Author Topic: HIFL EDITORIALS  (Read 11880 times)

GM Justin

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« Reply #100 on: February 26, 2018, 10:04:47 PM »
Well....well...well.  There I was, just like any die hard HIFL fan...waiting patiently for the preseason games to approach so that we can get our football addiction.  I've dabbled in things such as quilting, knitting, and crossword puzzles to help the time pass by.  BOOM! Then it happened, S10 got off to a crazy start with three big trades in one day.  And since I am America's greatest armchair general manager, here is my take...

Atlanta/Music City

Coach and new interim GM Crowder has decided to start a rebuild and made some big names available.  One of those names was Erik Pitts who was quickly traded to Atlanta.  From the Kings standpoint this was all about gaining draft capital and clearing cap space.  Munoz is on an expiring contract and won't be brought back.  Creamer is a rookie and won't be a big part of their plans, but they will develop him and see what they get.  The big prize is the Warriors S11 2nd Round pick which is predicted to be a high pick.  The 3rd round pick is also valuable as plenty of talent is discovered in the third round.  From a franchise building process I like this move by Music City, but I believe they could have really competed this season. 

For Atlanta, this is a great pickup and a huge help for the maturation of their rookie QB, Thomas Mazza. Pitts and West present a great duo that will help make Mazza's job easier.  I don't like it from a salary cap standpoint as it eats into their cap for next season and it does nothing to help a secondary that can really use the help.

My winner of this trade is Music City.

Las Vegas/Music City

The biggest name on the block was Shane Barkley and Coach/GM Crowder knew that if he wanted to start the rebuild off right that Barkley was the key.  GM Justin made the move in the S7 draft to take Barkely and it has proven to be a move well worth it.  The obvious sexy allure for the Kings is the two first round picks which will give them three first round picks within the first 18 picks, in my estimation.  Not sure we will see another draft class like the S10 class, but with proper scouting Music City will be able to build a great foundation for the future.  To help bolster that foundation is the receipt of Paul Camacho.  While he may never be on the same talent level as Barkley, I believe he will develop into an eventual solid #1 that Music City can build their secondary around.  The trading of Ruiz is another cap move to bolster their spending in free agency. 

Critics give GM Metro a hard time because of his tendency to hoard draft picks, but this move proves their is a genius lying within his madness.  A Mullins, Barkley, and Mojica secondary is probably the best cornerback group in all of football now.  However, there are a couple of issues I see for GM Metro with this move.  First, this is giving up a lot for Barkley who might just end up being a rental.  Word is that Barkley will not commit to signing an extension at the moment.  If I were Shane, I wouldn't sign an extension either and wait for free agency.  Based on the Scorpions' cap concerns, they might not...possibly most likely, wouldn't be able to afford Barkely.  He could make a lot more in free agency.  Furthermore, while this helps bolster their defense, I still have concerns about their offense. Specifically, I'm not sold on Shelley at QB and their offensive line could use some help.  I would have much rather seen Vegas go after Mark Prince instead of Barkley. 

I'm going to have to say that Music City won this trade as well.


Tombstone has hit a real rut in the franchise history.  GM Powers and his scandal, GM Justin and his reported meltdown, and now GM TJ II's disappearing act has left this franchise in a state of despair.  Al Crowley has given GM duties to his head coach who immediately made Kenny Johnson, DGB, and Gary Hunter available.  The interest in Hunter was huge, and for perfectly good reason, and GM Powers and the Michigan Monsters won his services.  Michigan's first round pick should be in the 16-20 range which along with Tombstone's pick will give the team two solid first round picks.  Furthermore, Tombstone receives two good LBs in return as well as free up some cap space.  This team is obviously in rebuild mode and this will help with that process.

I'm going to assume that GM Powers made a play for Shane Barkley, but missed out.  The addition of Hunter gives the Monsters the best LB duo in all of HIFL with Hunter and Steed.  This bolsters their front 7, but still leaves an average secondary.  I am of the belief that the secondary is still going to hurt this team because when the defense goes up against a solid offensive line that can block the front 7, the secondary is going to struggle.  I see what GM Powers was doing in regards to bolstering the defense, but I don't believe he really helped his team.  Barkley is what they really needed to put this team back into the Impact Bowl.  Furthermore, GM Powers has now put himself in a bind in regards to the salary cap and next season.  This is obviously a win-now move, but not one that is going to get him the win he wants.  This makes it harder to sign Giovanni Hill because I truly believe he tests free agency with the likes of New Jersey, Long Beach, Tombstone, possibly Miami, and possibly Vegas will raise the price of Giovanni Hill.  This move doesn't make a whole lot of since for Michigan from a future standpoint, considering the fact that adding Hunter doesn't upgrade their biggest weakness and now puts them in a financial crisis.

I believe Tombstone wins this trade. 

Okay, now I'm going back to learning how to quilt until the season starts.

GM Kirk

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« Reply #101 on: March 06, 2018, 03:04:35 AM »


Mark Hansen joins Sean Brosnan whilst trapped on the M62 by the "Beast From the East" for this first ever View From Across the Pond Podcast. The two undits run the rule over the revamped divions in season 10 and the likely prospects each team faces this season. They also talk overrated players, who's throwing in the towel before the season begins and who's seats are likely to feel warm by the end of the season. - The weather has affected the recording somewhat, but with perseverance and a stiff upper lip, the guys got the first episode in the can.

Sean Brosnan, Mark Hansen
The View From Across the Pond

GM Metroll

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« Reply #102 on: June 29, 2018, 08:44:25 PM »

Five Trades That Might Happen

So apparently you can work for two publications at the same time. I once told an ex-girlfriend the same thing about women and that didn’t go over to well. I wonder if that’s the reason she’s an ex-girlfriend? Regardless, apparently it’s my job to cook up trade scenarios that will rock the foundation of the HIFL this #TradeSZN like I rock the … well, you get the picture.

Anyways – here we go.

Mahalo In Oakland
Oakland Receives: Marcus Mariota and Stefan Elkins
Kansas City Receives: James O’Rourke, George Britt, Alan Molina, S10 St. Paul 2nd

With both Britt and Mariota scheduled to become UFA’s at the end of the year both teams run the risk of losing their franchise players in the off-season. Both are likely to attract the franchise tag but even then the cost of 2 1sts for Mariota will not scare away a GM and I imagine it is the same for George Britt. James O’Rourke has shown flashes in Oakland but an inability to stay healthy has impacted his development and GM Justin has been said to crave an elite QB. Mariota is that and GM Justin has the pieces to overpay and get GM Bone to at least consider the move. Britt and O’Rourke will cost Kansas City less after the season and with the weapons this team has on offense O’Rourke could flourish as he stays healthy (call it Christian Sullivan pt. II) while Alan Molina gives them a solid Nickle Corner. Add in the 2nd round pick and whatever they can get for Thomas Richards after his trade demand and this just might be enough to pry Mariota out of Kansas City.

Snake Bite in Seattle
Seattle Receives: Christian Sullivan, Max Ramos
Charlotte Receives: John Carr, Darren Pierce, Daniel Maxley, David Bruce, Eric Scott
St. Paul Receives: William Brewster, Tommy Corbin, S10 Seattle 2nd.

