The Dallas Cowboys let their #2 WR (Cole Beasley) sign with the Buffalo Bills for a nice piece of change. The Kansas City Chiefs cut All-Pro safety, Eric Berry. The Seattle Seahawks and All-Pro Safety Earl Thomas parted ways and he is now a Baltimore Raven. All-World RB Le’Veon Bell is no longer a Pittsburgh Steeler and looks to be headed to AFC rival New York Jets’ territory.
These are not so-so, bottom of the roster, UDFA afterthought talents. These are game changers. Guys that can and do affect the outcome on game day on the scoreboard and on the field. And they don’t even count the huge trades of mercurial wide-outs Antonio Brown and O.J. Beckham Jr. which allows us to posit the top WR and RB in the league both changed teams in the same offseason? A couple of top five safeties as well and welcome to the NFL new normal.
Chemistry and fiscal roster management are the keys to the modern NFL team construct as player contracts that total millions are never meant to be paid out to maturity and are often set up to be passed on to other teams with the all-coveted “cap space” that all clubs covet.
The old school method of keeping your own is somewhat passe as any roster flexibility is determined by the maturity of the QB contract. If your team has an elite QB well bully for you! IF your QB is still on their rookie contract. Once they get to happy land (second contract) they immediately command a percentage of the rosters cap space that negates any real attempt at dynasty building unless they pull a Brady and go for the rings vs the Benjamins. Those QB’s are far and few between, however, ergo consider your team’s roster building flexibility commensurately.
As cap space remains fixed and QB’s continue to command an unrealistic percentage of a team’s available cap space look for more cuts, trades, walk-offs, and franchise tag casualties each and every offseason. The slow death of the team loyalty concept continues as players enter the NFL merry-go-round chasing their dollars and the owners keep it this way versus giving up any meaningful portion of their lions’ share of the profits in order to enact meaningful change to the economics that would benefit the game.
You the fan get to enjoy the result of constant player movement in the ultimate team sport. Hooora!
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over