Thursday, April 17, 2014

4 comments MMQB Review: Who Wants to Buy the Bullshit GM's are Peddling This Time of Year? Edition

Last time he wrote MMQB, Peter King brought us down with the story of Jim Kelly fighting cancer and the news his brother (who didn't like coffee and was a Yankees fan) also passing away during the previous week. Peter also made his predictions for the 2014 MLB season, told McDonald's their coffee can't stand up to that of Starbucks and reminded us all that the RAMS ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS AT THE #2 PICK. Sure, the Rams really like a bunch of players at that spot, but they will totally trade out of the spot if it helps another team. Not that the Rams want to trade out of the spot, but if it helps another team they will be willing to take on more draft picks in a deep NFL Draft to help another NFL team out. Not that the Rams want to trade out of that pick, but if an NFL team does want that #2 pick make the Rams an offer now. In fact, feel free to blow them away with an offer. This is obviously a standard thing Peter does for most teams, helping them drum up some business for picks in the NFL Draft. He just hasn't gotten around to drumming up business for any other teams drafting in the Top 10 who want to trade back.

This week Peter tells us the five things we need to know about the NFL Draft (which obviously wouldn't include which players will go in the top 10, because Peter told us back in early March the top 10 players in the draft has already been decided, it's just a matter of where they go), interviews the new head of NFL Media because apparently he thinks his readers care about that, reveals a picture which shows him having a beard with a whi-fro (that's an afro for a white person), and most likely at Marvin Demoff's request follows up on his failed attempt to get Alex Mack out of Cleveland. 

I still laugh at Peter's blatant pimping out of Alex Mack. His motives were very transparent.

Five things you should know about the draft, 24 days before the first round begins:

Other than the names of the players that will be drafted in the top-10. That was decided months ago. I really can't wait until the top-10 players taken in the draft are different from what Peter stated a month or so ago and then he'll rave about how this draft was so unexpected and everyone thought one thing would happen but it didn't. What a shock that the predictability was ruined!

The Clowney camp has told at least three teams he won’t be working out for teams before the draft, preferring to let his on-campus Pro Day April 2 at South Carolina stand. I spoke to two general managers over the weekend about this, and one took exception to Clowney taking a pass on pre-draft team workouts and one didn’t.

In other words, one GM pretended this was a big deal when he knew it wasn't and one GM was honest and said he didn't care if Clowney participated in individual workouts.

He still will visit teams and interview with coaches and GMs, but his next show-and-tell football performance will be after the draft in a mini-camp, with whichever team picks him. Now, I don’t think this will prevent a team that loves him from picking him, but it might be a small factor in the decision by a team on the fence about Clowney.

If a GM can't look at Clowney's tape and see what kind of football player he is, then that GM needs to be fired. It's all there. Three seasons worth of tape. Go watch it.

As one of the general managers said, “I’d want the guy who’s going to be coaching him to put him through some of our drills, and see how he responds.”

He'll probably quit because Clowney is a quitter, right? Isn't that the narrative that he quits and takes plays off?

That’s how draft guru Gil Brandt sees it. Four quarterbacks and six wideouts in the top 32 for Brandt, if he had to pick it today. Contrast that to last year, when there was one quarterback, wideout or running back in the top 15—receiver/returner Tavon Austin, who went eighth to St. Louis. This year a very similar player in size and production, Brandin Cooks of Oregon State, could be the sixth wideout picked. 

But this wasn't a bad pick by the Rams nor did they get bad value for Tavon Austin. He was the best receiver last year, so the Rams took him. Peter was in the Rams draft room and he knows Tavon Austin will probably be the best receiver in the history of the Rams organization. I actually like Austin, but the bottom line is the Rams picked a slot receiver 8th overall in last year's draft.

Regarding the passers, Derek Carr of Fresno State joins the big three quarterbacks, and at receiver, the depth is so good that former unheralded guys like Cody Latimer of Indiana are creeping into view high in the second round now.

If the depth was good wouldn't that mean players like Cody Latimer would be creeping backwards in the draft? Wouldn't logic dictate that if the draft is deep at wide receiver then teams can get a quality wide receiver later in the draft, as opposed to if the draft wasn't deep at wide receiver, then it would make sense that Latimer was creeping up draft boards.

