Absolutely Priceless

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    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    In response to RidingWithTheKing's comment:

    The timing of this article couldn't be any better. Even the word "warned" in the first paragraph seals the deal and separates myself (and those who agree with me) from the Hurl, TripleOg, Pezzy, Babe and RKrap goup.

    Cannot be made up. The timing of these articles are hilarious.  The Jets failed for what I had predicted 3 years ago and patience was needed for how BB wisely chose to build this thing in and out of the lockout.

    What's even funnier is how Carolina is in trouble now because they never dealt Peppers in 2009 to get those 2 2nd rd picks like they needed to do. Hurley is unemployed, BB dealt Seymour for a 1st and here we are.

    Reiss and other media heads who didn't have it nailed, should send me a check for writing their pieces for them.  Mazz and Felger exposed and done for good:

     

    Commentary

    Patriots managed money well Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick planned ahead with static salary cap in mind Updated: March 8, 2013, 9:42 PM ET By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

      Do Pats Need Wes Welker More? Christian Fauria, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless discuss whether the Patriots need Wes Welker more than Welker needs them. Tags: Christian Fauria, Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, First Take, Pats Do Pats Need Wes Welker More?

    Not long after owners and players ended the NFL lockout in 2011, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft had warned that the economics of the league were changing and teams that prepared in advance would be in the best position to capitalize.

    Specifically, Kraft said that the salary cap would remain relatively flat for several years. Gone were the days when clubs could rely on a dramatic spike from one year to the next to provide financial flexibility.

    Not everyone bought it, including some of Kraft's fellow owners who kept spending and spending. Now those doubters are paying a different kind of price, forced to release players to get under the slow-growing salary cap (hello, Carolina Panthers). Every day, it seems, more quality players are being cut, creating a buyer's market for clubs that were disciplined in not writing out too many big checks over the past two post-lockout seasons.

    [+] EnlargeBrady Elsa/Getty ImagesTom Brady's cap-friendly extension was a key component to the Patriots' financial plan.

     

    We're now 20 months removed from the lockout and it's clear that Kraft wasn't blowing smoke about the changing economic landscape. It's also clear that the Patriots have strategically positioned themselves as well as almost any team in the NFL to benefit from others' missteps -- both this offseason and next, when a similar dynamic is expected.

    New England currently has about $24 million in salary-cap space, among the top 10 in the NFL, with quarterback Tom Brady's recently executed three-year contract extension a centerpiece of the master plan.

    The next part of the plan comes into play Saturday at 12 a.m. ET, when all NFL teams can begin negotiating with free agents. The Patriots plan to be active, but they won't be reckless. They'll be looking for value, even though that still could mean a big-ticket item (perhaps at cornerback, where the market is loaded).

    Contracts with free agents from other teams can't be finalized until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, and while the Patriots don't have to wait to sign any of their own free agents, it appears that is the course they will take with most of them.

    One agent of a Patriots player scheduled for free agency said that the club relayed that it would hold back on making an offer until it gains a clearer understanding of the marketplace. That could be a nice way of saying that the Patriots believe the market is going to be slow, and they don't want to insult a player with their offer. It's easier to let the market do the insulting.

    As the action is set to unfold, it's timely to revisit some of Kraft's remarks about "strategically planning" for this time, which has been 20 months in the making.

    "In this age of the salary cap, what's going to happen in the next few years with the cap, you have to have a core group of players that you can plan around as the foundation of your team," he said last June.

    That is why the Patriots stepped out of character a bit and extended the contracts of tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez last year even though each had two years remaining. If the cap was growing at what had been its standard rate, perhaps the approach would have been to wait and have them play out their cheaper rookie contracts, which is how the Patriots typically have handled business with others, such as defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and offensive lineman Logan Mankins.

    But by dishing out a little more money now, and keeping the salary-cap charges reasonable over the years in which the cap wasn't expected to grow much, the Patriots got ahead of the curve. Just as coach Bill Belichick takes pride in his teams playing situational football, one might call this "situational management" -- adjusting to the changing financial landscape proactively.

    "When your salary cap has been pretty flat for three or four years in a row, it is tough to keep a high number of salaries," New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese said. "Sometimes you have to make some tough decisions."

