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xan 04-17-2006 01:01 AM

Not Smart
 
The Saints FO has outsmarted themselves, and the evidence piles up as scenarios play out. By signing Drew Brees, whom only one other team showed any interest (and even they balked at the concept early), the team has negotiated themselves into a situation where they cannot get full value for their #2 draft choice. While the team could have run the risk of not being able to sign Brees, all of the other teams who have signed free agent quarterbacks signed healthy replacements or backups in relatively short order. In addition, by essentially blasting the intention to sign Brees no matter what it took, the Saints took an enormous cap hit for the 2006 season to sign a damaged quarterback who may well not be able to start until later in the regular season, if at all. With so many holes to fill, including the risk at qb, a relatively light FA acquisition record and release of several starters, there is little margin for error for the upcoming draft.

Because of the Brees signing, the bluff of taking Young, Lienart or Cutler weakens their position to trade out of the pick, with the likely teams knowing that if they don't trade with the Saints, they will have at least a 50-50 shot at getting an extremely high quality QB while retaining their later round draft choices. If they don't get their target rookie QB, each of the teams in question, like the Saints, have multiple needs to fill and can do so. GM's may be in consensus that picking Fergueson or Hawk would be a low value pick for the #2 slot in the draft, further diminishing the Saints' negotiating position; teams picking after the Saints would essentially dare the Saints to either wound themselves with the pick or trade out for less than full value.

The Jets, for example, have 3 experienced QB's on the roster already, and need a DE, CB, and at least one more O-Lineman. With two first round picks, they can have one of the more succesfull drafts.

The Titans, given the uncertainty of their qb situation, picking 3rd rather than 2nd doesn't gain them anything as they have the systems in place to fold in any of the 3 QBs on the consensus 1st round board. They also have multiple needs, were relatively uneventful in FA and cannot afford to let a 2nd round pick go for essentially no value. Even if the Saints traded out of their position which pulled one of the three qb's from consideration, they'd still get "their man."

If conventional wisdom were NOT to pick a qb in the 1st round due to risk of a blow out, would the Saints be the only team to really heed that axiom? Each of the teams in the top 8 selections of the draft have multiple significant holes to fill, just like the Saints. By giving up additional selections to the Saints in exchange for moving up could be considered doubling down against the odds. Failure to succede by risking assets to move up has been shown to have dramatic effects on the tenure of the coaching staff and the FO, and in remarkably real time. There is very low tolerance for failure in taking such risks, some analysts and insiders quoting 8 years to recover from making such a profound losing wager.

None of this augurs well for the prospects of the Saints to get full value for their pick. And it all started by overplaying their hand and overpaying for Drew Brees.

Tobias-Reiper 04-17-2006 03:25 AM

..or, the Saints merely use their #2 pick and select a very good player. Imagine that!!
So what if they pick, say, AJ Hawk with the #2. "They paid too much!!! Hawk was a 5th, not a 2nd" So? If I have a 2nd instead of a 5th, do I have to pick the guy Mel Kiper says should go with the 2nd pick just so I can get the "full value" of the pick? This now popular value system for draft posistions really means nothing. The real value of any pick is what the player picked does while playing in your team. Period.

The idea of the draft order is that the teams that did the worst the previous season get the chance to grab the better players coming out of college. At #2, the Saints get to choose from all but one player. That's the real value of the pick.

saintsfan1313 04-17-2006 04:04 AM

well put Tobias.....I say as long as someone fills a need...then they are worth the value.....so if we dont get an extra pick.....big deal....as long as we get a great player that fills a need what does it matter where we pick them...2,3,4,5th??? who cares...gimme a baller, a shot caller....dats all we need....

