Going Through Some Contract-Based Draft Needs for Contenders

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. Continue reading Going Through Some Contract-Based Draft Needs for Contenders »

NFL Sets Salary Cap at $177.2 Million

Per ESPN’s Field Yates, and later confirmed by multiple sources, the NFL salary cap for 2018 has been set at $177.2 million for the season. This is right in line with the NFL projected range and our projection of $178 million for the season. The OTC pages should now be updated to reflect the change (if they aren’t showing that way they will shortly). If my math is correct (and it may not be) that should mean that the RFA tenders are now set at $1.907M (ROFR), $2.914M( 2nd rounder), and $4.149M (1st rounder).

Thoughts on the Jaguars, That Superb Defense, and Blake Bortles

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. Continue reading Thoughts on the Jaguars, That Superb Defense, and Blake Bortles »

Comparing Pre- and Post-Contract Numbers for Top WRs

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. Continue reading Comparing Pre- and Post-Contract Numbers for Top WRs »

Breaking Down the Contract Structure Tendencies and Styles of Each Team – NFC North

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.

Chicago Bears

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.

Continue reading Breaking Down the Contract Structure Tendencies and Styles of Each Team – NFC North »

The Best and Worst Value Teams of 2016

Since the season is halfway over for everyone I wanted to look at what teams are getting value and which ones are not out of their roster. There are a number of ways to measure value but what I wanted to do here was to use Football Outsiders weighted DVOA and my own scoring efficiency metrics to give an average level of performance for each team. This was then compared with the total amount of money invested in a team for 2016, where the investment equals the sum of all annual contract values as of last week. Each team is then broken down into one of four tiers to really define the winners and losers of the season. The chart below graphically represents where each team ranks with the size of the bubble showing how much cap space the team is sitting on which could have been used this year to better the team. Continue reading The Best and Worst Value Teams of 2016 »

Thoughts on the New York Jets

Before the season began I had a number of requests to write about the Jets, what they were building, and what I thought about their latest front office. With the season pretty much on the brink with a 1-4 record I figured now is as good a time as any to post some thoughts on the team and their future.

I didn’t expect much from the Jets this season so while the results have been disappointing I can’t say they have been unexpected. I’ve been on the record since last season ended saying that I expected that this season would be a lot like 2007 and so far I think it has been just that. For those of you who don’t remember the “Mangini (or Tangini as some called it) era” it effectively followed the same pattern we have had here except with one big difference. Continue reading Thoughts on the New York Jets »