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Big name FA like Mario Williams, Cliff Avril, etc; are they worth the money?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by everlong, Feb 25, 2012.

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  1. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    Although I wouldn't mind the Pats taking a run at one of them I don't think it's realistic money wise even if they're not franchised.

    Richard Seymour 15M in 2012, 2/30M
    Elvis Dumervil 14M in 2012, 6/60M
    Haloti Ngata 2.9M in 2012, 5/61M 25M signing bonus last year
    Julius Peppers 8.9M in 2012, 6/84 6.5 signing bonus with 43 guaranteed
    Terrell Suggs 4.9M in 2012, 6/62.5 10.1 signing bonus with 38 guaranteed

    Vince Wilfork 4.5M in 2012, 5/40 18M signing bonus with 25 guaranteed
    Jerod Mayo 1.25M in 2012, 7/49.85 6M signing bonus with 18 guaranteed

    I think the biggest obstacle is are you going to pay somebody from outside the organization more then Wilfork and Mayo? I do not think they will.

    Second the contracts of guys like Peppers and Suggs dictate that you'll have to. Williams can get more money by just staying with Houston and with teams like KC have tons of cap room somebody is going to offer him a lot of money.

    I actually think KC makes a ton of sense and can you imagine Williams and Hali? Although Justin Houston had a decent rookie campaign.

    Anyway short answer is they won't be addressing OLB via FA. Another position perhaps.
  2. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No team has ever won a SB because of signing big money Free Agents, ever.
    There is a reason for that.
    As much as everyone wants to fall in love with the big name player it is a fact of life that the NFL is a capped league, so the more you pay any one player, the worse your other 52 will be. It's an incontrovertible fact.

    Secondly, adding a player that thrived in someone elses system does not guarantee they will be as good in yours. If you took a list of the 100 highest paid free agents to switch teams in the last 10 years, you would have a very hard time arguing that 20 of the 100 were better after changing teams than before.

    Finally, the buying frenzy that happens when some teams start to consider these guys 'must have' despite the first 2 issues, drives their cost up, and you end up paying for what they were, when a majority of the Free Agents are at or past ther peak.

    I am open to any examples of teams signing top dollar free agents that worked out that any one wants to give, but really, I see no evidence that this approach has worked since the 90s when SF and Dallas loaded up on guys chasing rings, and even then it wasn't big money guys.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2012
  3. Rob0729

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    Re: Mario Williams\Cliff Avril, etc

    Well, you can argue that the Packers won in large part because they signed Reggie White, but we are talking almost 20 years ago.

    I do agree that top free agents come with a lot of risk. That is why I would rather have Brandon Lloyd over Mike Wallace. Wallace is the better player, but he will cost far more in salary and draft pick compensation and we know Lloyd can thrive in McDaniels' offense. Go with the cheaper and more sure player in that situation.

    I won't be shocked if the Pats get a "big name" free agent, but I doubt it will be as expensive and marquee as Williams or Avril. Avril is going to be franchised anyway. I don't see him leaving Detriot. I could see the Pats getting a Michael Griffin or a Calais Campbell (not sure if he is a good fit, but he is a spectacular second tier free agent assuming he isn't franchised or resigned before free agency) or Brandon Carr.
  4. Gronkandez

    Gronkandez Rookie

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    Wilfolk and Mayo don't play premium paying positions, and Mayo took a discount because he did an extension, ie. he wasn't a free agent.

    I think the Patriots could be creative and clear tons of cap space if they want to bring in high paid guys. Look at the Jets. Every year it looks like they're in cap hell but they restructure a few contracts and they get by (well, the high paid guys don't perform but that's another issue.)

    That being said, I kind of agree with the OP. Let's get a Safety and a 2nd teir WR in FA then work the draft.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  5. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    Re: Mario Williams\Cliff Avril, etc

    Drew Brees, Charles Woodson and Colvin are examples of ones that have worked but there's 10:1 more that haven't.
  6. Rob0729

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    Re: Mario Williams\Cliff Avril, etc

    I forgot about Brees. He definitely made the Saints a Super Bowl winner. But I don't know if I would have considered him a top free agent when the Saints signed him. In fact, the Dolphins passed on him to take a more expensive route trading for Daunte Culpepper.

    Woodson definitely helped the Packers, but wasn't a main reason. He also wasn't a marquee free agent at the time he was signed since he was being wasted in Oakland his last few years and his production was down. Woodson was a reclamation project that panned out.

    Colvin was a good addition, but definitely wasn't a big factor for the Pats his first year du to injuries. He also never lived up to his potential because of that injury.
  7. AndyJohnson

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    Re: Mario Williams\Cliff Avril, etc

    Well, even then it was his 4th year before they won the SB. They were 9-7 the year before signing him and went 9-7 in each of the next 2 years, so the changes (draft picks mostly) that came after him had more to do with them turning into a champ.

    I think Wallace is a fine player, but having to pay him top dollar AND give up a #1 pick makes it a bad move, no matter how good he is, because you can take the next best guy even if you have to pay him a little more and still keep your #1 pick. With the new rookie cap, #1 picks that work out are the best way to keep your talent level higher than its price, which is how you build a contender in a capped league.
    No matter how good Wallace is, it will be very hard to get more out of him that what he costs, because you are maxing out his cost.

