Originally Posted by TheOgre
If the Broncos had ponied up (p.i.) and signed an early contract extension with Portis, would you have included him in the T12? If so, then I would think that the trade for Bailey and Tatum Bell should include both players in their T12.
Q. Would you have included Portis?
A. It depends on what you are trying to compare. If you are trying to compare teams abilities to make selections in the draft, then all selected players should be concluded, regardless of any later trades, or contract extensions (and probably only compared after several years to see what you've got).
In my case, I'm trying to compare the quality of the Texans' less expensive talent (for example, Chester Pitts has a 2004 cap value of $705,000, but Steve McKinney has a 2004 cap value of $3,050,000) with that of other teams. My thesis is that the Texans (and the Browns) were not treated fairly in there early years and that one of the reasons they didn't have a chance to compete equally was they didn't have an equal number of high talent, less expensive players, like Casey Hampton, Richard Seymore, etc. I believe that the Texans have now caught up with other teams, because of Casserly's mastery and additional expansion picks, some of which occurred in the second (or after trades, the third) year. I also believe that after next year (our 4th year), we will have accumulated a base of less expensive talent (although it will turn over each year) that will ensure we have at least a good team for many years.
I view Portis in the same light as drafting a player with an injury history. Everyone knew Portis expected to be drafted earlier and that he would be annoyed by being drafted so low. Denver took a risk. It paid off early, in that he was successful running in their system, behind their experienced line. The bad news is that his success translated into his demands for an early extension and an early release from the 'less expensive' talent group. The good news is that Denver traded him for Bailey and
a pick so that by including the additional pick (Bell) they aren't losing a body out of their less expensive group list.
Generalizations are always dangerous, such as assuming that all drafted players are 'less expensive' or that two groups of drafted players are equally 'less expensive'. Contract extensions will further muddy the comparison. For example, if Chester Pitts signs an extension that blends one 'less expensive' year with several free agent years (which he might to get a prepaid signing bonus and the Texans might to get salary cap relief), then he should still be included because the Texans are still getting the benefit of the less expensive 4th year, although it will be blended and harder to see it.
I don't believe Portis felt that he owed Denver a 3rd and 4th 'less expensive' year and accordingly they moved him on. In a cap sense, getting Bailey was exactly like they signed him off the street, like the Texans signed Wade, or Smith.