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.
Washed up over a year ago.
Hasn't averaged 4 yards per carry since leaving the Colts, expensive.
38 years old, played in 9 games last year and caught 13 passes.
An expensive luxury that a rebuilding team couldn't afford.
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.
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!?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
From Easterbrook's AFC Preview: