NFL 2023: The preseason / predraft thread

Belichick has reportedly shopped Mac Jones to multiple teams this offseason.

Why doesn't NE go for Lamar?

Top_Shelf wrote:

Why doesn't NE go for Lamar?

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/hTG7Gtq.gif)

Also, LOL @ Florio's "sources."

And today, on Owners Behaving Badly...

Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill has been accused by former Cadinals exec Terry McDonough of "gross misconduct, including cheating, discrimination and harassment".

The cheating part apparently entails Bidwill forcing McDonough and former coach Steve Wilks to use burner phones to communicate with GM Steve Keim, during the time in 2018 when Keim was serving a 5-game suspension for DUI.

Per the arbitration filing:

"In response to McDonough's objection to the illicit burner phone scheme, Bidwill cursed at, berated, and formally reprimanded McDonough, and ultimately demoted him -- irrevocably damaging the trajectory of McDonough's 34-year career in the National Football League. Bidwill also subjected McDonough to bullying, mocking, harassing and abusive behavior."

I wonder what, if anything, we'll hear from Steve Wilks. I'm sure being seen as going after an NFL owner is not high on his to-do list, given the unfair uphill battle black head coach candidates like him already face in trying to get that second or third shot at the jobs.

I'm completely flabbergasted that a close friend of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is capable of such things.

The cheating part apparently entails Bidwill forcing McDonough and former coach Steve Wilks to use burner phones to communicate with GM Steve Keim, during the time in 2018 when Keim was serving a 5-game suspension for DUI.

I'm guessing at least a pick forfeit for this one. Maybe not a first rounder but something significant enough to send a message, like a 3rd rounder.

Minase wrote:

I'm guessing at least a pick forfeit for this one. Maybe not a first rounder but something significant enough to send a message, like a 3rd rounder.

Yeah this is a weird one, I can't think of a direct comparable. Like the only thing that came to mind was Browns GM Ray Farmer using a phone on during games to send text messages to a couple members of coaching staff, violating the electronic device usage rules.

The Browns avoided punishment for that one, but I think that's because they found out and shut it down before the league did. Would have been a different story if Farmer was operating under directive from ownership or other team execs.

My gut says you're probably in the right ballpark.

The Browns avoided punishment for that one, but I think that's because they found out and shut it down before the league did. Would have been a different story if Farmer was operating under directive from ownership or other team execs.

Bidwell's response is a laughable Trump-style full denial. Especially when the counterargument is 'Hey, I still have the burner phone'. The other owners have got to be making a laughingstock of this guy - not because he tried to cheat, but because he wasn't even competent enough to try and clean it up.

Andrew Brandt on fully guaranteed contracts

I definitely agree with this.  Jackson is taking the heat for being the "first" mover (despite the precedent already being broken), but I don't think anyone really thinks that, whatever the outcome of his negotiations, this will be the end of the guaranteed contract debate.  And when Burrow, Herbert, or gods forbid Lawrence gets his market busting fully guaranteed deal, folks will justifiably look back and wonder how the Ravens decided to die on this hill.

Legion did a really good job of pointing out how other sports leagues with guaranteed contracts have ways of managing the potential cap hits of those when there are injuries or other issues; I don't know why the NFL is not pointing to those and saying, "Look, we understand players want guaranteed contracts, but we don't currently have a way we can handle it like other leagues. We will discuss this in the next CBA."

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Legion did a really good job of pointing out how other sports leagues with guaranteed contracts have ways of managing the potential cap hits of those when there are injuries or other issues; I don't know why the NFL is not pointing to those and saying, "Look, we understand players want guaranteed contracts, but we don't currently have a way we can handle it like other leagues. We will discuss this in the next CBA."

Probably because a good chunk (all) of NFL owners are trying to pretend these contracts don't exist. Saying hey let's address it at next CBA is even giving the players an inch in the conversation.

They control the demand side of football players. As long as they all tow the line they can keep salaries low and contract terms friendly (for them).

But it never works. Someone goes rogue in every sport because they want to win and obviously attracting the best talent with better terms/money works assuming you actually land the best players. Then you have the Browns who broke the norms in multiple ways but also for a despicable human who probably isn't leading them to a SB.

I'm pro player always in these situations but Lamar is an interesting one as he seems to be losing this fight but mainly just because he doesn't have the right agent to fight it for him.

jowner wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Legion did a really good job of pointing out how other sports leagues with guaranteed contracts have ways of managing the potential cap hits of those when there are injuries or other issues; I don't know why the NFL is not pointing to those and saying, "Look, we understand players want guaranteed contracts, but we don't currently have a way we can handle it like other leagues. We will discuss this in the next CBA."

Probably because a good chunk (all) of NFL owners are trying to pretend these contracts don't exist. Saying hey let's address it at next CBA is even giving the players an inch in the conversation.

They control the demand side of football players. As long as they all tow the line they can keep salaries low and contract terms friendly (for them).

But it never works. Someone goes rogue in every sport because they want to win and obviously attracting the best talent with better terms/money works assuming you actually land the best players. Then you have the Browns who broke the norms in multiple ways but also for a despicable human who probably isn't leading them to a SB.

I'm pro player always in these situations but Lamar is an interesting one as he seems to be losing this fight but mainly just because he doesn't have the right agent to fight it for him.

It really seems an odd hill for the Ravens to die on. Meeting at a three year $145M fully guaranteed contract would seem, at least to me, completely palatable for both sides. I don't envision a universe where Lamar would not sign that and if the head office doesn't think they have three more years of Lamar Jackson, they should have traded him two years ago. I might be wrong, but it honestly feels like this is a "not one inch off this spot" situation.

Paleocon wrote:

It really seems an odd hill for the Ravens to die on. Meeting at a three year $145M fully guaranteed contract would seem, at least to me, completely palatable for both sides.

In my opinion, a Lamar Jackson that finishes the last two seasons gets that offer. I think the old "the best ability is availability" thing is hurting Lamar's bargaining position more than he and supporters care to admit.

jowner wrote:

But it never works. Someone goes rogue in every sport because they want to win and obviously attracting the best talent with better terms/money works assuming you actually land the best players. Then you have the Browns who broke the norms in multiple ways but also for a despicable human who probably isn't leading them to a SB.

PFF graded Deshaun Watson the 35th best QB last season.

Him playing well could have vindicated Browns ownership. Instead, it has vindicated every other team in the league that has pushed back.

They control the demand side of football players. As long as they all tow the line they can keep salaries low and contract terms friendly (for them).

Rejecting guaranteed contracts doesn't keep salaries low. The owners still need to spend 48.8% of league revenue on player contracts, divided among the 32 franchises, period. The money you "save" from terminating a contract early still has to be spent on another player.

What rejecting guaranteed contracts does is allow the Eagles to pay all the guys they brought in to build this year's Super Bowl roster, instead of be stuck continuing to pay Carson Wentz. That's why I always bristle at the suggestion of guaranteed contracts being "player friendly". Friendly to who? The guy who got a big contract and gets paid like a star even though he's a scrub now, sure, they're very friendly for him. Not so friendly to the young guy on a rookie deal looking for his first payday, and having to deal with reduced market options because teams that would otherwise pursue and bid competitively for him (driving up his price) are instead stuck paying big dollars to failing players.

The salary floor means owners gotta write checks no matter what. It's not baseball, you can't Pittsburgh Pirates it. (And if the salary floor ever went away, about a half-dozen NFL teams would immediately become the Pittsburgh Pirates of the NFL, given that option).

Does a team want a Lamar that kills it for 80% of games or do they want someone like a Baker that gets you a win or two?

"He's not available" is only one of the variables in the equation.

It's not like teams are choosing between Lamar and Josh Allen.

The equation is [Lamar]*.8 + [some awful backup]*.2 = Y wins.

People are acting like the equation is [Mahomes]*1.0 > [Lamar]*.8

Or even worse, [Baker/scrub]*1.0 = X + Y wins (where Y is the # of wins you get from Lamar).

I am of the firm belief that at least 20 teams should shiv their qb and back a brinks truck up to Lamar’s house.

Rejecting guaranteed contracts doesn't keep salaries low. The owners still need to spend 48.8% of league revenue on player contracts, divided among the 32 franchises, period. The money you "save" from terminating a contract early still has to be spent on another player.

I didn't say that guaranteed necessarily keeps the total salary down but it's obviously a component players want and owners don't.

Earlier when Lamar came up I was pretty much in agreement he has lost more money by doing this.

At his age and talent pushing for guaranteed doesn't make much sense. If he had an agent he would probably advise him on getting the biggest number with a decent chunk guaranteed and as front loaded in the bank today as possible. Obviously within cap rules that the Ravens could bear.

