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Thread: Reevaluating 2013 Free Agency (around the league)

  1. #1

    Reevaluating 2013 Free Agency (around the league)

    Saw this on otc.com. Pretty neat read.


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    With the season halfway complete I thought it would be a good time to actually go back and look at some of the top line spending that occurred in Free Agency and see if teams were or were not getting their money’s worth. In this segment we will look at the top five signings on the offensive side of the ball. To qualify a player either had to have his contract terminated or had to have a contract set to expire, meaning Franchise players, and RFAs would count, but extended players like Matt Ryan with years left would not. To do a quick estimate of level of play we will use the rankings from our friends at Pro Football Focus.


    Quarterback:
    There was not much in the way off free agent movement here. Joe Flacco was the big contract and he has failed to live up to his playoff performances in the regular season. His $20.1 million APY ranks 3rd in the NFL while his PFF grade is 125% lower than Peyton Manning’s, who grades as the best QB of the year. His only saving grace this year is that his cap figure is just $6.8 million, 67% less than Eli Manning’s lead leading figure. The only other free agent player to see any snaps at the position was Matt Cassel of the Vikings, who also has a poor grade in very limited action.





    Running Back:
    This has been a position of broken down players. Steven Jackson, Shonn Greene and Mike Goodson have all been injured enough to basically never play. Mendenhall was ineffective through 7 games and is now injured as well. Reggie Bush has been the lone bright spot. He ranks 18th according to PFF and 17th in my APY estimates.





    Wide Receiver:
    We all knew at the time how much the Dolphins looked to be wasting on Mike Wallace and thus far Wallace has proven the critics right. Wallace grades out at a -5.0 despite the 4th highest salary in the NFL. He carries a low cap figure in 2013, but Miami assumed that would make him exceptional value. He is anything but. Dwayne Bowe has been a disappointment as well being an average player despite a bloated salary. The worthwhile investments came on two players considered secondary targets in Victor Cruz and Brian Hartline.





    Tight End:
    I could not make any logic out of the price tag the Rams gave TE Jared Cook and I think everyone is scratching their head over that right now too. He is awful, but it’s not like he was good before. The Rams have a lot of bad deals on their team and his is the worst of the bunch. Tony Gonzalez just keeps going and going with a terrific grade at a reasonable price. Dustin Keller was injured before the year began and James Casey may as well be.





    Left Tackle:
    This is probably the first position where we are beginning to see some value. Jake Long has worked out incredibly well for the Rams while Branden Albert of the Chiefs is at least grading positively on his one year contract. Jermon Busrod and Will Beatty are both overpaid but things could be worse with them. Clady was injured early in the year.





    Right Tackle:
    If there was a hit of the offseason this is the position. Of the top 5 new deals, 4 rank incredibly high. Andre Smith has proven to be a steal for the Bengals while Gosder Cherilus and Phil Loadholt are playing well for their teams. Sebastian Vollmer was playing incredibly well but will now spend the rest of the year on IR costing himself millions in the process. Miami swung and missed on Tyson Clabo.



  2. #2
    Interior Line:
    Andy Levitre has not justified the incredibly high salary the Titans gave him to sign with the team. While not a bad player his APY is right near the top of the market for Guards and he is barely above average. Louis Vasquez has been the ge of the interior line whie Kory Lictensteiger has done well in Washington.





    Overall:
    One thing that is interesting to note in looking at these grades and salaries is that free agency is about as big a crapshoot as the draft. The skill position players have almost all disappointed and it is only the lineman who are doing well as a group. Also in each case the top salary earner at every position has not been the best performing free agent. Thus far players who qualified who graded higher than the top earning FA signing are QB Brian Hoyer, RB Danny Woodhead, WR Wes Welker, TE Ben Hartsock, LT Long, RT Vollmer, and G Vasquez. The line is the only spot where teams put a top 5 price tag on someone and saw the player pan out. We’ll take a look at the defense later this week and see if they fared better.


    http://overthecap.com/reevaluating-free-agency-offense/

  3. #3
    Cracking read, stick to the draft, just goes to show you should never build a team through FA.