A big three team trade that could really shake up three playoff races. Charlotte has looked great as an expansion outlet while Seattle might be the most surprising team in the league. St. Paul has started to come on strong but John Carr has struggled mightily at times this year and even with the explosion against Rapid City that was powered by Adrian McCaffrey. This isn’t the Lynx of old with the ballhawks in the back end and moving Maxley makes a final break from that to an offensive team that is going to get after the QB. Does Joan Swope appreciate trading another defensive piece to bolster the offense? Charlotte bets on Carr turning it around but adds two elite young players in Pierce and Maxley. The inability to move on from Carr’s contract adds some risk here but play-action with Spurgeon and Pierce on the outside and what is starting to look like an elite defense might cover any warts. The big news here is GM Jon bringing two of his former Cobra’s back with him on 1 year deals in the hope they can add more championship experience and complete what might be the greatest story in sports history a year after the Eddie Phoenix tragedy.

Miami Shoves All-In
Miami Gets: Burton Tibbets, Joseph Dobbins
Alabama Gets: Mac Richard, Austin Napier, David Hill, Daniel Coleman Miami S10 1st

This trade probably coincides with the end of the GM Pancho era in Alabama but moving two players who came to Alabama to win a championship to Miami clears some salary room to retain Jamie Ortega in the off-season. Alabama’s going to hate to pay some of the freight for the rest of the season but that’s a small cost for allowing them to quickly reset and compete next year. Tibbetts, Dobson and Randolph would probably replace Tibbetts, Dobson and Giles as the top receiving trio in the league and give Miami an even scarier offense to go with their elite defense. For Alabama this trade would be all about the future with Napier and Richard being solid pieces, Hill and Coleman are top 25 prospects at positions of need, and that S10 1st – while likely to be late, allows this team to start to build the future championship Nighthawks roster after routinely moving out of the early portions of the draft under GM Pancho.

King Regains His Thrown
Portland Receives: Corey Rizzo, Justin Blais
DC Receives: Frank Cooney

GM Dazz made some curious moves during the bye-week. Corey Rizzo has the team in a playoff position but in acquiring former #1 Overall pick King Carmazzi (who he brought to Cleveland) the year prior, you have to wonder whether GM Dazz would move Rizzo to get another one of his former players and give King the keys to the DC kingdom. Carmazzi flopped in Music City but DC has been pounding the rock this year and with limited pressure and not being forced to carry the team maybe he’ll have a chance to deliver on the promise he had coming out of the South. It’s hard to find good corners – but it’s even harder to find a winning quarterback. With Steven Crawford looking to be on his last legs bringing in Rizzo (a protégé he is familiar with) Portland sets themselves up to challenge their pacific northwest compatriots Seattle starting next year.

Three-Peat Threatened
Rapid City Receives: John Cope, Edward Gonzales, Richard Ray
St. Louis Receives: Joseph Upton, Eric Ashworth, Eddie Stands

Rapid City has won the last two Impact Bowl’s with their scorched earth offense but it has looked less fearsome this year with all the changes they’ve had. More change might not be the recipe for success either but having seen what the Vegas defense has done to the top two offenses in the league to that point in Alabama and Orlando, you have to wonder if Rapid City can do enough to get past them in the wild card round, or keep up with the high scoring Knights offense piloted by Keenan Daley. Adding championship experience in Cope and Gonzales helps and while losing Ashworth and Stands hurts the passing offense – getting Jeremy Martin more touches isn’t a bad thing and after Richard Council’s special teams antics last week – using him in space as a receiving weapon might be an idea.

SOURCE: JIMMY MINOR (Bleacher Report Correspondant)


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« Reply #103 on: June 29, 2018, 11:06:34 PM »
BLEACHER REPORT - Players likely to be traded before the deadline
GM Kirk [21|May 12:29 AM]:   When trade fever hits, math is the first casualty.

GM Metroll

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« Reply #104 on: July 24, 2018, 11:00:15 AM »
Off-Season Free Agent Preview

Apparently I can write a serious report. I mean – this took a lot of work and I have to show those idiot wrestler GM’s that I can write big long essays that no one actually reads. Actually, maybe people will read this one, I don’t know, but if they do I think I deserve to be the World EFED Champion of the World Wide Web World Wide Wrestling Federation … BROTHER!!! Or maybe Chris Hart should be, I’m not sure.

Anyways, with the trade deadline passed, for better or worse (here’s looking at you Alabama) these are the teams we’ll have going into the off-season. With the expanded playoff picture this year very few teams look like they are out of the playoff hunt with seven games to go but for a lot of front offices now is truly when they begin evaluating what they are going to do come the off-season.

First amongst those activities is determining which upcoming free agents they are going to attempt to retain in Exclusive Rights Free Agency. With the XFL and AAF lurking in the weeds. This years ERFA class could be more important than ever given the likelihood that salaries may explode once people hit the open market.

Alabama: Jamie Ortega

The former number one overall pick was supposed to have lead his team to a championship by now if you believe many Nighthawks fans who judge the team solely based on that stat given their history. Taking over the season after the living legend, Larry Wright, retired from the game of football, Ortega has been a solid quarterback with his ability to make plays in the running game along with his strong arm while having weapons all around him on offense. The shift to an option based offense with Curt Robles was supposed to pay big dividends this season and really put defenses in a bind but it hasn’t clicked to this point and many will point to it as the single biggest reason GM Pancho failed to make the impact necessary this year in Alabama.

For Alabama the biggest question will be what number can they commit too given that they already have a 20MM man in Bruce Wilkinson on the roster, and two other highly paid offensive weapons signed beyond this season in Curt Robles and Burton Tibbetts. If Tibbetts decides to hang it up following the season that has to open up cap space but there’s also holes in the secondary and line backer to address too. Ultimately however, you can’t win in this league without a quarterback and while some may doubt Ortega is capable of leading the team to the big win, letting him walk (even at the cost of two first round picks) sets this team back, something untenable for this franchise.

There’s enough of an external market out there for teams that are in need of a permanent solution at quarterback (St. Louis, Tombstone, Portland) or may be looking to upgrade in the off-season and move on from their young or underperforming pivots (Las Vegas, St. Paul, New Jersey, Oakland) that Ortega should have no problem hitting the 20MM mark. Ultimately I think he comes in and matches Wilkinson’s contract – it’s just whether it is before or after the franchise tag.

Prediction: 4 Years, 20MM, 4MM in PR.

Atlanta: Lucas Ash

GM Lucas has torn things down and after licking his wounds from the smack-down laid by Maximus Crowe he’ll get a chance to continue to build around the young foundation he laid last year with Mazza, Collins and Pitts on offense and Evans on the back end. Atlanta is a notoriously fickle sports town, when you’re a winner you’re the toast of the city but when you’re a loser things get very rough and you tend to be forgotten. I don’t believe this season will be forgotten by people in Atlanta but their memories will be for all the wrong reasons, even if the team has done surprisingly well (compared to expectations) on the field.