Save the guaranteed fight for the next contract when there's more milage and you are in your 30s.

That said when you see Cousins and Deshuan get full deals I can see how everyone else better would be like why not me? I think that's where an agent can come in also and level set that the Browns and Vikings are not rational actors.

*Legion* wrote:

What rejecting guaranteed contracts does is allow the Eagles to pay all the guys they brought in to build this year's Super Bowl roster, instead of be stuck continuing to pay Carson Wentz. That's why I always bristle at the suggestion of guaranteed contracts being "player friendly". Friendly to who? The guy who got a big contract and gets paid like a star even though he's a scrub now, sure, they're very friendly for him. Not so friendly to the young guy on a rookie deal looking for his first payday, and having to deal with reduced market options because teams that would otherwise pursue and bid competitively for him (driving up his price) are instead stuck paying big dollars to failing players.

Yeah, from a player perspective, presumably guaranteed contracts are a non-starter as long as there's a hard cap in place. Though even then, I wonder why protecting ownership from the repercussions of dumb/bad signings is a thing anyone thinks about. All these guys are rich enough to pay out that money and a whole lot more without even noticing.

The salary floor means owners gotta write checks no matter what. It's not baseball, you can't Pittsburgh Pirates it. (And if the salary floor ever went away, about a half-dozen NFL teams would immediately become the Pittsburgh Pirates of the NFL, given that option).

And yet, there are enough non-sh*tty ownership groups (when it comes to writing checks -- I'm sure they're all huge pieces of sh*t in their private lives) to still pay the players a whole lot of guaranteed money, even when a good chunk of them will be considered bad contracts years before they're actually finished.

Top_Shelf wrote:

Does a team want a Lamar that kills it for 80% of games or do they want someone like a Baker that gets you a win or two?

"He's not available" is only one of the variables in the equation.

It's not like teams are choosing between Lamar and Josh Allen.

The equation is [Lamar]*.8 + [some awful backup]*.2 = Y wins.

People are acting like the equation is [Mahomes]*1.0 > [Lamar]*.8

Or even worse, [Baker/scrub]*1.0 = X + Y wins (where Y is the # of wins you get from Lamar).

Your equations are leaving out money, though. You may not be choosing between Lamar and Josh Allen, but you're talking about paying Josh Allen levels of money to your QB position.

It's been a common theme for the past many years how having a cheap QB is a competitive advantage. The Eagles just rallied from Wentz hell to the Super Bowl on the back of having an ascending QB on a 2nd round rookie contract. And if the Eagles had missed the Super Bowl, then it would have been the 49ers making it with two rookies and a cheap "one more time" 1-year Jimmy deal. Both of those teams spent extra on the rest of their rosters.

If you're paying big money to your QB position, you're taking that capital away from the rest of your roster building. So you're counting on that one guy to deliver value commensurate to that cost, and ideally deliver that value in the postseason when it counts.

Now, just so we're clear, let me put my personal thoughts out there. I think concerns about Lamar's injuries are overblown. What concerns me when it comes to injury histories are either chronic injuries, or injuries that have a more questionable recovery. Lamar had an ankle sprain to end 2021, and a PCL sprain to end 2022. There's no recurring chronic injury, and neither of those individual injuries scare me from a recovery standpoint.

But just because I think the injury worries are overstated doesn't mean I don't understand the fact that they're red flag in the eyes of teams who might otherwise be Lamar buyers.

jowner wrote:

I didn't say that guaranteed necessarily keeps the total salary down but it's obviously a component players want and owners don't.

I wonder about that, because when we say "players want it", I feel like we're talking about the marquee players who already have most of the pie to themselves.

You know what kind of guaranteed contract proposal I'd like to see? Guarantee every contract up to, say, $3 million a year. Bam, we've just fully guaranteed the majority of NFL contracts.

Of course, that kind of proposal wouldn't get off the ground, because almost the entirety of this guaranteed contract talk is about the top 1% earner players. It's the guys making $40m a year wanting guarantees. And to be frank, when people talk about "the players" and they're really only referring to those guys, the arguments fall very flat to me.

The NFLPA has had a history of this, prioritizing the big whales at the expense of the rest of the rank and file. I remember Dan Pastorini saying "f**k Drew Brees" when Brees (as a member of the NFLPA executive committe) explained why the union wasn't prioritizing increases to the pensions for ex-players.

