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View Full Version : How can you NOT overpay for free agents?


Marcus
03-12-2006, 04:22 PM
Witnessing the "uproar' about the latest signings. Granted, most of it is from the "I wanted Casserly fired, and I'm just pissed that he wasn't" crowd . . .

. . but say you're the GM.

Your team hasn't ever been to the playoffs, and there are 31 other teams besides you that are bidding for a player's services. So, in order to get that player, you have to give him more money than the other 31 are offering. Sounds pretty straight forward, and simple to me.

So, do you actively participate in getting free agents, or you do not participate?

Now, if was up to me, I would not participate. I would build strictly through the draft . . . and whatever happens . . . happens.

_________________________________

mancunian
03-12-2006, 04:23 PM
Witnessing the "uproar' about the latest signings. Granted, most of it is from the "I wanted Casserly fired, and I'm just pissed that he wasn't" crowd . . .

. . but say you're the GM.

Your team hasn't ever been to the playoffs, and there are 31 other teams besides you that are bidding for a player's services. So, in order to get that player, you have to give him more money than the other 31 are offering. Sounds pretty straight forward, and simple to me.

So, you do you actively participate in getting free agents, or you do not participate?

Now, if was up to me, I would not participate. I would build strictly through the draft . . . and whatever happens . . . happens.

everyone over pays in FA....they see it as the best way to build a team. Its the quickest and most expensive and leads to cap hell

Vinny
03-12-2006, 04:25 PM
Witnessing the "uproar' about the latest signings. Granted, most of it is from the "I wanted Casserly fired, and I'm just pissed that he wasn't" crowd . . .

. . but say you're the GM.

Your team hasn't ever been to the playoffs, and there are 31 other teams besides you that are bidding for a player's services. So, in order to get that player, you have to give him more money than the other 31 are offering. Sounds pretty straight forward, and simple to me.

So, do you actively participate in getting free agents, or you do not participate?

Now, if was up to me, I would not participate. I would build strictly through the draft . . . and whatever happens . . . happens.

_________________________________There are really two ways to pay a player. one is one spec (for instance DC's huge cap hit is on spec instead on production...we are speculating he can do it), the other one is on proven production. Cleveland guarantees 12 mil to a pro bowler...we guarantee 13 mil to someone who projects to play the 4-3 "better" than he played in a 3-4 since he his best sack year is 5. Pure spec. I think that if we have signed more "proven" talent and less "spec", we would not have as many worried fans. Most of us have seen what has happened the first half decade to get us here.

Ibar_Harry
03-12-2006, 04:26 PM
Witnessing the "uproar' about the latest signings. Granted, most of it is from the "I wanted Casserly fired, and I'm just pissed that he wasn't" crowd . . .

. . but say you're the GM.

Your team hasn't ever been to the playoffs, and there are 31 other teams besides you that are bidding for a player's services. So, in order to get that player, you have to give him more money than the other 31 are offering. Sounds pretty straight forward, and simple to me.

So, do you actively participate in getting free agents, or you do not participate?

Now, if was up to me, I would not participate. I would build strictly through the draft . . . and whatever happens . . . happens.

_________________________________

Well said and you can add that any FA chosen probably has to have the blessing of the coaching staff or may be even dictated by the coaching staff. People act like 1 man has all the input in this show and that's simply not the case. Oh, well, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

Mr. White
03-12-2006, 04:26 PM
Not to mention the fact that we ARE worst team in the league. Seems to me like you have to pay a little more to get average FAs to come play here.

Marcus
03-12-2006, 04:29 PM
everyone over pays in FA....they see it as the best way to build a team. Its the quickest and most expensive and leads to cap hell

The Patriots and the Steelers don't need to overpay, and they don't. But that's because they are the Patriots and the Steelers . . . playoff teams . . . :hmmm:

Vinny
03-12-2006, 04:32 PM
The Patriots and the Steelers don't need to overpay, and they don't. But that's because they are the Patriots and the Steelers . . . playoff teams . . . :hmmm:It's probably has more to do with drafting well. They hit on most of their first day picks.

