarterbacks had played meaningful snaps for a team in the same season, then compared the overall DVOA of the original starters to the overall DVOA of the replacements. We did not include situations where the backup was actually a top prospect waiting his turn on the bench, since a first-round pick is by no means a 'replacement-level' player." That should be a little higher than the value of the guys in the first paragraph, more like a Charlie Batch or the Kerry Collins of a couple years ago.
If Orton is better than replacement level, he's just barely so. His best options were as a backup, which basically defines "replacement level." I do believe he'd be a far better backup in NO than in Dallas, if only because their line is better. The way Dallas protects the QB, they'd better hope Romo stays healthy all year because Orton will be a sitting duck back there.
"His best options were as a backup, which basically defines "replacement level.""
Not really. A replacement level player is one who can be acquired at anytime as a free agent. So that meant approximately the 96th best QB. Since Orton is a primary backup, that means at least one team thinks he is at least the 64th best QB.
Personally, I think Orton is one of the top 20 QBs in the NFL right now, and the QB market in the NFL is very irrational.
My guess is he was referring to the fact that backups are literally replacements. Could be wrong, but that's how I read it.
That's not what replacement-level means usually means. Unless we can agree to definitions of terms, conversation is hard.
Backups are not replacement level, often backup's backups are not replacement-level. Mid-season street free agents is what a replacement-level player is. Guys like Josh McCown.
Sorry to muddy the water. Frankly, I find "replacement level" to be a pretty ambiguous term regardless. Quite a few backups and third stringers have their jobs for reasons other than their outright ability. They're either projects, mentors, or system QBs who the coach trusts. I don't know how to reconcile that. Or the fact that Brett Favre would meet the normal criteria of replacement level. Personally, to me it roughly means "guys that the team could either have immediately or could have with minimal effort." Orton will make $900K this season. That's pretty low rent and suggests his phone wasn't ringing off the hook with other offers.
Orton is better than the 90th or even 60th best QB out there, but it's easy to see why his stock isn't very high. His best DVOA was 17th in a system that was just perfect for him. I think that's his peak and he's unlikely to better that. And there's no reason to turn a team over to a veteran who's slightly worse than average in his best year.
His deal is 10 million over 3 years.
"Orton is better than the 90th or even 60th best QB out there, but it's easy to see why his stock isn't very high. His best DVOA was 17th in a system that was just perfect for him. I think that's his peak and he's unlikely to better that. And there's no reason to turn a team over to a veteran who's slightly worse than average in his best year."
Well that is top 20 liked I claimed :)
Anyways, your last sentence is exactly the reasoning teams use to talk themselves into starting Christian Ponder or Jake Locker. Sure he's worse than Orton and will probably always be worse than Orton, but there's a chance he'll be better.
I was referring to his base salary for 2012. He did get an additional $1.6 million signing bonus. His contract is very much "NFL math" in that there's little chance of him ever collecting on the nearly $5 million in total compensation he'd be due in 2013. My main point was that he was available and could have been had by anybody for a relative bargain.
One of Orton's strengths has been his worst isn't all that bad. His weakness has been his best hasn't been all that good. That could allow him to be a backup for many more years, assuming he gets along well with people. I've never heard that wasn't the case, but I've also never heard a lot of stories of coaches and players being in love with him, either.
I always got the impression that Bears players liked him more Grossman. For whatever that's worth (very little as it's 2nd hand reading between the lines and he's not on the Bears).
That's going to get squirrelly awfully fast. Guys like Josh McCown are almost always better than the 3rd stringer on an NFL team....and better than probably half the backups. Their problem is that their ceiling is known, so most coaches would rather have a lottery ticket on their team.
Who is this magic running back that's the best in the league that plays for the Saints? Must be some new signing because I can only think of Sproles and Ingram.
You're forgetting Pierre Thomas.
Though I'm sure AJ was referring to Darren Sproles (so, apparently, AJ is Peter King).
Well, after reading Peter King the other week, the magical running back is Sproles.
So what do they think of it? I always had Brees pegged as a Roosevelt man, myself.
I have to think that a less lucrative deal could have been done in the spring ($40 mm guaranteed in the first year?!). Waiting til the last minute definitely cost the Saints here. Only the losers are the other franchises who are going to have to negotiate with their QBs in future years.
It's not Josh McD level of negotiating ineptness, but it's close.
I agree with the above posts. QB salaries are escalating primarily due to a lack of quality supply coming available in free agency. It's like a used car market. The only QBs who are available in FA have significant risks attached (McNabb - age, Vick - criminal history, Bledsoe - age, Cutler - managerial incompetence, Cassel - small sample size, Palmer - injury history, even Brees SD version - injury history, etc.).
As a Saints' fan, first, IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!!!
Second, I personally think that this was harder to negotiate because the Saints were tight against the cap, and because Brees deserved some back pay for being underpaid in his last deal. So, think 11 yrs, $160M =$14.5M/yr. For a guy who has been the best QB in the NFL overall over the first 6 yrs*, and still has at least 3 great yrs. left barring injury, that seems about right.
*Remember that during these 6 yrs, Brady & Manning have missed a yr to injury, and Rodgers rode the bench for the first two. The one year that the Saints' D played great, they won the SB. Their D's 2nd best year was the year after, where they ran out of RB's & FS's and lost to Lynch's beast-mode run. That's why PM only has one SB title too.
If the Saints, or any, front office is struggling to sign players because they're trying to fit in "back pay" to make up for a perceived underpayment during the previous contract, they should be canned immediately.
Unless of course, they can successfully go to a player and make the case that "Your market value is 10 million per year, but the last four years you were overpaid by about three million a year, so we'll offer you a contract worth 7 million a year."
I think that would depend on whether there was some understanding that a player would be "taken care of" in a future contract. If "back pay" is simply fulfilling a promise, then I don't have a problem with it.
I think this kind of verbal commitment isn't unheard of, though smart owners prefer to not be specific when saying such a thing.
So Which teams don't think that they have their current or future franchize QB on their roster? (at least publicly) OK, maybe Jacksonville. Who else?
The Jags, 49ers, Jest, Chiefs, and probably the Titans and Cards don't but won't admit it.
The Bills, Browns, Bucs and probably the Vikings, Seahawks and Dolphins think they do but don't.
And if Peyton isn't healthy, then the Broncos don't either.
A year from now we could easily be adding the Bears, Eagles, and Raiders and maybe the Rams to this list.
I mostly agree with the reality of your assesment. But almost all teams either have a franchize QB or think they do. Teams like the Jets, Cards, Chiefs and Bills have recently given big $ contacts to their (I think questionable) QBs. The 49ers are grooming Kaepernick, the Titans have Locker and the Broncos drafted Oswiler. That leaves the Jags.
*contracts...I was not referring to Kim K.
I guess the point I was trying to make is that while we here hold that there is shortage of QB talent in the NFL, the teams don't seem to agree. And maybe they're right. Maybe the young talent is starting to fill the void of the past decade. Hmmm...what was that poly thing they used to say about me?
Or maybe in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Best available certainly does not equal good.
But it sure seems like there is much more than the usual amount of young, "best available" QB prospects in the league right now. Some will turn out to be good, some league average and some crap.
Is Johnson capable of NFL brilliance? Burst will ultimately tell the tale.
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