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 Post subject: Is the NFL Worse vs Previous Years?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:50 am 
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http://deadspin.com/if-the-nfl-is-worse ... 1786338046

The examined hypothesis of Kevin Clark’s new article in The Ringer, about a belief within the NFL that the “on-field product” is becoming kinda shitty, is that the game is suffering because the league is getting drastically younger, which has led to players with underdeveloped skills and minds seeing more and more time on the field.


John Harbaugh Used Player's Funeral As Chance To Complain To NFLPA Head About The CBA
The Ringer’s Kevin Clark has a good piece on what NFL rosters getting younger means for the league, …
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Note that this isn’t Clark’s personal opinion, nor the lament of the average fan. It is instead presented as a consensus building among the NFL’s most important minds. Clark gets on-the-record quotes from NFLPA leader De Smith, as well as head coaches John Harbaugh, Mike McCarthy, Marvin Lewis, and Ron Rivera, plus GMs Doug Whaley (Bills), Dave Gettleman (Panthers), Rick Spielman (Vikings), and Jon Robinson (Titans). Says McCarthy:

“Let’s be honest, the younger the league, the less experienced the league is and with that, the quality of play doesn’t start off at the same level,” said Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. “I think what you see, particularly in the early part of the season, is a reflection of that.”
Per Clark, the cause of this phenomenon is the CBA, which was renegotiated in 2011 to depress rookie salaries, especially at the top of the draft—as Clark notes, Sam Bradford’s first contract with the Rams guaranteed him $50 million, while Jared Goff’s rookie deal guarantees him $27.5 million. The intent of this change was to divert money to veterans, but what it has actually done is make cheap young players so disposable—and good cheap young players so valuable—that vets are instead just being pushed out of the league. Says the Titans’ Robinson, whose 53-man roster has 27 players on their first contracts:

“The way the CBA is structured now, it’s really no different from any other workforce in that you want to find the healthiest, youngest, least-expensive talent and infuse it into your corporation,” said Titans general manager Jon Robinson. “We’re the same model.”
The coaches and GMs quoted in the piece speak about this slide down quality’s slope as if roster composition is totally out of their control, and in this case they’re basically right. The economic realities of the league are dictated by the CBA, which is negotiated by the owners and the players’ association. The owners more or less agree upon how much money per year they would like to spend on talent—this year the salary cap is $155 million—and every offseason that number necessitates cost-cutting measures, including getting rid of higher-paid established players, as teams attempt to field competitive rosters made up of players who can only make, on average, under $3 million per season.

The solution to this problem is so simple that you’ve surely concluded it on your own: the owners have to spend more money. If they were willing to cut into their profits, the cap could be raised or roster sizes increased so that teams were able to retain more experienced players while still having room to develop unseasoned rookies who are now, per the coaches, thrown into action before they’re physically or mentally ready because they’re too cheap to not be on rosters. The owners simply need to create more jobs. What could be more American?

The article also argues that the problem starts not in the NFL but in college, where players are increasingly declaring early for the draft—per Clark, this year’s draft featured 107 players who left for the NFL before their eligibility was up. The cause of this is obvious: College players know they’re only one snap away from their careers ending, so they need to lock in NFL money at the earliest possible opportunity. The solution to this is even more obvious: help facilitate the paying of college players, or start a professional, NFL-run minor league.

How NFL owners feel about all of this is unclear. None are quoted in Clark’s article, and are scarcely mentioned, but you don’t have to walk out onto a limb to guess that they would have little interest in paying anything more than the bare minimum to field a competitive, profitable league.

Anyway, the problem with griping about quality of play in the NFL is that it hasn’t yet curbed America’s obsession with football—Clark himself wrote about this last season in an article titled “NFL’s Quality of Play Hits Rock Bottom, No One Cares.” It would seem that such concerns matter only to football purists—coaches, GMs, readers of The Ringer—a group that does not appear to overlap greatly with the 40-something million people who watch the NFL every Sunday.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the NFL Worse vs Previous Years?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:58 am 
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Yes, it's worse. But the explanations given in the article don't really make sense - replacing marginal vets with young, cheaper players (if that's really even true, which is debatable) isn't really impacting your top 25 players or so on offense and defense. There's also just not a material difference, with respect to the cap, between a vet min contract and rookie.

No, the reason is simply that they've made it so damn hard to play good defense. And the scales have tilted so heavily toward the passing game, which makes the game less interesting and less strategic. Not to mention, watching mediocre QB's throw 5-yd hitches and screens all day is boring beyond belief. Tom Brady is the fucking most boring "great" QB in the history of the league.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the NFL Worse vs Previous Years?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:04 pm 
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What is meant by "worst"? They seem to equate youth and inexperience with worst. Is it less entertaining? Can the young players not do the same thing as the old players? Hasen't this been happening for years?