Grid
03-12-2006, 04:32 PM
There are really two ways to pay a player. one is one spec (for instance DC's huge cap hit is on spec instead on production...we are speculating he can do it), the other one is on proven production. Cleveland guarantees 12 mil to a pro bowler...we guarantee 13 mil to someone who projects to play the 4-3 "better" than he played in a 3-4 since he his best sack year is 5. Pure spec. I think that if we have signed more "proven" talent and less "spec", we would not have as many worried fans. Most of us have seen what has happened the first half decade to get us here.

Honestly I think we are better off paying for spec than proven ability. We paid for Todd Wade on proven ability.. and that really was overpaying for average talent. We had to pay him so much though because we are a young team with no winning records. At least with Weaver there is the chance we may get our money's worth. I just think that you pay alot more for proven players.. I mean..they have proven their worth, and so you have to pay them their worth. Technically..that should mean that you can get a quality player for less, because you know just what he is worth.. but since we are in the situation of being a new team with a bad record..we have to overpay for average talent.

Vinny
03-12-2006, 04:34 PM
Honestly I think we are better off paying for spec than proven ability. We paid for Todd Wade on proven ability.. and that really was overpaying for average talent.There was a huge uproar around the league that we totally overpaid for Wade. Turns out they were right.

swtbound07
03-12-2006, 04:36 PM
There was a huge uproar around the league that we totally overpaid for Wade. Turns out they were right.

Was that before or after the greenwood uproar?

Marcus
03-12-2006, 04:36 PM
.. but since we are in the situation of being a new team with a bad record..we have to overpay for average talent.

Which is why I don't think we should participate in free agency at all.

Snapple
03-12-2006, 04:43 PM
Some of you guys act like free agents never live up to their billing, while the draft always succeeds. Look at Jason Babin and tell me how much of a sure thing a first round draft pick is. Look at Travis Johnson and tell me how much of a sure thing a first round draft pick is.

Free agents don't always stink. I bet there were people who thought the Steelers overpaid for Jerome Bettis when he left the Rams. The Seahawks needed a receiver last year, and they picked up Joe Jurevicious. He ended up being a key playmaker that helped them break through and get to the Superbowl.

The Raiders "overpaid" for a bum like Rich Gannon, future league MVP Rich Gannon.

It's not like free agency is a scam, which is what some people are making it sound like. So sometimes you have to pay a little more than what the "experts" say they should cost. That doesn't mean free agents aren't worth it. And sometimes, a little veteran leadership goes a long way, which we need more of.

We can't just draft a rookie in the third round and call him our number two receiver. The draft can only solve so many problems at once, and you never know how many of your draft picks are even going to work anyway. They could bust, and you'll be worse off than you were before.

ledzeppelin229
03-12-2006, 04:49 PM
Some of you guys act like free agents never live up to their billing, while the draft always succeeds. Look at Jason Babin and tell me how much of a sure thing a first round draft pick is. Look at Travis Johnson and tell me how much of a sure thing a first round draft pick is.

Free agents don't always stink. I bet there were people who thought the Steelers overpaid for Jerome Bettis when he left the Rams. The Seahawks needed a receiver last year, and they picked up Joe Jurevicious. He ended up being a key playmaker that helped them break through and get to the Superbowl.

The Raiders "overpaid" for a bum like Rich Gannon, future league MVP Rich Gannon.

It's not like free agency is a scam, which is what some people are making it sound like. So sometimes you have to pay a little more than what the "experts" say they should cost. That doesn't mean free agents aren't worth it. And sometimes, a little veteran leadership goes a long way, which we need more of.

We can't just draft a rookie in the third round and call him our number two receiver. The draft can only solve so many problems at once, and you never know how many of your draft picks are even going to work anyway. They could bust, and you'll be worse off than you were before.

The success of other teams free agents doesn't matter to me. My problem is all of OUR high priced free agents seem to substantially underproduce. Maybe Kubiak/Sherman etc can get more out of them. We can only hope.

Nighthawk
03-12-2006, 04:54 PM
Witnessing the "uproar' about the latest signings.

