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Hunting the Bargain Quarterback


Oldfan

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Definitions:

open market: free agency is an open market since the player is free to negotiate with all 32 teams.

closed market: the draft is a closed market since the player can only negotiate with one team.

market value: the highest price a buyer is willing to pay in an open market

bargain: a price paid under market value

The Skins should be bargain hunting at every position.

Imagine, if you will, that you have a $500 budget to spend on new clothes. To maximize your wardrobe, it would be smart to try find a bargain with every transaction. If your budget was $1,000, nothing would change. As long as you have a budget, the bargain hunting plan is the smart move to maximize your wardrobe.

The salary cap is like a budget. It doesn’t matter how much the team is allowed to spend, the bargain hunting plan is the smart strategy to maximize the quality of the roster.

Exception: Paying full market value makes sense when you can add the missing piece to an otherwise championship caliber roster.

Most bargains will come from losing college and pro teams.

As a general rule, players on winning teams are overrated compared to their counterparts on losing teams. This is especially true for the most important quarterback position. This explains how USC’s Matt Lienart could be picked ahead of Vanderbilt’s Jay Cutler in the 2006 draft. As the 11th pick in the first round, Cutler was a bargain.

Since the draft is a closed market almost every successful pick is a bargain regardless of the draft round. While some super bargains are possible in the later rounds, logically, most bargains will come from the first round, then the second, then the third.

Note: There are several flawed statistical studies online done by people who claim results for drafted QBs that defy logic.

It is much harder to find bargain QBs out of the draft, but it is possible. Bill Walsh picked up Steve Young by trading the final pick in the fourth round. He took him from the worst support system in the NFL and gave him the best support system in the NFL. Mike Shanahan took Jake Plummer from a lousy team and gave him a better one. He thinks he might have another bargain in John Beck.

Mike Shanahan has shown the knack for finding QB bargains.

No one bats 1.000 in QB selection; so, Mike might miss with Beck. However, with both Cutler and Plummer, Mike has shown that he knows that QBs who are not well-supported by their college or pro teams are potential bargains.

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So by association, if Beck doesn't pan out, your suggesting we might be better served looking for a 'bargain' at the position, through whatever means; rather than taking a highly rated prospect from a winning school like Luck or Jones, should we be in a position to do that.

Am I reading you right man?

Hail.

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So by association, if Beck doesn't pan out, your suggesting we might be better served looking for a 'bargain' at the position, through whatever means; rather than taking a highly rated prospect from a winning school like Luck or Jones, should we be in a position to do that.

Am I reading you right man?

Hail.

As a general rule, yes.

---------- Post added July-31st-2011 at 08:06 AM ----------

You have to be wary of fake designer labels.

The ones that look real from a distance, and are bought without close inspection, only to find the flaws on the inside...

Of course. There's skill involved in finding bargains in anything.
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Beck should be interesting if he's the starter, I don't agree with the media that its totally sink or swim with him from the stand point of this year. He's only made 4 starts in his career. It's not uncommon for inexperienced players to start off slow and improve as the year goes on. But it sounds like if Beck doesn't light it up quickly, he will be deemed a failure by the media most of whom is characterizing this as Shanny being either delusional or making a reckless gamble where he is staking his whole rep on this one card. Also not just Beck, but really the whole team I think has so much turnover and potentially so many young players that the odds aren't good that they will click right away so I think we have some natural growing pains in store. but to your point, yeah Beck would be a bargain if he works out, not to mention with extra draft picks lined up this draft and next, we can devote another draft to filling out the roster versus likely trading up and losing picks to get a potential "franchise" QB.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/mike-shanahans-building-the-redskins-the-only-way-he-knows-how/2011/07/29/gIQA3VkVhI_story.html

Relating to Beck: “A lot of people are afraid of being second-guessed,” Shanahan said. “They make decisions based on what other people say, rather than what they see with their own eyes, on a general consensus. They don’t see it themselves; they ask other people’s opinions. And that’s what you have to do if you’re in charge: see it with your own eyes.”

