FanDuel - WFBC

March 04, 2013

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 10 comments

It's been a big year for You Can Play , but they aren't done yet

posted by tommytrump at 12:59 PM on March 04

That is excellent. Hope it can be converted to a FPP.

posted by beaverboard at 02:00 PM on March 04

The Ravens officially "respect" Joe Flacco to the tune of $120.6 million over 6 years.

I think the economics of the modern quarterback market are really fascinating - very strange mix of products where many of your elite QB's (Rodgers, Brady and Roethlisberger) all make substantially less than market by choice, other guys like Brees, the Mannings and Flacco who are in that tier making top market prices, and then guys like Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers and Kevin Kolb making substantially above market for their production.

posted by dfleming at 04:18 PM on March 04

One wonders whether Flacco gets that contract without the brutal Broncos' defensive play on 3 and 3 with 31 seconds remaining that kept the Ravens in the playoffs.

posted by cixelsyd at 05:30 PM on March 04

Wanna fight dance?

posted by tommytrump at 06:07 PM on March 04

I think the economics of the modern quarterback market are really fascinating

There's a longer post about this in my head than I can effectively articulate, but I'd argue over the last five years or so, teams have greatly overvalued the QB position and have gone after paying QBs a lot, even if they aren't all that great. I compare this to the proliferation of "Don't Lose the Game QBs" (think guys like Trent Dilfer), who were unexceptional QBs who were reliable role-players that could manage the game well, and enable defenses to win for the most part. They were paid like role-players, as well (well, better than role-players, but still not exceptionally for QBs).

Which, is in the end, what I view guys like Flacco and even Roethlisberger as: not necessarily incredible, difference making guys (I'd reserve that for people like Brady, Rogers, P. Manning, etc), but guys who can make enough plays (or avoid making enough bad plays to allow a defense to win the game). And even guys like Matt Cassel, Kevin Kolb, etc, get great contracts with little historical production. Are they all-time great or even really Pro Bowlers? No, but their teams don't ask them to be for the most part, either.

Part of me wonders whether it's more about marketing: having someone who can be a face of the program for selling stability and the future. After all, if you dump a bunch of money into a QB, he has to be able to at least imbue some confidence in the organization right?

Anyway, sorry for the somewhat incoherent ramble, it was fueled by a long day at work and lots of coffee. I just wanted to get i t out there for the other SpoFites to kick around.

posted by Bonkers at 05:42 PM on March 05

Part of me wonders whether it's more about marketing: having someone who can be a face of the program for selling stability and the future. After all, if you dump a bunch of money into a QB, he has to be able to at least imbue some confidence in the organization right?

There's a certain amount of circular logic in this, though -- it's as easy to say "This $120 million contract shows that the Ravens management has confidence in Joe Flacco to be the QB of the future" as it is to say "Ravens management wants to sell Joe Flacco as the QB of the future, so they give him $120 million."

I don't think it's quite doubling down on a bad bet, but there's some level of "See! He must be good! Look at how much money we're giving him!"

posted by Etrigan at 06:10 PM on March 05

I tend to agree, Bonkers* and I think it's a symptom of a larger issue with pro football coaches. Hard to say just what I mean, but there's a lot of leeway given to guys who kick the field goal or punt on 4th down even if it makes it less likely the team will win the game. You can try to build a good defense and an efficient offense with a "Don't Lose the Game" guy, but if it fails, you're out on your ass. If you sign Big Name QB to a giant contract, you're at least ensured a few years of the QB being a bust before you get let go and you'll probably get a coordinator's gig to ease your pain while the whole disaster is blamed on the QB and the franchise sits in Cap Hell for a few years.

For a multi-billion dollar business where each franchise is owned by a very successful business person, guys who look the part, like Jack del Rio, get an awful lot of rope to hang themselves with, while the guys who aren't part of the Old Boy Network have to be so clearly superior before they even get a shout. So much of football, and most sports scouting I suppose, is still dedicated to looking the part rather than succeeding.

Ideally the one time in my life I'll say that, but probably not.

posted by yerfatma at 06:51 PM on March 05

What would Art have done? I'm kind of surprised that Oz approved a deal of this magnitude.

I guess they feel that a guy like Flacco comes along once every 12 Kyle Bollers.

Steelers pass rushers aren't going to be thinking out loud about his contract when they come off the edge, are they? Naww.

Jim Caldwell ought to get some residuals here, and I hope they gave him a game ball from the SB. And the OL coaches too. That offense was oxygen-deprived heading into the end of the season until they let Cameron go and moved Caldwell up. They did not look like a fully competitive playoff entrant.

After moving people around the OL like Monopoly pieces and putting the shock paddles to the offense, the result they got was pretty remarkable.

posted by beaverboard at 07:58 PM on March 05

After all, if you dump a bunch of money into a QB, he has to be able to at least imbue some confidence in the organization right?

There are a couple of other wrinkles to this, including:

a) Alternatives - Flacco was coming on the market at a time where established quarterbacks with playoff winning experience are not readily available;

b) Flacco was coming on to a market with a number of teams with huge quarterback holes would've thrown buckets of money at an established winner;

As a result, I think the $120 million represents an opportune time in the market.

If you think about it, of today's starters, only Drew Brees and Jay Cutler switched teams with a track record and very little risk attached to them. Guys like Manning and Vick changed teams at times where they were wildcards - nobody knew exactly what they were going to do. If you look at the 32 starters from last year, by my count only Brees, Cutler, Manning were established NFL starters at the time they changed teams - three in the last 6 years. Vick and Henne were former starters.

The opportunity to get an established NFL quarterback (even an imperfect one) is so limited that I think teams like San Diego, the New York Jets, and maybe even the Ravens get pinned in to contracts they don't necessarily want because there are no alternatives that give you an equivalent shot at the playoffs. There are always Matt Cassells, Flynns, Schaubs or Kevin Kolbs around to take a flier on, but QB more than any other position is a homegrown or bust solution.

posted by dfleming at 08:59 AM on March 06

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