  4. #4
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    Interesting. Seems that the more often than not you get what you pay for with OL. And with the new CBA making it harder to develop young OL I think team will look to FA more and more.

  5. #5
    I think offensive lineman are somewhat easier to project than others because what they are being graded on largely depends on one on one situations, where they have one guy that they are trying to block either for running or passing and they can win one on one. And by the time you get to free agency, teams have years of tape and stats to see which guys are the best, so unless it's drastic change in system, most O-lineman perform similar duties. I'd imagine kicker has similar consistency as well.

    However, the skill positions are much harder to predict, because it deals with your entire offense. So a WR, you have to factor in the QB first and what kind of upgrade or downgrade you are getting when moving. Second, the secondary talent on the new team. Is there a running back that will take away considerable attention from WRs? Is there another stud WR or TE that is going to free you up? Or is it the opposite in that, are you going from a guy that benefited from being the No. 2 or No. 3 three guy that got many one on one scenarios to a team that is making you their No. 1 WR? Same for RBs as well. With skill players, you have to factor in the change of responsibility with the big new contract and see if teams will adjust to you.

    So as far as we're concerned, and going after playmakers next year, it points out the need to double dip at a position like WR. So even if we get a WR like Nicks to be the No. 1, we may need to draft a Watkins, Lee, or Evans because even by sacrificing some value with Nicks because he may get more attention than he does with the Giants from defenses, we counter that loss by freeing up attention from the other guy we draft as well as Hill and Kerley, so the collective increment from their production can out duel the downgrade in Nick's production.

  6. #6
    This is why even though we will have a lot of money, buying an offense is a bad idea.
    Use our 12 picks to get Geno some young weapons he can grow up with. Like Dalton, if we surround Geno with players over the next 2 drafts & protect him behind a good Oline we can get better each year.
    Be interested to see the defensive numbers.
    I wouldn't be surprised that using free agency to shore up the trenches is money well spent. Look what Damien Woody did for us.
    Luckily we are already set on in the trenches on defense.
    What is Ellis contract status?
    He might be a guy that we can trade for a higher pick than where we got him. Before anyone talks about depth, if his contract is close to over, it's best to get something for him.
    Having a chitload of draft picks over the next 2 years will be the solid base this franchise needs to take over this division.
    Pats have a lot of their older stalwarts injured (Wilfork, Kelly, Mayo, Vollmer), Talib is a FA, so if they don't sign him it will be tough to replace his play. pretty bad injuries & as you know, when your older bouncing back from injuries usually starts the downfall in the NFL.
    We need a stud CB & Safety.
    Did anyone watch Earl Thomas the other night!!!! OMG please let us find someone like that in the draft!
    Guy is f*cking amazing player.

  7. #7
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    All you have to do is look at the moves we made in free agency this past offseason.

    With Idzik at the helm, we will never be making a big splash in free agency, he will continue to make low risk/high reward signings.

    The bulk of this team from here on out will be built through the draft and we have a boatload of draft picks in the 2014 draft.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ARodFLKeysJetsFan View Post
    All you have to do is look at the moves we made in free agency this past offseason.

    With Idzik at the helm, we will never be making a big splash in free agency, he will continue to make low risk/high reward signings.

    The bulk of this team from here on out will be built through the draft and we have a boatload of draft picks in the 2014 draft.
    I'm not sure I agree with this. Last year we had no money. We will have plenty of money this year. I expect we'll make at least one big splash signing this off season.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelioion View Post
    I'm not sure I agree with this. Last year we had no money. We will have plenty of money this year. I expect we'll make at least one big splash signing this off season.
    THIS.

