Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Season, Same Dumbassery from Easterbrook

From Easterbrook's AFC Preview:

Touchdowns are pretty good stuff in football; players who produce touchdowns would seem to have value. Yet of the top 10 active NFL touchdown producers, six [were cut] (Terrell Owens,

Who was cut for salary/distraction reasons and quickly signed by The Bills, who were one of many teams competing for Owen's services.

Marvin Harrison

Washed up over a year ago.

Edgerrin James

Hasn't averaged 4 yards per carry since leaving the Colts, expensive.

Joey Galloway

38 years old, played in 9 games last year and caught 13 passes.

Tony Gonzalez

An expensive luxury that a rebuilding team couldn't afford.

Torry Holt


a seventh (LaDainian Tomlinson) was told to take a pay cut or hit the road

Had the worst year of his career last year and is signed to a large salary.

Only three of the top 10 active touchdown producers (Randy Moss, Isaac Bruce and Clinton Portis) were asked back without reservation by their teams.

Moss: Still one of the best 3 WR's in the game, relatively cheap salary.
Bruce: Cheap.
Clinton Portis: Still one of the best RB's in the game.

Of course, aging athletes often lose their ability to gain yards and score points -- though something tells me several mentioned in the above paragraphs will end up with more productive 2009 seasons than the younger players who got their roster slots.

The Rams and Chiefs know that they're probably not going to get better production out of the guys who replace Holt and Gonzo, but they can be assured that they won't be paying them big salaries, and they're not going to compete anyway.

Yet with the prominent exception of Brett Favre, the NFL seems increasingly eager to toss aside highly productive stars and coaches, handing their positions to people you've never heard of.

Just off the top of my head: Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, LT, OchoCinco, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Ben Roethlisburger, Hines Ward. Highly productive stars who have yet to be given the boot.

Could this be economic? In almost every case, the player or coach hired to replace an aging on-field or sideline star is paid less. NFL owners and general managers may increasingly be thinking, "Why pay for big names when we can drag some guy in off the street and no one will know the difference?" If this is what NFL owners and general managers are thinking, it's a slippery slope. As TMQ reminds, there is no law of nature that mandates the NFL must remain super-popular. Any sense that corners are being cut would be terrible for the sport.

See if you can follow Gregg's logic:

1. NFL teams are more and more likely to cut productive players to save money.
2. Despite NFL free agent salaries being determined by a free market, those new free agents inexplicably go unsigned, and therefore, do something besides play in the NFL.
3. The NFL talent pool declines.


I plan to use Twitter strictly to let readers know when the column posts. As soon as a new TMQ is up on Tuesdays, I'll send out a tweet. I don't plan to clog your laptop or cell phone with running commentary

I would pay good money to subscribe to a TMQ stream of consciousness Twitter feed. Here are some examples of the ensuing posts I would enjoy:

the_smartest_man_alive12: PHL punting 4th and 3 their own 45 in 1st q. Avg play = 5 yards. Buck buck bawk!

the_smartest_man_alive12: @the_tastefully_named_spencer_easterbrook: I just wrote 'game over' in my book too!

the_smartest_man_alive12: @the_tastefully_named_spencer_easterbrook: How did you delete your post saying 'game over' for PHL?

the_smartest_man_alive12: @the_tastefully_named_spencer_easterbrook: I TOLD YOU TO KNOCK WHEN I'M WRITING THE CHEERLEADER SECTION OF TMQ!

the_smartest_man_alive12: Ohio State is ahead of Akron by 13 in the 2nd quarter and they're still passing!

the_smartest_man_alive12: Did you see all the factual inaccuracies regarding Texas 4a football in tonight's FNL ep? WTF!?


dan-bob said...

1. I imagine the NFL has an anti-collusion agreement of the ilk that got baseball owners in trouble. If they're really all deciding not to pay, won't they get in trouble for it?

2. I'm ashamed to discover that there are people out there for whom the title "TMQ" isn't specific enough time to find the article - people who look forward to "TMQ" so much that they can't just wait till T, they need Twitter updates to tell them exactly what time on T that TMQ is published.


Tonus said...

This must be some new trend in the NFL. I mean, in the past, teams NEVER cut aging players with big contracts and replaced them with younger players that make less money. You'd think the NFL had a salary cap or some crazy shit like that.

Larry B said...

@Tonus Yeah, not only a salary cap, but non-guaranteed contracts.

@JackM LOL

Elliot said...

I'm pretty sure Harrison and Gonzales would be perfectly content taking their millions, their pensions, retire before 40, and have the only thing left to wonder about be how many first ballot HOF votes they'll get.

I think the biggest flaw in the logic of this TMQ article is (which is a lot like saying "I think the smelliest turd in this latrine is") that NFL teams only care about one thing: winning. GMs, coaches, and owners know that if you win, you make money.

Teams will take whoever they think has the best shot at winning, and if that doesn't include future HOF'ers and washed up guys who used to be good, then they will cut or trade them in a heartbeat. As it should be.

As with all sports, the stars of one generation give way to the next. I imagine that if Easterbrook wrote about baseball in the 60s, he would have said the same thing about Willie Mays, Roger Maris, Gil Hodges and Duke Snider. Trying to hold on to an era that is fading away into memory. It happens every 10-15 years, and some people obviously cannot handle that.

cd said...


Martin said...

Sadly, for all that Gregggg bitches about the inaccuracies of Friday Night Lights, he himself is a complete fuck up when it comes to accuracies in his own columns. He misses guys who were first round picks on lists, mixes up peak and peek, and doesn't realize that Derrick Cox was drafted by the Jaguars and not the Patriots.

He needs to move out of the fucking glass house before he bitches about anybody making any kind of inaccuracy ever again.