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Indianapolis Colts


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Everything posted by Superman

  1. They probably overshot their mark with the JB deal, by quite a bit. I always agreed with the cap strategy fo extending him, but I thought they'd give him something like $12m for an extra year, not $28m. They probably also could have gotten away with a different guarantee structure that didn't lock them in for most of that money. Worst case scenario, cap-wise, is he lights it up in 2019 and they tag him for $28m anyway. I don't think he had a market to justify that extension. They also considered some intangibles, like the locker room and culture, and paying JB after Luck's retirement was probably a good move. But I didn't think they had to give him that much. Even still, let's split the difference and say they could have gotten him in two years, $20m. We're talking about an extra $10m to work with. With Covid, that extra $10m might be an issue. Last thing I read was the league is preparing for revenue to decrease by $2-4bm each year over the next two seasons. That might mean a cap reduction of $60m/year. They're talking with the NFLPA about ways to spread that out over several seasons, which is what they did after the 2011 CBA. So maybe it's a year reduction of $30m, that lasts for four seasons. Either way, while teams were preparing for a 2021 cap between $210-240m (based on projections of increased revenue and a higher split to the players), that might be as little as $180m in 2021. But probably more like $200m, assuming there is a 2020 season. So the Colts have this long line of FAs in 2021, plus third year guys eligible for extensions, and while they thought they'd have over $100m to work with, it might be something like $70m. An extra $10m might have come in handy. But it's not really going to change the shape of the team, or the team's trajectory. But in late August 2019, no one was expecting our present reality. I'm also not suggesting it's ever okay to blow $10m in player salary. Just saying that I don't think that overpaying JB is a disaster. Realistically, they're going to keep Hilton, R. Kelly, and maybe Rivers and Walker in 2021, and everyone else is going to have to find a new team (with some small exceptions). And then between 2021 and 2022, they're going to make sure Nelson and Leonard get extended. Smith and Glowinski have a long way to go before they earn extensions, IMO. It would be nice if Turay and Lewis are foundational pieces at that point, but right now they are not. We're going from having no one to pay to having a lot of guys to pay, and that means some good players will leave. That's what happens when you draft well over multiple years. The pandemic might add to that pain. Overpaying JB by $10m or so isn't going to be a major factor. Maybe it costs us another year of Justin Houston, when he's 33 years old. It won't cost us one of our young star players.
  2. I had forgotten about that. He was awful for us in preseason and didn't make final cuts. He really hit a rough patch for a while, and he's only 29. I wonder if he'll ever make it back on the field.
  3. This is my angle. I could be wrong, but I feel they want to play more Cover 1 and Cover 3 variations than they have the last two years. Even if you have a great pass rush, you have to vary your coverages. Any Cover 2 is easy to confirm post-snap, so you throw hot and average 7 yards/attempt, control the clock and win with 24 points. You can do that with 6 blockers all game long.
  4. I don't know how to do this without over-complicating it. History has proven that Grigson didn't draft well, and I think that's a mix of his draft philosophy and scouting, plus not being on the same page with his coaching staff (and part of that is the not-fully-backed approach of Pagano and his assistants, plus the changes on the offensive side of the ball). The jury is still out on Ballard's drafting. He's had some major successes, but also has a number of misses. So I don't think it's realistic to go back to 2012 and attribute best case scenario drafting to Ballard, as if he wouldn't have made any bad picks himself. He probably wouldn't have traded for Richardson or drafted Werner, but we don't know that he would have knocked those picks out of the park, either. And to be clear, I really like Ballard. But we don't know what the 2012 version of Ballard would have done. He was still the director of pro scouting in Chicago. Hadn't worked with John Dorsey or Andy Reid, two of his biggest influences. But if we assume we had gotten the 2017 version of Ballard back in 2012, I think the biggest difference would be his collaborative nature leading to a different environment within the building. There's a good chance Pagano isn't hired, and while Pagano didn't turn out to be a great coach, he brought a lot of positives to the team for a while. So did Arians. There's also a chance we don't draft TY, and that doesn't make me happy. Of course the Luck pick remains a lock. I don't know what to say about the rest of it, though.