With draft picks and cap room galore after gutting their entire roster, GM Lucas likely can be a player at any position but after trading Noah Rose and former Rookie of the Year Walter Turner to get Lucas Ash, he can ill afford to see him leave after one season. While not an elite defender, Ash plays a solid strong safety and is one of those sneaky pieces that helps teams win games. He’ll never be an all-pro or get all-star game consideration which puts a ceiling on his price tag but it only takes one GM that gets leveraged (and trading Turner for you creates that leverage) that can see a player go from 3MM to 5MM, and if a second team gets in the bidding war all bets are off.

I think we’ll see Ash stay in Atlanta but I do believe there may be some competition from Michigan, who haven’t been the same since he left, and I do believe he’d be a good addition in Milwaukee as they look to begin to build a defense after spending most of their capital last off-season in putting together the shell of a potent offense. Something else that wouldn’t be a surprise, a team who’s already got a solid strong safety looking at him as potentially a weak side linebacker who can play against the run while covering the shifty running backs turned slot receivers that have started to become en vougue.

Prediction: 3 Years 5MM

Charlotte: Christian Sullivan

A two time Impact Bowl champion Quarterback who’s lead the expansion Crowns to what looks like a play-off berth. Sullivan’s progression to elite quarterback has been great to watch over the past six seasons and now he’ll look to get paid once again. There were some sideways glances when he signed his current contract with Tulsa when they entered the league and though they didn’t have the success they expected that can’t be put at the feet of Sullivan.

Now entering free-agency for the second time this is likely his last chance to make bank and with Charlotte having ample cap space to get a deal done, along with no obvious heir apparent on the roster, this isn’t one that I expect to get hairy like Mariota or Ortega might. I expect him to set the market and look for a significant amount of term in doing so and locking himself into that final big deal of his career with Charlotte as an exclusive rights free agent.

If things do get hairy and he hits the open market, even with the franchise tag attached I think you’d see almost every team looking to sign him. You have to think Las Vegas with Shaun Saint at the helm would love to have him and GM Metro has the picks and a young quarterback in Stephen Shelley to make a trade to get him. Elsewise, whoever takes over in Long Beach may throw 30MM at him in an attempt to solve the quarterback issues that have plagued them since they won the Impact Bowl in Season 5 but you have to wonder if Sullivan, after the Tulsa experience, would want to go to a rebuilding team again.

Prediction: 7 Years, 26MM, 3MM PR, No Trade Clause

Music City: William Donaldson

I made it three teams in before I started to cheat. This would have been easy before the fire sale that saw Shane Barkley sent to Las Vegas to make a scary defense legendary. While his contract goes beyond this season it might behoove GM Bennett to take a look at extending William Donaldson in the off-season before he has a big year and sends his price sky-rocketing. Another solid, if not spectacular player, since being drafted by GM Justin years ago, Donaldson, like Ash, is one of those players who gets his stats but also makes the players around him better by setting the edge and letting guys like Michael Burger clean up behind him. Further, for a team that is probably going to spend at least one more season rebuilding that professionalism and veteran influence is important to have in the locker room.

The defensive end market is heavily weighted with the elite talents like Wilkinson, Chandler and Harlow being compensated as such but over the last two years we’ve seen some of the better players being forced to settle for mid-level money which further depresses the price on Donaldson. Building off of his current salary you have to expect some form of raise to be in play and a reasonable comp market exists with guys like Rasheed and Hammer sitting at 5 and 6MM respectively. A deal somewhere in that range sounds about right owing for the fact that he trades away the potential to cash in for long term security.

Prediction: 4 years, 5.25MM

Miami: Joseph Worthington

GM Garcia has done a great job building upon what GM Theo Greensteen started in Miami. Not normally a big player in free agency, adding Joseph Carlson this off-season has helped the defense take another step forward and would probably be the toast of the league if it weren’t for the dominance in Las Vegas on that side of the ball. On offense this is a team that has thrived running the ball with both McClure and Haas possibly reaching 1000 yards this season and then using the play action pass off of that. A big part of both of those is Joseph Worthington who is an elite player in both facets of the game and is probably the second best offensive lineman in the league outside of cult MVP candidate Anthony Smith.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that Miami will want to retain Worthington and they should have plenty of room to keep him given his current salary. The biggest question is where the market ends up; currently Noah Rose is the highest paid offensive tackle and it is unquestionable that Worthington is a better player. Conversely, Smith’s 13MM may be pointed at by GM Garcia’s team as the ceiling and that in matching it they are saying a lot about Worthington’s value as a player and to the franchise. Maybe a compromise somewhere in the middle, maybe a 1 year deal with a player option for the 2nd at Smith’s salary gives him some security while at the same time allowing him to hit free-agency again as the market changes or maybe term comes into play to make a smaller AAV but being fully guaranteed makes coming in below Smith more tenable.

If they can’t settle things in ERFA there’s no doubt that the franchise tag comes into play and that may end up being the most likely option with both sides being firm in their resolve and deciding to let the market play out. If this happens I don’t know if there will be a large market, with a number of teams just not being a fit for whatever reason (cap room, value on lineman, having the position filled) but those that are will be surely willing to pay. Atlanta, after letting Rose go may look for someone to protect Mazza’s blindside for years to come, Seattle may look to him if Walter Arreolla retires, and while I like Luke Morris and it’d take Worthington ceding the sexier left tackle spot, how fun would it be to see him and Anthony Smith share a line.

Prediction 3 Years, 13MM

Orlando: Mervin Patton

Maybe I’m glad I cheated with Donaldson. My original inclination had Xavier Best here and while he deserves to be locked up with a significant raise. You have to think that with Mervin Patton potentially entering the last season of his deal and having another MVP caliber season that now may be the time to revisit his contract. Orlando has emerged from a laughing stock team to a perennial playoff team since “The General” joined them in the big trade with DC years ago and while they’ve not gotten over the hump there’s still a lot to say about being around every year when consistency has not necessarily been the strong suit of this league (here’s looking at you Las Vegas).

The other reason for potentially addressing the contract now is getting in early in the quarterback pecking order. Patton’s 24MM still ranks right up there, having only recently been passed by Caleb Smoak, but with that as the new target and with Sullivan and Mariota hitting the market that number is soon going to be eclipsed too. I see this as being much the same as Sullivan where the team is motivated to make the deal and that term is going to become a factor; the big difference I see here is having hit it rich previously by playing out his deal and seeking the tag does Patton want to extend, and if he does is it going to be long term or does he want a short term deal, say 2 years, allowing him to continue to cash in as the salary scale resets for quarterbacks. Only him and his agent know but at any rate if you’re GM Cory you have to ask the question, especially with how much tagging him after next season would cost. My gut says he looks to play out the deal but I’m going to predict a compromise arrangement.

Prediction: 3 Years, 26MM Fully Guaranteed, can not be tagged at contracts end.

