It’s been some time since I really dug into a debate here... so I’ve got some built up energy to expend, lol. This’ll be fun.
For someone who is so concerned with "overpaying average to above average" QBs, I'm surprised you call $10.8 million of cap space harmless. No, it's not. Like you said, the goal is to have the least amount possible, so the fact that it's a very real possibility should be discussed and should be included in any talk of what Alex costs over three years.
The fact that you consider what I said an "attempt" to "decrease the gap" of Kirk's contract and Alex's says a lot. The only thing I "attempted" was to introduce a basic economic principle in that one should discuss every factor that goes into Alex's contract, including the dead cap as well as the assets we lost to acquire him from KC. I compared it, at the end, to Kirk's contract since it's constantly brought up by those, like you, who "attempt" to increase the gap and act like Alex is this massive bargain over the course of the next three years.
So my entire point is that after three years, it's likely we'll move on from Alex both based on the structure of the contract itself along with his value as a QB and finally his age. Here, you're essentially admitting that after the 3 year period much will likely change. You just don't want to accept that the most reasonable position to hold is that we'll move on. There is plenty evidence to suggest that's what will happen, including the history of contracts similar to his.
Smith's contract doesn't gain value as the years stack up because his price also goes up in 4th and 5th years considerably.
Either way, even if you don’t accept that as the most reasonable position, you still need to include the entire cost when discussing his contract over a three year period versus a four or five year period, as doing so leaves out significant cap ramifications as well as what we’ve lost in acquiring him.
You wrote the above twice. Aside from this being extremely annoying, I hope you can understand that this is a discussion board where the majority of posts are opinion-based. The question is, which opinion is presented with more evidence and/or is more objective and/or well-grounded? Writing stuff like the above does nothing to further the discussion. Just ignore the points if you don't want to address them, but this type of posting here violates two of our rules (3 & 12), though not necessarily in an egregious manner, so no worries.
I said vague at best, disingenuous at worst. Hopefully you were just too vague and/or general for me.
This isn't about Alex's plans. I'm sure he'd love to play until he was 50. But he's not the kind of guy you want to pay the type of money that contract has for him in his 4th and 5th year just on his abilities alone. Factor in his age and, yes, it becomes very difficult to see him here after 3 years. I’m not applying some innovative or unique ideas to contracts that have guaranteed versus non-guaranteed years in them.
I'm not going to even reiterate what I said here, just going to post what I said so you can read it again:
There's no way your take away should've been something as simple as "you disagree QBs are playing longer these days?", after reading that.
You are conflating two issues here incorrectly. One can both be satisfied with the direction of the roster overall while being frustrated at the trade in terms of resource management. The latter is also separate, to a degree, from how Alex is viewed as a QB. I mean, are you saying that being satisfied overall means no one can recognize any faults or mistakes made on the way?
Not sure why this was brought up at all as the focus has been about including the dead cap involved in Alex's contract along with the assets given up to acquire him when looking at his total cost over a three year period.
That's ok to value those intangibles, but I'd hesitate to say a rookie would need to sit under Smith for more than one year. Jay has already shown an ability to develop QBs quickly with Dalton and we've seen Mahomes need no more than a year to gain whatever he needed to from Smith, if that was even a thing at all.
So, yeah, I shudder at the nonchalance of your statement there to "draft a rookie whenever". I think it's a bit more urgent than that, and with good reason.
I think it's important we address the position as soon as we can, but I'm a proponent of a pretty extreme version of BPA where I assign very little weight to need (I believe need is much more of a factor within Free Agency, as do most teams when they discuss this, including ours), so I definitely wouldn't want to go into a draft saying "we need to spend a 1st or 2nd" or whatever.
I'd hope the FO recognizes where someone they like at QB will go and assesses the value of ensuring they get him, whether that means trading up for him or not. It just may be that they properly recognize they can wait for a guy later on that they really like. So, basically, it all depends.
But the idea here that you're espousing is certainly contrary to that. You're essentially fixing them into a position where they simply don't take one no matter what. I think that's incredibly foolish and short-sighted. If a guy they believe can be a franchise QB for years to come falls to them, they'd be incredibly stupid to not select him because of some predetermined notion of "not drafting a QB in rounds 1 or 2".
Make believe? My goodness. It's a totally reasonable assumption that Alex will be here for three years and no more. The structure of the contract itself suggests that along with the other factors I've previously stated.
So, according to you, I'm ripping your position from my "...make believe NFL world of zero dead cap". I mean, what!?
You're all over the place, honestly. We are NOT discussing how much dead cap is reasonable for an NFL franchise to carry within a year. If we were, then maybe I can see where you're coming from. You yourself have stated that the lesser the better, obviously, so taking ANY amount of dead cap from ANYONE'S contract into account when discussing their cap hits is significant.
You've went from discussing Alex's cap hit within a three year window (which is where I posited the very reasonable economics of including his dead cap hit that occurs immediately after) to discussing his contract as a 4-5 year deal. Those are two different discussions with different numbers involved. We'll get to that.
Yes, dead cap is indeed a part of the NFL. It's also a part of Alex's contract specifically. Hence, this discussion.
I have no idea where you get that from. That is total speculation on your part and you don't even give any evidence of that. You just say "it's clear in my view". Why?
It's just as likely that Alex is not worth a single penny more than they paid him and that he maximized his value. We don't know if the Skins even negotiated at all what the price would be to bring it down to what is acceptable to them. We do know, from reliable sources, that another team didn't want to pay him as much as we were willing to.
As far as this very weird and arbitrary ranking you keep mentioning about QBs 8-25... man, that is, uhm, weird and arbitrary to be totally redundant.
There are so many problems with it I don't even know where to begin.
First, who are these QBs in your mind that rank there?
Second, to think the value of QB #8 is anywhere near the value of QB #25 in terms of "moving the needle" is outrageously simplistic and would be devastating to any FO who applied that line of thinking. Imagine a GM saying “meh, pay QB #25 about the same as QB #8, doesn’t make much of a difference either way”. ?
I’d imagine him being instantly fired.
For instance, there's no way we made the Alex trade and paid him what we did thinking he's going to be around QBs #20-25. I find it utterly confounding that someone like you who's been constantly proliferating his fear about overpaying "average to above average" QBs has no problem overpaying for one that has played below average thus far.
Now, I get that we all hope Alex will improve, and I believe he will as well, but right now it should be a major concern, right? Shouldn't you be real worried we've got a below average QB (according to your own words) right now at a price you think is average (disagree with that myself, but for the sake of this argument)? And, if you aren't worried, doesn't that belie your entire philosophy, since you're just happy we're 5-2 and overpaying him hasn't hurt us, which means the whole "overpaying" thing you constantly harp on is way overblown?
Finally, you're viewing these QBs as totally static entities versus the dynamic ones they are in reality. QB #8 can become QB #5; and QB #20 can become QB #25; and QB #13 can become QB #7 or regress to QB #19; etc...
A good Front Office will operate with foresight, valuing what players will become and paying them accordingly versus what players have been without projection. They’ll also recognize strengths and weaknesses properly so as to surround them with personnel that highlights those strengths and minimizes those weaknesses. Which increases their chances of progression.
I'll just leave it there, though. There are a ton of reasons I can get into why this obsession you have with "QBs 8-25 not moving the needle enough" is, again, weird and arbitrary.
Anyone paying attention will recognize that Kirk's deal isn't really that ground-breaking, especially once the novelty of the phrase “the first fully guaranteed contract ever” wore off.
The reality is, most NFL contracts are for 2-3 years. After that, most contracts either get renegotiated or the team moves on as they enter the non-guaranteed portion of the contract.
Furthermore, that non-guaranteed portion of the contract usually has pretty hefty yearly sums in it. For instance, Alex's contract in his 4th year goes up about 35% in terms of cap hit when compared to his first year cap hit and about 12% more from his third year - in other words, it's a significant chunk of change and likely as much, if not more, than he'd get as an unrestricted FA.
So, sure, does Kirk get to hit unrestricted FA at the end of three years and maximize his worth? Yes. But acting like he wouldn't have been paid a lot more anyway that year, or that he wouldn't be able to renegotiate, or even that the team might want to move on at that point is naive to say the least.
I don't know where you're getting "10% or less". Over the Cap has it at 10.4% or more every year. Minor nitpick, I know, but let's fix it before @UK SKINS FAN '74comes storming in.
Maybe I should get all snarky and say something like "in your attempt to increase the gap between Kirk and Alex's contract", but I won't.
The interesting thing here is I didn't actually state whether it was good or bad, I just said it's important that we include that amount when discussing Alex's cap hits for the next three years. Now, I think it's horrendous as a whole when you take into everything we've spent on the position from 2016 and on, but I digress.
If we're going to look at it in terms of a three year contract, then the dead cap hit in the 4th year absolutely matters as it's part of the portion guaranteed to him and we're only benefiting from his services for those three years.
If we're looking at it in terms of a 4 year or 5 year deal, then suddenly the AAV that @Morneblade was unjustly criticized for posting is actually more correct. Because then Alex's deal suddenly becomes worth more than a total of $71 million guaranteed (including the dead cap), it becomes a total of $90 million for 4 years (including $5.4 million dead cap) or $111 million for 5 years (no dead cap since that's the full term). The non-guaranteed portion becomes a part of the contract.
Do you see the difference? It's economically unjustified to jump all over the place and talk about Alex's contract either as a three year deal or more than that without including the total costs (and, yes, the assets given up in the trade should absolutely be included).