  5. Adams is a really good player. I don't want to pay $17-20m/year for him (his reported asking price), and I don't want to add in premium picks on top of that. For the value, no thanks. Then there's his attitude. I have no problem with a player wanting a new contract, even after Year 3, or wanting to be traded, or both. I don't even have a problem with a player being upset because there were reportedly trade discussions previously. Whatever his issues are with the Jets, it's his prerogative to be upset. But he comes across as being very self-centered, to me. Somewhat unyielding and unreasonable. I don't think he would be good for chemistry. And, he named eight teams to which he would like to be traded. The Colts weren't on that list. I'd pass on him. Also, we just gave up a first rounder for a fourth year player. I like that trade, based on the player, positional value, and the team's needs. But I don't want to give up our first rounder in consecutive years, even if I liked the player and value and it lined up perfectly with team needs.
  6. I have some thoughts on Arians' offense and playcalling, but Leftwich is the playcaller now. And I think they'll tailor things to fit Brady's strengths and maximize the weapons they have. I don't think Brady is as dangerous a passer as he once was, but it was only a couple years ago that he threw for 500 yards in the Super Bowl. Arians' calling plays for Ben and Luck (and even Jameis) -- who thrived in a downfield passing attack, who liked to hold on to the ball and shrug off tacklers -- probably doesn't have a whole lot of significance for the 2020 Bucs with Brady. Arians might be stubborn, but he's not stupid.
  7. Ehh, I don't know if they invested any more time in him than they would another late first / early second round guy on their board. They spent a bunch of time on Pittman, right? Doesn't mean they changed their mind on Love, just didn't have a high enough grade on him to take him at #13. It was the hype train that suggested they might, not really anything the Colts did.
  8. Right. The Colts liked Love. No revisionist history is going to change that. But we learned in March that they weren't head over heels for him, because they wouldn't have traded out of the first round if they were. If they spoke to him the day before the draft, they were likely finalizing their board, and probably would have taken him at some point during the draft.
  9. He was big and strong, but I never thought he was good. To be honest I assumed he was out of the league.
  10. I wouldn't say "feasting." More like digging through the scraps... I'm amazed that Jonnothan Harrison has started 18 games for them over the last two seasons. Yikes.
  11. Maybe not, but we're definitely not going to have a $50m combined cap hit for QBs moving forward. The Dolphins will have a ~$15m QB room, and that's with a strong veteran and the #3 pick. Both teams saw a window and went after it hard, with a measure of success. The Rams really went after it. They also made the decision to sign a RB with a significant injury history to a top of market contract, something I don't think the Colts would do (I hope). And we'll see how it goes for both. But I'm assuming the Colts don't dig themselves into that kind of hole. I don't know that we really disagree. They're in pretty good shape, but they have to be prudent and disciplined, and they'll probably have to let some players walk. It's just the cost of doing business.
  12. Ehh, I think guys like Walker have their place, but at the right price. Especially when he's probably not good enough to be on the field in sub packages.
  13. If you're talking about a strict adherence to "pay your own" then you're right. But no one said "pay all of our own," so I think we're okay. Let players walk when they don't fit in the long term view of the team, or when you find them to be easily replaceable. Especially if you identify their potential replacements in advance.
  14. Starting with comp picks, we probably aren't getting any in 2021. Check this: https://overthecap.com/draft/ While we probably qualify for two, only 32 comp picks are awarded. Our would probably be #38 and #40, as of right now. We're $120m under the 2021 cap (using a conservative $215m cap). They have plenty of work to do, but plenty of flexibility to get it done. They're going to let replacement level players walk if they want significant money. They'll figure out what to do with the more highly valued guys. And then they'll fill the roster with lower priced guys. You're really hung up on the QB. I mean, I know it's super important, but when we have the guy, we'll figure it out. If they keep Rivers for another year at $25m-ish, they'll still be reducing their QB cap hits by half. I doubt they go out and sign another veteran QB if Rivers doesn't work out, so the possibility remains that they move on to a young guy who comes cheap. I don't understand the Jags reference. They thought their team might be ready, so they went after it, hard. They weren't ready, their QB didn't work out, so they retooled this year. They'll be $100m under the cap in 2020. They're going to lose Ngakoue (sucks, but he's a B level player, and that decision is more about culture than money), and Fournette (not a great travesty, just like if we let Mack walk). They're fine on the cap, even though they got a little close for a year or two. Their problem was QBing, coaching, and Coughlin. Not cap space. And yeah, they're spending their rollover. That's what it's for, right? I don't see why that's relevant to this matter. As for future cap projections, I guess we don't know what will happen with the pandemic. But if the cap doesn't go up, every team will be tightening up. But that would be a one year situation, most likely. With the players' share going up and TV deals pending, within the next two years the cap will being going up significantly. Lots of work to do, and they have to be disciplined moving forward. I just see it as normal business with the salary cap.
