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The Offseason Reading Series #4: Choose your contract


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With the first wave of free agency over and things starting to quiet down again, it's time for another installment of the offseason reading series!  Throughout the offseason, fans like to analyze and comment on what teams and GMs should do.  This one flips the script and puts you in the shoes of a prospect who has to choose what to do.

 

Previous ORS installments

ORS1: The best Indianapolis Colts team ever

ORS2: Which Indianapolis Colt are you?

ORS3: Dissecting the 15th overall pick

 

Choose your contract

 

Imagine that you’re an NFL prospect in the 2017 draft.  You’re a 6’2”, 230 lbs. middle linebacker with incredible physical attributes.  You can run like the wind and don’t have much of an injury history.  You make plays all over the field.  You are great in coverage, run defense needs some work, and can decently rush the passer.  You grew up in Indianapolis, but you went to a small school (San Jose State) because you’re a bit undersized, though you absolutely loved your time at San Jose State.  The 2017 draft comes and goes and you aren’t selected.  But because of your great physical attributes and tape (albeit against lesser competition), you and your agent’s phones starting going off like crazy the second the draft ends.  When the day is all said and done, you have 5 different offers on the table, each with its own pros and cons.  They are:

 

1. Indianapolis Colts.  3 years, $900K, $400K guaranteed

Pros: You get to play for your favourite team and hometown.  Not only that, but the Colts have a need at MLB and you’d have the chance to start.  You get to play on a team with Andrew Luck, so you’re going to have a chance to win every game.

 

Cons: Because Indy is a smaller market, you won’t get that many endorsement deals unless you play like an All-Pro.  Indy has also missed the playoffs for two years in a row and their defense is among the worst in the NFL.

 

2. Seattle Seahawks.  2 years, $700K, $250K guaranteed

Pros: You go to a Super Bowl contender right away.  Not only that, but the defense is absolutely loaded and you’d have the chance to play alongside defensive monsters like Kam Chancellor and Bobby Wagner.

 

Cons:  This contract is just for two years with less money than some of the others.  Not only that, but with the stacked defense Seattle has, you might not get a lot of playing time on defense.  You could be doing special teams duties for a couple years before getting substantial reps on defense.

 

3. Cleveland Browns. 3 years, $1.3 mil, $700K guaranteed

Pros: If cash rules everything around you, then Cleveland is giving you what you want.  The most money and most guaranteed money out of any contract on the table.

 

Cons: It’s the Browns.  Joe Thomas has been playing at a Hall of Fame level since 2007, but hasn’t played in a single playoff game.  Do you want the same to happen to you?

 

4. San Francisco 49ers. 3 years, $750K, $400K guaranteed

Pros: Another location with great weather.  Since you went to - and loved - San Jose State, San Francisco isn’t that much of a move for you, less than an hour away.  You'd be close to your college and all the connections you made there.  Bowman could also be an excellent mentor to you.

 

Cons: The 49ers are rebuilding their roster, so it could be a few years before you’re playing in the postseason and winning consistently.

 

5. New York Giants.  2 years, $600K, fully guaranteed.  This offer is only made if you are willing to switch to safety, which may require you to lose 10-15 lbs.

Pros: You’ll never be bored in New York.  The Giants are a pretty talented team with lots of good players on defense and a reliable, though aging, Eli at QB.  The opportunity to play safety could open some doors for you too.  Your contract is also fully guaranteed.

 

Cons: The last time you played safety was in high school.  You spent your entire college career playing and learning linebacker.  If you can’t play safety, it could really hurt your career trajectory.

 

---

Those are your offers.  Which do you take, and why?

 

For myself, I’m all about winning.  The money isn’t as big a factor for me, so I’d likely go to Seattle.  Out of all the teams listed, they are the closest to a Super Bowl.  And the chance to play alongside so many great players on such a great defense could really help me develop as a player.  At the same time, the possibility of playing for the Colts is really appealing.  Where do you sign?

 

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I would always like to come back and play in my hometown so I would do like Jack Doyle and pick the Colts.  Come here and have the potential to play right away and hope to become an all-around stud.  Then make your money after your initial deal.  You can become a key piece in the rebuild and hopefully soon-to-be championship team.  Plus play in front of your hometown friends and family.

