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Colts Cap Mismanagement in Focus

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by solman, Nov 4, 2007.

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  1. solman

    solman Rookie

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    Todays injuries to four starters (replaced with three rookies and a third stringer) illustrate the dangers of Indy's cap approach.

    New England's Superbowl teams were notable for their depth; depth which was tested by numerous (often simultaneous) injuries to key starters.

    Indy, having committed vast amounts of cap space to a small number of players, is unable to afford the kind of depth that New England has.

    If they pull off the upset, I'll give the credit to Dungy, not Polian who is responsible for their current situation (talent selection skills notwithstanding).


    BTW, don't try to tell me that their lack of depth isn't a result of the salary cap. All of their current cap space is attributable to Freeney's massively back loaded contract, and Tarik Glenn's retirement. (I'll bet they wish they had him right now.) Without those moves and Peyton's additional back loading, they would have negative cap space right now.



    EDIT: Even if the Colts don't win this game, Dungy has done a genius job with that team. I am beyond impressed.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2007
  2. solman

    solman Rookie

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    Two injury filled games later, It looks like the lack of depth caused by Polian's cap management may have sunk their 2007 season.

    Certainly they need numerous players to return to active duty if they want to be a contender.
  3. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer Rookie

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    it's like a good investment portfolio, with your money spread out and diversified, there is low risk. Polian never got the memo.
  4. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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    I have to give credit where credit is due: Indy's defense has been incredibly impessive as of late. Despite Manning's half dozen INT's, they only surrendered 10 points on D.
  5. Stratos

    Stratos Banned

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    EDIT: Stratos, enough already. This is a football board, not a playground.


    By Larry Weisman, USA TODAY
    New England Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour earned the most money during the 2006 season of any NFL player, but his reign at the top will be short.
    Seymour, who signed a contract extension that included about $24 million in bonuses, socked away nearly $24.7 million for the past year's work, according to USA TODAY's annual survey of player compensation. But for 2007 he has a base salary of $600,000 and will drop down the list after his moonshot payday.

    Same goes for Peyton Manning. The Indianapolis Colts quarterback signed a contract worth nearly $100 million in 2004 and it included a record $34.5 million signing bonus. But as the years go by and other players come to the head of the line for deals, he recedes a bit on the gross-dollars list. Manning's $10M take ranked him 31st, though his average per year value is $14 million.
  6. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Oh, he got the memo all right! He just made a choice -- swinging for the fences. If injuries hit he's screwed, but if not he has a good shot at the Superbowl. This year the risk side of "high-risk, high-reward investing" came through, so be it. It's a perfectly rational strategy, and it's won him a ton of games and a Lombardi.
  7. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer Rookie

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    you need a substantial amount more info to prove anything. The Colts have a bunch of filler players, and then a bunch of players that eat up the cap. Everyone who knows football is aware of what they do. It's a crapshoot, because if the wrong players get hurt, then the team is crippled. Every fan of the game knows the Colts practice this. It's a fact just as the sky is blue. It's like trying to disprove gravity.

    Your best bet for arguing in favor of what they do is to say that certain players can be paid more because of the chemistry and synergy valued in them. ie harrison and manning "share the same brain"
  8. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Right on. There is more than one way to win in the NFL. All have positives and negatives. The key is to pick a strategy and stick with it. That is why the Colts, Pats and Steelers win and will continue to win. Changing with the wind is why the rest of the league can't seem to keep up.
  9. workhorse

    workhorse Rookie

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    I agree.

    ::10 characters::
  10. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer Rookie

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    maybe that's the case, but I [personally] don't buy into there being higher potential and higher rewards if teams spread out their money versus spend it on select players. The investments analogy isn't perfect because if money was invested in a single stock, the stock could go from $90 to $700 (I think Google did that??). Every team spends about the same amount of money (hopefully). It's just about getting value. I prefer that paradigm. Once a player gets a big contract, he has to live up to that contract and that's the risk (it's like buying Google at $700, there's a high standard to meet). Players rarely exceed expectations (ie Bulger).
    Financing select players works if they are expected to meet expectations. A player like Marvin Harrison has proven that Polian did a good job in evaluating him. On the flip side, there's that risk of injury. And that is where I feel Polian failed. I don't buy into the high risk and high reward philosophy. I only believe in evaluating value and maintaining diversity.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2007
  11. workhorse

    workhorse Rookie

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    You could say that for every player. Harrison got rolled in a freak way. Are you saying that the Patriots should not have sunk all the money in Brady that they did? QBs get hurt all the time.
  12. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Hey Workhorse one of the ESPN shows, first take I believe, was saying that the word is Harrison is done. They made it sound like for at least the season if not his career. It's the first I've heard of it, have you heard anything like this? Or just idle gossip, aka espn standard operating procedure.
  13. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Just to clarify...I think you mean the opposite of your first sentence? That you do believe in diversifying your portfolio?

    I'd opt for the Pats' approach too, but that doesn't mean it's the only good way. Also, the Patriots' haven't generally let their top players walk. They've shelled out plenty for Brady, Seymour, Warren and this year Samuel. It was a lot easier to emphasize depth over stars when you didn't have a lot of stars coming up for FA! Wilfork and Mankins will be the next big tests.

