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Old 03-29-2007, 12:59 PM    (permalink
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Default The Quarterback Cap

As most of you know, I'm an avid follower of sports writer Vic Ketchman. Anyways, the last couple of days he's been toying with the idea of implementing a "quarterback cap," as he thinks the current salary cap idea has outlived its usefulness.

Julio from Riverside, CA: I was thinking about the revenue-sharing issue. Would it not make sense to simply not tie in the salary cap to league revenue? Maybe tie the salary cap to the average of, say, the bottom four teams in terms of revenue?

Vic: Yeah, the players would agree to that. Julio, the salary cap is derived by taking the total revenue of the league and dividing it by 32. The resulting figure is each team’s salary cap for that season. Removing the top 28 teams from the equation would not be acceptable to the players. Honestly, I’m beginning to think the salary cap concept has outlived its usefulness. I know, I know, without it football will become baseball, right? I don’t believe that. Football careers aren’t nearly as long as those of baseball players. Barry Bonds was a rookie with the Pirates in 1986. Football players are much more replaceable than baseball players. Other than for the quarterback, it’s tough to even get return value for a player. The Seahawks couldn’t get a third-round pick for Shaun Alexander. Draft picks have always been more valuable than players. If you had a system that restricted or governed to some degree the movement of quarterbacks, I have no doubt the league could maintain parity with a wide-open approach to all of the other positions. America is loaded with football talent. Signing high-priced guys is no guarantee. Free agency is the perfect example of that. In fact, I think if you let the big-market/high-revenue teams spend as much as they want, they’d literally spend themselves into parity with the low-revenue teams that operated more conscientiously and with greater aplomb. Look at the Redskins. Quarterback is the only problem spot. There just aren’t 32 good ones to go around. You can win with a bunch of stiffs, as long as Tom Brady is your quarterback. That’s where the problem is. There are only a few quarterbacks of Brady’s caliber and they almost certainly will be signed by the high-revenue teams. The idea of a Peyton Manning playing in a small market such as Indianapolis would be ridiculous; it wouldn’t happen. Solve the quarterback distribution problem and the rest is easy. Either more quarterbacks have to be developed, or teams would have to find a way to devalue the position. Most people would consider this to be wild thinking, but as much as I love what the salary cap has done to level the playing field since 1993, I think it’s almost out of gas. The league doesn’t need a salary cap, it needs a quarterback cap. It’s time for the league to start thinking creatively, again.

http://jaguars.com/news/article.aspx?id=5922

Jon from Belle Chasse, LA: “You can win with a bunch of stiffs, as long as Tom Brady is your quarterback.” Surely you jest. So the few big-money teams aren't going to buy the best left tackles, receivers, running backs, pass-rushers, linebackers and defensive backs that money can buy?
Vic: Those positions can be fortified rather quickly. Look at Brady’s wide receivers. They’re garbage. Where is there a correlation between spending in free agency and winning? Washington and Cleveland spent like drunken sportswriters last season. Their combined record was 9-23. The best teams don’t have the best free agents. The best teams have the best quarterbacks. Parity can be maintained by merely controlling the movement and distribution of quarterbacks. The league is spending way too much on the other positions. That’s why I think the salary cap concept is outdated. It was instituted to control spending. It’s failing.

http://jaguars.com/news/article.aspx?id=5926

What do you guys think? Good idea? Bad idea?
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:14 PM    (permalink
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I don't know. I highly doubt it would go through with the NFLPA. And also, this would be segregating one player from the rest of the team, it could have a negative impact on player relationships.

I think that the system is fine as it is. I would like the system to evolve in a way that teams have an easier time resigning homegrown talent. It would give teams more continuity.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:28 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by bigbluedefense View Post
I don't know. I highly doubt it would go through with the NFLPA. And also, this would be segregating one player from the rest of the team, it could have a negative impact on player relationships.

I think that the system is fine as it is. I would like the system to evolve in a way that teams have an easier time resigning homegrown talent. It would give teams more continuity.
I dunno. I think the NFLPA might be welcoming of it, as there would no longer be a cap on spending for other positions.

Not saying I agree or disagree with the idea. It's just food for thought.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:24 PM    (permalink
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Yea this is a very bad idea imo.


