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Scott Pennock

The Herd with Ballard & General Thoughts

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Something that I don't recall from the first thread being discussed. Colin is and always has been a "Friend of the Shoe" and his takes on the Colts are usually spot on.....

 

Before Ballard came on Colin stated he knew who Ballard wanted to draft in Pittman, Taylor AND Eason. After the first two were drafted he was going crazy and thinking he's gonna do it and get all three of his guys.

 

The conspiracy theorist that I am says that makes perfect sense since all media outlets had us still talking to Love, Morgan and many others - but nothing tying us to Eason. Eason said in his interviews that he had MANY conversations with Ballard, Dodds, Reich, Sirianni and Brady (QB Coach). I don't remember and news outlet stating any of that?

 

Also made a comp of Taylor to Saquon Barkley....that would be bada$$....

 

Then of course there is the internal comp of Pittman to Vincent Jackson....again, bada$$!

 

My personal comp of Dez Patmon is to a taller Donte Moncrief athletically. Dez seems to play to his size/speed a bit better.

 

Long term vision of Eason tossing the rock to Patmon and Pittman on the outside with Campbell in the slot.....with Taylor killing it from the backfield. 

 

Patmon and Pittman are rumored to be good blockers and add that to Pascal our backs can bump to the outside and get sprung....

 

Due to keeping a 3rd QB on the roster and a true FB.....I think we only keep 3 traditional TE's (Doyle, Ali-Cox, Burton).

 

I think it's important to recognize the Special Team Studs Signed/Drafted to improve the 3rd phase of the team as well:

Nix - coverage

Glasgow - coverage

Pittman - coverage

Rodgers - Returner/Gunner

Hot Rod - kicker

 

Speaking of Glasgow, I think he'll be the 5th Safety/7th Linebacker and play Geathers Role.

 

Underlying intrigue......The two free agent offensive players signed via free agency are players familiar with the system and will have less learning curves - which plays heavily into the win now mode AND that we may only have Rivers one year.

 

Rhodes - I'd love to convert him to Safety ala Charles Woodson and re-sign him to a 2-3 year deal. Then Blackmon could truly be used as a swiss army knife......

 

Lewis - I'd love to see him moved back to LDE and just turn him loose. Stop tinkering with him as a 3 Tech when we have Buckner, Autry and Day already there.

 

Speed - this is his year to show out and earn the SAM spot. I'd love to see him develop into a (more athletic and a better sideline to sideline thumper) Marcus Washington. Drop and cover, set the edge or rush the passer to the tune of 5-10 sacks.....

 

Okereke and Walker - split reps and then Okereke take over for Walker in 2022!

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That makes you go hmm regarding Eason. Maybe they are more in love with him then they showed. I think they were intent on getting players that will help the team in those first three rounds before a developmental QB. Could Ballard had info on Eason where he knew he wasn’t going to go until a later rd. Friday night when asked about a QB he goes we aren’t there yet which raised some eyebrows. When Colin talks about the colts you listen because he does have contacts. Maybe Ballard had info from his agent...

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Would someone please instagram or tweet him and ask him if we are trading Hooker and signing Clowney.  Thank you.  LOL

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You had me up until Anthony Walker. Walk is a stud ideally I’d want to keep all 3 if possible. 

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14 hours ago, Chloe6124 said:

That makes you go hmm regarding Eason. Maybe they are more in love with him then they showed. I think they were intent on getting players that will help the team in those first three rounds before a developmental QB. Could Ballard had info on Eason where he knew he wasn’t going to go until a later rd. Friday night when asked about a QB he goes we aren’t there yet which raised some eyebrows. When Colin talks about the colts you listen because he does have contacts. Maybe Ballard had info from his agent...

If I recall, the Chiefs "knew" the Texans would take Mahomes over Watson so they traded up to number 10 in 2017 to get their guy. Whereas Ballard must have known that after Hurts was taken in the 2nd then nobody was going QB until the 4th or 5th.

 

They let him sit behind a quality veteran (Alex Smith) for a year, built weapons around him and then let him unleash hell on the NFL in 2018. Not saying that Eason will become Mahomes, but I see a lot of similarities in their "weaknesses" and thier arm talent.

 

Mahomes Draft Profile.....

