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Old 06-22-2004   #1
Mistril48
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Default We’ve caught up!

A non-expansion NFL team would typically draft 12 players (the “Terrific 12” if you will) in the first 3 rounds over the last 4 years. These 12 players are particularly valuable to a franchise in a salary cap regime, subject to the quality of the selection, 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 his fourth year and receives his first big free agency contract. Each year, a franchise typically looses 3 first day drafted players to free agency (unless they re-sign 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 twelve player won’t work out and a team may end up with less than 12, or a second day drafted player will 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. Hard to compete.

The good news is the Texans have now caught up, thanks to expansion picks and CC’s astute trades. They now have 4 first round picks (Carr, Johnson, Robinson and Babin), 4 second round picks (Gaffney, Pitts, Hollings and Joppru) and 4 third round picks (Weary, Peek, Wand and Ragone (plus Hill, who was released)), who they drafted. The Texans now have a Terrific 12 like other NFL teams. Good. And the news gets better.

Next year, the Texans should keep all of their Terrific 12 and add 4 new members through the draft (1 first, 1 second and 2 thirds), giving them a total of 16 Terrific 12.

Great news!

It might be interesting to compare other teams Terrific 12 with those of the Texans. If you have another team you follow (Jags, Titans, Colts, or Cowboys, for example) how do their first day picks the last four years compare to the Texans?
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Old 06-23-2004   #2
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I agree but we will also start to lose some players via free agency soon as well. We will not be able to keep everyone we groom but that is not such a bad thing since we will have a talented core of mature players by next season.
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Old 06-23-2004   #3
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Good point, Vin...we have a lot of key contracts coming up next season. We'll see how things shake out, but I have to say that if nothing else, Casserly is one of the best front office guys I've seen over the years watching football. I suspect that a guy like him working personnel over the years will directly contribute to the sucess of the franchise.
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Old 06-24-2004   #4
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"Casserly is one of the best front office guys I've seen over the years watching football."

I think it's a little early to come to a verdict on Cass's eye for picking talent
since he's been here in Houston. We'll know much more about that this year
and next year. A lot of his picks have been controversial -
which is not to say they have been wrong (we don't know yet). He just didn't always make the most conservative, the most obvious pick. Perhaps that's just a testimony to his insight and perception of NFL talent. We will know before long.
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Old 06-25-2004   #5
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Nunusguy... Take a look at his Casserly's background (I pulled this from the Texans site). I have been aware of Casserly's talent for unearthing FA and draft steals well before he was signed on by Bob McNair.

Casserly famously started with the Redskins in 1977 as an unpaid intern under Hall of Fame coach George Allen. Washington hired Casserly as a scout the next season and during his early years was a scout, he unearthed free agents Joe Jacoby and Jeff Bostic, who were original members of the famed “Hogs” offensive line and key components of Washington’s first two Super Bowl teams. Jacoby was selected to four Pro Bowls and Bostic made one trip to Honolulu. The Redskins elevated Casserly to assistant general manager in 1982 and the club went on to capture its first Super Bowl. That year, Casserly also re-instituted the club’s intern program, which has produced more than 20 league executives over his years in Washington and Houston.

In 1987, Casserly faced perhaps the biggest challenge of his Redskins career when NFL players went on strike. League owners decided on replacement players, sending personnel men scrambling to fill roster spots. With about a week to assemble a full complement of replacement players, Casserly put together a team that won all three of its games before the strike ended, including a Monday Night win against a Dallas team that featured a number of its star players. That experience was the subject of the Warner Bros. feature film, “The Replacements,” .

When he was elevated to GM in 1989, Casserly sustained the Redskins’ history of uncovering high-quality players in the later rounds of the draft. He used a fifth-round pick in 1990 to select Southwest Louisiana quarterback Brian Mitchell. Washington then converted Mitchell to a running back/kick returner, where he later joined Jim Brown as the only players in NFL history to lead the league in combined net yards four times. In 1996, Casserly plucked Auburn running back Stephen Davis in the fourth round. Davis paced the NFC in rushing in 1999 with 1,450 yards.

And during the 1999 off-season, Casserly made moves that immediately benefited the Redskins. First, he traded three draft choices to Minnesota for signal-caller Brad Johnson. The eight-year veteran responded with a Pro Bowl season in 1999, throwing for 4,005 yards and 24 TDs. (Johnson led the Bucs to a championship last season, meaning Casserly traded for both Super Bowl XXXVII quarterbacks – he traded for current Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon in 1992.)