However, I think a good idea is to have less of a cap hit for players that you drafted. say only 75% of the money goes against the cap. So if you have a player you drafted, you can offer him a 3 year, 12 million dollar contract and it only counts as 3 year, 9 million contract in order to keep players with there teams for longer.
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Old 03-29-2007, 02:40 PM    (permalink
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I think that Vic is putting far too much emphasis on the QB position and not mentioning the element of team chemistry. Yes the Colts won the Super Bowl with the league's best QB, but they would have been 1 and done if the defense hadn't come together during the playoffs to lead the charge. And that happened with the return of one of the defense's leaders Bob Sanders. The Patriots won 3 titles with teams defined by character and chemistry and certainly Tom Brady wasn't the best QB in the league when they upset the Rams. The Steelers won with Big Ben in his 2nd season and he wasn't the best QB, the team played within its limits and dictated the pace of games and rode and incredible win streak to the title. No one was shouting the praises of Brad Johnson's greatness after Tampa Bay won the title, why because the defense was the heart and soul of that team and Johnson knew his job was to manage the game. This was inspired by the Ravens' Super Bowl winning team where Dilfer got his chance to start because of his ability to manage the game and not make mistakes to allow the imposing and intimidating defense to rule the game. Yes the QB position is the marquee of the league and will always be the highest paid position, but it is also the most scrutinized as well. For the greatest of Peyton and the success of Tom Brady its also about supporting cast but also the schemes and system they are in as well that leads to this success. Both of their teams work to their respected strengths and that allows them to be so successful and yes to get paid incredible amounts of money. But the reason why Brady has more jewelry is because of team chemistry not because Tom Brady is or is not a better QB.
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On another note, Nicklas Backstrom is amazingly good.
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Meanwhile, in hockey the other night, the Washington Capitals' Eric Belanger gets hit with a stick, loses EIGHT teeth, has an instant root canal in the locker room, comes back out and PLAYS and never says boo.

So new rule, NBA: Unless you have a root canal at halftime, SHUT UP AND PLAY!
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Old 03-30-2007, 05:48 AM    (permalink
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Stupid idea in my opinion.

The salary cap is a fixed number, the spending sounds large, but everyone has the same amount and its always a constant in regards to the leagues revenue. This gives no team an advantage and no team a disadvantage, they are not limited by position. What would it matter if Jacksonville has Manning there(because of cap reasons) if the LT and the All Pro OLine are in Washington. Hell, put Chad and Andre Johnson, LT and Neal with Walter, Hutch, Kreutz, Andrews and McNeal and some bum off the street could QB, hell get Ryan Leaf in. This guy must have been a QB when he played and thought it was all him if they won or lost because the way that he discounts what the rest of the team and, maybe even more so, the coaches do is just ridiculous.

The NFL is the best run sport there is, worldwide. There are basically 2 ways I would improve it. Firstly would be to take the NBA's structured first round draft pick contracts. Rookie contracts are out of control and drive the obsessive spending in FA to a large part(if some unproven kid got 35m at guard, I must be worth 45 at least given Im a proven pro bowl player). Limit these contracts to a reasonable amount and you are a long way towards solving any problems.

I also really like the idea posted above of your own draft picks costing 75% or 80% of the true contract. This rewards the teams for drafting well and also helps to counteract the whole "loyalty" thing that the cap can destroy. Its always nice to have a guy who spends his whole career with one team.

That is just about all that is wrong, I like trades and the league could perhaps alter the way this is covered in the CBA to encourage a bit more trading, but at the same time, this goes against the loyalty thing I also like and you dont want to start a trading frenzy either.

The NFL could be in a much worse position. It could be broken like baseball where you basically buy your championships. It could be screwed like the NBA where everything is guaranteed and once a team has a bad GM they are ****** for 5 years because the cap is just a soft thing that is easily overcome. You could have it so that the offseason is about as boring as they come like over here in Australia in Aussie Rules because the prohibitive rules to trading and complete non-existence of free agency mean the off season is just dull.

NFL pretty much has it right. Spending will go up every year the league does well, its basically inflation for the NFL. The fact it goes up at a high rate is a good thing, not a bad thing. Its an even playing field.
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:33 PM    (permalink
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More from today's Ask Vic.

Brad from Greenwood, SC: Capping the quarterback; that is an intriguing solution, but would the players union agree to that?