     

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    The Patriots are no exception, and that's probably a main reason why an extension for receiver Wes Welker has been elusive. They want him, naturally, but the sides haven't yet found a middle ground that works for them. Even in the unanticipated event it doesn't work out, the Patriots' core would still be strong, looking good both on the field and on the balance sheet.

    Somewhat remarkably, outside of Wilfork ($6.5 million) and Mankins ($5.75 million), the Patriots don't have another player with a 2013 base salary higher than $2.5 million. So what they've been able to do is maintain a strong enough middle class of the roster at a time when the middle class is being squeezed out for many teams, while drafting and developing enough talent to remain a Super Bowl contender.

    Brady's recent extension ensures that the Patriots' strong economic outlook should continue. It freed up $8 million in space this season, lowering his salary-cap charge from $21.8 million to $13.8 million, which is still the highest total on the club and currently 16th highest in the NFL as of Friday. Brady's base salary for 2013 is just $1 million.

    So now, as the Patriots prepare to execute their free-agent strategy, they won't be restricted by the financial handcuffs that are locked on a significant number of their competitors. That's the good news.

    The bad news is that if they don't capitalize -- last year's signing of defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene comes to mind -- they will have blown a terrific opportunity to improve an already strong roster at a time when the clock is ticking on Brady's career (can he play at a high level for another five years?).

    The Patriots' strategic planning has positioned them well economically at a time of change in the NFL, which is no surprise.

    Now it's time for them to go to work.



    so bellichick's still on that 6 year rebuild on the fly huh?

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from rameakap. Show rameakap's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    Two things I took away from that:

    A. Nobody will care if you were smart if you only sign guys like Fanane and Gregory, the Pats MUST make this like 2003 with Colvin and Harrison type grabs

    B. I enjoyed hearing 'let the market do the insulting' for our own FA's... although I'm not sure Hartline getting 6m helps us when it comes to Wes, I can see Talib wanting big $ and staying here for Bodden $ (4/22) b/c of all the DB's out there

    Would LOVE Talib at that cost, Wes at 4/30

     
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  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from AyyyBoston. Show AyyyBoston's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    Yep and this is why this offseason is particularly interesting/exciting. We have money and there is a lot of talent available (especially in the secondary). Thanks to this situation, we could potentially resign Welker (or add another WR), sign a S (Wilson? Reed?) and a CB (Talib? Grimes? DRC? Asomaugha? etc...), and fill in the rest of the gaps with smaller signings and the draft.

    I expect a much improved version of the team next year, on both sides of the ball. If we can get improvement from some of our 2nd year guys (Jones, Higtower, T. Wilson, Dennard), watch out.

     

     
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    Re: Absolutely Priceless

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from rameakap. Show rameakap's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    In response to RidingWithTheKing's comment:

     

    In response to rameakap's comment:

     

    Two things I took away from that:

    A. Nobody will care if you were smart if you only sign guys like Fanane and Gregory, the Pats MUST make this like 2003 with Colvin and Harrison type grabs

    B. I enjoyed hearing 'let the market do the insulting' for our own FA's... although I'm not sure Hartline getting 6m helps us when it comes to Wes, I can see Talib wanting big $ and staying here for Bodden $ (4/22) b/c of all the DB's out there

    Would LOVE Talib at that cost, Wes at 4/30

     




    First of all, Fanene didn't report his condition, so that will likely be resolved at some point and have little to no effect on the team. Nor will Gregory's minor deal. I have no idea why people bring his name up. Low cost, still on the team, decent player. 

     

    Don't take this personally, but you know little about business if you're complaining about these things and pretending they trump what BB just did. I saw it 3 or 4 years ago. This is a business.  It's not a video game. GMs need to get 53 men under a cap and BB does that year to year with 12+ win teams, with #1 or #2 seeds and it has A LOT more to do with Brady. A lot more, as we've unfortunately seen in the postseason.

    BB signing Bodden was a great move. A cheap move in 2009 and a great year from Bodden. No one can predict injuries, whether your BB or Bobby Beatheard.

    Some here apparently have no idea what is going on. Trolls are jealous but to see some fans so unappreciative of this is sick.

     

     

    I'm making you sick? I think 90% of fans know they are living in a golden era. But 99,9% of fans would rather have had two 8-8 seasons wrapped aound a 4th Super Bowl over 12-4, 13-3 and 14-2 with whiffs when it mattered b/c they needed an upgrade at 2-3 positions.