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You take the NYG deal.  It's only a $100K less than the Browns guaranteed deal, so if I never make it out of camp, I've still got the second most money possible.  It entails a position change, yes, but the change favors my attributes.  I have good tape already which tells me that I at least see the field well, I just need to learn how to see the field from a different perspective.  

 

Second option is Indy, because there is opportunity there.  You still have to put on some weight and improve your run defense, which I think is harder than the position chagne to safety, but not impossible.

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Cleveland.  Only guaranteed money counts.  The GIants may be close but switching positions is like starting over.  Apparently you weren't good enough to be drafted at your original spot but teams are willing to take a chance on you.  Stick with what you know in order to succeed. 

 

The average career in the NFL is about 3 years.  If you're lucky, you may get a second contract.  No one said you're going to start, but you may have a better chance to show your stuff with the Browns.

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It depends on the players mindset: Do I take the guaranteed money since the average NFL career is very short, and only the top players earn large contracts, or do I believe in myself enough to play for a team with the best opportunity to start. If I start, I can showcase my talents and earn a big contract.

 

The decision would come down to Cleveland or Indy.

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This is a tough one. Only one I probably wouldn't choose is NYG.

 

Cutting it down even more, I guess I'd leave the Seahawks out. Money and opportunity counts. But it's pretty close with those 4. I guess it would come down to Indy or Cleveland for me, though the opportunity to start right away next to Navarro Bowman is pretty intriguing.

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I don't know about what others think, but as an undrafted player, the most important thing to me has to be being able to stay in the league, and not necessarily winning - at least for the start of my career. So yeah, for the time being, I'd prioritize me over the team winning.

 

So the best options would be CLE, IND and SF, as it gives me the best shot to play. Being so close to my alma mater, plus the nice weather and the ability to learn from one of the best (whilst getting ample playing time), I'd say I'll go to SF. 

 

But then again...if me in this scenario is as big of a colts fan as me in real life........... haha 

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Based on the above parameters, I'm going to the Browns. Most guaranteed money, and at LB I should be able to get on the field in various ways and get noticed. Then I can potentially leave in free agency. Teams don't like to tag ILBs, because the number is inflated by edge LBs. That's what I'd do.

 

Just to be "that guy" though, UDFA contracts are spelled out in the CBA. The only negotiable terms are guaranteed money and signing bonus (and the SB is severely restricted, based on CBA rules).

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As much as I think winning is important, I think some of the replies hit the nail on the head.  If you're a UDFA, you need playing time and to get yourself shown so teams take a chance on you.  Playing time is more important so you can establish yourself and set out a future

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1 -- Giants guaranteed money, fewer years ($600,000 guaranteed for 2 years); opportunity to win now; career opportunities in NY/NJ when football career ends

 

1a -- Browns -- most guaranteed money; opportunity to play, as this is a rebuilding team

 

3 -- Colts -- save money by being at home; good chance to make playoffs every year.

 

4 -- 49ers -- not enough money, very little opportunity to win now. But you have an opportunity to play (rebuilding)

 

5 --  Seahawks -- very little money; no guarantee that you will win. You may not play.

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NY and Seattle have higher cost of living. So I eliminate both offers as they are not $$ lucrative enough to overcome that fact in my mind. Now I look at the remaining contracts, I take in to consideration the following items club history with players, location, and current roster relative to what my skill set is in regard to playing time and true opportunity. Cleveland and the Niners have both had a lot of turn over in coaching and player personnel in recent years. They have a couple pieces in place at my position in terms of starters where the Colts have no set starters at my position......... So I do the Jack Doyle and stay home.

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GRASS TIME!!!                           I'm Signing with the Colts

Players know, it's all about Playing Time not Paying Time. If you don't see a blade of grass what's the point of calling yourself a player?!? Even the Practice Squad players get a Super Bowl ring when their team wins, but I'm sure it doesn't feel the same to them as it feels to their teammates with PT, who got to contribute! (same could be said for Bench players) I don't get Paid to WATCH the Game.

 

-Indy is offering me an opportunity to not only Play, but START right away! Doing my HW, I see that the new Colts FO is beginning an endeavor of bringing in players to compete, not only that but they have an open starting position at Middle Linebacker where I play, so I will sign! Build The Monster with Me and my Speed.

