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Roster Building in Today's NFL

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Old 03-31-2006, 04:12 PM   #1
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Roster Building in Today's NFL

On another thread, I posted an idea that might produce some discussion or debate. I'll go into it in more depth here.

You're the GM. How will you build your team into a consistent winner?

The salary cap and the rules applying to it create an even playing field in theory. For our purpose here, let's assume that all 32 teams can spend the actual payroll limit and still show an operating profit; and let's also assume that all 32 teams intend to spend 100% of payroll limit.

The obvious strategy for a team then is to build a roster of players whose market value based on performance is higher than the amount they are paid...their contracts are "bargains."

The following are some strategies for building a high-value roster that seem to make sense. They are meant to be general rules allowing for exceptions:

1) Make the scheme the thing. On offense and defense, use systems that don't require star quality players to be effective. [Gregg Williams has done this with our defense.]

2) In the draft and free agency, avoid the well-publicized players who were part of a very strong squad. The idea is to find values that other teams have overlooked. [Example: Marcus Washington was not highly regarded while playing for an underachieving Colts defense before coming here.]

3) Avoid players with a suspect injury history. The risk is too high. If they aren't on the field, or if they can't perform at their physical peak, players can't be bargains no matter how good they are when healthy. [We have to guess that the Redskins' medical staff did some solid homework before the signing of Adam Archuleta whose injury history doesn't look good.]

4) Set a maximum value for each position as a percentage of the payroll limit. How much is a Grade A left offensive tackle worth in this particular system? [There are two on-going studies trying to correlate position with value in the NFL. So far, the only agreement between the two is that placekickers are undervalued. A team might give the next Adam Vinatieri a bundle and still have a contract bargain.]

5) Find the running back in the draft. RBs with the innate talent can step right into an NFL starting lineup and perform well because the development time is usually short. The RB can be the team's biggest bargain on his rookie contract.

6) Go against the league trends in evaluating players. If most teams are grading high for height, weight, and speed in WRs, look for those who haven't the wow factor in drills but are nevertheless excellent athletes who have produced; they have shown in college or at the pro level that they know how to get open and catch the football against good CBs.

7) Because of the development time, and the number of intangibles involved, spending a high draft pick on a quarterback is risky business. The bargains are more likely to come by shopping around the league for some guy who's unhappy in the backup position with some team: Favre from Atlanta, Brunell from Green Bay, Hasselbeck from Green Bay, Ramsey from the Skins, Schaub at Atlanta, Volek at Tennessee.

Your thoughts?
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:19 PM   #2
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Re: Roster Building in Today's NFL

Hate to rain on your parade big guy, but everyone's in a sour mood.

So don't be suprised, if there's not a ton of responses.
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:24 PM   #3
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Re: Roster Building in Today's NFL

Originally Posted by 12thMan
Hate to rain on your parade big guy, but everyone's in a sour mood.

So don't be suprised, if there's not a ton of responses.
Everyone seemed to be having fun on my previous efforts.

I prefer quality rather than quantity anyway.
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:40 PM   #4
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Re: Roster Building in Today's NFL

To me the most important thing is to have the team run by a coaching staff and management that are honest, very positive people who are committed to making the team a winner, not promote themselves and their egos.

It's crucial to create a cooperative atmosphere by finding the right players who have the best possible attitude first, and outright talent second.

It starts with the leadership. The leadership sets the tone, and brings in people that fit with that tone.

Football is a team game. You can't just hire anyone based on their talent, because to work as a team means you have a cooperative mind, not just natural ability.
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