STRENGTHS

Possesses NFL body type for work inside and out of the pocket. Has an undeniable swagger and confidence to his game. Accuracy has improved in each season since his freshman year. Naturally accurate in his every day throws. Comfortable challenging defenders in space. Has arm strength and fearlessness to attack the cover-2 voids down the sideline. Can make deep, field side throws. Cranks up velocity to fit passes into tight windows. Can deliver strikes from a variety of arm angles. Expedites release on RPOs (run-pass option) or when pressure is mounting in pocket. Puts effort into play-action fakes. Relaxed and effective when throwing on the move. Can be a legitimate dual-threat in a boot-action offense. Has pocket mobility to escape pressure and the poise to extend plays and find alternate targets. Hands are very strong. Can pump and reset without issues. 

 

WEAKNESSES

Can be inconsistent in his approach. Needs to play inside the offense and show more discipline. Too eager to go big game hunting. Ravenous appetite for the explosive play can also bring unwanted trouble. Willingness to default to playground style appears to limit his ability to get into a consistent rhythm. Needs to improve anticipatory reads and learn to take what the defense gives him. Decision making can go from good to bad in a moment's notice. Operates from a narrow base and allows his upper body and arm to race ahead of his feet. Explosive delivery and follow-through causes some throws to sail. Needs better touch on intermediate and deep balls. Looked a little less mobile in the open field this season.

 

Again two different players, but both with similar arm talent, both from an Air Raid type offense (though Eason ran a run first pro style offense at Georgia) and both with similar knocks on foot work, too much belief in their arm, touch on some passes and both taking/took a red shirt year.....

 

Back on point, Eason was the target all along they just managed to deke the media and fans once again into believing it was Love, Morgan or nobody at all.

 

And they obviously wanted Taylor at 34 and Pittman at 44......but when Higgins went at 33 they had to flip flop those guys to ensure they got both guys....

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8 hours ago, MarquisJ said:

You had me up until Anthony Walker. Walk is a stud ideally I’d want to keep all 3 if possible. 

He is, I agree. However, Okereke will become an everydown backer like Leonard and Walker will sign elsewhere and get us a good compensatory draft pick. 

 

Such is the business of football.

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For whatever it's worth Will Carroll posted this the day after Luck retired:

 

 

It's possible Eason was always their guy. Now how much can he be "their guy" if you draft a running back and a safety who will likely miss most if not all of his rookie year before him, is another question.

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13 hours ago, richard pallo said:

Would someone please instagram or tweet him and ask him if we are trading Hooker and signing Clowney.  Thank you.  LOL

Hooker will be extended - hence the delay on the 5th year decision.

 

I think Clowney would be a great long term fit to replace Houston's presence at DE. In the interim he could help us in this win now mode we're in.

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5 minutes ago, stitches said:

For whatever it's worth Will Carroll posted this the day after Luck retired:

 

 

It's possible Eason was always their guy. Now how much can he be "their guy" if you draft a running back and a safety who will likely miss most if not all of his rookie year before him, is another question.

For the same reason Belichek waited until the 6th Round to draft Brady. They knew where everyone valued them and didn't reach for them.

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If Eason can fix his mechanics so he is more accurate when he rolls out of the pocket the sky is the limit for him. When they say he is bad under pressure they are talking about when he has to throw outside the pocket when there is pressure. He is actually really good st throwing while under pressure in the pocket. It’s when he has to step outside and throw on the run. To me that can be easily coached and fixed.

 

Maybe in a couple years we will find out he was the actual target.  He and Love aren’t that far apart. They both need some time to develop. There are even people saying Eason is better then Herbert. Eason is a natural thrower unlike Herbert. Eason gets rid of the ball so quick. 

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1 minute ago, Scott Pennock said:

For the same reason Belichek waited until the 6th Round to draft Brady. They knew where everyone valued them and didn't reach for them.

I doubt that. Belickick is not some infallible evaluator... if anything that's actually probably his worst quality. He drafted him this late because he had no idea he will be anything close to what he turned out to be... just like 32 teams did for 6 rounds. If you know Brady type is on the board you don't wait because you know where others value him. There is no way in hell he knew every single other teams' evaluation of Brady. And if there is even a slight chance you miss on a Brady type you don't wait. 

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When was the last time the Colts drafted a (hopefully) future QB that turned out be a bust? I think that was Jeff George back in 1990, right? 30 years ago. Fun fact, it is.

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4 minutes ago, Chloe6124 said:

If Eason can fix his mechanics so he is more accurate when he rolls out of the pocket the sky is the limit for him. When they say he is bad under pressure they are talking about when he has to throw outside the pocket when there is pressure. He is actually really good st throwing while under pressure in the pocket. It’s when he has to step outside and throw on the run. To me that can be easily coached and fixed.

 

Maybe in a couple years we will find out he was the actual target.  He and Love aren’t that far apart. They both need some time to develop. There are even people saying Eason is better then Herbert. Eason is a natural thrower unlike Herbert. Eason gets rid of the ball so quick. 

