Chargers Terrific 12 v. Texans Terrific 12
Old Posting (new posting below)
In a salary cap regime like the NFL, the value of a player is a function of his performance measured against his cap value. A nonexpansion NFL team typically drafts 12 players (the “Terrific 12” if you will) in the first 3 rounds over a 4 year period. These 12 players are particularly valuable to a franchise in a salary cap regime, because they typically have much lower cap values than players signed through free agency. For example, Chester Pitts has a 2004 cap value of $705,000, but Steve McKinney has a 2004 cap value of $3,050,000.
Typically, an impact player becomes a free agent after four accrued years and either leaves, or receives his first big free agency contract. Each year, a franchise typically loses 3 first day drafted players to free agency (unless they resign the players) and get three replacements through the draft, thereby maintaining their Terrific 12 (in some cases, of course, a player drafted to be a Terrific 12 player won’t work out and a team may end up with less than 12, or a second day drafted player may excel, like Domanick Davis, thereby creating more than 12). McKinney, Bradford, Wong, Smith and Wade are all examples of four year players who got big raises to come to the Texans for their 5th year.
In the 2002 season, the Texans first year, they only had 5 Terrific 12 (1 first, 2 second and 2 third), while all the other teams had 12. Bummer. Unlike the Panthers and the Jaguars, the Texans weren’t given any extra first round picks. Hard to compete.
The good news is the Texans have now caught up, thanks to expansion picks and Charlie Casserly’s astute trades. They now have 12 players who they drafted on the first day. The Texans now have a Terrific 12 like other NFL teams. Good.
New Posting
How does the Texans next opponent’s Terrific 12 compare with the Texans?
. .YR . . Texans (only 3 yrs) . . YR . Chargers (4 yrs)
F . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .‘01 RB LaDainian Tomlinson
I. ’02 QB David Carr . . . . . . . .02 CB Quentin Jammer
R ‘03 WR Andre Johnson . . . . .03 CB Sammy Davis
S .’04 CB Dunta Robinson . . . .’04 QB Phillip Rivers
T .’04 LB Jason Babin
S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ’01 QB Drew Brees
E .‘02 WR Jabar Gaffney . . . . . ’02 OG Toniu Fonoti
C .‘02 OL Chester Pitts . . . . . .’02 WR Reche Caldwell
O .’03 TE Benny Joppru. . . . . . ’03 DB Drayton Florence
N . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . .’03 DB Terrance Kiel
D .‘04 RB Tony Hollings . . . . . . '04 DT Igor Olshansky
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .’01 DB Tay Cody (rel)
T .‘02 OL Fred Weary
H .’02 DL Charles Hill (rel.) . . . . ’02 LB Ben Leber
I . ’03 LB Antwan Peek . . . . . . ’03 OG Courtney Van Buren
R .’03 OL Seth Wand
D .’03 QB Dave Ragone
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .’04 K . Kate Kaeding
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .'04 C . Nick Hardwick
New Posting
The Texans kept their overall #1 pick in 2002 and selected David Carr. The Chargers took a different approach and traded their overall #1 pick in 2001 (Michael Vick) and their #1 overall pick in 2004 (Eli Manning), to accumulate additional picks. They then invested heavily in QBs (a #1 & #2) and DBs (two #1s, two #2s & a #3) How did the two approaches work out. We’ll have a clearer understanding on Sunday.
Old Posting
And the news gets better for the Texans. In 2005, the Texans should keep all of their Terrific 12 (none will have four accrued years) and add 4 new members through the 2005 draft (1 first, 1 second and 2 thirds), giving them a total of 16 Terrific 12. Great news!
