Tag Archives: nfl

Brains Over Brawns: Why The NFL Is The Smartest League Around

Today was the start of the NFL’s Free Agency and right off the bat, the League reminds you that it is quickly becoming the smart man’s game.

First off, some of the league’s best wide receivers made their way from good teams to amazing teams, in a sequence of events that should have you saying, “wait…what?”

1. Anquan Boldin
Anquan+Boldin+Super+Bowl+XLVII+Baltimore+Ravens+aHM4kZ9Mfsjl-e1363048537146
Boldin’s trade today was as much a surprise to us as it was to him. The star Ravens receiver helped the Baltimore lift the Lombardi trophy with 104 yards and a touchdown in their victory over the 49’ers. At 32, he’s not quite a young buck, but Boldin makes his living with smart plays a great football IQ, not necessarily with speed and athleticism.

His trade destination?
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That’s right. The Raven’s just traded one of their star receiver’s to the team they just faced in the Super Bowl.

I know what you’re thinking. Well, if they traded him, the Ravens must have gotten deal they couldn’t refuse. Right? Well, let’s see. Pull back the curtain, let’s see what the Raven’s got for one of Joe Flacco’s favorite targets?

Drumroll please…

That’s right! A 6th Round Draft Pick!

Wait, What?
Like “Q”, you’re probably asking what happened. What happened was that the Raven’s owed $6 million for 2013 and after failing to work out a different deal, the Ravens decided to trade Boldin in favor of just cutting him from the team.

It goes to show how an expensive defense and a fat QB contract for the Ravens can tie up the purse strings. Chalk it up to the 49er’s for having the great management in place to reserve cap space despite having the deepest roster in the NFl and collecting a veritable “gold mine” of draft picks.

2. Percy Harvin
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Percy Harvin, unlike Anquan Boldin, is a true young stud. At 24, Harvin is a superstar receiver with ton’s of upside and has proven to be one of the best receivers in the league at gaining yards after catches. Adrian Peterson, (yes, THAT Adrian Peterson), calls Harvin the “best all-around player [he has] ever seen.” But no one is safe in the business of football, and Percy Harvin is packing his bags (not that he minds).

Where’s that, you ask?
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Yup. Harvin is going to Seattle (not unlike the Sacramento Kings. Womp Womp). Percy Harvin goes from a team looming on the outskirts of the playoffs (Minnesota) to a team that looks poised to be a contender for years to come.

Wait, what?
Why would the Vikes trade away one of their best players to a team that is already dangerously close to winning it all? Well, there are 67 million reason why. Harvin’s new contract will bring him $67 million including over $25 million in guarantees. Quite a chunk of change for Seattle. On top of that, Seattle gives up a 1st round pick and a 7th round pick this year as well as a mid round pick next year. Not a bargain like Anquan Boldin, but Harvin’s career has barely started.

Seattle has put itself in this position by assembling a talented roster while avoiding big contracts. I mean, look at Russell Wilson. The kid is a poster child for under-rated talent.
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Why This Makes The NFL Smart
It makes the NFL smart because more and more, people are realizing that under the current salary cap and CBA, the best managed teams are the winningest ones. Football is the embodiment of a team sport, and a sport where no one man can carry a team. That’s why it’s important to understand how to build a good, deep roster on a budget. The 49er’s are one of the best teams at it, and it’s paying off big time.

What This Means For The Future
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It means Victor Cruz is going to be salsa’ing somewhere else unless he’s willing to take a pay cut. The Giants have too many holes to fill to pay Victor Cruz the top dollar he’s asking for (even though he’s earned it). Something will have to give. Sorry, ladies.

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Why the Jets Will Trade Revis

Why The Jets Will Trade Revis
by: sunroot liu
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Rumors have begun to swirl about the Jets trading star CB Darrelle Revis. Revis’ contract is set to expire at the end of this coming season and Revis has all but put the Jets on Holdout Watch 2013. This is why I think Jets management should and will trade him this offseason.

1. The Jets Suck
The Jets have way too many holes in their offense. They need a QB that’s not Mark Sanchez. They need a real RB if they’re ever going to successfully run a Ground-and-Pound offense. They need help in their line since they’ve let go of Bart Scott and they could use some real receivers. A better pass rush wouldn’t hurt either. If the Jets could get some pieces or draft picks for arguably the best shutdown corner in the NFL, they should pull the trigger.

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2. Revis is an Ass
Revis has proven that he’s prepared to put himself above the team by holding out in 2010 and threatening to hold out again. Keeping a team on edge and having management worry about him is no way to endear the Jets to him. People often say that the best player on a team sets the tone for it, and while Revis is undoubtedly the Jets’ best player, his me-first attitude isn’t something you would want in the locker-room

3. Revis is an Ass…Part 2
Richard Sherman, CB for the Seahawks, is a young stud gunning for the title of the NFL’s best cornerback. In a recent TV interview, Sherman left Revis out of a list of the top corners in the league, on account of Revis being out this season with a torn ACL. The following Twitter feud ensued.