    My point wasn't that BB isn't a genius. He is. It was that Fanene and Gregory were depth moves, not Colvin/Harrison or Welker, Moss, Thomas moves. And those were our 2 big moves last offseason. The year before it was the Ocho/Albert busts and letting Goldson leave unsigned  when they had $. Let's not forget failing to trade a 4th rd pick for Lloyd last year before he went to StL, Lloyd and Goldson would have won us the SB. A trade of a pick worked with Branch in '10 and Talib in '12... so why pass on Lloyd and stick with Chad in '11? Oh well.

    Anyhow, the point again is that the conservative approach failed to bring home more than regular season success... yes Gronk being out/limited may have been the #1 reason for both exits the last 2 years... but I want them to keep the big FA's they have (or replace them with upgrades) AND land elite talent to put them over the top.

    I thought the Bodden deal was great at the time, I'd feel the same way about 4/22 for Talib. 30 million + for Talib, or more importantly 12+ in guaranteed $ for him, and I won't be as thrilled.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from garytx. Show garytx's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    Teams that are in salary cap trouble are lead by the Jets.  This thing is getting gutted.  The Saints are going to be a shadow of their former selves.  Under rated OT Jermon Bushrod is probably gone.  Of course where would the salary cap issue be without the Cowboys?  Team is a mess.  Good job Jerry.  Seems like the Panthers have but themselves in a spot.  This caught me by surprise.  They are pretty much over paying everybody.  The Eagles are in a bit a trouble too but it can be helped out with the release of Asomugha.  He isn't the only issue but he is the biggest one.  The Steelers are on the board.  Almost a who's who of FA.  Hampton, Harrison, Wallace and Mendenhall.  Yikes!  The Lions and Raiders are losers in this battle as well.  Cliff Avril will not be easily replaced.  Super Bowl winners Baltimore are in a spot even with the retirement of Lewis.  They are going to lose some talent.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from rkarp. Show rkarp's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    Wow, what a dill weed. Thankfully for all of us Pats fans, you have BB's and Krafts ear. Can you imagine if they hadn't listened to you 3 years ago.

    You are also crediting BB for a lot of Ernie Adams and Nick C's work, as well as the "listener", J Kraft. 

    The cap space has always, and will always be available to the Pats. Yes, they manage it very well, and they make the most cold hearted decisions in football, to their credit. I don't think there has been any criticism of the way the cap is or has been managed. The criticism has been with what was done with the cap, which is on BB. The failure to address the teams glaring needs, or use a band aid fix with over the hill vets is squandering a roster full of talent, depth and HOF QB and coach. 

    Reiss points out all of these players that will be available, but there is an awful lot of mediocrity and aging players in that pool. 

    The bar is at the level of SB or disappointed. The "criticism" you perceive from fans like myself is actually frustration. Lots of squandered opportunities. 100% the situation is bett than Buffalo or the Jets. But I agree with the op above, 12-4 in a weak division and disappointment in the playoffs is getting to me. 

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    Yes, yes, we all know what the Pats do.  As Reiss put it succinctly 

    So what they've been able to do is maintain a strong enough middle class of the roster at a time when the middle class is being squeezed out for many teams, while drafting and developing enough talent to remain a Super Bowl contender.

    The question is whether that strong middle class is enough to put them over the top in playoff games against teams that have more elite players at more positions.  

    There's also a question whether that middle class is really all that strong.  In the defensive backfield, for instance, it's been more low class than middle class . . .

     

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from teegee. Show teegee's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    Nevertheless, it's nice to be in a 'winning position' during the offseason.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    In response to RidingWithTheKing's comment:

    Dude just earlier today Mt Hurl mocked my comments on a thread where I said BB is a genius for letting the market come to him. Mocked me outright.  Mt Hurl did it again in the face of utter embarrassment. 

    Then, I see this column.  Priceless.

    These idiots like Mt Hurl, Babe, Pezzy, Triple OG and RKrap simply don't get it. I warned and warned.

    They just wouldn't hear it.

    BB had it nailed. End of story. Whether Kraft was helping or not is irrelevant.   The budgeting, allocating and drafting in and out of the lockout was utter genius.

    Brady will be staring down 2 golden looks at a SB in 2013 and 2014.

    Thank you, BB.



    Could you copy and paste where I "mocked you"...I just want to read it if I did, because it's probably hilarious!!