  15. I'm really not sure where all the concern comes from. We're in great cap shape, we don't have a a QB who is going to be resetting the market anytime soon, and we have a bunch of young guys on rookie contracts who are playing major roles, on both sides of the ball. Also, the cap is getting ready to start bumping up pretty strongly in the next year or two. Of course we can't keep everyone. And truth be told, we don't want to keep everyone. Probably aren't re-signing Mack or Hooker, right? AC might retire soon. Kelly, Autry, Houston, all kind of 50/50 depending on how 2020 goes and what we might have behind them. I think Hilton stays. Walker is a toss up. The rest are mostly replaceable JAGs -- Pascal, Alie Cox, Odum, Stewart, etc. Several of them are restricted. And now we're at the 2018 draft class, with Leonard, Nelson, Smith, etc. And it will probably cost some serious bucks to keep those guys, but again, we're in great cap shape and we won't have a massive QB extension to worry about. And if they keep drafting well, we can let average-ish guys walk, keep the really good guys, and still make some FA signings when the opportunity presents itself. And if they draft really well, every once in a while we'll let a B+ guy walk in FA, but we'll have a pipeline. The only thing sort of abnormal right now is that we have a bunch of one year guys coming up in 2020. I think the plan is to start playing the comp pick game. I think comp picks have come to be overrated to an extent, but if you can put your team in position to get a couple extra picks by signing one year guys, showcasing them and then letting them walk, that's a decent way to add some value in the draft.
  16. Reich has heaped praise on Kelly, calling him the best center in the league. Hyperbole, for sure, but the new regime likes him. If he stays healthy this year, I definitely value him over Smith or Glowinski.
  17. I'm not projecting anyone to be a HOFer. I used those guys because of their status, just to point out that top notch LBers get paid in this defense. So if Leonard is "top notch," then I think the conversation needs to be about more than base positional value. I think both were better tacklers than he is. For a guy that makes so many stops, he isn't an imposing tackler. He's less physical at the point of attack. I don't know how he'll hold up over the next couple of seasons. But he's faster and has more length than both of them. The game has changed, so everyone is faster, but Leonard stands out even among his peers. It's silly how many plays he gets in on, simply because of his range. His production has been insane. So I don't know if he has to be a future HOFer to justify a top of market contract. But if he continues making plays like he has in his first two years, I think his status as a foundational player for the Colts will be well established.
  18. I understand that some positions aren't high priority in this defense. But I don't think good/great players are disposable at any position. There's a cost/benefit analysis to be made, and while a big part of that is based on the importance of the position, an even bigger element is how good the player is. Look at Leonard's physical/athletic profile, and look at his rare statistical production. He's not just 'a linebacker.' He's pretty freakin' good. I wouldn't draft a CB or a NT in the first round for this defense. Maybe not a LB. That doesn't mean that if you draft and develop a really good player, that you shouldn't give him a good second contract. (Side point: I'm not sure we've seen what "this defense" actually is yet. Everyone is assuming they want to be the old Tampa defense, but I think there are other flavors they're going to bring out as they get more of their guys in place. Matter of fact, basically every corner they've added seems like more of a man corner than a zone corner.) And it seems like you're really hung up on that $20m/year figure. What if it's more like $16-17m/year? Are we good then? Because the effective average of a "$20m/year" new money deal for Leonard will be more like $16.5m/year, if it's done a year early ($80m over four years, but through 2025; $82.3m over five years, adding in the last year of his rookie deal). And that's like 7.5% of the expected salary cap in 2021. When Brian Urlacher signed his big deal with the Bears in 2008, it came out to 7.5% of the cap. When Derrick Brooks signed his big deal with the Bucks in 2000, it was 8-9% of the cap. Lavonte David's contract signed in 2015 was about 7% of the cap. All Dungy defense LBs. Also, there's a strong possibility that the cap shoots way up in 2021. Early report were $240m. With the pandemic, maybe that gets delayed until 2022, depending on revenue. And new TV/streaming deals are coming up, so the cap will continue to rise dramatically. This $16-17m/year might be 7-8% of the cap in the first year or two of the deal. For a foundational player who will be 26 years old, still in the height of his prime. If you can't figure out the other 92% of the cap because you have a highly paid and highly productive LB in a Tampa 2 defense, you have bigger issues than what you're paying the LB. Remember, I'm a big cap management, positional value, maximize resources kind of guy. I think I get where you're coming. But this is all just a long-winded way of me saying: 1) I don't know if you just set hard and fast rules about not paying players at specific positions, and 2) I think you're overstating the impact that "$20m/year" would actually have on the team in 2021 and beyond.