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 Post subject: Re: Is the NFL Worse vs Previous Years?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:13 pm 
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IC must have written that article. :lol: :lol:

At any rate, even if I was to accept the explanation offered by that article, the owners are not going to simply willy nilly "create more jobs to improve the quality of the product" as long as the product is still selling at record rates.

They have a near-monopoly, and will continue to act like they have that near-monopoly until such time as serious competition threatens them...either another league or another entertainment product that draws consumers away from the NFL.

Maybe that will happen someday. I don't know the audience demographics for football. When my generation and the generation before mine...who grew up on football right after Pete Rozelle helped make it what it is today...die off, will the younger fans pick up the slack?

I honestly don't know.

But until then, the owners will put the cheapest product on the field that's just "not shitty enough".

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 Post subject: Re: Is the NFL Worse vs Previous Years?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:26 pm 
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It's not Sport, It's TV Dollar driven Entertainment, and Quality is NOT JOB ONE!!!

PIGS GET FAT HOGS GET SLAUGHTERED!!

IT COMIN!!

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 Post subject: Re: Is the NFL Worse vs Previous Years?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:26 pm 
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The discussion of better or worse depends on what you want in your football product. Defense is always the bad guy in this drama play and the touchdown is the offense's way of overcoming. What the league has done is make it easier for the offense to "beat the bad guys" and has skewed everything towards promoting the "good guys" over the defenders. It makes for great TV, the epic comebacks, the 45-42 point games are all part of what the NFL is selling here to the stations and now to soccer fans abroad. The problem is it feels artificial, it feels like they are staging outcomes (like a reality show), it feels like this is just a grinder and these young kids are being put in this process to make a bland hamburger as to appeal to everyone who doesn't have a weird vegan's palette. If you like your football in steak form- it's immeasurably worse. What's a catch? DPI and holding are expected on EVERY PLAY?

Forgive the excessive metaphors and imagery- but football is never going to be what it was for a Steelers fan. What we've been known for (hardnosed intimidating defense) got its balls snipped off in a ham-handed attempt to make the game safer. Don't let someone sell you on the yinzer rock pounding schtick, Bradshaw was putting up points and yards with ease in the late 70s and 80s. The only thing that was consistent was a defense that didn't have to defend every blade of grass because it could lock out areas with sheer intimidation. I hate that the defenses in the league have the "hold them to a FG" mentality when it used to be "don't let them cross midfield"

If you just like stats, and fantasy football or you're a soccer fan trying to figure out what the difference between rugby and the NFL is- then the game is immeasurably better.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the NFL Worse vs Previous Years?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:33 pm 
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The problem with the "cheaper but inexperienced" argument is there's a salary cap, and teams are required to spend at least 90% of the cap.

So if marginal vets ARE being discarded for "cheaper but inexperienced" young guys, then it's because a premium is being placed on higher caliber players. That vet savings isn't going to the owners' pocket, it's going to the premium players.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the NFL Worse vs Previous Years?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:47 pm 
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Kodiak wrote:
The problem with the "cheaper but inexperienced" argument is there's a salary cap, and teams are required to spend at least 90% of the cap.

So if marginal vets ARE being discarded for "cheaper but inexperienced" young guys, then it's because a premium is being placed on higher caliber players. That vet savings isn't going to the owners' pocket, it's going to the premium players.


There are only so many premium players. I think that that its going to those marginal players who hit the market at the right time. Case in point the old Denver TE who signed with the Jags- an inflated number for a guy that needs a good QB. Or how the Vincent Jackson deal with Tampa (coupled with Calvin Js deal) lead to this overpayment of 1s and put the tag number for WRs in an unrealistic position. Bucs lured VJ (and others) with huge money that they just had laying around.