Vic: Don’t think in terms of capping money, think in terms of capping the number of quarterbacks. The union would not accept a cap on how much money quarterbacks can be paid, but the union might accept a plan that caps how many quarterbacks each team can sign. In my opinion, parity can exist without a salary cap, as long as the league maintains a way of controlling the distribution of quarterbacks. You can’t have a few teams signing all of the quarterbacks. What if quarterbacks were ranked as A, B and C and each team was only permitted to have one quarterback from the A and B groups, but as many as they like from the C group? Here’s another idea: A lottery system for free-agent quarterbacks. All of this is wild thinking. Don’t take any of it literally. All I’m saying is that low-revenue teams are having to pay way too much money at other positions, and the salary cap system allows high-revenue teams to inflict that burden. Just find a way to cap (govern) the quarterback position and low-revenue teams will be able to remain competitive without spending above their means. The best teams have the best quarterbacks. That’s the way it is.


http://jaguars.com/news/article.aspx?id=5929
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:58 PM    (permalink
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i don't get it... i mean, does he honestly think some team is going to sign 6 starting caliber qbs? does he think the qbs don't have a choice in the matter or wouldn't, you know, want to start someplace? that's a very bizarre way of thinking.
I think everything he's saying is within the context of the league getting rid of the salary cap. In that case, you'd have to protect the distribution of quarterbacks, or else the big spenders would buy them all up.

It is wild thinking, and I think he's devaluing other positions too much and valuing the quarterback too much. I agree the quarterback is, without a doubt, the most premium and important position on the field. However, I don't agree with the thinking that quarterback is the only position that doesn't have a distribution problem. However, it's much easier and cheaper to put together a team of role players with a good quarterback than it is to have a bunch of elite players with a game-managing quarterback. The problem lies in finding that elite quarterback.
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Old 03-30-2007, 05:01 PM    (permalink
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i don't get it... i mean, does he honestly think some team is going to sign 6 starting caliber qbs? does he think the qbs don't have a choice in the matter or wouldn't, you know, want to start someplace? that's a very bizarre way of thinking.
What makes this statement by Vic even more bizarre is the fact that more teams actually were only carrying 2 QB's. I mean I could agree if the Colts had Peyton starting and then threw millions to Brady to be a back-up and had Drew Brees has the holder, but that would be ridiculous. The only team this offseason that has even shown a remote interest in multiple QB's is Tampa Bay and that's only because at points last year I think the QB's coach was suited up as the back-up due to injuries.
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On another note, Nicklas Backstrom is amazingly good.
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Meanwhile, in hockey the other night, the Washington Capitals' Eric Belanger gets hit with a stick, loses EIGHT teeth, has an instant root canal in the locker room, comes back out and PLAYS and never says boo.

So new rule, NBA: Unless you have a root canal at halftime, SHUT UP AND PLAY!
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Old 03-31-2007, 01:41 PM    (permalink
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It's defenitly an out of the box idea. I truly belive though that with just a smidge of financial restratints the key to parity is increasing the number of post season rounds it takes to win a championship. That's a big part of the reason I believe that the Yankees and Red Sox don't win a championship every year because you allow to many variables (ie. hot pitcher, or close losses in a short series) to happen to let a team consistantly succeed.
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Old 03-31-2007, 05:03 PM    (permalink
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It's defenitly an out of the box idea. I truly belive though that with just a smidge of financial restratints the key to parity is increasing the number of post season rounds it takes to win a championship. That's a big part of the reason I believe that the Yankees and Red Sox don't win a championship every year because you allow to many variables (ie. hot pitcher, or close losses in a short series) to happen to let a team consistantly succeed.
So you want to cheapen the accomplishment of making the playoffs? As is, 8-8 teams are making the playoffs. Expansion of that would mean potentially seeing sub .500 teams making the playoffs.
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Old 03-31-2007, 06:25 PM    (permalink
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So you want to cheapen the accomplishment of making the playoffs? As is, 8-8 teams are making the playoffs. Expansion of that would mean potentially seeing sub .500 teams making the playoffs.

No..What I was saying is that even though the salary cap gets a lot of credit, I don't believe it's the sole reason for parity in the league. It's really evident in baseball, the whole salary structure got out of what at about the same time that they added the wild card and extra round of playoffs. The big reason there is "parity" in baseball is because of the playoffs and wouldn't be nearly as evident if they went back to four teams qualifying. My point I guess is though the original idea is different it's lacking the wrong focus for the reason for parity in football.
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