     
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    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    In response to rkarp's comment:

    Wow, what a dill weed. Thankfully for all of us Pats fans, you have BB's and Krafts ear. Can you imagine if they hadn't listened to you 3 years ago.

    You are also crediting BB for a lot of Ernie Adams and Nick C's work, as well as the "listener", J Kraft. 

    The cap space has always, and will always be available to the Pats. Yes, they manage it very well, and they make the most cold hearted decisions in football, to their credit. I don't think there has been any criticism of the way the cap is or has been managed. The criticism has been with what was done with the cap, which is on BB. The failure to address the teams glaring needs, or use a band aid fix with over the hill vets is squandering a roster full of talent, depth and HOF QB and coach. 

    Reiss points out all of these players that will be available, but there is an awful lot of mediocrity and aging players in that pool. 

    The bar is at the level of SB or disappointed. The "criticism" you perceive from fans like myself is actually frustration. Lots of squandered opportunities. 100% the situation is bett than Buffalo or the Jets. But I agree with the op above, 12-4 in a weak division and disappointment in the playoffs is getting to me. 




    Thank you! Spot on!

    And let's add...we spent three years in this organization's prime NOT going for it...signing cheap, old and washed up guys because of the fear of "salary cap hell". Now because of that we missed out on the oppurtunity to win another championship, this salary cap hell has left three teams in trouble and when I say in trouble I simply mean they are going to cut some old players and maybe not be able to retain a mid level guy. Big deal.

    The market gets flooded with old, underperforming players every year and this dufus rusty acts like he invented it! Lol! The reason why teams are dumping players is because the salary cap is the most fluid thing in all of sports - no one is in hell over this - guys will be cut, guys will be resigned...business as usual.

    Rusty, email me when therre are boat loads of young talent in their prime to be had because of salary cap hell....imscaredofsalarycaphell@yahoo.com.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsLifer. Show PatsLifer's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    I agree with rkarp on this one. Yes, good work by the pats and bb to manage the cap. However, the lack of signing game changers and going with over the hill or reclamation projects is not doing them any favors. Pony up the cash, bring in a stud or two, and lets get this thing over the finish line. 

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from rkarp. Show rkarp's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    In response to PatsLifer's comment:

    I agree with rkarp on this one. Yes, good work by the pats and bb to manage the cap. However, the lack of signing game changers and going with over the hill or reclamation projects is not doing them any favors. Pony up the cash, bring in a stud or two, and lets get this thing over the finish line. 



    You should be careful to agree with me or else you will be referred to as "These idiots like Mt Hurl, Babe, Pezzy, Triple OG and RKrap simply don't get it. I warned and warned."

    After all, Rusty warned BB and Kraft 3 years ago that the cap would be flat, and a lot of over the hill players are coming available. It will be a great idea to grab some of these vets like AGonzo, DStallworth, SEllis, AHaynesworth, Ocho and try to address a weakness with an under the market deal for a guy that may have a little left in the tank. For crying out loud, the Pats had Goldson in Foxboro, low balled him, signed Gregory instead, and left money on the table to carry over to this year. 

    I can agree, it is genius at how the cap is managed. But it is about league average or maybe slightly ahead of league average at how it is then used. 

    I was the one who had warnings out last year after 1 month of free agency that the Pats signed middle of he road roster filler. Gallery, Carpenter, Fells, Scott, Gregory all rotational depth. 

     

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from wozzy. Show wozzy's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    Some "fans" here think we should sign All Pro players at every position regardless of cost, they don't factor in cost, availability and the overall big picture.  Also many cherry pick players and say "so and so" wasn't a good signing, but then don't offer an alternative in the same price range simply because that player didn't exist... in short, we should have signed someone else even though there was nobody available at that price.

    If we were 3-13 or 5-11 over the past "rebuilding" years than I could empathize but from where I'm standing you guys sound like entitled fans, this is football, some players don't work out because their knees were shot or they took too many blows to the skull, not because they weren't good players or a good signing at the time.  

    And I've seen it here too often where fans will praise BB for signing value players like Fanene when he got signed and two years later they're saying I told you so... much like the draft, many fans here are experts 2-3 years in hindsight.  

    "Value" players like Joe Andruzzi, Roman Phifer, Rodney Harrison and Mike Vrabel were the backbone of championship teams, try not to have such a double standard for the ones that don't work out, just do what the Patriots do and move forward.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from gogogopats. Show gogogopats's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    What type of contract was goldson offered last year by the pats? Do you know any details?

     
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  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    Reiss quotes Jerry Reese too .  . seems the Giants GM had the same idea. Maybe Kraft and Belichick aren't the only guys who know their business?  Question is who has had better success coming out of the lockout?  Pats have been more competitive in general, but the Giants actually won a championship.  If the Pats can win a championship next year or two, then I'd say advantage Pats.  If they don't however, the water is a bit muddier.  

    "When your salary cap has been pretty flat for three or four years in a row, it is tough to keep a high number of salaries," New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese said. "Sometimes you have to make some tough decisions."

     
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from garytx. Show garytx's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    Yep, what good is being under the cap if you don't bring in good players.  Last year was terrible.  Why waste one's time?  But Rusty does bring up a good point in that there are a lot of FAs out there and they aren't going to get the money they want.  Half the NFL won't be participating in FA because of salary cap issues.  They need about 8mil in cap space just to sign draft picks.  

    For salary cap hell the Jets are in bad shape.  The distraction is the release of so many underachieving players but they are still high.  That's the reason they are shopping Revis.  Even with the axing of all these players they will not be able to be very active in the FA market.  Baltimore and Pittsburgh are two other teams that are struggling just to maintain.

    FA hell is very real.  The Pats underachieving in FA is very real too.

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from JohnHannahrulz. Show JohnHannahrulz's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    BB has a masters degree in Economics that probably works well with Capology. Realisitically you can't build an NFL team like it was your fantasy team. Some FA players will underachieve, others will overachieve (Waters). To maintain such a high standard in a league that mandates parity is a remarkable accomplishment.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from redsoxfan94. Show redsoxfan94's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    i agree BB has done a great job working around the cap, but im not ready to call this offseason a success...they have a lot of work to do in free agency and drafting.

     

    the fact that some people dont appreciate the work BB does, just blows my mind.

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from pezz4pats. Show pezz4pats's posts

    Re: Absolutely Priceless

    In response to wozzy's comment:

     

    Some "fans" here think we should sign All Pro players at every position regardless of cost, they don't factor in cost, availability and the overall big picture.  Also many cherry pick players and say "so and so" wasn't a good signing, but then don't offer an alternative in the same price range simply because that player didn't exist... in short, we should have signed someone else even though there was nobody available at that price.

    If we were 3-13 or 5-11 over the past "rebuilding" years than I could empathize but from where I'm standing you guys sound like entitled fans, this is football, some players don't work out because their knees were shot or they took too many blows to the skull, not because they weren't good players or a good signing at the time.  

    And I've seen it here too often where fans will praise BB for signing value players like Fanene when he got signed and two years later they're saying I told you so... much like the draft, many fans here are experts 2-3 years in hindsight.  

    "Value" players like Joe Andruzzi, Roman Phifer, Rodney Harrison and Mike Vrabel were the backbone of championship teams, try not to have such a double standard for the ones that don't work out, just do what the Patriots do and move forward.

     




    Ah, Wozzy.

     

    Not true.  Everyone understands the Cap presents limitations and the Pats system is sound but the problem is the Talent.  What good is it to buy 6 pairs of tennis shoes at walmart for $20. that last a month or two.  Why not buy a $120 pair that last 4 years.

    Not only that, but by buying, cheap middling, old, and players; that are cut within the year, causes a major problem called "dead money"

    Last years team was seriously hindered with 1/7th of available cap squandered by dead money. 

    That 18M means instead of Gregory, you get Gold.  Instead of Lloyd you get ????? whomever.  Instead of Fanene, you can AFFORD better.

    People scream about 18M in cap money for a QB.  Well you should be incessed with 18M lost money due to failure because theres not a single thing to show for it.

    These low risk, high reward guys, that recently haven't worked out, cost money.  Money that could go to proven, young and productive players.

    As Reis aptly pointed out, it's what you do with that money that matters.

    That's the fail!  No Rodney, no Phifer, no Vrable, walking through that door; only one year or 3 month rentals with contracts that cost them money for 3 years.

    How much $$$$ and players have they spent to replace Samuels, ALONE?  Jeeze, more than the worth of most 3rd world countries.  Pfft

     

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