Coach Pagano & CB are looking to get "Younger, Faster" and that starts with me, Starting at MLB.

 

Also...

(Money is not the incentive until I've established my Earned Spot on a Team; since Rookie contracts are no longer JACKED, I've got to earn that BIG 2nd Contract and the only way to earn it... Exceptional play time)

Reasons to not sign with other teams:

-Seattle is just stacked on Defense and have re-signed players on that side of the ball to large contracts, including MLB, so I pass on an opportunity to WATCH a good team from the bench/practice squad.

-Cleveland has got organizational problems throughout their ownership, front office, and it CLEARLY reflects itself on the field and with their record. The Colts, 2012, turned two wins, a season earlier, to eleven a year later because Andrew Luck took helm of the Team. & Cleveland doesn't have LUCK (not the good kind).

-San Francisco is another "rebuilding" organization without a franchise QB nor experienced FO. Looking like a franchise without a direction causes me to Direct my eyes elsewhere. Too many holes & none at MLB.

-New York is crazy if they think I'm changing positions, without quality experience nor a desire to play safety. They have a young pro bowler at one safety position, good, but I don't want to tandem with him as my teacher, I'd rather start my Career going full speed and playing with enough know how to compete on the highest level of the Sport. If I go out there and look "lost" like a FOX show that gets cancelled after 1 season THEN I'd wouldn't receive another shot in The League, ever. Good thing: it was on ABC & I only play LB.

 

 

 

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On ‎3‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 10:57 AM, OffensivelyPC said:

You take the NYG deal.  It's only a $100K less than the Browns guaranteed deal, so if I never make it out of camp, I've still got the second most money possible.  It entails a position change, yes, but the change favors my attributes.  I have good tape already which tells me that I at least see the field well, I just need to learn how to see the field from a different perspective.  

 

Second option is Indy, because there is opportunity there.  You still have to put on some weight and improve your run defense, which I think is harder than the position chagne to safety, but not impossible.

Great point but if you go to Indy you are still guaranteed 400,000 and get to play from where you are from. Also NY has a higher cost of living than Indy does so that 600,000 isn't a lot more actually.

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7 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

Great point but if you go to Indy you are still guaranteed 400,000 and get to play from where you are from. Also NY has a higher cost of living than Indy does so that 600,000 isn't a lot more actually.

Yeah, that $600K last you what, 15 minutes in NYC? lol.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/21/2017 at 0:25 PM, 21isSuperman said:

With the first wave of free agency over and things starting to quiet down again, it's time for another installment of the offseason reading series!  Throughout the offseason, fans like to analyze and comment on what teams and GMs should do.  This one flips the script and puts you in the shoes of a prospect who has to choose what to do.

 

Previous ORS installments

ORS1: The best Indianapolis Colts team ever

ORS2: Which Indianapolis Colt are you?

ORS3: Dissecting the 15th overall pick

 

Choose your contract

 

Imagine that you’re an NFL prospect in the 2017 draft.  You’re a 6’2”, 230 lbs. middle linebacker with incredible physical attributes.  You can run like the wind and don’t have much of an injury history.  You make plays all over the field.  You are great in coverage, run defense needs some work, and can decently rush the passer.  You grew up in Indianapolis, but you went to a small school (San Jose State) because you’re a bit undersized, though you absolutely loved your time at San Jose State.  The 2017 draft comes and goes and you aren’t selected.  But because of your great physical attributes and tape (albeit against lesser competition), you and your agent’s phones starting going off like crazy the second the draft ends.  When the day is all said and done, you have 5 different offers on the table, each with its own pros and cons.  They are:

 

1. Indianapolis Colts.  3 years, $900K, $400K guaranteed

Pros: You get to play for your favourite team and hometown.  Not only that, but the Colts have a need at MLB and you’d have the chance to start.  You get to play on a team with Andrew Luck, so you’re going to have a chance to win every game.

 

Cons: Because Indy is a smaller market, you won’t get that many endorsement deals unless you play like an All-Pro.  Indy has also missed the playoffs for two years in a row and their defense is among the worst in the NFL.