If Shanahan is right, the Redskins will make a competitive jump."

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Interesting article in the Richmond Times Dispatch by Paul Woody about the old days and how a QB spent years learning the system before he was ever allowed to play the game. Those were the days when a QB actually called their own game though.

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2011/jul/31/tdsport01-redskins-quarterback-search-something-of-ar-1208152/

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The funny thing is going with Beck in many ways is very old school. Back in the good ole days, a qb would sit for 3-4 years learn and be groomed before they'd ever hit the field. Look at Theismann, Rypien, Humphries, etc. These days, a qb that hasn't played immediately is looked upon with distrust and disfavor. Why haven't they got on the field? If they haven't they must be bums. Well, look at Trent Green, Romo sits to pee, or most famously Kurt Warner.

Not saying what Beck will or won't do, but it's funny how completely the mindset has flipped.

---------- Post added July-31st-2011 at 08:20 AM ----------

Gah, I need to be a faster typer to make my thoughts sound original :)

Beat by that much.

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As a general rule, yes.

Interesting theory. I can see the validity in being prudent, but when it comes to as sure a prospect as you could wish to have, IMHO, in the aforementioned two QB's, I personally think it would be to our folly to look elsewhere. Again, just my opinion, but you won't find anything better deeper in the draft (and when all said and done, after waiting for 37 LONG years since SonnyJ hung it up for a franchise caliber QB, IMHO; we deserve the very best when we finally snag one); nor will a talent of sufficient quality be available on the open market. (Talent of Cutlers ilk and age are the rarest of rare commodity's to be let go by a team.).

Hail.

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Exception: Paying full market value makes sense when you can add the missing piece to an otherwise championship caliber roster.

Speaking of which what do you think of Andy Reid's Danny like free agency shopping spree. They don't just want 2 stud pass rushers, they want 3. 3 stud corners, etc. Maybe Burress, etc. Reid has always been aggressive with free agency but he's really going to town this time and going for the top flight starters and they aren't young. Jenkins who they signed yesterday, is very good, but is pushing 31 and is injury prone. am glad the Skins decided to skip him and sign 27 year old Bowen, instead.

The one thing Reid has shown that I'll give him and I never understood with Cerrato/Snyder/Gibbs is that free agency should not only help you avoid trading picks but if you do it well it should allow you to accumulate picks by trading your excess. They sign a corner, then look to trade a corner on their roster. They sign a D lineman so they trade one on their roster for a pick. That makes sense. The Redskins approach of signing free agents and trading picks in my view didn't make sense and is the most reckless and immediate gratification type of approach. Sorry I know its off topic to a degree but curious about your take.

Edit: to the point of this thread, you could call Vick a couple of years ago as a bargain signing by Reid. Look at how that one has paid off for him -- good QB play and a ton of picks from trades.

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Beck should be interesting if he's the starter, I don't agree with the media that its totally sink or swim with him from the stand point of this year. He's only made 4 starts in his career. It's not uncommon for inexperienced players to start off slow and improve as the year goes on...
Agreed. If Beck starts off reasonably competent, we should have patience, and the second-guessers should be ignored.
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Beck, a very young QB just out of college, drafted by a pretty bad team and thrown out to play in his rookie year, was pretty much eaten alive as a QB. That is how his reputation was made. Is he a bad QB because of this? I don't know but I don't think he should be judged by that year. Also he has been on several teams but never had a chance to play. Does that mean that he isn't a good QB, I just don't know, every team needs backup QB's in case they lose one. You usually go with the best QB you can get as a back up.

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Interesting article in the Richmond Times Dispatch by Paul Woody about the old days and how a QB spent years learning the system before he was ever allowed to play the game. Those were the days when a QB actually called their own game though.

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2011/jul/31/tdsport01-redskins-quarterback-search-something-of-ar-1208152/

QBs don't call their own plays in today's game. Still, in other ways, the game is far more complex.
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QBs don't call their own plays in today's game. Still, in other ways, the game is far more complex.

