The draft is the single most effective and cost-efficient way for franchises to replenish their roster. While the 1st round gets most of the headlines, the subsequent rounds are where teams can pick up young contributors at minimal cost. Leading up to draft day, this makes discussions about depth charts and draft needs important, but there is one aspect that is often overlooked.
You can guarantee that when GMs and their staffs write names on those cards, they have looked at more than just the shape of their depth chart. They must consider their upcoming free agents (both next offseason and the offseason after that), their possible and likely cuts in coming seasons, and not just how their roster looks currently, but how it is likely to look in 6 months, a year, or even 3 years. (more…)
The Jaguars defense has played at an elite level this season. They have kept opponents to an average of just 15.3 points per game, a mark which no team has achieved since the 2013 Super Bowl-winning Seahawks (14.4).
They are talented and productive, while also being relatively young when you consider that several of their stars are aged between 23 and 26 — Jalen Ramsey is already a top shutdown corner at age 23; Telvin Smith at 26 has built on his hype and is entering his prime as one of the better defensive playmakers in the league; AJ Bouye is also 26 and has earned every cent of his big deal; and then there’s three players under 24 who are thriving in the system – Yannick Ngakoue, Myles Jack and Dante Fowler Jr. (more…)
I’ve decided to go through some of the highly compensated players in the league and see how their performance has been since signing their deal, compared to before it.
I considered any player that is currently on a significant deal (above or around early 1st round pick range), and has played at least two seasons since signing. Today I’m taking a look at the wide receivers.. I’ve taken some baseline numbers to use for comparison, but also have to consider other factors such as age, injury and whether they changed team or system. Pro Football Reference has been a valuable tool for finding sortable stats across season ranges. (more…)
This new series will go through each division and look at how each NFL team tends to structure and negotiate their contracts. This is particularly relevant as we near free agency, and fans can begin to understand the general approach that their team will take to the marketplace come March. We start with the NFC North.
GM: Ryan Pace (early 2015)
Director of Football Administration: Joey Laine (mid 2015)
The Bears brought GM Ryan Pace and head cap exec Joey Laine into the building together in 2015. They are one of the youngest front office duos in the league, and this new leadership in Chicago makes it difficult to pinpoint their current cap strategy, but there are certainly some early tendencies.
This is the second of a two-part series in which I preview the Free Agency class for 2017 by looking at which positions are the strongest and which are the weakest. This takes into account not only the level of talent available, but also the likelihood that the player actually reaches the market.
Check out the Offense preview here.
Strongest Position Groups
The cornerback group is one of the stronger groups in this year’s Free Agency class. There’s a number of guys who are either Pro Bowlers or very close to that level, along with several reliable #2 options.
This is the first of a two-part series in which I’ll preview the Free Agency class for 2017 by looking at which positions are the strongest and which are the weakest. This takes into account not only the level of talent available, but also the likelihood that the player actually reaches the market. I’ll start with the offense today, and move onto the defense in the next week.
I have been actively tracking the running backs that signed new deals in the 2016 offseason, and it is fair to say that most teams’ investments have seen disappointing return. Nowhere is this more evident than in the top end of the group. Doug Martin and Chris Ivory both signed deals in the top 7 range for running back contracts, but lengthy injuries and generally inefficient running have impacted any early justification of their paydays. Lamar Miller and Giovani Bernard have been about as expected, with Miller getting plenty of usage but perhaps brought down by the Texans’ lack of passing threat. (more…)