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 Post subject: NFR: No tag for Avril
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:01 pm 
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Well, it seems that someone will be able to sign the guy who's tallied 20.5 sacks the past two years without having to give up compensation. Should it be the Falcons?


http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... ford-deal/

Lions GM safe, won’t use tag, needs to work on Stafford deal

Posted by Darin Gantt on January 2, 2013, 7:59 PM EST

AP
Lions general manager Martin Mayhew told reporters Wednesday he has no reason to believe he and coach Jim Schwartz aren’t safe, and that they have plenty of work to do.

Mayhew said he talked with owner William Clay Ford and his son, team vice chariman Bill, earlier in the week

“As far as I know we’re going to be back,” Mayhew said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “It could be like ‘Survivor,’ you know, when you go back and write somebody’s name down.

“But no, as far as I know we’re going to be back and I’ve spoken to Mr. Ford, I’ve spoken to Bill and we talked about our plans going forward and we’re certainly working on getting things right.”

After going 4-12, losing their final eight and not beating a single division opponent, there’s enough work to go around. Mayhew said his biggest mistake may have been overestimating the talent of a team that returned 21 of 22 starters.

“I think that’s quite possible,” he said. “I certainly thought we were going to get some better performances.”

While injuries that limited their starting secondary to one game together and kept running back Jahvid Best off the field were a factor, Mayhew said that the only player he saw improve was defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

For a team with a tricky cap situation and 23 free agents, that means change is coming.

For one, Mayhew said he didn’t see himself using the franchise tag this offsesaon, as they did for defensive end Cliff Avril last year.

He also said they needed to restructure or extend quarterback Matt Stafford’s contract, to knock his cap number below his current $20-plus million charge.

Stafford, Suh and Calvin Johnson currently count nearly $50 million toward a cap expected to be around $121 million, so working on Stafford’s deal will be necessary. Mayhew compared it to last year, when they had to give Johnson a new deal before the start of free agency.

That’s good news for Stafford, who gets to negotiate from a position of strength his 2012 season might not otherwise indicate.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: No tag for Avril
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:16 pm 
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This is also shows why it's important to not get caught giving out bad contracts. You can potentially afford to give huge deals to 2 players on your team (and they better be the 2 best players that you are comfortable building around for the next 7-10 years), but probably not more than that. And if you do, then you need to draft well. Because you're not going to have a lot of spending money to sign free agents, which means your "pipeline" of development needs to be very good.

The Falcons have been trying to establish this with TD, but it hasn't had a lot of success and neither have the Lions. Jahvid Best, Mikel LeShoure, Amari Spievey, Titus Young, Brandon Pettigrew, DeAndre Levy, Nick Fairley, these picks in the premium rounds (1 thru 4) just haven't really landed for them. And you cannot afford that if you're going to have 2 $100 million players (or possibly 3) on your roster like they basically have. While Stafford/Suh don't make quite that much, the guaranteed portions of their deals are basically the same as any $100 million would have.

It's really the same in Atlanta. If/when the Falcons give out a $100 million deal to Matt Ryan, it will limit their abilities to strike out in the market a few years into that deal. It's why the 2013 and 2014 are very important for the future of the Falcons. They have to really hit in these drafts, because around 2015/16, those cap numbers for Ryan are going to be pretty big and they won't have much leverage to get them down.

Drafting the Kroy Biermanns and Corey Peters is nice and all, but it's not going to make up the difference that a huge contract like that is going to have.

The Falcons need more hits in those middle rounds. They need to get guys like Navorro Bowman, Aaron Hernandez, Geno Atkins, Justin Houston, Kam Chancellor, Denarius Moore, all of whom were taken in Rounds 3 thru 5 over the past 3 drafts. You need more solid doubles, triples, and the occasional home run.

The Falcons current draft strategy of need lessens this somewhat. They need to stop finding fits (like Akeem Dent), but guys that fit but also have the upside to blossom. Atkins was taken 27 slots after Peters in the 2010 draft. K.J. Wright was taken 8 slots after Dent, and Mason Foster 7 slots before.

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