Over The Cap: Sunday Reading

This is something I’ll try to post every week, here are some great articles I’ve found in the last few days doing research of articles I’m writing or just mindlessly perusing the Internet. Most of these will be football articles, but not always, they can be baseball themed, business, etc. I hope you enjoy.

Josh Gordon Open Letter

I think that this is a fantastic letter from Josh Gordon in addressing the issues he’s had, including his newest failed test. I’m a firm believer in players telling their stories themselves, LeBron made a huge mistake in 2010 by leaving Cleveland in The Decision like he did, but in 2014, his announcement for his return was so mature and deftly done.

I think that the childhood game of telephone shows the importance of an NFL player telling his story in his own words because no matter how much you may trust your favorite media member, they can’t tell your story like you can.

Wall Street Journal Article on Pats and Seahawks Cap
Great article that shows the study of NFL salary caps is going more mainstream and the author, Jared Diamond, makes some great points about how teams raid Super Bowl winning rosters. Historically, I didn’t realize there were six repeat Super Bowl champions before the cap was instituted and only two since. He makes a lot of terrific points throughout the article and has quotes from Mike Martz and others that raise some good points as well.

(It is very cool to see an esteemed writer from the Wall Street Journal writing something similar to what we do at OTC, we hope to continue to give you high quality content moving forward.)

49 Facts about Super Bowl XLIX

Just a fun article from Cleveland.com discussing some interesting facts about the Super Bowl, some of my favorites:

  1. Tuning in: The 2014 game attracted a record 111.5 million television viewers. That’s about one person per 63 people on the planet.
  1. Adding it up: Ads are going for a whopping $4.5 million for a 30-second spot. That’s $150,000 per second.
  1. Big bucks: According to celebritynetworth.com, team owners Paul Allen (Seattle) and Robert Kraft (New England) have a combined net worth of more than $21 billion. Both are among the wealthiest five people in their respective states.
  1. Play ball! The starting quarterbacks, New England’s Tom Brady and Seattle’s Russell Wilson, share a few traits. Both were on Big Ten teams that made it to the Rose Bowl (Michigan for Brady, Wisconsin for Wilson). Both played on the winning side in the Super Bowl (Brady: 2002, 2004, 2005; Wilson: 2014). And each was drafted by Major League Baseball teams. (Montreal drafted Brady, Colorado and Texas previously selected Wilson.)
  1. Beer here! Super Sunday is believed to be the second biggest day for beer consumption. (July 4th is No. 1).
  1. All in a name: Both the Seahawks and Patriots were named through submissions for nicknames in public contests. New England’s first year was 1960; the Seahawks began play in 1976.

Fox Sports Piece on Malcolm Butler

Really nice piece on a long road for a persistent young man who had the kind of miraculous Super Bowl saving play that every little kid dreams of. Along the way, he worked at Popeye’s practically full-time while playing football, and of course doing to school full-time, something I couldn’t imagine being able to do at 20 years old. These are the kinds of stories the NFL needs to make sure people know, we’re not a league full of rich jerks like Think Progress and The New Republic might want you to think, we’re a league full of fantastic young men who have their own inspirational stories.

Duron Carter CFL Highlight Tape

This kid is 6’5”, 205-210 pounds and everyone who was involved with him in the CFL, from Chad Ochocinco to the Alouettes GM speaks highly of him. He is going to be a big-time playmaker in that Colts offense and it’s going to be a BLAST to watch. Just picture this: TY Hilton, Duron Carter, Donte Moncrief, Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener, Boom Herron and Reggie Wayne if he takes a pay cut. That’s going to be one exciting offense to watch. With the Carter signing, they can focus on drafting offensive linemen and pass rushers, which they need sorely.

Also, they got a guy who some say is as talented as anyone in the draft for only $435,000 in 2015. That’s absurd value for someone who should immediately step in as a starter. He’s going to cost them $1.75 million over three-years, like I said in my CFL article the other day, it’s becoming very intelligent to look north.

