Matt Kalil is a 27 year old veteran offensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings who has started 66 of 66 career games, and is currently playing under his 5th year option. He was the #4 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2012. On September 21, 2016 the Vikings placed him on Injured Reserve. When looking for comparable players, I looked for recent signings, similar age, skill, draft status, and injury history. I evaluated skill by following the grading scale at www.ScoutingAcademy.com where I was taught to evaluate players on a trait by trait basis. With that premise, the players I chose for comparison are Eric Fisher, Russell Okung, and Kelvin Beachum. Continue reading 2017 Free Agents: Matt Kalil »
There were some interesting trends in free agency this season, but I think the group I found most fascinating were the pass rushers, players generally considered as a 43 defensive end or a 34 outside linebacker. Right out of the gate things exploded with Malik Jackson and Olivier Vernon signing for $14.25 million and $17 million a year respectively. This was a big contrast from last season where free agents who were expected to make big money failed to do so. I wanted to look at the differences between the two seasons and see what drivers we can find to better understand the targeting process in free agency and what could happen in the future.
The player pool
Our top 10 signings last year and this year consisted of the following players: Continue reading Free Agency Review: The Pass Rushers »
Josina Anderson tweeted that the Broncos are about to sign LT Russell Okung to a deal worth reportedly $10.6 million per season over the next five seasons and they re-signed CJ Anderson to a deal worth $18 million total over four seasons a few days ago. These are some of the moves you’re allowed to make to build up the rest of your roster when you let Brock Osweiler walk for $18 million per season.
Today’s podcast breaks down the quarterback market after the first few days of free agency where we saw Brock Osweiler get a four-year, $72 million contract with Houston and the Broncos trade for Mark Sanchez on a one-year, $4.5 million contract with only $1 million guaranteed to replace him for the time being and where the Jets allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to test the market and he found no takers.
We had both ends of the spectrum, teams overspending on unproven quarterbacks like the Texans and teams like the Broncos and Jets sticking to the kind of run-first, defensive formula that the 2000 Ravens and 2013 Seahawks provided the blueprint for from a salary cap perspective.
I ran across this great video of Wayne Chrebet today and it sparked this thought that I’ll talk about here, but be elaborating on further in an article that I’m writing that will also be one of the final chapters of Caponomics. Belichick has his own formula for his dynasty and that article/chapter will be explaining that formula, but for now, let’s focus on the Chris Hogan deal that went down in New England…
Art Weiss represented the 5’10”, 188-pound Wayne Chrebet, who Bill Belichick saw first-hand every single day in practice as the Defensive Coordinator of the New York Jets. Then, Belichick brought that to New England to win championships with small, quick receivers like Troy Brown, Deion Branch, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. In a way, Art Weiss gave Belichick the prototype receiver in Wayne Chrebet, which resulted in this offense built on short, quick, and inexpensive receivers that has helped the Patriots immensely in the amount of cap space they’ve saved over the last 16 years in a really expensive receiver market.
This is another lesson in not judging a contract until you know all the figures. I had retweeted someone who said that the Bradford deal for $18 million per year over two years shows how desperate teams are for a quarterback and how much that has overinflated the market. Of course, in a way, he was correct as $18 million per year is crazy for a guy who hasn’t done much, but this contract isn’t exactly an $18 million per year contract, but rather a masterful job by both sides in getting what they wanted here.
I was going to write something about Von Miller this week, but I’m glad Jason did because it’s right in line with what I would have projected. I saw many on Twitter projecting him to be in the $120 million plus range, with other saying vague things like, “VON MILLER JUST GOT PAID!!!” I understand the reasoning behind why many would suggest Miller be in the $120 million range due to his incredible performance in the playoffs and the contract Ndamukong Suh just signed.
In Jason’s article, he did a great job of breaking down Suh and Calvin Johnson’s contract into the early money years and cash flows, so that Miller had something to project in terms of that, rather than shoot for that big, ESPN splash contract like theirs were. The goal is to maximize your earnings, so getting early money, having a contract with dead money hits that provide cap security for yourself, plus having a contracts that allows your team to compete help in all three of those categories.