He was the number 1 rated high school prospect in the nation for a reason. 1 year off for his injury and one for transfer protocal set him back a bit, to our advantage.

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Here is the Herd video where right before Ballard came on he mentioned Ballard liking Eason. Wow if Eason really was the guy he wanted what a draft. He even mentioned he couldn’t spill the beans until after the draft.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Mr. Irrelevant said:

When was the last time the Colts drafted a (hopefully) future QB that turned out be a bust? I think that was Jeff George back in 1990, right? 30 years ago. Fun fact, it is.

Sadly that was a crappy year for draftable QB's. He was the most "talented" but also the most hard headed.....lol

 

I think it was him Andre Ware, Scott Mitchell and maybe one other guy that had a "career"......nobody truly worthy of the number one pick though.

1 hour ago, Chloe6124 said:

Here is the Herd video where right before Ballard came on he mentioned Ballard liking Eason. Wow if Eason really was the guy he wanted what a draft. He even mentioned he couldn’t spill the beans until after the draft.

 

 

Thank you for posting that as verification @Chloe6124

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5 hours ago, Scott Pennock said:

He is, I agree. However, Okereke will become an everydown backer like Leonard and Walker will sign elsewhere and get us a good compensatory draft pick. 

 

Such is the business of football.

Don't be to quick on your thinking . Okereke mayb used a chess piece in future negotiations. Leonard may ask for the bank whem he comes up for new contract.  I would never pay 20 plus million for a LB in this system.

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4 minutes ago, Moosejawcolt said:

Don't be to quick on your thinking . Okereke mayb used a chess piece in future negotiations. Leonard may ask for the bank whem he comes up for new contract.  I would never pay 20 plus million for a LB in this system.

You still on this?

 

Leonard is not going anywhere. I don't think anyone cares how much you would pay him, or for your thoughts on trading him for Leonard Fornette.

 

I'd damn near bet my house on it.

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I can believe the Colts like Eason but I don't buy that he was "coveted." I think they would have used a 3rd on him if that were the case. 

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19 minutes ago, w87r said:

You still on this?

 

Leonard is not going anywhere. I don't think anyone cares how much you would pay him, or for your thoughts on trading him for Leonard Fornette.

 

I'd damn near bet my house on it.

I know ,I am stubborn and a it is slow day up here in Canada and honestly just like to play a little. We will have to wait a year or 2 to c how it unfolds

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4 hours ago, Mr. Irrelevant said:

When was the last time the Colts drafted a (hopefully) future QB that turned out be a bust? I think that was Jeff George back in 1990, right? 30 years ago. Fun fact, it is.

 

Not a whole lot of QBs drafted by the Colts, especially since Manning in 1998. The last QB we drafted was Chandler Harnish (2012). In the Indy era -- 36 years -- just three first round QBs. 

 

Eason is a 4th rounder, which should lower expectations significantly. Not a whole lot of 4th round QBs become foundation players. For Eason to be a starter for a long time would be a major success.  

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45 minutes ago, Moosejawcolt said:

Don't be to quick on your thinking . Okereke mayb used a chess piece in future negotiations. Leonard may ask for the bank whem he comes up for new contract.  I would never pay 20 plus million for a LB in this system.

Leonard isn’t just any LB. This year could actually be huge because Buckner will let him play more free.

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2 hours ago, Moosejawcolt said:

Don't be to quick on your thinking . Okereke mayb used a chess piece in future negotiations. Leonard may ask for the bank whem he comes up for new contract.  I would never pay 20 plus million for a LB in this system.

Derrick Brooks and Brian Urlacher made lots of money in their day.....and still had good teams around them.

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7 hours ago, stitches said:

I doubt that. Belickick is not some infallible evaluator... if anything that's actually probably his worst quality. He drafted him this late because he had no idea he will be anything close to what he turned out to be... just like 32 teams did for 6 rounds. If you know Brady type is on the board you don't wait because you know where others value him. There is no way in hell he knew every single other teams' evaluation of Brady. And if there is even a slight chance you miss on a Brady type you don't wait. 

 

Brady had a terrible combine.  He was the 2nd slowest QB (5.28 forty), he had an average wonderlic, he had a 24.5 inch vertical (97% of other QBs did better), he was below average in the 20 yard shuttle, and didn't participate in other drills.  He as frail and looked very unathletic.

 

Not a lot of scouts were very high on Brady.  His two main commonalities among scouts were that he had a good bowl game leading Mich to a win over 'Bama as a senior and that he seemed to be a good leader.  Many scouts thought he was too thin/weak, too slow, and not athletic enough.  

