FanPost

Nailed by the Bucks ($'s, that is)

Jerry Richardson has never been known to be a cheap owner until last year.  In 2010, he took what he must have considered a proactive step as a member of the NFL owners going into a lock-out, instead of the top Panther.  He insulted a coach with a winning record by not offering a contract extension and the cut the legs out from under him by divesting experience from the team to save the dollars.  As a result of a season with no salary ceiling or floor, his was among the lowest payrolls for the season and we get the top pick this year; coincidentally, perennial cheapskates Buffalo, Cinci, and Arizona are right there with us.  {I can’t give Jerry all the credit for this position:  Hurney almost gave away that #1 pick to trade up for Clausen, and did give away the 33rd pick for an athlete who may never get on the field,  while passing on three of the most productive WR’s in the rookie class.}

 

This, of course, is history:  welcome to the lock-out.  Because Jerry saved those bucks and couldn’t or wouldn’t reach a compromise with the players in March, we now have a new coach who did not have enough time to get familiar with his existing team and absolutely no opportunity to bring home our free agents or upgrade in the market.  Free agency generally answers a lot of problems before the draft, so now we go in blind, hope for the best, and try to fill the rest of the holes when/if the CBA is resolved.

 

Round two of no CBA – have you noticed in recent history, the best trade-downs from #1 were not for the pick but for the player chosen:  you have a desirable commodity and you can market it better than a pick.  Without a CBA, a player, even one chosen in the draft, cannot be traded.  Add to that we do not know whether this year will run under old Round One player costs, which can cripple a team, or a reduced CBA negotiated payroll.  If you are considering moving up in the draft, you really want to know how much that player will cost.  The NFL is actually warning against trading 2012 picks:  who knows what will be in place?

 

It will be mid-May or later before the bargaining begins again.  We just lost our OTA’s.  Keep in mind nobody is under contract until the lock-out ends.  Ron still can’t talk to his team.  We have no idea what free agency will offer over two weeks after the draft. 

 

We’re still looking for training camp.  Rivera said he intends a 4-3 with 3-4 tendencies:  you think there’s a learning curve there?  Rumor has it Chud has a 900-page play book:  some Defense is instinctive but Offense must be well choreographed.  Whatever happens with retention, there will be an O-Line that did not play together last year, running backs who must be in step with that line, the fullback, tight ends, and blocking wide receivers.  As good as this coaching staff might be, I think the brightest acquisition we got in the off-season was Mike Shula:  he has done wonders with his QB’s wherever he has been.  No matter how well you can teach, QB requires repetitions; when do we get them?  New QB or old, no one gets the time to develop timing.

 

Now we approach September.  We either cut pre-season, early season games or both.  Arizona looks like our best chance of winning a game in a season of the toughest schedule in the NFL (opposition winning percentage .555, rising significantly without the Cards’ record).  Right now, our best hope is that Andrew Luck doesn’t use his last year of eligibility and Hurney doesn’t trade away the pick.

 

Thank you, owners.  Thank you, DeMaurice.



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