Your team hasn't ever been to the playoffs, and there are 31 other teams besides you that are bidding for a player's services. So, in order to get that player, you have to give him more money than the other 31 are offering. Sounds pretty straight forward, and simple to me.
_________________________________

Why is everyone so dense? The way you use free agency without getting burned is that you buy only the best available proven players. Yes, you'll pay a little more, but you get a more or less guaranteed return. You're not hiring people who might do pretty well in your scheme.

The problem with the Texans is that they always buy 3rd tier guys, hoping that they'll improve.

So you get in the game for the tops guys only. If you look at the numbers we're paying for 2nd and 3rd tier guys, they aren't that far off what others are paying for top tier players.

tulexan
03-12-2006, 05:00 PM
Weaver was the 15th best FA available. I would hardly categorize him as a 2nd or 3rd tier guy.

chuckm
03-12-2006, 05:15 PM
There are really two ways to pay a player. one is one spec (for instance DC's huge cap hit is on spec instead on production...we are speculating he can do it), the other one is on proven production.

who else besides Bentley would you consider to have been productive enough to qualify for "proven production"?

edo783
03-12-2006, 06:17 PM
There are really two ways to pay a player. one is one spec the other one is on proven production. Cleveland guarantees 12 mil to a pro bowler...we guarantee 13 mil to someone who projects to play the 4-3 "better" than he played in a 3-4 .

Now Vinny, you know those two positions have totally different pay structures. The Browns made a probowl CENTER the highest paid center in the HISTORY of the league (very likely worth it to). We paid a DE, who typically get a boatload more money than centers do, about the middle/middle upper range for that type of position. Trevor Pryce who WAS once a top end DE and is now on the down hill slide, over 30 and is comming off of back surgury, got basically the same money as Weaver. If we were the Pats or Steelers, we MAYBE could have got Weaver for 20 Mill, which would have been a bargin for a young solid DE in the current market for DEs.

TexanBacker93
03-12-2006, 08:06 PM
It's probably has more to do with drafting well. They hit on most of their first day picks.

Neither of them are ever big players in FA. They go after system players that fit what they need. Building a winning team isn't about assembling the biggest and brightest groups of players. How many Super Bowls does Snyder have now. 5? 6? I lose track with all the "superstars" he brings in year after year. I agree with Vinny that the Texans seem to do a lot more spec buying, but until they establish themselves they aren't left with many options. If they offer Weaver a lower deal and he goes elsewhere they have to scramble to get a serviceable player.

I don't see Carr as spec, though. Is he getting paid better than his performance? Yes. They just exercised the extension that was written into the contract. I would rather have seen them tear that up and work something else out, but I don't really know what the language in the contract said.

TexanBacker93
03-12-2006, 08:11 PM
Why is everyone so dense? The way you use free agency without getting burned is that you buy only the best available proven players. Yes, you'll pay a little more, but you get a more or less guaranteed return. You're not hiring people who might do pretty well in your scheme.

The problem with the Texans is that they always buy 3rd tier guys, hoping that they'll improve.

So you get in the game for the tops guys only. If you look at the numbers we're paying for 2nd and 3rd tier guys, they aren't that far off what others are paying for top tier players.

Weaver is a better caliber player than Pryce. The Texans gave him a little more guaranteed than the Ravens gave Pryce, but the total is nearly identical. Weaver will most likely play 5 years in Houston and get his $25 million. Pryce will probably end up playing 3 years in Baltimore before the injuries force them to get rid of him. He'll end up with about $17 million paid to him for the 3 years. I'd rather have Weaver and his younger, healthier, and more driven body.

dat_boy_yec
03-12-2006, 08:13 PM
All of the above arguments are just more reasons we should really try to land Givens.

aj.
03-12-2006, 08:46 PM
Was that before or after the greenwood uproar?

I think it was somewhere in between the Greenwood, Walker, and Robaire Smith uproars.

I have only scanned the totality of FA signings briefly but the only contract I've noticed that has more guaranteed money than Weaver's is Hutchinson @ MN which is totally insane (but they were like 30 mil under). The amount that the Jags paid Brian Williams was a eyebrow raiser too....

Erratic Assassin
03-12-2006, 09:19 PM
Which is why I don't think we should participate in free agency at all.