 

Brady started his senior season splitting time with Drew Henson.  Very few people would have ever projected Brady to be one of the best NFL QBs of all time.

 

https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/tom-brady-nfl-combine-40-time-bench-press-highlights-scouting-reports/1ja7plixjv88d10k8kfyrpq3i9  (good read)

 

and here's a good watch:  

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Scott Pennock said:

Derrick Brooks and Brian Urlacher made lots of money in their day.....and still had good teams around them.

 

Our team also has a ton of cap space, and Leonard is an obvious leader of this team.  He's not just an excellent LBer, he's an excellent teammate, leader and he makes clutch plays.  He's also still improving and, IMO, will see significant improvement due to the improvements made to our DL this past offseason.  

 

Unless he gets a serious injury, I can't imagine Ballard's going to want to let Leonard walk.  

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2 hours ago, Superman said:

 

Not a whole lot of QBs drafted by the Colts, especially since Manning in 1998. The last QB we drafted was Chandler Harnish (2012). In the Indy era -- 36 years -- just three first round QBs. 

 

Eason is a 4th rounder, which should lower expectations significantly. Not a whole lot of 4th round QBs become foundation players. For Eason to be a starter for a long time would be a major success.  

He is a 4th rounder but in today’s NFL, there’s better chances of those guys becoming starters. In the last decade you had Cousins, Wilson, and Prescott. Maybe we’ll add Minshew to that last.

 

And I’ve even said in the past that there are much more cases of Christian Hackenberg and Deshone Kizer than there are Russell Wilson’s. However I’d add that where someone is drafted doesn’t always represent their talent level. Did Darrius Heyward-Bey have 1st round talent or just 1st round speed and an owner that overvalued that trait? Did Russell Wilson have 3rd round talent or did he have have 1st round talent with 3rd round measureables for the position? 
 

Eason May have 1st round traits but all the issues combined have him a 4th round grade based on his career. It doesn’t guarantee anything, but he was the top QB recruit coming out of High School. That means something. Injured in 2017 and wasn’t given his job back. Then in 2018 had to sit out because of transfer rules. So 2019 he finally plays what is essentially his Sophmore season and then declares. The guy missed about 2 years of football.

 

While I think everyone understands to temper expectations because of where he was drafted, it fair to note that Eason isn’t just ANY 4th round pick. His circumstances were unique. He’s not Bryce Petty or Kyle Lauletta. 

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1 hour ago, Scott Pennock said:

Derrick Brooks and Brian Urlacher made lots of money in their day.....and still had good teams around them.

They were all time great hall of famers. Brooks was probably the greatest coverage lb ever. Brian....well he was Brian. 

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12 hours ago, Defjamz26 said:

He is a 4th rounder but in today’s NFL, there’s better chances of those guys becoming starters. In the last decade you had Cousins, Wilson, and Prescott. Maybe we’ll add Minshew to that last.

 

And I’ve even said in the past that there are much more cases of Christian Hackenberg and Deshone Kizer than there are Russell Wilson’s. However I’d add that where someone is drafted doesn’t always represent their talent level. Did Darrius Heyward-Bey have 1st round talent or just 1st round speed and an owner that overvalued that trait? Did Russell Wilson have 3rd round talent or did he have have 1st round talent with 3rd round measureables for the position? 
 

Eason May have 1st round traits but all the issues combined have him a 4th round grade based on his career. It doesn’t guarantee anything, but he was the top QB recruit coming out of High School. That means something. Injured in 2017 and wasn’t given his job back. Then in 2018 had to sit out because of transfer rules. So 2019 he finally plays what is essentially his Sophmore season and then declares. The guy missed about 2 years of football.

 

While I think everyone understands to temper expectations because of where he was drafted, it fair to note that Eason isn’t just ANY 4th round pick. His circumstances were unique. He’s not Bryce Petty or Kyle Lauletta. 

 

I'm not trying to short change him. He's a very good prospect, and there are multiple factors that would have contributed to him lasting until the fourth round this year, and maybe in other drafts he would have gone much sooner. The biggest one is probably that the QB market is suddenly flooded with viable options. As a comparison, I think Eason is a much better passer than Josh Allen was coming out.

 

Sometimes we talk about the draft as if there's a wide, undisputed consensus on how good the players are and where they should be drafted. I think that's obviously not the case. And at QB, team's don't usually spend a high pick on a position where you're already set. So let's say the Eagles had a high grade on Eason, but preferred Hurts because of his versatility. Or maybe the Panthers liked him, but feel like Bridgewater is a franchise QB. 