 

2. Seattle Seahawks.  2 years, $700K, $250K guaranteed

Pros: You go to a Super Bowl contender right away.  Not only that, but the defense is absolutely loaded and you’d have the chance to play alongside defensive monsters like Kam Chancellor and Bobby Wagner.

 

Cons:  This contract is just for two years with less money than some of the others.  Not only that, but with the stacked defense Seattle has, you might not get a lot of playing time on defense.  You could be doing special teams duties for a couple years before getting substantial reps on defense.

 

3. Cleveland Browns. 3 years, $1.3 mil, $700K guaranteed

Pros: If cash rules everything around you, then Cleveland is giving you what you want.  The most money and most guaranteed money out of any contract on the table.

 

Cons: It’s the Browns.  Joe Thomas has been playing at a Hall of Fame level since 2007, but hasn’t played in a single playoff game.  Do you want the same to happen to you?

 

4. San Francisco 49ers. 3 years, $750K, $400K guaranteed

Pros: Another location with great weather.  Since you went to - and loved - San Jose State, San Francisco isn’t that much of a move for you, less than an hour away.  You'd be close to your college and all the connections you made there.  Bowman could also be an excellent mentor to you.

 

Cons: The 49ers are rebuilding their roster, so it could be a few years before you’re playing in the postseason and winning consistently.

 

5. New York Giants.  2 years, $600K, fully guaranteed.  This offer is only made if you are willing to switch to safety, which may require you to lose 10-15 lbs.

Pros: You’ll never be bored in New York.  The Giants are a pretty talented team with lots of good players on defense and a reliable, though aging, Eli at QB.  The opportunity to play safety could open some doors for you too.  Your contract is also fully guaranteed.

 

Cons: The last time you played safety was in high school.  You spent your entire college career playing and learning linebacker.  If you can’t play safety, it could really hurt your career trajectory.

 

---

Those are your offers.  Which do you take, and why?

 

For myself, I’m all about winning.  The money isn’t as big a factor for me, so I’d likely go to Seattle.  Out of all the teams listed, they are the closest to a Super Bowl.  And the chance to play alongside so many great players on such a great defense could really help me develop as a player.  At the same time, the possibility of playing for the Colts is really appealing.  Where do you sign?

 

 

Question. . . is money not a big factor to you because you already have it???

 

As a young kid just coming out of college with little to nothing I would take the money from Cleveland.  First of all only guaranteed money counts.

 

Secondly the con that you have of "It's Cleveland and they never win" can be easily remedied if you make a name for yourself and hit FA.  Sure you could be franchised but they can't just keep franchising you forever.  Eventually if you are determined to leave the Browns you can leave the Browns.

 

Do the Browns have a lot of talent at LB??

 

I would say your agent would probably try to push you towards the Colts because he's hoping you can beat out some guys early on, get on the field and make a name for yourself and he can make the real money when you hit free agency.  

 

Now as a rookie, I wouldn't sign with an agent.  No point the contract numbers are going to be relatively set in stone and there isn't much haggling an agent can do.  However before I was offered a long term contract I would sign an agent.  

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2 minutes ago, Valpo2004 said:

 

Question. . . is money not a big factor to you because you already have it???

 

As a young kid just coming out of college with little to nothing I would take the money from Cleveland.  First of all only guaranteed money counts.

 

Secondly the con that you have of "It's Cleveland and they never win" can be easily remedied if you make a name for yourself and hit FA.  Sure you could be franchised but they can't just keep franchising you forever.  Eventually if you are determined to leave the Browns you can leave the Browns.

 

Do the Browns have a lot of talent at LB??

 

I would say your agent would probably try to push you towards the Colts because he's hoping you can beat out some guys early on, get on the field and make a name for yourself and he can make the real money when you hit free agency.  

 

Now as a rookie, I wouldn't sign with an agent.  No point the contract numbers are going to be relatively set in stone and there isn't much haggling an agent can do.  However before I was offered a long term contract I would sign an agent.  

Money isn't a factor because even the "lower" money contracts still give quite a bit of money when you think about it.  Indy and Seattle would both give over $100K guaranteed per year, so it's not like I'd be struggling to feed myself and pay the bills.

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