Seems like a lot of "stuff happens", often unprecedented and just as often an unnecessary hindrance, when it comes to the Skins' top executives.
I mean, geez, what's the point of this if you're just going to throw out comments like "stuff happens" and downplay anything that doesn't fit into the positive reinforcement you're looking for? Oh well, Fuller, oh well, 3rd rounder, oh well dead cap, oh well Alex is playing well below average or worse right now, meh meh meh, stuff happens.
Come on, now. ?
Again, you're doing some serious conflating of positions here. I’m not even sure why you’re bringing this up in a thread about Alex, but ok.
I’m going to address this point by point since you went there because I've liked the direction of this roster before you ever started posting here consistently. Maybe you should try really getting a grasp of where I'm coming from and going through the posting history before you tell me what I've made clear? I'm going to provide links to some of those posts so you can do just that.
In terms of being fiscally responsible, I think the FO under Bruce has actually been irresponsible there more often than we think. No, they don't go crazy in Free Agency and spend big on over the hill players like they used to, but they do give out too many contracts to bargain bin players who end up contributing little value and, on the aggregate, take up a considerable amount of cap space. Instead of quality it’s quantity, so it’s not like they’re actually saving. The positive is that we can generally get out of those contracts easily, but the problem is that the collective production from those players doesn’t amount to the cap space they take up, never mind that it can delay the development of other younger players as they take up reps.
And, of course, two franchise tags in a row at the QB position is anything but "fiscally responsible". So it's definitely a lot more nuanced than just, "oh, they're being fiscally responsible". In some ways, yes, in others, heck no!
Valuing draft picks? That's been pretty good overall as has been our college scouting the last few years. I've never stated otherwise and was probably one of the most ecstatic members on this board when we selected interior Dlinemen in the 1st round the last couple years. Still, I'd like to see someone within the organization who excels at personnel-evaluating be able to implement an overarching vision and build the team accordingly. I think it's important it all ties together, and there’s so much more to team-building than just hitting on draft picks (for example, Payne is the perfect complement to Allen since one is better at occupying blocks and space while the other is better at winning one on ones, that’s the kind of stuff we need more of). Hence why most successful organizations have that kind of a person leading the charge.
Developing younger players? No one on this board has defended Jay Gruden and his staff more than I have. One of the most significant justifications I give for said defense is the fact that they've excelled at developing younger players.
Consistency through the organization? Again, in some ways, yes, in others no. Hiring a GM, firing that GM, then not replacing that position shouldn't ever be considered a display of "consistency". Jay getting saddled with RG3, having to wait until Scot convinces Dan to start Kirk, and then losing the guy he developed after two consecutive franchise tags is not “organizational consistency” (and I think the QB can be considered an “organizational” figure, or as many like to label it, “the face of the franchise”). They’ve improved their college scouting department considerably, so that’s good. It seems like they’ve elevated the right people as well within the scouting department like Kyle Smith, which is key and certainly helps maintain consistency. But that took far, far too long under Bruce. He’s going on 9 years here!
Can get into a lot more about that, but I’ll just leave it there.
After the 2015 season, I was okay with the roster moves because I viewed us as still within the building phase of establishing a stronger core/depth. I understood that it was more important to build that core/depth than attack positions of weakness, like the Dline, because we were too far away from being a complete roster anyway. We just needed to improve where we can as the opportunities presented themselves. However, I, along with quite a few others, recognized just how lacking our Dline was in terms of resources put into it. We saw that as a major problem going into the 2016 season and that panned out.
Unfortunately, the other spots on the defense I thought would be strengths with certain players like Spaight and Everett panning out ended up failing, too. In the end, our defense suffered considerably and so did the entire team as a result. The difference is, none of that came as a real surprise to us so we weren’t losing our minds when we missed the playoffs.
Moving on to the 2017 offseason, this is where I felt the roster was at a point where it was solid enough in most areas, maintain the roster as is (losing one of Djax or Garcon was assumed) and that we just needed to aggressively address the Dline and solve the running game be it via a dynamic back or more help on the Oline.
It was frustrating to see that not happen.
Instead, we let both Djax and Garcon go. We signed McGee and McClain instead of a legitimate difference maker at the position. Suffice to say, it was disappointing and panned out as expected. We were extremely fortunate Jonathan Allen fell to us in the draft, but that was really dangerous to go into it assuming we’d be able to get him. That is not a way to live as a Front Office. And we saw how fast the fall off occurred as soon as he got hurt, which proved once again that the resources put into the position was lacking.
What’s frustrating is that we could’ve been a contender much earlier than we are now, and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see it. It just took better executive leadership from Allen to where they understood the moment and got slightly more aggressive. Knowing when to strike and when not to is important. Being flexible enough to adapt no matter what your core philosophy is about is key to any successful operation.