Casserly then fired the shot heard ‘round the league on draft day, acquiring all of the New Orleans Saints’ 1999 selections, plus their first and third-round picks in 2000. To do so, Casserly simply swapped the Redskins’ fifth selection in the first round for New Orleans’ 12th choice. He still managed to obtain the player that Washington wanted, ultimately selecting future Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey with the seventh pick in the first round. In part for those efforts, Sports Illustrated, Pro Football Weekly and USA Today named Casserly their Executive of the Year.
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Old 06-25-2004   #6
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Old 06-23-2004   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by __V__
I agree but we will also start to lose some players via free agency soon as well. We will not be able to keep everyone we groom but that is not such a bad thing since we will have a talented core of mature players by next season.
Bold mine

I'm sure that Carr is locked in for several more years, but I'm less sure about the rest of the 2002 draft class. I assumed that Gaffney, Pitts and Weary are first day picks who are locked in through 2005 (their 4th year), but I confess I'm not sure. Alan Burge shows a 2005 cap number for each, although I suppose they could have performance clauses granting early free agency. Ordinarily, I believe, a player would be a restricted free agent one year and a non-restricted free agent the next. As none of these players were restricted free agents this year, I would think we would have them locked in for this year and next.

Accordingly, We can keep less expensive players like Gaffney, Pitts and Weary and get four more less expensive players in next year's draft (1st, 2nd and two 3rds). I do agree we may have to release more expensive players (Bradford, McKinney, Wong, Coleman, etc.) to accomodate salary escalations on other players, including Carr, but I would think it wouldn't affect our first year drafted players until after 2005.
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Old 06-23-2004   #8
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Ordinarily, I believe, a player would be a restricted free agent one year and a non-restricted free agent the next. As none of these players were restricted free agents this year, I would think we would have them locked in for this year and next.
Restricted free agents are merely players without contracts and with less than four years in the league. So a player that signs a 3 year deal when drafted or like McCree that gets waived and signs a deal that does not get them through year four will be a restricted free agent. Players like Carr, AJ etc. that sign 4+ year contracts are never restricted free agents when their contracts expire.
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Old 06-23-2004   #9
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Originally Posted by infantrycak
Restricted free agents are merely players without contracts and with less than four years in the league. So a player that signs a 3 year deal when drafted or like McCree that gets waived and signs a deal that does not get them through year four will be a restricted free agent. Players like Carr, AJ etc. that sign 4+ year contracts are never restricted free agents when their contracts expire.
Thank you for the clarification. Just a couple of more comments you may be able to help me with.

When you say McCree signs a deal that does not get him through four years, I take it you mean that when the Jags waive him, they have no restricted rights in him, although he has less than four years service, but the Texans, who kept him until the end of his one year contract did have restricted rights. Correct? In addition, I take it that four years refers to 'accrued years' on a NFL team roster. DeMarcus Faggins for instance, who hasn't spent all his time after the draft on the Texans roster (ie he was on the practice squad) might be restricted for longer than say Ramon Walker, who I believe has always been on the roster. Am I correct?
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Old 06-23-2004   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistril48
Thank you for the clarification. Just a couple of more comments you may be able to help me with.

When you say McCree signs a deal that does not get him through four years, I take it you mean that when the Jags waive him, they have no restricted rights in him, although he has less than four years service, but the Texans, who kept him until the end of his one year contract did have restricted rights. Correct? In addition, I take it that four years refers to 'accrued years' on a NFL team roster. DeMarcus Faggins for instance, who hasn't spent all his time after the draft on the Texans roster (ie he was on the practice squad) might be restricted for longer than say Ramon Walker, who I believe has always been on the roster. Am I correct?
An accrued season is six or more regular-season games on a club's active/inactive, reserved-injured or pup lists. Don't know if Faggins specifically had six last year or not but yes someone that sits on the practice squad for a year I believe has not accrued a season and so might be post-draft a year more than a regular player before becoming unrestricted.

Once the Jags waived McCree they gave up any kind of right in him. When the Texans signed him to a one year deal he had two accrued seasons--after last year he had three so despite the fact that he was not under contract with the Texans he was a restricted free agent. If McCree had signed a two year contract last year and accrued two years with the Texans on top of his two with the Jags, he never would have been a restricted free agent--or to put it another way, once his contract was up at the end of this upcoming season he would have been an UFA.
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