Football is the most popular sport in American, making billions of dollars of every year and dominating the American sports landscape but needs to learn something from baseball. There is plenty of parody in the NFL with about 50% of the playoff teams turning over every year but bad teams need to realize they’re bad.
The hard salary cap is a big factor in why there’s parody because top teams lose players that earn big contracts to go elsewhere but there is a more proactive approach that should be adopted by bad teams, sell. If you’re bad then make trades, clear cap and get more draft picks. It’s not really a difficult concept to understand but for some reason it isn’t in the NFL.
It seems to have ramped up a bit more this season, especially fresh off of Mohamed Sanu and Emmanuel Sanders getting traded but that should just be the start. The Washington Redskins still are reported to not be interested in moving Trent Williams. Why? At this point do you really think he’s coming back? You’re a terrible team that isn’t going anywhere. He’s at a premiere position that would bring back a boat load of picks. Look at what the Dolphins got for Larry Tunsil.
Miami is a prime example to look at. Yes, they are terrible and tough to watch but they picked a direction. You can’t make the argument that they could afford to pay some of those guys, especially after giving up on Minkah Fitzpatrick so quickly, but they’ve got a boat load of picks. The NFL draft is a massive lottery and the more tickets you have the better it is to hit it big. They haven’t done a whole lot and so instead of sputtering a long as a middling team they’re tearing it down. Now of course the Jimmy Johnson quote that it doesn’t matter how many picks you have but who you pick is true, but it helps to have a lot.
Maybe you think you have a core in place like the Bears two years ago and think you can add to it and they made it to 12-4 last year and a division title, but do you think times like the Broncos, Redskins or Bengals are going to magically going to surprise next season? Neither do I so open shop for the veterans and players not going to be back and see what you can get. Williams, Chris Harris, Derek Wolfe, AJ Green they should all be on the move.
The compensatory pick calculation is always a factor but that can be a third round pick at most. Bottom out, improve your own picks and stock up on others. It also could give you more cap space to help accelerate the bounce back to prominence. It’s better to trade a player one year early instead of one year too late. Will Sanu be a good player for the Pats? Probably, but would he have been back after the 2020 season when his contract runs out? Unlikely, and they already have the first round pick Calvin Ridley to take a bigger role as well.
I don’t think the Khalil Mack trade was good for the Raiders, thanks again from a Bears fan, because you draft to get a player like that and he was in his prime. However, if Oakland decided to move on from Richie Icognito that would make a lot of sense. He’s long in the tooth and likely has a limited future with the Raiders already.
More cap space and draft picks isn’t a bad thing. If you aren’t going to win or are stuck in the middle then don’t push hope, push a plan and direction. Move the vets, get more future cap space and picks and give yourself a much better chance next year. If you’re a Denver fan would you rather have Sanders the rest of the year or the 3rd and 4th round pick for next season?
The Redskins are a terribly run franchise, there’s no doubt about that, but the longer they hold on to Williams the more they show the ignorance when it comes to their team. It’s a franchise I’ll never cheer for but it’s obvious they need to tear it down and take notes from the other bad teams that are already selling.