Michigan: Harris McKeown

After reaching the Impact Bowl finals it’s hard to believe that Michigan is below .500. Yes, they lost some of their big contributors in the front seven last year but in making the big move for Turner and Rose in the off-season, then the big Gary Hunter trade at the start of the season, this had the feeling of a team that was “all-in”. Maybe that’s not the case though, with a lot of their top performers still yet to reach or about to hit the prime of their careers and while Gio Hill has been a great pick up, at some point Pablo Santiago-Messi has to start playing and let’s not forget Donald Doolittle who was a high draft pick of this team.

McKeown has never developed into the stud corner that you would’ve wanted using a 1st round pick on. He may never be an elite number one but he could be a top end number two and there’s a lot of value in that, especially as the passing game becomes more and more prolific in the HIFL. If you look at the last four Impact Bowl winners  each has had two corners who can play (Glass and Kirk in DC, Lightner and Brown in Rapid City) on an island if needed and hold their own. There’s a fairly established market with Alfred Maggard in the same division serving as a reasonable comparable. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the exact deal McKeown ends up with but you never know in the corner back market what a needy GM might do given the dearth of talent at the position that comes available.

If McKeown hits the market, you have to think every team shy of Las Vegas would be interested and they might be. GM Metro has long been a fan of McKeown and if for whatever reason Barkley isn’t retained, or Joseph Mullins is moved to accommodate it, you have to think they’d look McKeown’s way. Other potential suitors could be New Jersey who with the re-emergence of Leslie Keefer may look to pair him with another top end #2 corner and rebuild that secondary, and you know firing a shot at GM Powers would make GM Kirk happy, and a dark horse in the race may be Tombstone who over pays for the chance that there might still be a true #1 corner there.

Prediction: 4 years, 7.5MM, 1MM PR.

Milwaukee: Maxx Vol

Alright Jimmy, now you’ve really lost it. But who else are you going to say is a must keep free agent off of an expansion team who locked everyone worth retaining down. Some might say Mark Bello but with Jackson, Booth and Walker as their top 3 receivers and Loren Isaacs still collecting a pay cheque that money could be better spent in free agency. This team needs a defense though and looking at Vegas’ defense there’s an obvious blue print, scout well and draft your studs. Mayo, Carrier, Hernandez, Mojica and Edelman were all draft picks in the first two rounds and each one has panned out. Vol is widely regarded as the best scout in the game and keeping him on lock down to find both studs at the top and then diamonds in the rough such as Gordon Goulet and undrafted Robert Tyler is going to be big for this team.

New Jersey: David Greer

Having locked down Storm Woods already, GM Kirk looks to keep the line together that prior to this week was the highest scoring offense in the league. The sentimental pick would be Michael Griswold but after moving on from Eugene McReynolds and Christopher Mackey, the last piece of the three headed receiver trio that along with Trevor Jose propelled this team to elite levels may disappear and the new dragon fire running game takes over. With Jose Mackey running the offense he’ll appreciate the value of an offensive line and one of the biggest things with line play is cohesion. Greer may not be the sexiest player in the world, even by lineman’s sake, but is still an important part of that offense.

Looking at a contract for Greer is difficult though as a lot of the comps are on rookie contracts that were based on the slot position. He is better than a Will Fulcher and Travis Brothers who make 7 and 8 respectively and haven’t been worth near what they’re being paid. You also have the fact that GM Kirk was not willing to pay Love market rates two years ago and saw him leaving for a bigger deal in St. Paul but Greer is not the same player as Love. With some cap room to spare, GM Kirk could stretch the budget here but with a number of similar players coming up the following year establishing that precedent may end up hurting the team in the long run.

Ultimately, this situation seems like one where they’ll try and hammer out a deal in ERFA but ultimately he is going to hit Unrestricted Free Agency and see what the market has to offer. If Greer becomes the best lineman available then he could get paid well beyond what he should but if a Worthington or Ford hit the market he may get pushed down, similar to what we saw last year with Bergstrom and Arreolla and end up signing a deal that proves to be a good value. I see that as being a far more likely outcome and him going back to New Jersey who’ll be happy to have him without GM Kirk having to step out of character.

Prediction: 3 years, 6MM

St. Paul: Waylon Hagan

This is a team that was Impact Bowl or bust this year; leveraged to the hilt and now facing a massive luxury tax bill owing to the acquisitions of Hagan, Kidwell and then doubling down with Stephen Leake, this too me is still a team that if they manage to sneak into the playoffs no one is going to want to play. While a lot of people would say that Daniel Maxley is a must keep player (how do you let one of the top three corners walk) their defense is no longer about the ballhawks of old coached by the old ballhawk himself in Joan Swope, but instead an aggressive, attacking, defense with a loaded front seven and Waylon Hagan is a big part of that. The BallHawks made a name by scoring timely touchdowns but also were known for allowing big plays and with John Carr at quarterback creating big days for other secondaries, dominating the line has become more important than ever for St. Paul.

The other benefit for St. Paul in looking at Hagan versus Maxley is the luxury tax implication of this season. They’re going to be paying a hefty bill after this year and while Maxley is likely to demand a significant PR expenditure, Hagan’s 1 year deals hardly, if ever, feature PR and instead are focused on cold-hard cash. While that still might impact the cap sheet for St. Paul going forward saving PR dollars is going to be incredibly important for them with Coach Swope also going to be demanding a raise in the off-season and any franchise tag deal that Maxley may sign going to probably have some form of poison pill in the PR department to make it difficult to match.

If Hagan hits the market you know there will be two or three suitors every year and he is going to get paid. While I wouldn’t expect a raise above his current defense leading 22MM, I don’t see him sinking below Wilkinson’s deal. It’s unknown what impact the luxury tax will have on teams willingness to take on additional salary in deals going forward but for a championship I still believe teams will be willing to do it. For that reason, Hagan’s market probably looks at Tombstone, Portland, and Music City who are then likely to trade him and retain the salary; effectively renting out their cap space to another team in exchange for assets. When you consider that Charlotte got Robert Dotson for him last year that too me is cap space well spent.

Projection: 1 year, 22MM, no franchise tag at deal expiration.

DC: Larry Stevens

Yes, another extension, but GM Dazz has to be looking two years down the road at the fact that both Glass and Stevens could be free agents and know that this year he needs to do one of those deals. Stevens is one of the best defensive players in the league, a locker room leader, and a DC legend with two rings on his hand and so this is a deal that needs to get done. If it doesn’t GM Dazz may find himself traded in a situation similar to GM Pancho’s blowup with Anderson Ginobili. DC’s defense has always quietly been underrated and moving to a smash mouth style has suited them well but will also allow them to scrimp around the edges if need be at some of the skill positions if they need to stretch the cap sheet for Stevens.

There’s also two complicating factors for a Stevens deal; the first is that linebacker salaries have not exploded the way that cornerback and defensive end have. His 15MM still, rightfully, paces the league and while it’s perfectly reasonable to see him join the 20MM club a 33% jump in the top salary for a position is a large one. Secondly, you have to wonder if Stevens is going to want to take every penny available or if he’s going to be willing to leave some money on the table to give the team the ability to sign another player (who may end up being Alfred Glass) and compete for an Impact Bowl. That second reason also serves a purpose for GM Dazz negotiating this off-season with Stevens as it gives him two years worth of free agents to spend on and go for ring number 3 as opposed to finding out next off-season and finding their options limited. I see that as being a likely scenario though maybe the deal adds Term that’s fully guaranteed and allows Stevens to collect a years pay without playing at the back end, what would be a small price to pay to get the best linebacker of his generation at a lower cap number.