JOESAM2002 04-17-2006 06:29 AM

..
Quote:

or, the Saints merely use their #2 pick and select a very good player. Imagine that!!
So what if they pick, say, AJ Hawk with the #2. "They paid too much!!! Hawk was a 5th, not a 2nd" So? If I have a 2nd instead of a 5th, do I have to pick the guy Mel Kiper says should go with the 2nd pick just so I can get the "full value" of the pick? This now popular value system for draft posistions really means nothing. The real value of any pick is what the player picked does while playing in your team. Period.

The idea of the draft order is that the teams that did the worst the previous season get the chance to grab the better players coming out of college. At #2, the Saints get to choose from all but one player. That's the real value of the pick.

Amen!!!!!

saintswhodi 04-17-2006 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tobias-Reiper
..or, the Saints merely use their #2 pick and select a very good player. Imagine that!!
So what if they pick, say, AJ Hawk with the #2. "They paid too much!!! Hawk was a 5th, not a 2nd" So? If I have a 2nd instead of a 5th, do I have to pick the guy Mel Kiper says should go with the 2nd pick just so I can get the "full value" of the pick? This now popular value system for draft posistions really means nothing. The real value of any pick is what the player picked does while playing in your team. Period.

The idea of the draft order is that the teams that did the worst the previous season get the chance to grab the better players coming out of college. At #2, the Saints get to choose from all but one player. That's the real value of the pick.

Very, VERY well said. Wow, we have a choice of any player in the draft besides one, what a terrible position to be in. Anybody prefer we would have been 8-8 AGAIN and be picking at 18-20? I damn sure well don't. And besides being in a position to take whomever we feel, ANY trade we get is gravy. If the Titans wanna move up one spot to make sure they get their guy, we get more. If the Jets wanna move up, we get more. Whatever the scenario, we get a great player, or we get more picks AND a great player. How do we come out the losers int hat scenario? Picking up Brees was very intelligent cause A) otherwise we would have been starting a rookie QB, and even as high as I am on Leinart, that's not likely to meet success next year and B) teams now have NO IDEA where we are going with out pick. Before we were pretty much pigeon-holed into taking Leinart, now the whole draft is available to us and any player that any other team targeted as falling to them high in the draft is now a question mark. By signing Brees, we actually opened the door for MORE trading partners, not closing it off. Xan I had noticed you have been anti-Brees since we got him, and I think this falls along those lines. We are in the catbird seat in the draft, don't piss on that dude. Unless you would rather we be at 18 again and not have any of these options, which I can't believe you do.

xan 04-17-2006 10:35 AM

I guess you're right, getting less than full value is what I should expect. Negotiating ourselves into a corner, forced to overpay because we cut off options. Taking risks no one else in this league would take. It's all too familiar. I should just embrace the trademarks of the incompetent rather than fight for more.

I'm not anti-Brees. I'm anti jumping off a bridge before the bridge is built. I liked the pre-injury Brees and was hoping that the FO would trade for him. But he's not a $10 million quarterback today and he's certainly not one when we were the only team interested in signing him. Any quarterback who's mechanics have been severely compromised is a serious economic risk.

Signing Brees at all wasnt' the move that limits the teams' options, it was the contract. If he doesn't play at all in 2006, that's an utter waste of money and opportunity. If he's only slightly effective, it's a major overpayment. If he plays as well as AB, that would be $4 million too much (ok probably more). Brees' contract signals that the team is willing to overpay as well as take on significant risk simultaneously. With limited cap room and many holes to fill other than qb, the Saints' FO set the bar for how much the "backup" qb role would be worth. That fundamentally discounts the #2 pick with 2 qb's who are top 3 picks. Trading out for full value is not not possible, but would have been if we were "pigeon-holed" for Lienart.

You are right that the Saints would get all but 1 player with the #2 choice. I love the obvious, thank you. The question becomes what of that player's contract and how it will affect cap management. Taking a player who is not "worth" a #2 pick but a 5-8 pick sets the baseline too high for his contract. This will decrease the cap room necessary to add other quality FA's the team needs to fill holes. The bloated contract makes resigning the player, unless he's an all-pro (see Bentley) or Sullivan (can't miss him) much more difficult.

