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Paying Stud RBs....the new NFL "norm"?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by ivanvamp, Jul 17, 2012.

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  1. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp In the Starting Line-Up

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    Don Banks of SI has an interesting article here: Matt Forte, Ray Rice latest top running backs to net big-money contracts - Don Banks - SI.com

    A pertinent quote:
    - - - - -
    And here's the real news flash that Monday's developments underlined: That kind of big-money move at running back is becoming something of the norm, not the exception. And such moves are shooting holes -- or perhaps more accurately, zeros -- in the perception that the league won't pay handsomely for rushing talent.
    Consider what has transpired in the elite running back market since 2011:
    -- The Vikings set the bar by giving Adrian Peterson $100 million over seven years, with $36 million guaranteed.
    -- The Titans finally made nice with Chris Johnson, placating him to the tune of $53.5 million over four years, with $30 million guaranteed.
    -- The Panthers somewhat surprisingly lavished DeAngelo Williams with a five-year, $43 million deal that guaranteed him $21 million and kept him away from free agency.
    -- The Seahawks secured the services of Marshawn Lynch with a four-year, $31 million contract that included $18 million guaranteed.
    -- The Texans paid up for the bargain that Arian Foster has been, giving him five years at $43.5 million, with $20.75 million guaranteed.
    -- And the Eagles moved aggressively to make LeSean McCoy happy, striking a deal for five years at $45 million, with $20.77 guaranteed.
    - - - - -

    Notice who *isn't* paying big money for RBs: Your New England Patriots. They had a chance to re-sign BJGE but didn't want to go higher than Cincinnati's 3 year, $9 million offer. Obviously that contract isn't anything like the guys listed above, but still...the Pats clearly view their RBs as pretty disposable and interchangeable. They like the RB by committee approach and have chosen to spend their dollars elsewhere.

    Personally, I think the Pats are doing it right. I just wish they'd use the RBs a little more.
     
  2. robertweathers

    robertweathers Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I think if BB had an exceptional talent at RB he'd pay them. Right or wrong he gave CD $10m in guarantees after the 04 season.
     
  3. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Pro Bowl Player

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    I believe RB is a fairly interchangeable position, as I've pointed out a number of times we won 2 super bowls with Antowain Smith. That said, if I had a shot at having a weapon like Foster, Forte, or Rice for $8M per season I'd have to strongly consider that (especially on a short term deal). I think that's a fair number for the impact they could have have on this offense, especially after seeing the difference in our offense from 2003 to 2004.
     
  4. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp In the Starting Line-Up

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    Maybe. But he's had the opportunity to acquire exceptional talent and hasn't appeared to be very interested in it. He could have had Ingram in the draft. He could have (if the rumors are true) traded for Forte. Some free agents that have been available in recent years include: DeAngelo Williams, Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Fred Jackson, Marion Barber, Michael Turner, and Jamal Lewis, to name a handful. They all cost a pretty good amount of money, but they are (or were, anyway, when they became FA) pretty good players. Some are exceptional talents (Turner, for example, and BB loves Fred Jackson), but BB never paid big bucks for any of them.

    Maybe that would change if Ridley becomes an absolute monster.
     
  5. borg

    borg In the Starting Line-Up

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    Plan A....great QB
    Plan B....great RB or great WR

    Teams that can't execute Plan A settle for plan B. Gotta give the fans a star to root for. Besides....teams have to spend now....so someone gets the bulk contract.
    (Flacco should start to worry)
     
  6. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Pro Bowl Player

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    I think that's the issue, acquiring someone who is unproven in our offense but not risking giving up a ton for them. In the case that a back were proven in our offense (like Forte/Foster/Rice are in theirs) and like those backs was in the prime of his career, IMO it's hard to see BB not paying them. Like in your example, if Ridley were to become a top 5 back I can easily see BB giving him $8M per season to stay here in a couple of seasons (I'm not sure how old he'll be when his rookie contract runs out, but assuming he's 26 or 27 y/o).

    The thing is we've never been in that situation so we can't be sure it's just a BB doesn't want to pay RB's thing. The only times he's given up a huge contract for unprovens is on OLB's Adalius Thomas and Roosevelt Colvin. The rest of the big signings were players that were totally proven in our system.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  7. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    for bad teams, it looks like it has become the norm. I wouldn't have hated the Peterson contract, except for the fact that they were running him into the ground at a Tomlinson-type rate even before he blew out his knee. Honestly, the fact that he missed so much time last season might actually help that contract work out in the end, IMO. Too many carries is the main enemy on a long-term RB contract with a lot of guaranteed money, which is why I also don't hate the contracts that the Ravens and Bears gave out. If only because Rice and Forte both have a major presence in the passing game, I could see them remaining effective for the duration of their contracts IF the Ravens and Bears use them responsibly.
     