    The investing analogy is interesting too. The closest thing to trying to hit an IPO that shoots skyward is probably relying on a ton of rookies, which Polian has also done to generally good results.
  14. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    Although I am a major fan of the Belioli cap and team design system. Polian's peckerheads have also done very well. They continue to field a top, competitive team at the elite levels year after year. Some seasons your choices don't pan out, this year for the Colts and the 2006 WR corps decisions by Belioli. BB learns from his mistakes. With a freakin' vengance, he does.
  15. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Amen and amen.
  16. Poker

    Poker Rookie

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    The investment portfolio, risk/reward discussion to assess Polian vs. the Pats is fascinating.

    Here is another aspect of it--I saw this discussed on Colts.com but it was dismissed:

    Last offseason, Randy Moss was the most undervalued stock on the market. He went for way below his market value. Belioli took the risk, and maged their risk. Interestingly, Moss wasn't a "stock" that anyone could buy on the open market, since he had a no-trade clause. RM only wanted to go to a team that had a great chance to win, and a top QB to throw to him. Short list: Pats, Packers, AND, why not the Colts? How big would it be for the Colts right now if they had Moss and NE didn't!!

    This is looking more and more like we bought at stock at $50 and it went to $700, much like the Google example or a few others like that.

    If you were Polian, you had to look past the surface analysis that they already had a #1, #2, Clark, etc. Maybe figure out a way to get Moss and not draft Gonzales #1 and cut someone else.

    Polian should not be getting a free pass on this, IMO. His failure to "invest" may cost the Colts 2-3 more Lombardis at the hands of his #1 competitor!
  17. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer Rookie

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    Qb's are special and are always in demand (they got Brady for a good deal anyways). As for Harrison's injury, that's how just about every injury occurs--they are "freak" injuries. It's a matter of time before just about every player gets hurt, so long as they play long enough.
  18. solman

    solman Rookie

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    The Colts have been taking this insanely risky approach since the beginning of their run. They have had ridiculous luck over that period of time. They have given their top players huge back loaded contracts which are marginally inefficient if everything goes right, and catastrophic if everything goes wrong.

    If Freeney doesn't recover, neither do the Colts. Even if he does recover, the Colts lack the cap space or the draft picks to add their missing depth, or grow through free agency like the Titans and Jaguars will.

    I credit Dungy with coaching up his replacements this season. But there comes a point when a well coached team simply doesn't have enough talent to win a Superbowl. Depending on who is and is not available for the playoffs, the Colts may have reached that point.
  19. Poker

    Poker Rookie

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    Solman,

    Yes, interesting point and I agree. It is easier to see the strategy and the risk now that they are having a bad run of luck, but in hindsight they ahve been incredibly lucky over the years on the health front.

  20. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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  21. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    The Colts were indeed heading for CAP Hell, but Polian addressed the problem this past off season. He did relieve the coming CAP hell, as Miquel will attest.

    To do it, he took a long-odds, calculated gamble and is predictably losing that bet. What he did was to let 8 to 10 of his veteran starters (and their high salaries), depart in Free Agency and replace them with their backups, who were trained, and in some cases pushing for playing time, like his CBs.

    When he did this though, it meant that the new starters backups would have to be raw rookies or UDFA free agents. He gambled that his starters would not get injured; he gambled that his low round draft picks would be extraordinarily successful. He gambled that he could get away with this lack of depth for a couple of drafts, until he could rebuild his team's depth.

    Polian thought he would get away with it, because the team had not suffered from injuries the past few seasons, and he reasoned that the finesse, speed, game they played, led to fewer injuries than playing power football.

    In the end, he gambled because he essentially had no choice. If he did nothing, then the Colts would descend into the CAP Hell that forced the Titans and 49ers to dismantle their Teams. he would have to start doing that in 2008 and 2009. Now he doesn't anymore, at least for a few more years.

    But a couple of things intervened. A very good player Tarik Glenn retired. Marvin Harrison started to act like a brittle 35 year old that he is. Both have big DEAD CAP money due, and they will be payed whether they play or not. And Peyton is 33 and he is already entering the declining years of QBs. He has only five more years at best as a top QB.
  22. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Please explain how a team that was under the 2007 cap by $14 million late September AND under the 2008 cap by $11 million will not use that cap space to improve their team.

    My take? One of the following is true:

    a) The Colts' FO is cheap
    b) The Colts' FO is stupid
    c) There is more going on behind those numbers than is being discussed here

    I vote for c).
  23. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer Rookie

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    i wonder if and for how much they would resign Bob Sanders. I don't think he's resigned...right?
  24. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    IMO, it is rather difficult to improve a team during the season with street free agents.
  25. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer Rookie

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    i'd play cheap
  26. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I say for a little less than Troy P.
  27. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I will not.

    FYI - Tarik Glenn's dead money is not that big and he will be off the books in 2009.
    Manning is not 33.
  28. DonBlackmon55

    DonBlackmon55 Rookie

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    Peyton Manning will be 32 1/2 yrs old when he starts the 2008 season. By comparison, Tom Brady would have just turned 31.
  29. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    True but my point is that if you say that Manning is 33 now you are implying that Manning will be 34 when the 2008 season starts which is simply not true. If a 33-year old only has 5 more years left as a top QB, then a 31-year old would have 7.
  30. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Was it risky for the Pats
    to give Seymour $24 million in signing bonuses last year??
    to give Brady $31.78 million in signing bonuses in 2005/2006/2007??
    to give AT $20 million in signing bonuses in 2007/2008??

    I think so and I hope that the Pats continue to take those type of risks.
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