Larry Brown #43 Posted November 22, 2006 Share Posted November 22, 2006 What do the following players have all have in common? Tom Brady Ray Lewis Carson Palmer Peyton Manning Larry Johnson LaDanian Lomlinson Shaun Alexander Torry Holt Steve Smith Brian Urlacher Donovan McNabb Tiki Barber Think about the answer before you scroll down... Aside from being among the elite players in the game, each of these players was drafted by his current team. How is that relevant to us? Simple. Teams who have players of this elite caliber on their roster do not let them get away through free agency. Sure, you can sign an Edgerrin James away from the Colts (How's that workin' out for ya, Arizona?). But Peyton Manning? Never. My point? You will almost never be able to sign a guy that a team cannot afford to lose. Think SF was broken-hearted when they dealt B. Lloyd to us and we signed Andre Carter away from them? I was very disturbed to hear Coach Gibbs on his radio show last night staunchly defending the way the organization acquires players. When the question came up, I was really hoping he would say something like, "We've learned a few things from some of the decisions we've made, and this is something we'll have to take a look at in the future." Instead, he offered no regrets, pointing to guys like Marcus Washington, Shawn Springs, etc. Of course, He conveniently didn't mention Archuleta, Andre Carter, and the like. When you guess wrong on a draft pick, all you lose is the pick. When you guess wrong on a high-priced free agent, you can cripple both your immediate and future ability to improve. And I'm not even factoring in the locker room implications of--for example--having a megamillion dollar safety sitting on the bench. For years we heard that the Skins were facing imminent "Cap Hell," where we'd have to cut half our roster and field a team of rookie free agents. It never really came, and it probably never will. Cap Hell is not our problem. Our problem is we sign pretty average players to enormous contracts, which typically results in mediocre seasons. Why do we do it? Because we can't pry a LaDanian Tomlinson away from San Diego. Teams BUILD around guys like him. We're then left with the scraps, and we have to overpay to convince players to leave their teams. Sadly, with the mediocre players we continually sign, we don't even give ourselves a chance to get bad enough so that we can draft somebody great. Indy had to fail miserably to draft Peyton Manning. San Diego had to fail miserably to draft LT, and so on. Maybe when all is said and done, we'll have failed miserably this year. But of course, if we do, we'll find ourselves with one measly first-day draft pick in next year's draft, because we've already traded our picks for players who, right now, are contributing to the mess we're in. The answer? Do it the RIGHT way. HIRE someone who knows how to draft, because that person is not currently on the payroll (there's no salary cap on front office employees!). Build through the draft (you know, the way we did it back when we won all those Super Bowls?). Take your lumps if you have to (isn't that what we've been doing anyway?). And JUDICIOUSLY sign free agents only in places where you have obvious holes (we had Ryan Clark last year--that does NOT qualify as an obvious hole. We filled that supposed "hole" with two tons of quicksand.) And remember, resigning your own free agents is almost always less expensive and more effective than signing someone else's scraps. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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