    It seems when we pay big for a player it is either to keep our own, or when the players seems to be the right guy, at a spot of need, and comes in a little below the market price for what we think he can do, and also when the remaining options are slim.
    Colvin and Thomas were high dollar guys, but in the end took less than it seemed they were going to command. Both were considered versatile, good guys who fit the system, and in both cases there were no good alternatives on the market.
    The same thing happened with Leigh Bodden. We let him shop, and he was ready to sign with Houston and we signed him to a much bigger contract than I expected, because we needed a corner and the next best one was a uge dropoff.
    All 3 are also good examples of how seemingly good signings turn out to be a waste of big $$ because of unpredicatable injuries and getting old a bit before their time.
  8. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    Certainly Brees wasn't the highest paid FA and the other two weren't the reason their teams won but they're examples of ones that definitely worked out. It's a team sport. You can have the best player in the league, Brady, and not win the title. So those were moves that helped those teams win a title.

    Again for every Brees there's a Haynesworth, Roy Williams, Deion Branch, Chad Brown.......who goes to the new team and does nothing.
  9. AndyJohnson

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    Re: Mario Williams\Cliff Avril, etc

    Not really.

    Brees was signed in NO in 2006 and they went 10-6, 7-9, 8-8 before winning the SB in his 4th year. Not saying the signing didn't 'work out' but they didn't become a SB winner because they went out and signed a big money FA (he wasnt that big moeny either because he was injured). They built the team through the draft.
    The Packers won the SB in Woodson 5th year there,
    The Patriots won the SB Colvins first year, but it wasn't because of him, he was injured and out for the season in October.

    It really is hard to find examples of teams that signed high priced FAs then turned around and won because of it.
  10. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    I don't think it's wise to go for the big ticket in free-agency. You can say GB signed Reggie White. It was more like Reggie chose them because he thought it would be easier to win with Brett Favre instead of Randall Cunningham. Cunningham became a party boy and Reggie didn't think he could cut it at the big moment. A defensive lineman is almost as much tenacity/want/will as talent. It's harder to have tenacity/want/will when you have 50m in the bank. I don't know much about mario williams. But, he really wasn't a difference maker like Reggie White on the field. Very good player. Not a super-elite guy like reggie was. My .02
  11. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    Re: Mario Williams\Cliff Avril, etc

    If you're going to define it by success in the first year then yes there are no examples I can think of where that pushed them over the top to a championship. I'm defining it by overall success of that signing.
  12. AndyJohnson

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    Re: Mario Williams\Cliff Avril, etc

    Yes, my point is addressing a team hitting the FA market and using top dollar guys to win a Champoinship NOW.
    Certainly you can find examples of teams that at some point paid heavily for a FA because at some point everyone does whether its their own or someone elses, and then won, but I'm mostly addressing the concept of the big money guy to get you over the top. It almost never, or never, happens.
  13. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Mario Williams\Cliff Avril, etc

    Right, they are different discussions. But every team has a large contract or 2 on their roster, every SB winner would fit that at some point they gave out a large contract.
    I'm talking about FAs coming in and making an immediate impact in elevating their team, particularly to a title.

    Hard to argue the Saints win without Brees, however, they didn't win with him until they used other means to build a winning team around him
  14. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    And again, even then, the Packers were 9-7 before signing White then went 9-7 each of the first 2 years he was there.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2012
  15. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    Reggie White and Drew Brees are probably the two best examples of super stars who put their teams over the top but even with them there was a period of team building that needed to take place before they got over the top.

    Anyway I think we are all 99% in agreement and splitting hairs on these different arguements.

    If Williams would come here for a Suggs like deal I bet the Pats would do it but think he'll end up halfway between Suggs and Peppers which is too much.
  16. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady On the Roster

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    Deion Sanders says hi.

    Marshal Faulk though it was a trade.
  17. AndyJohnson

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    I mentioned Sanders, he wasnt a big moeny FA he was a guy who went to a team that was already the best to chase a ring.

    As you said Faulk was a trade, so as I said, it is very hard to find an example that actiually fits.
  18. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    Deion is interesting in that he did it twice with Dallas and SF both of which were in his first year with the team. However those teams already had recent titles but he put them back over the top. Anway the exception proves the rule and Deion played on the cheap with SF to win a title. Dallas he cashed in.
  19. micronin127

    micronin127 Rookie

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    Big proponent of pursuing Mario Williams. He's a 3 down player and creates a real problem for the opposing offense. He enhances Wilfork's value too and helps the secondary across the board.

    I'm not a fan of spending big on situational players like Mathis who is old and a 4-3 pass rusher or even Andre Carter who is also old and a 4-3 pass rusher.

    I'm also not a fan of overpaying for 1-year of production like Mark Anderson who was a good fit for our system and produced, but does that translate to a big money deal. He was on the street because Chicago gave up on him.

    Mario Williams is the only big money free agent that I would pursue. I'd look for 2nd tier guys at S/WR.

    Wes Welker for the franchise tag or preferably a long-term contract is also a top priority.
  20. wpdougie2180

    wpdougie2180 Rookie

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    Although the 9ers also signed Ricky Jackson, Charles Mann, Richard Dent, Gary Plummer, and Bart Oates that year so yeah i'd say they won because of Free Agency.
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