 

But I think there are guys like this every year, who drop below where everyone assumes they should be drafted based on their talent level. Just not usually at QB, unless there are major red flags.

 

But it's important to recognize that guys like Cousins, Wilson and Prescott are exceptions. Especially at QB. There are a lot of mid round QBs who never do anything in the NFL.

 

And if a team that has a need at QB -- like the Colts did -- decides to wait until the fourth round to draft a QB, it probably indicates that they don't necessarily view him as a lock to be a future starter for them. Then when that team comes out and directly says 'let's pump the brakes, he's not coming here to be a savior, he's a fourth rounder and he has to earn his spot on the team as a QB3,' it would seem like people would accept that there's plenty of reason to temper expectations.

 

There's a lot of reason to be optimistic with Eason, and he's in a great situation for a young QB who isn't ready to start yet. But I don't know if we should be looking at him like he's our next franchise QB. Maybe it works out that way, but again, guys drafted in the fourth round don't usually go on to be franchise QBs. 

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I think the saturation of the QB market did have a lot to do with him dropping. Teams went Out and got bridge QB while they figure out the long term future. The bad thing about this is there is eventually going to be a run on QB when there is a good QB class.

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17 hours ago, Moosejawcolt said:

Don't be to quick on your thinking . Okereke mayb used a chess piece in future negotiations. Leonard may ask for the bank whem he comes up for new contract.  I would never pay 20 plus million for a LB in this system.

You seem to be stuck on what DL may or not ask for in his next contract.

You act like it's your money or something.  

Somehow I find it hard to believe that Ballard will take your advice on how to spend the cap. :sarcasm::D

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18 hours ago, Moosejawcolt said:

I would never pay 20 plus million for a LB in this system.

 

Why not?

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2 hours ago, Chloe6124 said:

I think the saturation of the QB market did have a lot to do with him dropping. Teams went Out and got bridge QB while they figure out the long term future. The bad thing about this is there is eventually going to be a run on QB when there is a good QB class.

I've never seen so many starter QB's and backup QB's on the market like we have now.  Cam is even sitting out there with nowhere to go.  At least the Kaep talk is silenced a bit.  

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2 hours ago, Superman said:

But I don't know if we should be looking at him like he's our next franchise QB.

Ya, but that's where all the fun is! :D

 

Besides, it doesn't bother me in the least to be wrong. I do have one consistency, though....when I'm wrong, it always because I was being too positive. 

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20 hours ago, w87r said:

You still on this?

 

Leonard is not going anywhere. I don't think anyone cares how much you would pay him, or for your thoughts on trading him for Leonard Fornette.

 

I'd damn near bet my house on it.

Thanks :) lol

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19 hours ago, Moosejawcolt said:

They were all time great hall of famers. Brooks was probably the greatest coverage lb ever. Brian....well he was Brian. 

Leonard is on his way to that status if he keeps playing the same way. 

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On 5/3/2020 at 1:22 PM, stitches said:

For whatever it's worth Will Carroll posted this the day after Luck retired:

 

 

It's possible Eason was always their guy. Now how much can he be "their guy" if you draft a running back and a safety who will likely miss most if not all of his rookie year before him, is another question.

Blackman should come back in September or October

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8 hours ago, Superman said:

 

Why not?

Cause I think Lbs for this system can b found after the 1st round.

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2 hours ago, Moosejawcolt said:

Cause I think Lbs for this system can b found after the 1st round.

 

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?

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5 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

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?

There r certain positions I believe paying for in this D.  I don't beleive anyone is irreplaceable. I don't think Buckner is replaceable, if he meets expectations. I have seen this D under Dungy in Tampa and Indy and now under Ballard. I just think u don't  pay a linebacker 20 million in this system. It is similar to corners in this system. U can find them later past the 1st round and even 2nd round. They fit a certain athletic profile. Line backers in this system r some what like over sized safeties.  Okereke drafted in the 3rd. Undersized and rangy. Looks to b really good in coverage but below average at this point in the run game. 

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6 minutes ago, Moosejawcolt said:

There r certain positions I believe paying for in this D.  I don't beleive anyone is irreplaceable. I don't think Buckner is replaceable, if he meets expectations. I have seen this D under Dungy in Tampa and Indy and now under Ballard. I just think u don't  pay a linebacker 20 million in this system. It is similar to corners in this system. U can find them later past the 1st round and even 2nd round. They fit a certain athletic profile. Line backers in this system r some what like over sized safeties.  Okereke drafted in the 3rd. Undersized and rangy. Looks to b really good in coverage but below average at this point in the run game. 

 

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.

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