Prediction: 6 years, 15MM, 1MM PR, fully guaranteed.

Cleveland: Matthew Graham

Am I an idiot for not saying Ezekiel Elliott? Probably. But GM Eli traded Turnover Fucking Taylor because of how much he liked this kid. While that may have me questioning his talent judgment skills, you have to admire the huevos it took to make a move like that. Additionally, while Zeke is one of the top five running backs in the league and the play action passing game with Smoak, Elliott and McReynolds makes this team’s offense electrifying, running backs are replaceable at the end of the day. It’s also one of the positions where taking a stab at a couple in the later rounds of the draft can pay dividends if they emerge; top talent on cheap deals like Storm Force in New Jersey. That is not to suggest that Ezekiel Elliott will not be worth the double digits that he’ll get on the open market but again, this is the guy who is replacing Turnover Fucking Taylor.

That alone is going to drive up his price. When you trade a team legend to make room for his backup you can’t afford to lose him or your fan base will turn against you quickly. Beyond that, the safety pairing with Hawkins covers up some of the warts this team has on defense after focusing on the offensive side of the ball in recent drafts. With only nine games under his built it’s hard to look at the market for Graham and know where it’s going to end up; I doubt he gets Edelman money and there’s some good free safeties in the game but there’s also a large need and so you have to imagine that is going to push his market above 5MM and if a bidding war ensues even more. To avoid that GM Eli is going to have to pony up in ERFA and a deal around 6MM with some PR is probably what it’s going to take.

If Graham does make UFA then you have to think there’s going to be a fair bit of interest in his services. GM Kirk might look to raid Cleveland and see if he can get some retribution for the horrible McReynolds deal years ago. DC and Portland are also going to need Free Safeties and Graham would likely be the best one to hit the free agent market and in Portland’s case they may be more apt to spend cap space on that position rather than a draft pick. It might also not be safe to just look at teams with holes at Free Safety as similarly to teams possibly seeing Ash as a weak side linebacker, someone might look at Graham and contemplate playing a 3 safety look in their nickel which has worked for other championship winning teams in some other football league. This option might be especially lucrative given the escalating cost of the cornerback market and represent a potential inefficiency to exploit.

Prediction: 5 years, 6MM, 1MM PR

Source: JIMMY MINOR (ESPN General Asshat)

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« Reply #105 on: July 30, 2018, 09:40:01 PM »


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« Reply #106 on: August 06, 2018, 06:45:21 PM »
GM Kirk [21|May 12:29 AM]:   When trade fever hits, math is the first casualty.

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« Reply #107 on: August 14, 2018, 03:06:10 PM »
Kansas City: Marcus Mariota

This one is relatively easy. Sure in the first couple of seasons there were the natural struggles associated with being a young quarterback (and it didn’t help his first season was mired by organizational changes from Jim Haas to Anthony Stevens to Richard Door) but ever since this team moved west and even more so under Nick McCarthy, Mariota has taken his game to the next level. Coming off an MVP season some may say Mariota is having a disappointing this year with the Bruins fighting for a playoff spot in a season many expected them to take a leap forward but Mariota has been nearly as good as he was last year and that’s with the injuries in the Bruins receiving corps. This is also still a team that has the potential to go scary hot over a 4 week stretch and really flip their season long numbers in that time frame

The question is whether the Bruins even need to be that good going forward for Mariota to get paid or whether his MVP has already cemented him as the top available free agent quarterback (some may look at Sullivan’s rings instead). The fact that Mariota is both younger and more mobile lends itself to believing he would be the number one signal caller and is likely to get a contract that matches that billing. With Sullivan and Patton looking like they are going to get deals in the 26MM range, you have to think Mariota looks to surpass that and that the lucky number may start with 3. 30MM seems like a lot of money (actually, maybe it is) but would twenty four GM’s not kill to have Mariota under center for their team. This is a player who makes you a perennial Impact Bowl contender and there are very few of those to go around. If you’re Kansas City, an organizationally that has finally become relevant, you can’t afford to let that go.

With that in mind it really dictates who is going to be able to go after Mariota as he’s surely to be Franchise tagged. The number likely has to start with a 3 to even get GM Bone to flinch at what he’ll need to do to his roster to get under the salary cap. Long Beach again has to be in consideration but given his alma-matter you have to think Portland’s abundance of cap space, there willingness to make a play on a tagged player already in Juan Kirk last season, and no quarterback of the future (there is no fountain of youth Steven Crawford can drink from to make him relevant again) this looks like it may be a fit and I ultimately believe it comes down to staying in Kansas City or heading to Portland. It’s funny too when you consider that GM Bone benefitted from the same thing when he brought in Marshawn Holliday.

Project: 3 Years, 30MM, 4MM in PR. Fully Guaranteed

Rapid City: Alonso Lightner

The two time Impact Bowl champion inferno really missed Luis Brown at the start of this season and paid an exorbitant price when they, like Oakland and Vegas before them, realized James Richmond was nothing but a Lil’ Cease wannabe and needed a number two corner. They’ll fare even worse should they let Lightner walk away in free agency this year. For all of the hype the Scorched Earth offense has gotten with two impact bowl victories it’s important to not miss how valuable that defense was in making sure that they could hold onto leads, something that eluded them in their first two years; a situation that was rectified with Lightner’s arrival. While he hasn’t necessarily gotten the hype of an Alfred Glass or Justin Holt, had his tires pumped in free agency like Juan Kirk and Jarvis Botts, or been a stud rookie over the past few years like Maxley or Barkley, you can put Lightner’s on-field performance with any of them and not miss a beat. For that reason he’s going to get paid but those aforementioned two Impact Bowl rings may add an extra Brinks truck full of money to the equation at the end of the off-season.

The corner market is going to change this off-season with both Maxley and Barkley looking for new deals along with Lightner and while I feel that Maxley and Barkley look to move off of Kirk’s deal that he signed on the Franchise tag with Portland, Lightner has to have Botts deal in San Antonio in his sights. 20MM is a tough ask, especially with the number of elite quarterbacks, the competition at the top corner, and that a number of draft picks have quietly accumulated on so few teams limiting others ability to offer sheet a franchise tagged player. I feel that 18MM is a reasonable target for Lightner (I do not see any corner beating Botts’ offer) and while it’s difficult to see on their current cap sheet, I think GM Gates could sell off some valuable championship contributors to teams looking for that experience to make it work. The return wouldn’t be great and the subsequent lack of depth might hurt their chances going forward but do they have a chance if they let Lightner go?