  19. I definitely would have hit Hooker with the option. I stated all the reasons earlier, but the biggest one is that the value was for half of what top tier safeties are making in FA right now. And it's only guaranteed for injury. Hooker can be a big playmaker. I think between his injuries, the scheme change, and the Colts having a so-so pass rush, his ability to impact the game has been seriously hampered. Even if you don't want to make a long term commitment to him -- which is totally understandable -- just securing one more low-to-moderate- risk season seemed like a really good decision. Worst case scenario, he gets hurt and the guarantee triggers. Best case, he plays really well and you have another year of control. Even if that means a trade, you can get him out of the conference and get an immediate return. (And I totally understand Hooker's issues. He doesn't tackle well. He seems to go long stretches without having a tangible impact on the game; it's understandable when QBs don't throw his way, but you can get involved in the run game, and you can make stops on receivers. Biggest of all, he's injured a lot, and I think that might be the reason the Colts are checking out. But I still think everything Ballard said about him when he was drafted is true. He's a top notch prospect.) The other thing is this seems contrary to their approach with JB. Different circumstance, different position, different person, but they seemed super interested in protecting their future options with JB, even overpaying him. This is the opposite approach, and in an easier situation to navigate. They didn't have a fifth year option on JB. It's weird to me, even if Hooker doesn't fit in their plan after 2020. So I think I get why they would decide to move on from him. But I don't agree with not using the option. It's kind of a head scratcher.
  20. Didn't we have a safety win DPOY in '07? I forget his name... Bob something???
  21. I agree that there are options. The only option that went away is the one they declined. Just seems like that decision is a really strong indicator as to what they intend to do. And the last time I said 'odds are the Colts do X,' was right before the second day of the draft, when I said I thought it was probable that they would trade down from one of their second round picks. They traded up. So I don't know anything.
  22. I guess that goes without saying. We don't have any first round LBers, haven't since Rob Morris in 2000. Leonard was a second, Okereke was a third. But you can find any player at any position outside of the first round. So what's your criteria for offering a player a top of market contract? Do you have specific positions where you're okay with it, and if a player isn't one of those positions, you just won't do it? Are there exceptions to be made, and if so, when? I'm just curious how you're coming to this determination. I mean, basically anyone is replaceable if you just identify the right guy in the draft, but that's easier said than done. So at what point is it worth it to pay a guy top money, rather than go looking for his replacement?
  23. I think odds are they let him walk after 2020. The fifth year option wasn't very expensive, I think it was about $7m, which is very reasonable. And it's not fully guaranteed, only for injury. I will say though, maybe his injury history made them think it was too risky to exercise the option, because if he's injured at the end of the season his option would be guaranteed. If he has a great year and they have to tag him, it would be over $11m. And then that's your starting point for an extension. I think this signals that they're ready to let him go. They could still change their mind, make him a great offer, and lock him down before the end of the league year. But I imagine his asking price would be much higher. And the fact that they didn't protect their options after 2020 is pretty telling, IMO. There's also the possibility that they just extend him this summer, making the option a moot point altogether. Seems unlikely, though. Top safeties are getting $14m/year (Eddie Jackson, Landon Collins, etc.) Second tier guys are getting $9-10m/year (Lamarcus Joyner, Adrian Amos). The Colts just balked at $7m for one year. I think it's adios for Hooker. And it doesn't seem like they have a serious trade partner, because if they did the option would have increased his value. So he'll probably sign elsewhere in 2021.
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