NFL.com: Undersized Receivers Article

As a short white receiver, I love, love, LOVE short receivers, particularly Julian Edelman and Wes Welker types because I feel like they represented for me what Doug Williams represented with black quarterbacks a few decades back. Speaking of black quarterbacks, something that was really cool to me was that all three of the Seahawks quarterbacks this year were black: Wilson, Tavaris Jackson and BJ Daniels. Thirty years ago, that was unheard of and now it’s cool that it’s a reality to show how far the sport has come because only thirty years ago, there were nonsensical grumblings that black guys couldn’t play quarterback and that’s partly why so many were moved to other positions when they got to the NFL.

Personally, I probably wouldn’t have been able to play division one football if it wasn’t for Wes Welker having a great season in 2007, then college coaches wouldn’t have all had their “we want you to be like Wes Welker for us,” line they used on my that winter. They gave coaches someone who looked like me who could play, someone who they could picture me playing like, which is surprisingly important and something that we all do when we’re looking at players and trying to project them to the next level. Obviously, I don’t give a damn what color these guys are, I just have an affinity for the hard-nosed white dudes that were an inspiration to me during my playing days.

I met Danny Amendola when I visited Coach David Culley with the Eagles during training camp in 2009 and was just in awe of a guy who was my height doing incredible things in the practices I watched. The fact that three receivers under six-foot, Edelman, Amendola and Doug Baldwin all had touchdowns on the biggest stage in football should be an inspiration to any young football player.

In this article, they discuss my favorite player in this year’s draft, Jamison Crowder. Guys like Justin Hardy, Antwan Goodley, Phillip Dorsett and Tyler Lockett also get me going because they are so versatile, yet they’re going to be undervalued slightly because they’re shorter meaning that the teams that select them will be getting a very valuable addition. Obviously, the chances are that not all of these guys will succeed in the NFL, but I think Jamison Crowder has an opportunity to be an Antonio Brown type player because he shows that quickness and burst, he runs every route well and he’s a first-rate punt returner. As I’ve said before on here, whoever drafts him in the mid- to late-rounds will be getting a steal.

Jason’s Sporting News Patriots Article

Just a great article about the way the Patriots have been able to stay good for the last decade and a half. Jason goes into their ability to identify player value where others don’t and get rid of players when their cost outweighs their abilities.

Doug Flutie on the NFL becoming more like the CFL

A very interesting take from someone who would know, Flutie tells us how the NFL is becoming more like the CFL that he played in and it’s a big reason why I think recruiting CFL players to the NFL is becoming more relevant every year.

The University of Texas’ QB Struggles

I grew up a UT fan because Chris Simms went to my high school and then onto UT after good old Ramapo. Also, when I was around eight years old, my father started taking me to see his friends down to Austin every year during the winter, which was great. This love for UT led my sister there and she’s currently in the Business Honors Program of the McCombs Business School, which is a top five B-school in the country…she’s the student, I’m the athlete.

Anyway, this is a great WSJ piece on how strange it is that UT has struggled to find a quarterback when Texas is literally ground zero for the quarterback position. Jonathan Clegg writes an absolutely masterful piece covering everything from the proliferation of 7-on-7 tournaments to the amount of QB talent in the state, but then ties it all together with the fact that UT has run the ball 55.35% of the time the past for years, which doesn’t make it an enticing place for QBs that are used to slinging the rock.

For those who appreciate great writing, this one is well worth reading.

Pro Bowl Talent Found Throughout the NFL Draft

A great article that I’ve found useful for some research I’m doing. Very interesting to look at the number of top NFL players that are coming from the lower rounds as, I think, the size of the talent pool the NFL is drawing from grows larger every year. I feel like part of what we’re seeing is great drafting by teams, finding value in late rounds, but I also think there are more talented players than ever before. During the 2012-2014 Pro Bowls, 37% of Pro Bowlers were drafted in the third round or later. Shockingly, 12% of Pro Bowlers were undrafted which is the same number of second round picks that have made the Pro Bowl! A very cool example of teams finding value late!

I hope you enjoyed this piece and check out these articles as you gear up for another work week. I’m VERY excited to watch The Walking Dead return tonight along with the Breaking Bad spin-off called Better Call Saul on AMC after TWD.

I’ve got an article detailing how the top ten cap charges of the past 21 Super Bowl champions were constructed and that will be coming this week. I hope you guys will enjoy it!

Tweet me @ZackMooreNFL and join the conversation during tonight’s shows!