Very true, but even though they don't call their own games the do need to have a good understanding of what the OC's trying to accomplish with his calls. That doesn't come overnight. Expecting a rookie QB to go out and start is still not a good idea.

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I guess the question is

Are you a growth investor or a value investor. You are picking the value investment theory right now. In a down ecomonomy, that's a pretty good idea. You won't become an instant millionaire doing it, but your losses will be loss and you should get slow, steady increase in production. Interestingly, value investors often do better than growth investors because there are so many misses in growth.

Then again, I'm not sure this parallel totally works in sports.

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Interesting theory. I can see the validity in being prudent, but when it comes to as sure a prospect as you could wish to have, IMHO, in the aforementioned two QB's, I personally think it would be to our folly to look elsewhere. Again, just my opinion, but you won't find anything better deeper in the draft (and when all said and done, after waiting for 37 LONG years since SonnyJ hung it up for a franchise caliber QB, IMHO; we deserve the very best when we finally snag one); nor will a talent of sufficient quality be available on the open market. (Talent of Cutlers ilk and age are the rarest of rare commodity's to be let go by a team.).

Hail.

I haven't seen enough of the college QBs to have an opinion on any of them. However, even NFL experts find it hard to separate the QB's performance from his supporting system, so it would seem to me to be an even bigger factor for the amateurs.
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Interesting theory. I can see the validity in being prudent, but when it comes to as sure a prospect as you could wish to have, IMHO, in the aforementioned two QB's, I personally think it would be to our folly to look elsewhere. Again, just my opinion, but you won't find anything better deeper in the draft (and when all said and done, after waiting for 37 LONG years since SonnyJ hung it up for a franchise caliber QB, IMHO; we deserve the very best when we finally snag one); nor will a talent of sufficient quality be available on the open market. (Talent of Cutlers ilk and age are the rarest of rare commodity's to be let go by a team.).

Agree. Though when you look at it from a cost benefit analysis IMO it makes sense. For example, I bet when Gabbert showed up at #10 in last year's draft and Shanny thought he was another Cutler he would have pounced. With a roster full of holes they decided it was better to exploit that draft position to fill the roster. The question becomes do we want Kerrigan and the ability to fill out the roster with young running backs and wide receivers, D lineman, etc or ride on Gabbert's coattails. I am not picking on Gabbert just saying as we all know this roster is weak thus unless the QB that we had shots at lets say Gabbert, Dalton, Orton, Hasselback, etc -- Shanny was totally smitten with, I think it was prudent to pass.

Agree that we haven't had a good QB in a long long time but we also didn't have a good support system. When was the last time we had a good receiving corp, maybe 1991? At different stages, we've had weak running games, weak O lines, and the one constant IMO is always having a weak receiving corp. If lets say Shanny ranks Beck as a 75 and even ranks lets say Gabbert higher at an 82. The question lets say then becomes would I rather build a stronger supporting cast with the extra picks or ride with the slightly better QB without it. And i am not saying that this went down in Shanny's head, I am just giving a hypothetical type of thinking that makes sense to me.

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Speaking of which what do you think of Andy Reid's Danny like free agency shopping spree. They don't just want 2 stud pass rushers, they want 3. 3 stud corners, etc. Maybe Burress, etc. Reid has always been aggressive with free agency but he's really going to town this time and going for the top flight starters and they aren't young. Jenkins who they signed yesterday, is very good, but is pushing 31 and is injury prone. am glad the Skins decided to skip him and sign 27 year old Bowen, instead.

The one thing Reid has shown that I'll give him and I never understood with Cerrato/Snyder/Gibbs is that free agency should not only help you avoid trading picks but if you do it well it should allow you to accumulate picks by trading your excess. They sign a corner, then look to trade a corner on their roster. They sign a D lineman so they trade one on their roster for a pick. That makes sense. The Redskins approach of signing free agents and trading picks in my view didn't make sense and is the most reckless and immediate gratification type of approach. Sorry I know its off topic to a degree but curious about your take.