If he hits the market this is another player that you have to think every team would be interested in. At the forefront you have to think would be Seattle looking to pair him with brother McKenzie (we’ll get to him after a beer) and it is far easier to see them clearing the cap room to pay him what is necessary, even a number that starts with 2. If Long Beach can’t find someone to take their money at quarterback, maybe they see if a reunion is in the cards or if Mervin Patton leaves Orlando, maybe GM Cory sees a Lightner signing as a chance to remain competitive, bolstering the back end while he looks for a new quarterback to lead this team going forward. Dark horse that I love – San Antonio – where yes there’s a lot of places on this roster you think could be upgraded and that farming out their cap space over three or four upgrades is better than one, but this is the second best with those areas for improvement open. Is depth more important than Elite talent? Some would say yes given Rapid City and DC winning the last four Impact Bowls but both teams also had two elite corners …

Prediction: 4 Years, 18MM, 2MM PR NO TRADE CLAUSE

Seattle: McKenzie Lightner

Two years ago, the late (and depending upon your perspective, I loved the guy, great) GM Eddie Phoenix took McKenzie Lightner early and after tense negotiations settled on a two year pact and now Lightner is going to reap the rewards. For all the talk about Daniel Collins’ extension signed by GM Lucas changing how rookie deals may end up being handled, Lightner making bank this off-season could start a shift towards some rookies taking short term deals to hit free agency that much sooner. GM Jon has done a great job in turning this team around and a lot of that has to do with how good the defense has defended the pass. In order to join the elite teams they’ll need to devote some resources to shoring up their run defense and so letting Lightner walk and hit the free agent market is likely out of the question.

Lightner’s market is likely to be the most interesting to watch this off-season. With the big money deals pushing the franchise tag for cornerbacks into the stratosphere you have to think GM Jon is going to do everything possible to get this done in ERFA but there’s really no need for Lightner’s camp to not hit free agency. He’s proven comfortable playing without a large guarantee so a tag salary that will probably exceed what he’s actually worth over a single year is probably going to be fine by him and all but cement him hitting free agency the year after. He could also end up being the best of the best to be fully free (you have to think every other corner on this list is getting tagged) and that might make him even more valuable to some teams who either don’t want to part with the first round picks associated with signing someone off the tag, or don’t have them. GM Jon is walking a fine line around that and so an offer in the 12 to 13MM range, which seems like an overpay, might be his best hope at not ending up in a bad position. I just don’t know if that gets it done.

And because I don’t know if that gets it done I see Lightner probably ending up being the worst free agent signing this off-season. Not because he’ll be a bad player for whoever gets him but they’re going to pay him like he is a top ten corner in the league and that’s not McKenzie Lightner. He’s better than Harris McKeown and on a deal around 9MM a year you’d like him but if GM Jon has to offer 12 to get him to avoid ERFA and he still passes on it, and Lightner becomes the best free agent corner, at 14MM a year (coming in just below Juan Kirk) that’s going to be a strain on whoever’s cap sheet he signs with but it’s the cost of doing business in the cornerback market. I see Oakland and GM Justin maybe hitting the number, you can always count on GM Lucas to overpay someone though corner may not be a position of need, and GM Bennett in Music City might see him as being young enough to fit in nicely with the rebuild given the lack of top-end quality in this years draft at cornerback. All in all – it’s a great time to be McKenzie Lightner’s agent – but probably not a GM that has to cut the cheque.

Projected Deal: 4 Years, 14MM, 2MM PR

Las Vegas: Shane Barkley

I think the biggest question about Shane Barkley’s free agency is will this be the year GM Metro is forced to use the tag. It’s well known around the league that Metro has an aversion to using it to retain players; two season ago he let both Nelson and Harlow go when he had the franchise tag available, but Barkley might be different. They have stuck to their policy of not negotiating contacts during the season though and that may hold good for Barkley and bad for Vegas fans if it means that GM Metro will continue to refrain from using the franchise tag. He’s looked like a stud next to Mullins and that defense has been historically good (although they’ve allowed some points the last couple of weeks) with him locking down primary receivers and with Kenny Graham continuing to attack opposing quarterbacks having someone you can trust on an island can’t be overstated.

GM Metro has been effusive in his praise of Barkley during the season; calling for him to be MVP at the halfway point of the season, and there’s no doubt he’d love to have Barkley back. Barkley’s going to get top five cornerback money and may be looking to break Botts’ mark. At that point you have to really look hard at Vegas’ cap sheet to see it fitting in, with them already being a tax paying team this season and also looking at some point of either having to pay Stephen Shelley or pay a new quarterback as well. There’s not a lot of expiring deals either and while GM Metro is well known for his ability to make deals (including the one that brought Barkley to Vegas) clearing close to 20MM in cap space in the off-season could be very difficult. His best hope may be that Barkley is willing to take a little less than market value (or at least, not try and establish a new market) to keep as much of this team together.

If he does hit free agency it’s much the same teams as we’ve mentioned previously with A. Lightner and Maxley. I like San Antonio the most out of all of them; given the chance to severely hurt a division rival while at the same time improving their teams biggest weakness could be too much for GM Digger to look past and just decide to pay whatever is necessary. This might be the biggest reason for GM Metro to use the tag is to prevent this from happening and making sure that Barkley doesn’t end up in San Antonio and hurt them twice a season. Music City may also be intriguing as Barkley left on good terms (he has always been nothing but class) and with all their draft pick capital, him returning might be enough to start an incredibly quick turnaround.

Prediction: 6 Years, 19MM

San Antonio: Myles Jack

Apparently this deal is already done with GM Digger having paid a pretty penny to retain Myles Jack. You have to like the skill set and he’s a leader on this defense but you have to wonder whether he is a true difference maker which is what you want when you spend that kind of money. I think in Digger’s estimation he covers up a lot of the warts in the existing line backing core and his ability to be effective for all three downs is also critical and his heady play helps cover up mistakes elsewhere on the defense. He probably was going to get close to that deal if he hit free-agency regardless; there’s a lot of teams that are in love with Jack and would see him as the missing link in a championship caliber defense but the extra money here likely takes Digger out of the running for a second corner.

When I look at this team – I love the composition; on offense they’ve got a strong line with a couple studs in Simon and Benjamin at the skill positions, and Keenan Daley who’s rookie season puts him in rarified air. I think if Digger takes this Jack signing and builds around those three on offense and devotes the rest of his cap to the defense this signing probably looks a lot better. If he looks to continue to add weapons for Daley though I worry he spreads himself out too thin leaving a number of glaring holes (Alabama comes to mind) that become to much to band-aid over. This is one we’ll look at next year and if the Knights are in the Impact Bowl will be evaluated as a shrewd move by GM Digger but if they fall short with teams putting up points in bunches against a suspect secondary (outside of Botts) then this may get judged a little more harshly.

Prediction: 3 Years, 13MM, 3MM PR

Lincoln: Phillip Whitson

Ever since GM Strike moved up to take him, Whitson has anchored the line in Lincoln from the middle and now has a chance to hit the market and heading into last season might have expected this would be his chance to get paid. The center market is relatively capped; Si’ Lo Ha had a chance last season to reset the market but in taking the deal he did with DC likely put a limit on what Whitson could reasonably expect to see. He’ll be the first one to try and move the market but given that he’s never been a sexy name like Si’ Lo Ha and with no Pro-Bowls it’s likely a lot of GM’s are going to overlook him. In that case though you have to think that some savvy GM is going to see what Whitson has done over the past four seasons and think this is the chance to make a value signing.

