Aaah football is back. Our particular soap opera of choice is in full effect; trades, deals and injuries.
We are 3 or 4 days into football being back and the CBA drama is now replaced with QB controversies, questions about our front office, injuries to draft picks and talks of "the ones that got away".
A while back many lauded EFX for the patient draft ... not all, but many. Even though it is homer camp reports, some glimmers of positiveness are showing up with the yearly reports of rookies looking better than we expected. Free agency is now upon us and the masses are pleading for either a big signing today to fix all our problems or a big trade to fix all our problems.
As much as I would have loved a headline yesterday with "Broncos nab Mebane" or "Orton shipped to Miami for a second and a fourth" (not down on Orton at all, think he is a fine player), I look at EFX and I see them subscribing to a certain philosophy that does not align with the need for sensation.
Instead of going out and trying to buy lottery tickets .... wild trades, the instant fix ... they are taking a more conservative investor approach. They approached the draft with the mantra of "what is the most value I can get with this pick?" as opposed to "we need a DT, who is the best on the board here". As boring as that may be, they are playing statistics as best they can and saying "this guy in the 7th round, we would rate as a 4th round pick ..... value, get him". They didn't care what player got more highlight film on College Football Today or which player fitted a need, they said "best value, sexy or not". Something by the way we all laud the Patriots and Green Bay for doing.
Well here we are in free agency and the same mantra is in effect. Value! We are all affected by the hype and the fears that are directed at our team but at the end of the day, the Denver Broncos were the 2nd worse team in football last year - "You are what your record says you are". We are not going to win the superbowl this year.
EFX did not think Mebane was worth $5m+ a year, EFX did not think Orton was worth less than a 2nd or 3rd - Damn the talking heads and screaming masses. Bad value. The cold truth every NFL front office faces is they have so many roster spots and so many dollars with which to fill that roster and next year, the same challenge will be in effect.
Look at perennial contenders Philadelphia's off season, they have extracted great value from Kolb and Vick. They got Vick for cheap and the leveraged Kolb for a starting CB and a future high pick. The common denominator is value.
Right now EFX have a honeymoon. 2 years from now the pressure to make the big signing to push us up to the next level and compete for a championship might be too much to bear but right now they have the luxury of calmly building a team through the draft and value pickups in free agency. I see them setting a value on a player and offering the appropriate compensation and if the compensation is not enough, they move on. Bravo!
EFX, it appears are building a fundamentally strong portfolio as opposed to buying lottery tickets and I applaud them for that.
So here is to a boring off season and a season with signs of our young players out performing their draft ranking while supported by veterans brought in at a cost below their level of production. And 2 years from now, we will be discussing how we have a shot at a championship.