I remember discontent with the vote over the last CBA, with a lawyer familiar with the talks characterizing it as:

“The stars want all the money,” Prophete said. “The guys who are doing all the grunt work, that you can’t win without, want a little bit of the pie. But the stars have all the power — they have the voice. He’s got to walk a fine line to be able to accomplish good things for all.”
UpToIsomorphism wrote:

I am of the firm belief that at least 20 teams should shiv their qb and back a brinks truck up to Lamar’s house.

You just want your (ex-)team to shiv their QB.

Yes

Edit. To clarify: I think Watson is a disturbed individual who needs help and needs to do something to make some restitution for the harm he has inflicted on so many women. I think any institution willing to mortgage their future to make him the nominal face of the franchise and leader on the field is deplorable. And the one willing to pay the highest price is especially despicable.

And to see the 6-8 teams that lost the DW sweepstakes not even try to sign Lamar is suspicious. It may not be collusion, but you will have to do a lot to convince me that none of those teams want a better, younger player without any off-field issues that NFL teams say they care about.

And I remember this...

And this...

And who can forget this...

Recently fired Cardinals GM Steve Keim talked about Kyler Murray on a recent podcast and, well, I'm not going to spend any of my limited time on Earth listening to a podcast interview of Steve Keim, so let's just go with the quotes PFT pulled out:

“He still needs to grow. [Beachum’s comments are] not slanted toward [Murray’s] character,” Keim said on the podcast, via arizonasports.com. “He’s not a bad guy. He’s a good kid, has a good smile, has a nice way about him. I think it’s like anything: Guys have to continue to learn what it’s going to take to be great. Does he know what Tom Brady and Peyton Manning know of what it takes to be great? No."

“Does he work? He does work. I think it’s just that side of the game — the film study, the attention to detail part that he can continue to improve upon, and I think he will. Kyler’s a proud guy, man. He doesn’t want to lose and he doesn’t want to let people down.”

Also:

“Obviously, the height hurts him at times, seeing over the line and processing and seeing the field. But at the same time, he’s just a tremendous talent. The stuff he does, you see in practice and games, it’s off the charts.

Nothing exactly new or surprising in that criticism meat getting stuck in the middle of those praise sandwiches, but they're things we've inferred or heard from players, now coming out of the mouth of the GM that drafted him.

He’s a good kid, has a good smile, has a nice way about him.

Surprised we didn't get a he's articulate.

So I've had a thought about Lamar not getting any offer sheets, which might explain some of the quietness.

If I'm a team that signs Lamar, I'm expecting Lamar will instantly make my team better. With me so far?

Following that thought to its logical conclusion, I would then expect my future 1st round draft picks to be later in the round than the one my team is holding this year.

If I have to give Baltimore two 1st rounders if/when they don't match my offer to Lamar, do I want to be giving them my 2023 pick (which I expect to be the most valuable 1st rounder I'm gonna have in a while) and my 2024 pick? Or, do I want to use that 2023 pick, and instead give Baltimore my 2024 and 2025 1st rounders that I'm now expecting to be late-in-the-round selections?

If that 2023 pick is a top 10, top 15 selection, then it's a no-brainer. Of course I'm using that pick, and hoping that I'm instead gonna be sending Baltimore a couple 20-somethings (or even 30-somethings) the next couple of years.

Plus, using that 2023 pick gives me someone to help out Lamar in year 1. Why give up a draft pick in the year I'm getting Lamar, if I can stagger it instead?

Having thought that through, I'm now not at all surprised that there hasn't been much movement. Signing Lamar in May is just as good as signing him in March.

Of course, the point would be moot if a team simply traded with Baltimore for Lamar rather than going the offer sheet route, but maybe Baltimore isn't listening to offers without current-year 1sts until after the draft happens and runs out the clock on option.

Today, we celebrate the resurrection of the Messiah, He who perished but has risen and provides salvation.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/uk0xhYy.jpg)

*Legion* wrote:

Today, we celebrate the resurrection of the Messiah, He who perished but has risen and provides salvation.

That didn't happen on Easter, it was the second half of the Chargers game.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
*Legion* wrote:

Today, we celebrate the resurrection of the Messiah, He who perished but has risen and provides salvation.

That didn't happen on Easter, it was the second half of the Chargers game.

It was moved to appease the pagans.

OBJ to the Ravens for **up to** $18M. Smart to pair Agholor with someone who might actually catch the ball.

Apparently only $3M of that are incentives.

I wasn't expecting that with the Lamar uncertainty.