Archive for the 'analysis' Category

Is Branch more screwed than he and his agent think?

Friday, September 1st, 2006

The standard line in the media is that if Branch reports by Week 10, he gets credit for an Accrued Season and becomes a free agent. However, a commenter at FootballOutsiders found the following text in the 1998 CBA. Yes, it’s the 1998 CBA, but the 2006 Extension Terms Sheet (also available via the NFLPA) doesn’t address the calculation of Accrued Seasons, so presumably the rules haven’t changed. Section (a) is the one the media (and Branch and his agent) talk about. But everyone seems to ignore (b), even though (b) seems to directly apply to Branch.

Here’s hoping that (b) really does apply and that Branch has almost no leverage at all.

Section 1. Accrued Seasons Calculation:

(a) For the purposes of calculating Accrued Seasons under this Agreement, a player shall receive one Accrued Season for each season during which he was on, or should have been on, full pay status for a total of six or more regular season games, but which, irrespective of the player’s pay status, shall not include games for which the player was on: (i) the Exempt Commissioner Permission List, (ii) the Reserve PUP List as a result of a nonfootball injury, or (iii) a Club’s Practice or Development Squad.

(b) For the purposes of calculating Accrued Seasons under this Agreement, for any League Year during the term of this Agreement beginning with the 1993 League Year, a player shall not receive an Accrued Season for any League Year in which the player is under contract to a Club and in which he failed to report to such Club at least thirty days prior to the first regular season game of that season, or in which the player thereafter failed to perform his contract services for the Club for a material period of time, unless he demonstrates to the Impartial Arbitrator extreme personal hardship causing such failure to report or perform, such as severe illness or death in the family. The determination of the Impartial Arbitrator shall be made within thirty days of the application by the player, and shall be based upon all information relating to such hardship submitted by such date. The determination of the Impartial Arbitrator shall be final and binding upon all parties.

Fourth quarter comebacks

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Nice article over at Football Outsiders on QBs and 4th quarter comebacks.

All offense, all the time

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Who are these people and what did they do with the real Bill Belichick? 🙂 In the fourth round the Pats picked yet another TE and a kicker (ok — you can’t blame them for drafting a kicker). How many people would have thought that the Pats wouldn’t pick a single person on the defensive side of the ball in their first five picks?

Ah — it appears Mills is more of an H-back/FB than a real TE. That makes more sense. Still, to go five picks and not select a single defender. Interesting…

Offensive-minded! And is this it for Pass? Bethel?

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

Well, I didn’t quite expect that. With the Pats’ first two picks (the latter moving up in a trade), they took RB Laurence Mahoney and WR Chad Jackson. I don’t follow college ball, so I can’t comment on the quality of the players and whether they are likely to be good value for where they were picked, but at least at first I have to say I was surprised. Given how old the LB corps is, I thought for sure they’d take a LB or someone they felt they could convert to LB. And maybe a CB, too.

But no! A RB and a WR. However, when you think about it, you can’t complain too much about taking people at those positions. Dillon is 32. Falk is 30. Pass is pushing 30. They have to start getting younger there. As for the flankers, there’s Branch, Caldwell, Troy Brown, and Bethel Johnson. Troy has been great for this team, but he’s on his last legs. Bethel is a failed experiment. It appears the only thing he knows how to do is run a flag, post, or go. If it doesn’t involve running mostly straight down the field, he can’t do it. And that’s even before we get into his numerous healthy scratches for having bad practices or for disciplinary reasons. Especially if the Pats can pick up one more decent WR, I can’t see Bethel on the team this year.

Is this it for Pass, too? Will the Patriots really keep four RBs? Then again, maybe they’ll cut Klecko (especially if they don’t think he can do it at LB) and use Pass as a fullback instead of playing games with Klecko, Seymour (don’t EVER do that again) and various OLmen.

Very nice offensive line technique article

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

The guys from Football Outsiders have a very interesting article out on the importance of footwork to offensive linemen. Check it out!

A pre-draft AFC East breakdown

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

Here’s the latest AFC East analysis from Football Outsiders (a great site that should be on every football fan’s list of sites to regularly visit).

For whom the bell tolls?

Friday, March 17th, 2006

Well, it’s already tolled for Givens and McGinest (I expected the first, but not the second), and it may be tolling for AV and Troy Brown. Losing Adam would be tough, but I can’t get too worked up about losing Brown at this stage in his career. Sure, it would be sad for his last memorable play with the Pats to be fumbling away the Denver game, but he’s clearly lost many steps.

It’s been clear in interviews since the Givens signing that a large part of Givens leaving was that he wanted to be (and of course be paid for being 🙂 ) a #1 receiver.

Since he wasn’t going to be a #1 in the Pats scheme, there was (a) no way the Pats would pay him #1 money, and (b) predispose him to go to a team where he’d be a #1 even if the offers were equal.

As for McGinest, while I’m sad to see him go, I don’t think it would have been wise for the Pats to cough up that sum.

Vinatieri is more interesting. I think there has definitely been some behind the scenes friction there for a few years. The Pats had to tag AV last year, and I think before that he was on a relatively short-term contract. So the parties haven’t been able to come to a long-term agreement for some time now. AV also brings up the question of do you (percentage-wise) hugely overpay AV to keep him on the grounds that even a big percentage overpay to a kicker is lost in the noise? Or will a big percentage overpay still cause pay-scale problems because then everyone will start saying “if he is so high percentage-wise, why not me?”

Finally, what has bothered me isn’t as much losing these guys (and potentially Troy Brown, too, though at this stage of his career that’s not a big loss) is that these guys’ agents have said the Pats haven’t even talked to them. Of course, I also wouldn’t put it past agents to make stuff to make the team look bad, either.

Who are we going to lose?

Friday, March 10th, 2006

Free agency starts at 12:01am tomorrow morning.

I’m almost certain Givens will end up signing elsewhere. I have a bad feeling about Vinatieri and think he will end up elsewhere. I expect McGinest and Troy Brown to end up returning to the Pats. Not sure either way about Ashworth and Neal. I’d like to see us keep Dwight.

We’ll find out soon enough…

Behind the scenes at NFL Matchup

Friday, January 6th, 2006

Damn, I’m jealous!