Originally you’d have thought that was going to be GM Wrong who’s done a great job finding value plays (who saw Large Cox coming) and with the explosion in the corner market Dennis Nelson looks like a steal. With the move of Large Cox for Michael Hodge though you have to reconsider whether GM Wrong is still in the value finding stage or whether he’s now focused on finding a few stars to augment his core. That really determines whether he’ll be interested in retaining Whitson or whether he may go into the draft to either find an elite center (of which there likely is one in the draft this year) or a more cost effective option and re-allocate the money to adding a star (a Hagan/Harlow trio gives Cobbs/Wilkinson a run for it’s money).

If Lincoln doesn’t retain Whitson Orlando and Seattle automatically spring to mind as far as teams that could use an upgrade in the middle of their line. GM Jon knows the value of having an elite center (having used a 1st on Si’ Lo Ha) and with their focus on the run game this could be a cheap way to compliment the backfield tandem of The Classic and CJ Kirby. Meanwhile in Orlando, protecting Merv Patton is important but I also think Whitson adds a lot more to their run game which has sputtered at times this year and after spending a first on Crawford two years ago you have to believe GM Cory wants to keep that going. I don’t think Whitson is going to break the bank here but given that there may be a little bit of competition for his services he may see a bit of a raise. If I was his agent I’d be looking short term and hope for a platform season where he has a chance to reset the market.

Prediction: 1 Year, 5MM.

Long Beach: Trash Removal Company

There’s some pieces in Long Beach, Large Cox, the young bookend tackles and James Fellows come to mind; Lawrence Bates maybe too. Beyond that there’s absolutely nothing worth retaining here and maybe a couple of pieces could fetch something on the trade market (Ross Dockery and Jason Mason come to mind) their values are reduced by exorbitant contracts that could look worse each foregoing off-season. This is a complete gut job and whoever takes over this team is not going to see this turn around next season. The best case scenario for them as a two year effort like Seattle saw with GM Jon. New ownership needs a steady hand and someone willing to take on a rebuilding effort. GM Metro would be a great fit here but you have to think it’d take more than Long Beach has to pry him away from Las Vegas in trade and with the season that team is having he’s not going to be fired. GM Cory would also look good in this role and maybe he looks to jump if Mervin Patton goes elsewhere or a large enough financial package is offered. Dark horse, GM Pancho returns in an attempt to rejuvenate the Long Beach fan base – now that’d be interesting.
St. Louis: John Cope

St. Louis has been the biggest surprise of the season. Yes, Charlotte is also an expansion team but adding a stud quarterback in Christian Sullivan as well as robbing GM Gooch in the Waylon Hagan trade (though Gooch still has to be happy with how Hagan has done) heightened expectations coming into the season. After nailing the draft, St. Louis had a number of underrated signings to add veteran presence to their defense which has helped power this team to a potential playoff berth. While I don’t think this team is an Impact Bowl contender next season and some might say keeping Cope prevents them from integrating the future at the position for when they’ll compete, the one thing that has been shown is you need a couple of steady veterans to get you there and Cope hasn’t shown much of, if any, drop off this season.

The biggest potential obstacle in a Cope signing for St. Louis may be whether Cope wishes to return to St. Louis. He has expressed a desire in past off-seasons to sign with someone who can win an Impact Bowl but after finding his market soft last off-season joined St. Louis with a chance to start and likely get moved to a playoff team until St. Louis finds success. After a year in St. Louis and with adding “Turnover” Taylor to the back end, nailing the draft again may see Cope viewing them as a sleeper Impact Bowl contender and look to re-up on a short term deal. Regardless, I don’t see this situation being resolved in ERFA (barring St. Louis backing up a brinks truck which is highly unlikely) but could be done very, very, early in UFA.

If Cope doesn’t wish to stay in St. Louis than you know his market is going to be self-limited to Impact Bowl contenders. Las Vegas has always been interested but never been able to find a price point/role that works for him. If he was willing to take a super utility role on defense, covering off at linebacker, safety and possibly even nickel corner, but not being guaranteed starting time you have to think they’ll be interested. Michigan and DC could probably offer starting roles and maybe even a pay-raise but you could argue St. Louis likely has an easier path to an Impact Bowl. Outside of that Cope may continue to find a soft market as the quality of strong safeties in this league continue to improve.

Prediction: 1 Year, 2.5MM

Tombstone: Ian McIntyre

McIntyre’s existing deal, signed by New Jersey, reflected the expectation that he was going to become a breakout superstar after a year in which he made the most of his opportunities, proving himself in limited action as a downfield threat who’s speed stretched the field. In an increased role his proclivity for drops emerged and forced GM Kirk to sign Sam Crawford before moving him in a deal to add Dorial Green-Beckham. Always a speed threat downfield, McIntyre is still young enough to develop with the core Tombstone begins to add to with a couple of first round picks in the upcoming draft and a potential emerging star in John Spear.

The biggest question for a McIntyre re-up with Tombstone is whether he can accept that fact that he did not live up to his current deal and doesn’t come in expecting a raise. This years WR class lacks the depth we’ve seen in last year and there may not be an upgrade over McIntyre in the class and if there is, he’s going to go early where they can address other holes on this roster. They could spend the money in free-agency but as a rebuilding team they’re unlikely to appeal to a player like Dobbins who’ll be chasing an Impact Bowl and shouldn’t really look that way. McIntyre represents the perfect scenario for them, a player who should be interested in signing a short term, prove it, deal that doesn’t cost them a significant amount against the cap and allows them to look at rebuilding the team elsewhere – first with finding that franchise quarterback.

If McIntyre hits the market, again it depends on how he and his representation approach things. If he’s looking to break the bank then you’re likely looking at a team like Tulsa who lack a downfield threat but have a quarterback in Kitchen who wants to go deep all the team. GM Franchise has also been known to overpay and that dreaded “P” word may appear here and have him paying for potential. On a prove it deal, he’s likely to be looking more at fit and opportunity than anything else. Milwaukee chucks the rock around enough but Marshall’s ability to go deep may be in question. Keenan Daley has a massive primary target in Shawn Simon but McIntyre is likely a better deep threat than Rickey Lackey. Miami has the need but in that run first offense you’d have McIntyre betting on a low volume, high margin play-action offense getting him there. The other team I wouldn’t necessarily count out, despite no obvious fit, is Las Vegas, who are going to need to clear money somehow to keep Barkley and may see moving both Pitts and Mackey as their path to doing so. If that’s the case GM Metro reportedly came in second to New Jersey last time McIntyre hit free-agency and may see him as the deep threat to go with possession targets in Saunders and Ponder and look to spend there and a Coach Saint offense will throw the ball. The question is whether Shelley has the ability to pound the rock down field where he’s been hit or miss this season.

Prediction: 1 Year, 3MM.