I'm still trying to see how this move opens up options? If anything, it decreases them because of the above. Knowing that the team doesn't need another overpaid backup qb, refusing to move up makes other teams getting their guy much easier. Even if the Saints do draft Lienart, once he's selected, his value drops due to Brees' contract, making getting full value in a trade after the draft less likely.

I really want to see Brees succeed - he's got a great attitude and his pre-injury skills were enviable. But my faith is tempered by the seriousness of the injury, the potential for re-injury and the enorimity of his contract. Trading out of the #2 pick is the logical and most important thing the club could do, regardless of the qb situation. I want a winner in the city next year, but the team has negotiated themselves into a corner and it will take luck plus some desperation by other clubs to bail them out. This was not a "player hater" post, this was an Front Office Hater post.

saintswhodi 04-17-2006 10:51 AM

I see where your train has gone off the track. Where did you get the impression we were cap strained, cause we certainly aren't. When Howard and Bentley were allowed to go elsewhere with AB, we were at least 24 mil under the cap. So we gave Brees 10, so what? We still have $14 mil plus a rookie salary alotment less you forget. THEN we traded Gandy, freeing up more money. So if your whole position is "we can't do anything cause we are cash strapped" then that's a false position to be standing on. We aren't. And neither will we be since Brees is basically on a one year deal, and trust me THE WHOLE LEAGUE knows that. That's why the proposition of us taking Leinart is not met with ridicule, cause honestly we COULD. We have the money, and we have a QB who is injured. So the option is most definitely still there. So now that the whole money thing is not even a consideration, explain again how we don't have any options. That money argument is flawed.

And what were we gonna get for the pick before, when we released AB, and our only options were Leinart and Leinart? ZERO. Unless you think teams seriously would believe we were considering Bouman or A-Mac to start. I don't see how you can't see that. Had we not gotten Brees, Leinart was our only option, and the whole league knew that. Getting us Brees just opened up the rest of the top picks for us. That's why you see mock drafts with us taking Williams, Hawk, AND Ferguson now, cause WE opened those doors by signing Brees. Lordy man, how can you NOt see that? Take a deep breath and repeat, more options is good. More options is good. Right now, you're just hatin' and it ain't even justified hate. So money is no problem, and more options is good. What's left to hate on unjustifyably? :roll:

Jackson26 04-17-2006 10:56 AM

I'll tell you how it opens up other options for the Saints to trade. We're right in front of the Tennessee Titans in the draft order, who have all but commited themselves to drafting a quarterback, but have conviently been split over which one to take. Anyone who wants them will leapfrog with us because we don't need anyone who won't be down a few picks later.

But if that doesn't work, may I remind everybody that draft position is a good indicator of rookie contract, playing position a large role, as well. When Deuce held out, it was because the Saints offered him a contract comparable to CB Willie Middlebrooks. A linebacker/offensive tackle/whatever just doesn't command the same salary as a quarterback.

And even if it does, I'll be happy that the Saints have a playmaker in a position of need.

The only thing I don't want the FO to do is draft another DE.

xan 04-17-2006 11:11 AM

The "Team salary includes the Rookie Minimum Active Salary as of the day of the draft for all drafted rookies. The salary for drafted rookies will stay at this amount until the player is signed, the team’s rights are relinquished through waivers, or until the Tuesday following the tenth week of the regular season if the player remains unsigned." This means that there is no additional cap room for rookies once the rookie is signed to a contract. This impacts the overall cap and negates your draft impact argument, and reinforces my argument that overpaying for draft choices is a mistake, which makes that $14 million look a lot smaller. I'm going to assume, with no information, that the total of FA deals other than Brees has had a net zero effect on the overall cap. Lots of holes, not a lot of money. Still hating the FO.

wheelman 04-17-2006 11:20 AM

Oh yeah, making a baseless and uninformed observation is a great way to win an argument.


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