The reality of the situation is that you try to keep your 4-5 stars, rotate out your aging or expensive middle of the roster and hope that you keep up with a robust inexpensive rookie haul each year
I see these "middle guys" getting traded for draft picks, or being allowed to leave via FA (Which creates comp picks)
I was having similar thoughts a while ago - how can we have so much money tied in the OL and isn't this detrimental to the team? The more I've been thinking about it the more I feel like... it's all about allocation of resources. Every team has limited resources and if you allocate too much resources to one area you might be hitting the point of diminishing returns. For example... would you rather pay 40% of your cap on the no. 1 OL in the league or 30% on the no. 5 OL in the league? And where is the cut off where it all becomes excessive spending that can be used better elsewhere on the roster? But also... we have to account for draft picks in our considerations, too.
This is really the main couple of resources for acquiring talent - cap space and draft picks . It's interesting that they are almost completely decoupled, too ... meaning - for huge majority of draft picks, the cap spent is minuscule and doesn't impact the cap space much and at the same time for the biggest of our cap spendings we don't spend draft resources(Buckner and Q being the exceptions here). It's also important to not count it twice once the draft picks enter their second contract. At least I don't ... so... in essence it becomes - cap space + RECENT draft picks(still on rookie contracts)....
In essence my position has been ammended to something along the lines of - I don't care what % of the money we spend on specific position group as long as there is enough resources (this might include draft picks) spent on most other important positions. Example -
- QB - we spent 1st, 3d and 25M a year for QB. This is plenty IMO. People seem to consider it cheap but it is NOT cheap when you account for BOTH the picks and the money. If Wentz gets back to his previous form with us, I am good with it. I think it's worth it having that type of QB.
- EDGE group - no big money spent, but pretty big draft resources - currently 1st round pick, 3 second round picks..
- Interior pass-rush - big money, big resources (22M a year for Buckner, 10M a year for Grover, 1st for Buckner).
- OL - good mix of money and draft resources (Fisher 10M, Kelly 12M, Glowinski 6M + 1st + 2nd on Q and Braden)... now if you have to replace the 1st and 2nd from Braden with big money you will need to spend some picks rather than money on other positions and this is exactly what we did with EDGE - shuffled around the resources spent from money(Autry, Houston) to draft picks - Paye, Odeyingbo
- CB - this IMO is the group that is in a holding pattern... I don't know where we will go with it, because we have some pick investments, but they are to a huge degree question marks and Kenny is our only CB with somewhat big(still not huge though) contract past this year. IMO Ballard is waiting on them(Rock, Tell, Rodgers) to show him something either way and we are very likely to address it next year. BTW I have not watched next year's CBs, but the PFF guys seem to think next year's CB class is very good... probably too ealry to tell at this point but worth keeping in mind. I wonder if Ballard looks ahead to future drafts...
- WR - good, not great resources spent - 2 2nd round pick + short term deal for TY... another position in holding pattern.
So I guess my general position is - As long as the roster overall has good talent at other positions be it through bargain FA contracts that hit or through draft picks, I'm good with us splurging a bit on a specific area of the team that we consider important. In general I feel like our resources have been spent relatively well, with some minor gripes here and there, but even for them there IMO is a good reason.