Oakland: George Britt

Since being first overall pick of the GM-era, George Britt has protected the blindside in Oakland and been the second best tackle in the league outside of Anthony Smith. He has seen the highs, and lows, of Oakland Silverbacks football and over the last three years has likely been the biggest bargain in football. That likely changes this off-season where he finally gets his chance to get paid. The only thing that stands a chance to limit his market is the number of quality tackles that will possibly hit the market this year; Britt, Worthington and Ford all could stake claims to wanting to reset the market and all three of them could drive the price up as each deal bids against the other and a desperate loser on the first two allows the third to really cash in. It could also mean that teams run out of cap space and the last one in has to settle for a below market deal. We saw this happen, but not to a significant degree, last year with Walter Arreola who still did well for himself in the open market but fell below the 10MM mark that many people expected.

That’s not likely to happen as GM Justin has shown over the years that he values line play and is willing to pay as such for it. With a number of contracts coming off the books, including fellow blindside protector Paul Schmitt, there’s definitely money to make a deal on this team but those contracts are also on players this team who have contributed a lot this year and will need to be replaced going forward. Britt however is of the utmost importance and you have to think that GM Justin is going to be in Britt’s living room as soon as ERFA opens and presenting him a worthy offer to remain in Oakland. You have to think if it’s the same deal as Anthony Smith he’ll sign and see that as the most likely outcome in this negotiation but you have to wonder that if that was the case then why was there no extension signed when the opportunity was there; has GM Justin been looking for a hometown discount or could Britt, after all these years in Oakland, not see a future there for whatever reason? If that’s the case then GM Justin could still get petty with the franchise tag but having a pissed off George Britt in your locker room for one season likely isn’t worth the headache – especially after he’s cemented himself as a franchise legend.

If GM Justin is looking to get him on a home discount and Britt is looking to maximize his earnings than you the teams outlined with Worthington are probably also applicable here. If he is looking to win consistently going forward and leave some money on the table than the calculus changes. Let’s assume a deal here is going to count 10MM against the cap (a fair salary but probably below market). At that point does Rapid City realize how much the loss of Kenny Johnson has impacted that team and somehow create room for Britt? Clary and Stevens are good in San Antonio but they could either be traded or fill the hole at guard. Bergstrom has done well at left tackle for Vegas but for years played right tackle opposite Raul Darnell and they were in on Arreolla to the end last off-season. Out east Orlando could use a blind side protector after losing Worthington a couple of years ago but my favorite destination out of all the teams is Charlotte. I didn’t have them in on Worthington but this just seems like a perfect fit for some reason. I think this is going to be a case of a player looking more for fit than money and that could be the case.

Prediction: 6 Years, 10MM, Fully Guaranteed, No Movement Clause

Portland: Daniel Ford

Ford’s case is interesting as outside of Britt he may be the second biggest value over the past couple of seasons. He fell for some reason in his draft class but has emerged as one of the premier left tackles over the past couple of seasons and it was a big surprise to not see him as a super protect last off-season by GM Metro in the expansion draft. Portland was wise to scoop him up as quickly as possible and held onto him and sense then GM Andre has been effusive in his praise of his work. This season has been his best and for all the love Smith gets for his abilities in his pass-pro, garnering MVP conversation, Ford has matched him this year and yet somehow flies under the radar. That changes this off-season as he looks to make bank and with his self-confidence, if there is one tackle who I think tries to take a run at breaking Smith’s deal it’s him and he has the track record to back it up. I’ve heard from my sources inside Las Vegas it was down to him and Pitts as the last super protect and that reason, his upcoming deal in FA, was the reason he was let go.

If that is the case and you’re Portland, without a franchise quarterback or number one corner, the current two top paid positions in the league, committing record breaking money to an offensive tackle has to give you pause. For as good as Ford is, does he provide a significant increase in value over a second tier tackle at contract closer to the 10MM mark, that justifies likely not being able to afford one of those players without creating significant holes elsewhere. I’d say yes but I’d rephrase the question around being committed to Ron Jackson’s style of football which may devalue your quarterback enough that you can get by with a less than elite option if you’re line is clearing holes in the running game and you’re giving him time to work off the play action pass. GM Andre has too this point committed to Coach Ron Jackson (at least when he remembers his name) and if that’s the case than Ford’s WAG can probably start looking at the house next to Paul Allen’s as they’re moving on up like the Jefferson’s.

Ford’s going to look for the top dollar value you have to think so if it’s not Portland, you’re probably looking at Atlanta after trading Noah Rose. GM Lucas probably has the funds hidden somewhere but you’re then getting into the question of addressing other holes on the team. Beyond that, Oakland might be his best bet if George Britt leaves. Regardless, this is a scenario where the franchise tag is going to come into play and given the draft picks required, along with the contract to dissuade Portland from matching, I don’t see him going anywhere else.

Prediction: 5 Years, 15.5MM, 2MM PR

Tulsa: Miguel Alexander

The last team on the list is the Cleveland Browns … I mean Tulsa Celtics. If you had GM Franchise surviving three years in an organization you’d have won a ton of money in Vegas. I can’t say the same on my under bet for number of wins in that span (it just seemed like taking candy from a baby, even at -1600). This is a franchise who made some big splashes coming in as an expansion franchise and has absolutely nothing to show for it except I guess, Aaron Kitchen. You could say this pick should be Christopher Allen who’s been the lone bright spot on the team this season despite battling the injury bug but despite the fact this team has so much money off the books, there’s more holes on this team than I filled in a Las Vegas brothel doing my best Lamar Odom impression, so that money can probably be spent better elsewhere.

That isn’t to say that Alexander is deserving of a raise off his deal. This isn’t a tackle in the caliber of Ford, Britt or Worthington but given his familiarity with Tulsa and the fact that he is probably above league average he is worth retaining for the future. With them seeing Kitchen as the future (and him reminding you that he’s also the present) protecting him is going to be important and given his want to go deep, he needs time and room in the pocket to maneuver and having Alexander on the blind side helps that. Beyond that this is not a player who has the ability to demand playing the blind-side so if they are able to acquire one of the big pass protectors he’s got the ability to shift to the right side and still perform at an above-average level. That flexibility is important and might earn him a little bit more money but if he’s looking for a raise on his current deal he should be waiting until deep into free agency and may end up looking at a much smaller contract than if he had taken the second deal offered to him by GM Franchise.

Should he hit the market, I think his asking price is going to dictate the teams that are interested. At 7MM you have to think he’ll find himself waiting as the teams who can afford that will be looking at the big three while that’ll be far too much for the teams in the bargain bin. At 4MM then you have to think there’d be a lot of interests from teams looking for a legitimate right tackle who can cover the blindside in a pinch. Portland, Alabama and Michigan come to mind off the hop. A willingness to play guard probably puts him on every teams radar at a 4MM price tag. That may be the best move for his representation is to announce early his willingness to play guard and hope that a team puts it’s blinders on and is willing to bid against themselves and push the deal higher. That is, I guess, outside of accepting the second offer from GM Franchise to stay in Tulsa.

Prediction: 2 Years, 7MM

Source: JIMMY MINOR (ESPN General Asshat)