Which is the same as saying we don't think Casserly should participate in free agency. When you can't spot the sucker at the poker table you are the sucker. Casserly always seems to get us the crap end of the deal.

stevo3883
03-12-2006, 09:24 PM
IMO there is a difference between giving a guy 1 or 2 million more to show him we're serious about improving, and giving a guy $10-15 million more than he's worth.

Greenwood & Weaver just won't ever be top 20 in the league at their positions. Smith and Wade are big and strong but also slow and unimpressive.

We have never gotten a FA that is an eye-opener (in a good way). Weaver was like the 6th best player on Baltimore's defense, Deion Sanders had 3 less tackles than Weaver this year. 39 year old, nickel corner, hates contact Deion Sanders had 3 less tackles than our new $26million aquisition who has become like the 5th highest paid player on the team.

Vinny
03-12-2006, 10:09 PM
Now Vinny, you know those two positions have totally different pay structures. The Browns made a probowl CENTER the highest paid center in the HISTORY of the league (very likely worth it to).
The Panthers just signed ex-Titan Center Justin Hartwig to 11 mil guaranteed also. These are considered big contracts but Bentley and Hartwig have proven they can do the job. These guys are making bank but they have proven they are at the top of their professions. We paid Weaver like he was too. The first time Weaver gets 6 sacks in one season will be the first time he ever does this.

That said, when all the FA and draft stuff dies down we get to see these guys on the field...that's where they should be judged. We will see if Weaver is any more than the Robaire Smith, Morlon Greenwood, Charlie Clemons or Todd Wade of DE's in due time.

http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/index.cfm?section_id=33&screen=news&news_id=48450

TexanBacker93
03-13-2006, 11:25 AM
I still think the most important number is the total dollar amount. You should plan on the player getting through the contract so the fact that a larger amount is guaranteed shouldn't matter. If it was 5 years/$25 million with $15 million guaranteed or 5 years/$25 million with $6 million guaranteed. The player is going to get the same amount of money if he makes it through the contract. I realize that is a big IF, but with a guy that's going into the prime of his career there really isn't a reason to think Weaver won't be able to fulfill the 5 years. It's kind of like a pre-nup. Really, if you think you need a pre-nup then you are already thinking that the marriage probably won't last. If you are afraid of giving a large signing bonus should you really get the player?

Snyder constantly gives extra large bonuses and 7 year contracts to players knowing full well that the team won't keep them the entire 7 years. I like the Texans going after guys they can build with. Yeah, it's spec money, but if the players turn out it is a great bargain. I don't like giving out a ton of money to someone who is at the end of their career and isn't going to be able to live up to the contract. To me, that can be spec buying as well. I think the team made a big mistake when they resigned Gary Walker to a big contract. If he would have signed a 2 year deal that would have been wonderful, but I wouldn't give anyone in their 30s more than 2 years. That's just my opinion.

chuckm
03-13-2006, 11:28 AM
I still think the most important number is the total dollar amount.

Agreed ... especially with a young player ... IMO the Bentley v. Weaver guaranteed money v. total dollar amount isn't all that much of an issue ....

aj.
03-13-2006, 08:02 PM
The total dollar amount in NFL contracts is for agent's egos and nothing more because a long term, heavily backloaded contract is never realized and is almost always reworked. Look at Walker's base salaries below. 6 years 38 million. The 38 million isn't what's going to bite us and is pretty much meaningless because Walker will only see 3 million of his base. It's the 11 million signing bonus that you don't see that's biting us in the ***. Repeat this for Wade and Robaire Smith.

What's important is the amount of guaranteed money in the deal, i.e., the signing bonus because it all has to be accounted for on the cap eventually, and the roster bonuses because they hit all at once.

2004 800k
2005 2.2 mil
2006 4 mil
2007 5.2 mil
2008 6.4 mil
2009 7.6 mil

The Texans have 31 million in guaranteed money that they gave to Walker, Wade and Smith two years ago and only 1/3 of that has been accounted for on the cap. Now we're looking at cutting Walker and who knows about Wade only 2 years into their six year deals. Base salary looks good on paper and doesn't count against the cap until you pay it.

Don't underestimate the effect of a 12 million dollar signing bonus given to a player. Unless those guys go to the Pro Bowl, they almost always don't return the value...