Which brings me to my final point. When you ask me if I’m happy we’re 5-2, I’ve got to say, that just comes off as straight up trolling. I mean, really? Of course I am! Why are you bringing that up in a thread about Alex’s issues right now? What does that have to do with anything? Did I post elsewhere suggesting I’m unhappy? For God’s sake, my first post in months was out of excitement regarding the trade for Ha Ha!
I recognize that the biggest reason for our record has been the defensive play, and specifically the Dline. The next would be Adrian Peterson. Now look up at what I told you how I felt about the team going into the 2017 season and where I was disappointed. What do you see? That’s called vindication.
It comes at absolutely NO surprise that we’re doing well with a Dline that has major assets invested into it and that our running game has taken off with improved personnel there. THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN SCREAMING FOR TO HAPPEN!
Am I happy? Heck yeah. Do I also recognize this didn’t need to take so long, that we could’ve done all of this with better QB play from a player we drafted and developed on our own? Is that frustrating to think about? Of course!
I’m concerned that Alex might not improve enough to make us contenders. That the passing game will limit us.
If we had Kirk’s exact level of play from last year on this team, with this defense and this running game, we are absolutely contenders and there’s no question about it. If we want to argue from the standpoint that Kirk’s contract as it is with Minny would’ve been an hindrance (that’s ignoring that had we dealt with it correctly we could’ve signed him much cheaper much earlier, but let’s just go with that for argument’s sake), then maaaaybe Kirk’s contract would’ve kept us from signing a guy like Richardson (and even that’s debatable), but that’s it. So it would’ve been (Kirk - Richardson) versus (Alex + Richardson) - (Fuller and a 3rd round pick). That’s tough to think about.
And we saw Kirk still perform with a decimated Oline and receiving group that didn’t include Richardson last year.
So, yes, those of us who were asking for those things Alex is now surrounded with have every right to be frustrated that we took a step back in the passing offense in the process.
And who suffers the most for it? Those within the organization who actually know what they’re doing, like Jay. I want to see these people set up for success, not provided obstacle after obstacle after obstacle.
What I see is a Head Coach who came here without a first round pick his first year, had a dysfunctional FO structure above him, only for that to supposedly be fixed with the Scot hire, only for that to fail and then go back to a mishmash of a structure, only to pay elite money in consecutive franchise tags to keep the guy he aided in developing, only to then lose him for nothing while having to trade a stud slot corner and a third rounder while paying out another hefty contract to another QB who was supposed to just be “plug and play” and has been anything but that.
From 2016-2020 (sticking with viewing Alex’s contract as a three year deal), we will have spent a whopping $115 million, Kendall Fuller and a 3rd round pick on the position. And what do we have to show for it? Developing Kirk for another team to benefit from and then having to acclimate Alex Smith, hoping it’ll improve but having no certainty it will. That type of spending should be reserved for the elite of the elite, yet this is what we’ve done!
Look around the league and tell me who has managed their resources as horrendously bad as that? Do you not understand how that affects everyone within the organization? I’m seeing coaches and players of like or less quality than ours get so much more from their Front Offices while everyone ignores the resources they’ve benefited from and simply hails them as brilliant strategists and awesome players. They then get compared to our guys like it’s apples to apples. Ugh.
Yes, that frustrates me because I actually care about them succeeding. I actually care about these human beings enjoying the best possible environment conducive to their success. I don’t view them as nothing but objects to be used and discarded while they wear the burgundy and gold, where I simply root for the colors and nothing more. It’s just not my style.
If that’s just too much for you to take, and you think those of us who think like that are livid about being 5-2... well, you’re suffering from a severe case of Allenitis and maybe you should start writing press releases for him.
I’m extremely happy for Jay and co. I’m very impressed with how the players and coaches have overcome a terribly pedestrian passing offense, which was once the only consistent strength of the team, in obtaining their current record.
It’s perfectly reasonable to be seriously concerned that Alex will remain a liability and that we’ll never be able to truly contend with him at the helm. And that’s not saying he brings zero to the table, just that he brings very little and it’s not enough. It’s not even his fault, but it’s really unfortunate because we were so friggin close. It’s unfortunate because I know damn well who will get attacked and targeted by the fans because of it. It’s unfortunate because I’ve seen how often the owner and his top exec also target the wrong people within the organization and create an atmosphere of division and factionalism that leads to their regression and/or demise, which only renews a cycle of the same thing happening again with whomever replaces them.
Hopefully Alex improves enough that we don’t have to witness all that. I’m praying for that, as much as you’d think otherwise. But, yeah, it’s frustrating that the concern is even there and it can take away from the sheer joy of watching these guys succeed like they are right now.