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 Post subject: No rush
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:04 am 
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Purveyor of Truth & Justice
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I know there are people out there clamoring for the Falcons to make a move in the opening days of free agency, but I'm usually against it.

The only time I get frustrated with our inactivity early on in free agency is when we miss out on quality offensive linemen. It looks like Mike Wahle will sign with the Carolina Panthers soon. I was also upset when Randy Thomas signed with the Redskins on the opening market day 2 years ago. In that regard, it stinks.

But when you then look at it from a different perspective, what does it say about the player if he signs with a team within 12 hours of being a free agent? It's one thing if the player signs with a team near his hometown or what was his favorite team growing up (in both Wahle and Thomas's case, I don't think that's true), but it's another to say yes as soon as you hear that big signing bonus is coming your way.

You always hear how players are out looking for their family, and making moves in order to support their family. Well, doesn't your family deserve the best possible situation? And I highly doubt in many cases these player's agents have been in contact with other teams and definitely know what and how much each potential suitor is offering in this brief period of time. I don't pretend to be naive and think that there isn't tampering going through backdoor channels in the days leading up to this big day, but I do believe that most teams aren't out there making formal contract offers without bringing in players for visits and checking them out physically.

So I've been a bit disappointed when there were players that I wanted us to get that I see sign on Day 1 or 2 of free agency, but when I sit back and think about it, it's no big deal. I think any player that is willing to sign on the first day of free agency is really not a player I want on my team. Most likely he's not a high character guy or he's just getting bad advice from his greedy agent.

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 Post subject: Re: No rush
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:52 am 
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Role Player
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I have no problem waiting, and that holds true to a greater degree knowing our cap situation isn't exactly ideal. I would have liked to signed Wahle, but didn't see it as a probability. Same with Mason and Moose.

However I disagree with...

Pudge wrote:
Well, doesn't your family deserve the best possible situation?


What's to say another better opportunity comes around? And what are the chances that by playing things out, that things get worse; not better?

Say the player waits. Then two teams get into a bidding war. Good for the player, as it drives up his price. However, let's say team A decides it can't continue on this and signs another player (in Wahle's case, let's say Carolina signs Rivera, and the only team still bidding for his services is Green Bay). Now that only one team is after him, they can lower their offer. There's no need to keep their amount high, as the other team isn't there to push them. In fact, they drop their offer to lower than that of the first team.

So, it is possible for a player to lose a bit of money by waiting. However probable, well that's uncertain. But, just like pretty much everything else in the NFL, it's all about risk and reward. Perhaps, in signing one of the first contracts that comes his way, he's doing his family the best thing he can.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:01 pm 
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I'm not talking about waiting a week or so. A team that offers you a contract within the first 12 hours of free agency is not about to yank a contract off the table after a day or so. You can be sure of that, because that means that the team is really A) in love with you as a player B) too stupid to actually look around and search for alternatives.

I'm talking more about waiting a day or two, to gauge other team's interests.

We all know from the Rod Coleman thing last year, that a player can easily visit two cities in one day, and I'm sure with even careful planning, one could make it possibly three. So if a player waits another 48 hours to sign on the dotted line, he may be able to visit 3, 4, or maybe 5 more teams, to see exactly what they are like.

I recall one signing (can't remember the player) this year that signed at 2 A.M. on March 2, two hours after free agency officially began. That's just crazy IMO.

Sometimes it seems that it's either a testament to the charisma of the wooing team (which often seems to be the case in Atlanta) or just the stupidity/greed of the player that these guys are signing within 12 hours of free agency beginning.

I'm just of the mindset that if I was a top free agent that I know I'm going to get a lucrative contract, I'm going to see where my best option is. And depending on the player, it might depend on which he prefers: 1) most money 2) best playing environment. Either way, you can't gauge that over the phone, which seems to be the case when players are signing on Day 1 of free agency, because I doubt they've visited all the teams that are interested in them.

I don't know, maybe when a player was given a contract offer early Wednesday afternoon, their agent then called up some competing GMs and gave them the terms, and then those GMs then said, "We're not in a position to match that contract offer." Then of course, it would be OK to sign on the dotted line.

But I think you'll often find GMs and coaches saying that, because I think a lot of guys out there are pragmatic about free agency, and would like to bring in guys for visits, talk with them, work them out, check them out medically, etc. before they start getting to the nitty gritty of contract offers and details.

Let's take Antonio Pierce for instance, who just recently signed with the New York Giants last night. I figure from the details of his contract, that the Giants offered Pierce the best contract. I doubt the Redskins or any other team was willing to match that deal. And I'm also sure that whomever Pierce's agent was over the past week or so has been secretly trying to gauge the interest of teams for his client. And I'm sure he's found a way to whittle down the possibles to 3-5 probables (almost all players seem to have a Top 3, Top 4, or 5 list of teams). But I also think that Pierce made a mistake just simply taking the money in New York and not looking elsewhere. Sure, maybe other teams weren't prepared to match the $6.5 million bonus he got from the Giants, but in this case, I think this is a good example of looking around for a bit before signing. Coughlin is an infamous disciplinarian, which means you either love him or hate him. And from the Giants FA moves last year, signing with that team doesn't necessarily mean you actually love him (it would rather seem you love the check more than the coach). So in Pierce's case, he probably could have waited a day or two, visit some other teams and see if he liked their coaching staffs better and see how much closer they offered to what he got from the Giants. I'm not saying that Pierce should have gone elsewhere, but just saying that I think he is an example of a player that it wouldn't have hurt to wait a day more before signing.

Yes, if you let the waiting period drag on for too long, like 3 or more days, then I would say it can definitely hurt you. But if a team is willing to offer you a contract in the first 24 hours of free agency, then I don't think you have to worry about them reneging on a deal over the next 24-48 hours. And if they do, then that means that's an organization you DON'T WANT TO PLAY FOR.

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"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:13 am 
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The reality is that we are in a situation of still clearing out the trash from the previous administration. If we didn't have $12 million in dead money, things would be moving quicker. If the CBA had already been extended by now (something the front office was hoping for) then contracts would have been extended and restructured by now.

Here's what I'm looking for: Cooper Carlisle, G, Denver. Young, somewhat unproven, knows the system. Solid fit for us. Look for a LB, someone like Tommy Polley for example. Key role players who are willing to sign extremely cheap (Beasley, Ulmer, E. Johnson for example).

The CBA will probably be extended before June. If that's the case (and I stress the word if) then we may be major players in June 1st free agency.

I can see us drafting a tackle in the early rounds and then the rest dedicated to defense.

Other than that, it may be slow....


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:13 pm 
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Cap, I think that's a very accurate apraisal of the situation. Having $12 mil in dead money can hurt you for a season, but it's necessary evil. They needed to dump the guys who weren't helping this team, whether financially or with their character. It will be well worth the trouble when everyone on the roster fits nicely into the plans from a finanacial and a character point of view. In the meantime, we have a chance to make moves that will improve our role players. Special teams has been the point of emphasis so far, and it is a key area where we have won games. I'd like to see them grab Sharper when he's released, but after that, we can look to the draft and the June 1st cuts to round out this team. The important part is they have locked up the key players on this team who will continue to make this team one of the best in the NFL. Once the cap mess has been sorted out, we will be in a fantastic position for adding more key talent to our already solid core.


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