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Sherman pads his argument with stats. Really good stats. Revis argues that he has more Twitter followers. Maybe Bieber can start next year. He has more followers than the population of his home country.

4. yahoo_revisinjury
Revis’ knee blew up. ACL/MCL injuries are a big deal. Despite what Adrian Peterson’s MVP season has shown us, players don’t always bounce back quickly and quite often never bounce back at all. On top of that, the demands on a cornerback’s knees can be more demanding than a running back’s in their need to backpedal and rotate. There’s no guarantee that Revis comes back to be the defensive force that he once was.

5. The Age of The Tight End
As football continues to evolve, we see the rise of complex offenses and teams with a diverse range of weapons. If you take the Pats for example (an AFC East rival), maybe Revis can stop Welker or Lloyd but it doesn’t do a thing about Hernandez and Gronk. It’s great that Revis can shut a guy down, but you wonder if it’s even a good thing that you force QB’s to throw to other players. While I’m not going to make the argument that having a worse cornerback is a better, I think the price tag on Revis, an A+ corner,  versus a B/B+ corner isn’t worth it. Is that marginal cost? I forget

Rob-Gronkowski

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How Tom Brady Made Me Cry

How Tom Brady Made Me Cry
by: sunroot liu

“Here’s Brady with a dog.”

Yesterday, Brady went all-in, flashed his big-giant-balls, and demonstrated what it means to be a franchise player and a leader on and off the field.

This Monday, SI announced that Brady signed a contract extension that will likely be his last, one that has him wrapping up his Hall of Fame career with the Patriots. The contract is worth $27 million over three years. This significant pay cut opens up space for other big ticket players for the Patriots to sign.

I’ve been on both sides of the fence with Brady. On one hand, I hate him for being a little too perfect: the All-American quarterback with good looks and a supermodel wife. On the other hand, I love his story and how even after 3 rings, he still plays with a chip on his shoulder. But on Monday, this announcement made me a bigger Brady fan than I’ve ever been. Let me tell you why.

1. Early Signing
Before Monday, he had two years left on his contract, For the bulk of professional athletes, this means, “hey, we’ll talk in about 23 months.” Sports headlines are inundated with contract disputes and divas athletes holding their teams ransom for big contracts and preferred trade destinations (see: The Dwightmare on Figueroa St.).

Before any destructive rumors or unrest in the locker-room, Tom Brady made a deal. The Patriots could easily have become a team of guys who have to wonder about Brady’s future with the team and answer questions everyday with the media. Instead, they see that their leader is fully invested with their team and hopefully, they follow suit.
 
“Shhh. Don’t remind them.”

2. Pay Cut
The most striking aspect of this contract is the money. Despite loads of guarantees and bonuses, Tom Brady takes an unprecedented pay cut. For a Top-5 quarterback and arguably one of the best QB’s of all time, Brady takes a salary that may be worth half of what he could be earning. That’s right, half.

If you were to take his future $9M/yr base salary and compare it to what QB’s earned this year, it would put him 18th on the list (yes, below Mark Sanchez). The argument is that he’ll be 38, 39, and 40 years-old for these years (2015-2017) of his contract — to which, I’d say Brett Favre got $12M his last year with the Vikings.

p.s. This pay cut likely gives New England the money needed to re-sign Wes Welker. How many friends do you know who would give up millions of dollars so you can them?

3. Trust
I didn’t grow up watching football. Football and I weren’t childhood friends. I met Football late in life, too late to have the blood allegiances that are born as a child fan. My loyalties were with players and stories. When I began to watch football, my first love was the Patriots. Besides having arguably the most exciting offense in the NFL, there was one stat said in passing during a game that tied me to this team forever.

The Pat’s are number one in the NFL for going for it on fourth down. Despite notoriously terrible failures (see: Pats @ Indy 11.15.09), Belichick continues to play a balls-to-the-wall, high-octane offense that I can only imagine hasdefensive coordinators around the league crapping their pants.

Then occasionally, when their scoring drives get stopped at 3rd down, Belichick says “screw it,” then turns to Tom Brady and says, “go get it.”

Belichick shows a trust in Brady that makes you wonder if Bill doesn’t remember the Ponytail or the Beiber or Uggs. He makes a statement to the world about Brady. This is my guy. (without a creepy tattoo, at that). It’s a level of trust that brings a tear to my eye.Brady returned that trust. He said to Belichick and Patriots management, I trust you to surround me with the right players.

4. “Just Win.”
Tom Brady’s answer to the critics? “Just Win.” Tom Brady posted these two words on his Facebook Monday night. A lot of players say they’d do anything to win, but when the money comes, they feel entitled to the big bucks that come with their talent. Tom Brady turned down money he had every right to claim and said “Just win.”

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