AJ Green
Bengals
$60,000,000 $15,000,000 $26,750,000 $6,687,500 44.6% 2020 UFA
Alshon Jeffery
Bears
$14,599,000 $14,599,000 $14,599,000 $14,599,000 100.0% 2017 UFA
Julio Jones
Falcons
$71,250,000 $14,250,000 $35,500,000 $7,100,000 49.8% 2021 UFA
Demaryius Thomas
Broncos
$70,000,000 $14,000,000 $35,000,000 $7,000,000 50.0% 2020 UFA
Dez Bryant
Cowboys
$70,000,000 $14,000,000 $32,000,000 $6,400,000 45.7% 2020 UFA
TY Hilton
Colts
$65,000,000 $13,000,000 $11,000,000 $2,200,000 16.9% 2021 UFA
Doug Baldwin
Seahawks
$46,000,000 $11,500,000 $12,000,000 $3,000,000 26.1% 2021 UFA
Keenan Allen
Chargers
$45,000,000 $11,250,000 $20,656,000 $5,164,000 45.9% 2021 UFA
Vincent Jackson
Buccaneers
$55,555,555 $11,111,111 $26,000,000 $5,200,000 46.8% 2017 UFA
Larry Fitzgerald
Cardinals
$11,000,000 $11,000,000 $0 $0 0.0% 2018 Void
Jeremy Maclin
Chiefs
$55,000,000 $11,000,000 $22,500,000 $4,500,000 40.9% 2020 UFA
Tavon Austin
Rams
$42,222,004 $10,555,501 $17,000,000 $4,250,000 40.3% 2022 UFA
Allen Hurns
Jaguars
$40,050,000 $10,012,500 $16,000,000 $4,000,000 40.0% 2021 UFA

These guys are making an average of 12 million a year based on Tampas crappy contract management and a guy that is no longer in the league. Someone tell me outside of Dez, AJ and Julio who on that list is worth 12 million?

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 Post subject: Re: Is the NFL Worse vs Previous Years?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:56 pm 
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VeritasSteel wrote:
Kodiak wrote:
The problem with the "cheaper but inexperienced" argument is there's a salary cap, and teams are required to spend at least 90% of the cap.

So if marginal vets ARE being discarded for "cheaper but inexperienced" young guys, then it's because a premium is being placed on higher caliber players. That vet savings isn't going to the owners' pocket, it's going to the premium players.


There are only so many premium players. I think that that its going to those marginal players who hit the market at the right time. Case in point the old Denver TE who signed with the Jags- an inflated number for a guy that needs a good QB. Or how the Vincent Jackson deal with Tampa (coupled with Calvin Js deal) lead to this overpayment of 1s and put the tag number for WRs in an unrealistic position. Bucs lured VJ (and others) with huge money that they just had laying around.

AJ Green
Bengals
$60,000,000 $15,000,000 $26,750,000 $6,687,500 44.6% 2020 UFA
Alshon Jeffery
Bears
$14,599,000 $14,599,000 $14,599,000 $14,599,000 100.0% 2017 UFA
Julio Jones
Falcons
$71,250,000 $14,250,000 $35,500,000 $7,100,000 49.8% 2021 UFA
Demaryius Thomas
Broncos
$70,000,000 $14,000,000 $35,000,000 $7,000,000 50.0% 2020 UFA
Dez Bryant
Cowboys
$70,000,000 $14,000,000 $32,000,000 $6,400,000 45.7% 2020 UFA
TY Hilton
Colts
$65,000,000 $13,000,000 $11,000,000 $2,200,000 16.9% 2021 UFA
Doug Baldwin
Seahawks
$46,000,000 $11,500,000 $12,000,000 $3,000,000 26.1% 2021 UFA
Keenan Allen
Chargers
$45,000,000 $11,250,000 $20,656,000 $5,164,000 45.9% 2021 UFA
Vincent Jackson
Buccaneers
$55,555,555 $11,111,111 $26,000,000 $5,200,000 46.8% 2017 UFA
Larry Fitzgerald
Cardinals
$11,000,000 $11,000,000 $0 $0 0.0% 2018 Void
Jeremy Maclin
Chiefs
$55,000,000 $11,000,000 $22,500,000 $4,500,000 40.9% 2020 UFA
Tavon Austin
Rams
$42,222,004 $10,555,501 $17,000,000 $4,250,000 40.3% 2022 UFA
Allen Hurns
Jaguars
$40,050,000 $10,012,500 $16,000,000 $4,000,000 40.0% 2021 UFA

These guys are making an average of 12 million a year based on Tampas crappy contract management and a guy that is no longer in the league. Someone tell me outside of Dez, AJ and Julio who on that list is worth 12 million?



Let's not forget all the QBs who have gotten overpaid over the past few years.

(Money value in average per year, per overthecap.com)

Matt Ryan - 20M
Kirk Cousins - 19.9M
Ryan Tannehill - 19.25M
Colin Kaepernick - 19M
Jay Cutler - 18M
Brock Osweiler - 18M
Tony Romo -18M
Tyrod Taylor - 18M
Matt Stafford - 17M
Sam Bradford - 17M
Alex Smith - 17M
Carson Palmer - 16M
Andy Dalton - 16M
Ryan Fitzpatrick - 12M
RG3 - 7M
Chase Daniel - 7M


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 Post subject: Re: Is the NFL Worse vs Previous Years?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:15 pm 
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At a funeral, lol.


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