Edit: to the point of this thread, you could call Vick a couple of years ago as a bargain signing by Reid. Look at how that one has paid off for him -- good QB play and a ton of picks from trades.

I think the Eagles are taking high risk gambles that probably won't help them win a Super Bowl. I think they're more likely to end up with a lack of depth and an inconsistent big play offense.

---------- Post added July-31st-2011 at 08:50 AM ----------

I guess the question is

Are you a growth investor or a value investor. You are picking the value investment theory right now. In a down ecomonomy, that's a pretty good idea. You won't become an instant millionaire doing it, but your losses will be loss and you should get slow, steady increase in production. Interestingly, value investors often do better than growth investors because there are so many misses in growth.

Then again, I'm not sure this parallel totally works in sports.

I don't think you can make a comparison. There are too many market factors in investing that don't apply to the NFL, a completely unique market formed by a different set of rules.
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I think the Eagles are taking high risk gambles that probably won't help them win a Super Bowl. I think they're more likely to end up with a lack of depth and an inconsistent big play offense.

I think and hope you are right. It's probably the closest I've seen to Danny's spending spree the year that took Sanders, B. Smith, Carrier, George, etc. Maybe its Reid under pressure, superbowl or bust this year as some say for him. And they have screwed up big in free agency in the past, with Kearse and others. Actually if I had to think of value players, the NY Giants are probably the best players in that regard in terms of our division.

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... Actually if I had to think of value players, the NY Giants are probably the best players in that regard in terms of our division.
I'd agree with that. I suspect Reese is doing a better job than Coughlin.

---------- Post added July-31st-2011 at 09:16 AM ----------

...If lets say Shanny ranks Beck as a 75 and even ranks lets say Gabbert higher at an 82. The question lets say then becomes would I rather build a stronger supporting cast with the extra picks or ride with the slightly better QB without it. And i am not saying that this went down in Shanny's head, I am just giving a hypothetical type of thinking that makes sense to me.
That hypothetical is a good one. That's exactly the kind of thinking that makes sense, IMO.
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I would like too see Troy Smith given a chance and maybe Losman

I was a little surprised that of the 90 or so QBs in the league that Losman had a hard time finding a taker for a while. I think he did try out in DC late last year and Shanny wasn't interested though.

And Trent Edwards was out there too apparently, and he's also better than anyone we have on the team.

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I'd agree with that. I suspect Reese is doing a better job than Coughlin.

The Giants don't seem to panic and stick to plan regardless of what other teams are doing. Be interesting to be on the fly on the wall in Danny's office and get his read on what the Eagles are doing now because he strikes me as a reactive/emotional guy. IMO you have to be clinical and disciplined and throw emotion out the window for the most part when it comes to making good decisions.

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Good thread Oldfan-

Re-tread players and re-tread QBs have been in Mike Shanahan's wheelhouse for awhile.

In general I believe the talent gap from team to team and player to player isn't as large as is commonly believed.

Coaching, system and overall team talent are very important factors in the successful development of QB.

A "failed" QB like you pointed is often the by product of a "failed" situation and not always a 'flawed' or 'mis-evaluated' prospect.

I agree that based on draft outcomes the higher a team picks the greater the chance of success.

But, when it comes to QBs if you look at the coaches that are considered QB guru's I would wager that they succeed w/ their QB selections at higher rate then the rest of the league regardless of draft selection postion and very few QB guru's select their QBs in the 1st round let alone top 10.

I also believe that a re-tread QB has a much greater chance of success compared against a rookie, especially a re-tread that has been groomed for at least a year in the same system they're gonna execute.

---------- Post added July-31st-2011 at 03:56 PM ----------

Here's my analogy of re-tread QBs:

Someone came into my shop and couldn't afford to repair their head gasket on a BMW 535 and was selling their car way under bluebook value.

To everyone else in the shop (non-mechanics especially) it was an expensive job and not worth the asking price.

But to a mechanic that's repaired a head gasket on a BMW 535 before its was a bargain.

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