  8. robertweathers

    robertweathers Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Give Ridley $8m easily? Really? Foster is at $8.6m annually w/ 3/30. I dunna know....I guess if he put up Foster #s you might be right...McCoy got big money because of his production and youth.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  9. Steve:Section 102

    Steve:Section 102 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    The guys listed are arguably elite, best in the game. The second tier guys are interchangeable.
     
  10. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Pro Bowl Player

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    The scenario is more hypothetical than anything because I don't see much chance of him being that good. But if Ridley were to produce like a top 5 back, I'd want us to keep him for around $8M on a similar 3-4 year deal.
     
  11. hovis

    hovis On the Game Day Roster

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    There's nothing new about giving top-talent RBs big contracts.
     
  12. eagle eye

    eagle eye In the Starting Line-Up

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    AP certainly deserved the money he got based on his production since he entered the NFL. The others I don't think deserved huge money, some because they are just not that elite and others because they are not around long enough. Maybe Jones Drew is deserving of big money, he has been top notch for quite a while on a really bad team.
     
  13. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There are only a handful of RBs who will get paid big bucks. It is just a coincidence all of them have gotten big deals the last few years. Other than Frank Gore or Maurice Jones-Drew if the Jags give in to his demands, I don't think there will be another RB to get a big deal in the next few years.
     
  14. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In the salary cap era teams are forced to pick and choose who they will give big long term contracts. Offensive skill players are essentially competing with each other for a limited money pool - overpaying in one area weakens a team's ability to compete in others. Most teams generally need a few "bargains" to be competitive.

    A RB like Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy or Matt Forte would be a tremendous weapon for the Pats, and would add another dimension to the offense. But ultimately, the team would have to decide whether to pay that player or invest the money elsewhere. Injury and longevity considerations, the ability to find RBs who can be productivity at a lower cost, and the ability to field an effective RBBC approach suggest that the Pats might not be willing to invest that much money in any one running back. That's something that the team will have to decide if either Ridley or Vereen develops into a top back within our offensive scheme.
     
  15. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Just a few questions:

    How many of those teams have what you would consider a proven "franchise quarterback"?

    How many recent Super Bowl winners lacked what you would consider a "franchise quarterback"?

    Although every team would prefer to have a franchise quarterback, if you don't have one wouldn't it make sense to heavily invest in the running game?

    ----------------------------


    Seems to me the Patriots are fortunate to have a franchise QB and can afford to change things up at RB with a RB by committee to keep legs fresh and defenses off guard.

    Teams like the Patriots have little incentive to invest so heavilly at RB - they've already invested at QB and rather than spend cap space at RB for a QB oriented team, they invest in quality depth to address injuries or as insurance for poor performance.

    That formula has resulted in 5 SB appearances over the last 10 years so I'm sure no one here has any complaints.
     
  16. hovis

    hovis On the Game Day Roster

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    Personally, I'd rather have a "suck for Luck" year or sell the farm for a top ten pick like the 'Skins did and at least try to get my hands on an elite franchise QB. And I dispute the notion that having an elite running back is the best way to spend money on offense if you don't have an elite quarterback. You're better off investing more heavily in the line so that you'd have a better chance plugging guys in there and giving your mediocre or awful QB more time. I don't know how much Kubiak spends on his line, but in Houston and Denver he's had a good track record of getting production out of no-name RB's. All it took was effective, borderline-illegal blocking techniques. I'm surprised he paid Foster so much, since he's one of the coaches largely influential for devaluing the RB over the past decade. But I digress. The evidence is in the results; almost all of the teams with a stud RB as the main feature to their offense suck.
     
  17. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    So much for the "Nobody's gonna pay BenJarvus Green 3 or 4 Million" crowd!! I WIN!! :D
     
  18. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Exactly.

    The Premise of this Thread is very strange. [​IMG]
     
  19. jason423

    jason423 Practice Squad Player

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    I think most, if not all those teams, will regret those deals. Spending has dropped tremendously on the position and the other thing that SI is failing to mention is the ease in which many of these teams can escape these deals compared to the mega deals of the past. There is alot of fluff in those contracts, many per game roster bonuses for some guys. De-escalators for others. The Titans could have moved on from Chris Johnson this year had they chosen to.

    Statistically almost all these great runners fall apart from their peak seasons and never come anywhere near it again. The problem is they usually put up these wild numbers here and there on mediocre teams with no QB so they feel pressure to keep the player.
     
  20. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Franchise Quarterback > franchise Running Back.

    I loved Green-Ellis but he wasn't on the same level as the big pay day RB's who were mentioned. I'd love to have a gun RB behind center (thus my Stewart bandwagon) but the reality is the Patriots enjoy the platoon approach. Let's see how Ridley, Vereen, Woodhead and co go this season. I'm excited.

    As long as the Patriots' model works lets keep going that way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
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