    I think Idzik did a marvelous job with the hand he was dealt. This offseason Idzik will start to put his stamp on this team with the surplus of cap and picks we have. There is no evidence yet to suggest that Idzik will not make a least one impact signing if the money is available.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetster View Post
    This is why even though we will have a lot of money, buying an offense is a bad idea.
    Use our 12 picks to get Geno some young weapons he can grow up with. Like Dalton, if we surround Geno with players over the next 2 drafts & protect him behind a good Oline we can get better each year.
    Be interested to see the defensive numbers.
    I wouldn't be surprised that using free agency to shore up the trenches is money well spent. Look what Damien Woody did for us.
    Luckily we are already set on in the trenches on defense.
    What is Ellis contract status?
    He might be a guy that we can trade for a higher pick than where we got him. Before anyone talks about depth, if his contract is close to over, it's best to get something for him.
    Having a chitload of draft picks over the next 2 years will be the solid base this franchise needs to take over this division.
    Pats have a lot of their older stalwarts injured (Wilfork, Kelly, Mayo, Vollmer), Talib is a FA, so if they don't sign him it will be tough to replace his play. pretty bad injuries & as you know, when your older bouncing back from injuries usually starts the downfall in the NFL.
    We need a stud CB & Safety.
    Did anyone watch Earl Thomas the other night!!!! OMG please let us find someone like that in the draft!
    Guy is f*cking amazing player.
    I wouldn't mind a Jarius Byrd signing if he comes down on his asking price(currently wants to be the top paid safety in football.)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelioion View Post
    I'm not sure I agree with this. Last year we had no money. We will have plenty of money this year. I expect we'll make at least one big splash signing this off season.
    Stands to reason not all of your needs will be filled through the draft. I believe Idzik will pick best players available relative to grade and offense/defense. With the rookie pay scale flat, the amount of cap room we will have speaks well to being able to resign players like Wilkerson and Howard. I really would like for Idzik to target Graham even though we all know that he will probably resign with NO. My reason is that he makes defenses double team him at all times. He's not a mauler for blocking but I think he's adequate enough to be effective. He will also make what whomever is here at the WR spot better because of the amount of attention he gets. Ask the NE WR's how much easier it was when Gronk and Hernandez were on the field.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Win4ever View Post
    I think offensive lineman are somewhat easier to project than others because what they are being graded on largely depends on one on one situations, where they have one guy that they are trying to block either for running or passing and they can win one on one. And by the time you get to free agency, teams have years of tape and stats to see which guys are the best, so unless it's drastic change in system, most O-lineman perform similar duties. I'd imagine kicker has similar consistency as well.

    However, the skill positions are much harder to predict, because it deals with your entire offense. So a WR, you have to factor in the QB first and what kind of upgrade or downgrade you are getting when moving. Second, the secondary talent on the new team. Is there a running back that will take away considerable attention from WRs? Is there another stud WR or TE that is going to free you up? Or is it the opposite in that, are you going from a guy that benefited from being the No. 2 or No. 3 three guy that got many one on one scenarios to a team that is making you their No. 1 WR? Same for RBs as well. With skill players, you have to factor in the change of responsibility with the big new contract and see if teams will adjust to you.

    So as far as we're concerned, and going after playmakers next year, it points out the need to double dip at a position like WR. So even if we get a WR like Nicks to be the No. 1, we may need to draft a Watkins, Lee, or Evans because even by sacrificing some value with Nicks because he may get more attention than he does with the Giants from defenses, we counter that loss by freeing up attention from the other guy we draft as well as Hill and Kerley, so the collective increment from their production can out duel the downgrade in Nick's production.
    Pass on nicks he sucks and is his legs are always hurt, total waste of money

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=jetster;5044687]This is why even though we will have a lot of money, buying an offense is a bad idea.
    Use our 12 picks to get Geno some young weapons he can grow up with. Like Dalton, if we surround Geno with players over the next 2 drafts & protect him behind a good Oline we can get better each year.

    where are these 12 picks coming from you keep saying it likes its real deal. I count 8 picks next year please enlighten me and if you say supplemental picks that might be a strech we will be lucky to get one or two. The TE signed for decent money but he was hurt and had no production the Guard in chicago has played well for them but was signed for small money and we signed willie colon push there. landrey brothers will offset most likely as we are getting better production as laron is back to being hurt but he did sign for major money so maybe we net out a pick. this is all guess work thou. Supplemental picks are not something i would bank the future of the team on.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by carlito1171 View Post
    I wouldn't mind a Jarius Byrd signing if he comes down on his asking price(currently wants to be the top paid safety in football.)
    I think he might have to go the Landry route by signing a one year deal and prove to people he can stay healthy. I can't see anyone giving him a monster contract after missing almost half the year with plantar fascitis. I agree Byrd would be a great addition but I would be leery of giving him a long term contract.

  15. #15
    For comp picks, see this thread:
    http://forums.jetnation.com/topic/11...nsatory-picks/

    The unmatched losses are:
    Landry - 6.0 m
    Keller - 4.25 m
    Devito - 4.20 m
    Greene - 3.33 m

    And he guesses:
    ONE 5th rounder
    THREE 6th rounders

  16. #16
    With the season halfway complete I thought it would be a good time to actually go back and look at some of the top line spending that occurred in Free Agency and see if teams were or were not getting their money’s worth. In this segment we will look at the top five signings on the defensive side of the ball (you can read the offensive overview right here). To qualify a player either had to have his contract terminated or had to have a contract set to expire, meaning Franchise players, and RFAs would count, but extended players like Clay Matthews with years left would not. To do a quick estimate of level of play we will use the rankings from our friends at Pro Football Focus.

    Defensive End/34 Outside Linebacker:
    This was a hit or miss position. Johnson is the best performing free agent at the position and also the most expensive. Elvis Dumervil has been a great bargain for the Ravens and the Broncos likely regret letting him go over a few dollars. But beyond those two its been poor. Anthony Spencer never even saw a practice this year due to injury. Paul Kruger has been underwhelming with added playtime while Connor Barwin has been a disappointment.



    Defensive Tackle/34 Defensive End:
    The big disappointment was Hank Melton who had a negative grade before getting injured for the season. For the Bears this ends up being a decent use of the franchise tag if they were unsure of Melton’s long term prospects. Randy Starks has given the Dolphins great play that grades 5th in the NFL at the position. Mike DeVito has been a very good addition to the Chiefs, something most Jets fans would have told them when they signed him. The other two players have not justified the spending, but are at least performing ok.



    Linebacker:
    This is the first truly poor position on defense in free agency. Only Brad Jones of the Packers grades moderately well. The Dolphins paid significant money for Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler and both have played below average, while Nick Roach is a disaster for the Raiders.



    Cornerback:
    There are a number of corners that qualified for the list since so many players tied for the top 5 in APY. For the most part the great market crash for corners has produced great results for NFL teams. The Eagles and Chargers are the two teams who should have the most regret getting below average results despite top salaries for the year. Still this is better than in years past where mid tier corners would probably have cost $2 million a year more than what was paid here. It will be interesting to see how the salaries at the position shake out next season.



    Safety:
    I’m not surprised at the poor play of Dashon Goldson and Ed Reed. Goldson was more of a byproduct of the 49ers solid defense than a reason for its big success. In Reed’s case he’s been trending down for some time and whenever the Ravens give up on a player it should always be buyer beware. For the most part the other players have performed around what should be the expectation for their salary levels.



    Overall:
    I think the same takeaway holds true with the defense as it did with the offense in regards to top salary usually not equaling the top performer. The one exception was Johnson, though he is still playing for a new contract. That said top spend free agency seems to have produced better results on defense than it did on offense. It’s just a half a season but I think it would be an interesting exercise to go back the prior three seasons and see how things worked out at most positions. I do think some of the sexier positions (skill positions on offense and mainly pass rushers on defense) tend to lead teams to overspend in free agency and those players don’t pan out as well, but that’s just an opinion. Maybe sometime in the offseason we’ll try and not only see how these deals held up over the year but also look at some older ones from years past.http://overthecap.com/reevaluating-free-agency-defense/

  17. #17
    One position to keep an eye on in the offseason is CB. With Cro's performance this year, he might be a likely target to have his contract restructured or released outright. If Rex comes back and Cro is released, look for the team to target a higher priced CB.

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