The stunner this draft season is a quarterback who threw 83 passes as a Rutgers sophomore in 2010, then didn’t play college football in 2011 or 2012 as he transferred from Rutgers to Arizona to Pitt. “The hottest guy in the draft,” Brandt of Tom Savage. How hot is he? Late last week Savage’s agent, Neil Schwartz, had to tell two teams who wanted to set up a visit or meeting with the quarterback that he didn’t have any time left to do so. “There are literally no days left on his calendar for him to go see any other teams,” Schwartz said Saturday.

Oh, there's literally no days left. This isn't figurative? My head literally just exploded.

What I find most interesting is Peter is reporting Latimer is creeping up and Savage is creeping up, yet this is the time of the year when GM's lie and mislead everyone on which player(s) they are and aren't interested in. Almost nothing can be believed that GM's are saying around draft time. It's all lies. I'm not saying Peter shouldn't report what he hears, but everything that is being said this time of year should be taken with a grain of salt and not considered fact. Tom Savage is "the hottest guy in the draft" right now. Maybe, maybe not.

Savage is popular because he’s got an above-average NFL arm right now—some are calling it the best in the draft

"Some" means Tom Savage, Tom Savage's agent and Tom Savage's mom. It's always fun this time of year when NFL teams ignore film a player has and start focusing on physical attributes. Then next year they will TOTALLY not make that mistake again, until they do.

He spent Friday with the Oakland staff, and that’s a place he’d fit in well.

Why? Because Savage is a quarterback and the Raiders need a quarterback. Brilliant analysis.

Amazing to think a player so itinerant and with so little college success could be leap-frogging A.J. McCarron, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger. But there’s a good chance Savage will.

That is amazing isn't it? It's almost like it's too good to be true or these GM's are out-thinking themselves. They watch film of a player, aren't impressed, then see that player in workouts and think, "Golly, he's probably a lot better than his film showed." Next thing you know, Darrius Heyward-Bey is drafted over Michael Crabtree or Christian Ponder is drafted in the first round of any draft that isn't the CFL Draft.

Todd McShay had Houston taking Savage with the 33rd overall pick.

Todd McShay is also guessing like everyone else. The difference is he gets paid to guess.

5. A few teams with quarterback needs have an interesting strategy. I’ve heard that at least four quarterback-needy teams—Houston (first pick),  Jacksonville (3), Cleveland (4) and Oakland (5)—are strongly considering passing on quarterbacks with their first picks and waiting until their second or third selections. Simple reason: They’re not in love with any of the quarterbacks, and there are too many other good players who are surer things than a quarterback you have sincere doubts about.

And there's no way this could be a smoke screen in an effort to get one team that does like these quarterbacks to try and trade up in order to acquire additional draft picks.

For that reason, there could be more quarterbacks taken in round two than round one. For instance, Jacksonville really likes Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois, and he’d likely be there high in the second round when the Jags pick again, at 39.

And of course there's no way this can be a smoke screen at all. I'm sure the Jags want everyone to know the exact quarterback they are interested in so another NFL team can swoop in and draft him before they can.

One more thing: The great value in this draft will be from about 20 to 50. So guess what team is in great position to capitalize on the depth in rounds one and two? San Francisco, with the ability and the recent history of moving around so well. The rich-get-richer Niners hold the 30th, 56th, 61st, and 77th overall picks. If they want someone in the forties, they’ve got the currency to get him. The Browns are in good shape to do some damage too, with picks 26, 35, 71 and 83.

So that means the Browns could trade up to pick 38 and nab the quarterback the Jags didn't want in the first place!

The chief operating officer of NFL Media is 41, a Mormon, a Brigham Young grad, checks Twitter before he does anything else in the morning, and you’ve probably never heard of him. But you need to know Brian Rolapp.

No, no we don't. 

Rolapp is behind the invention of a new media tool the NFL will launch in August called NFL Now, which will be able to customize your NFL consumption to your favorite team, your fantasy team, your favorite NFL Films stuff from its vast vault—so that every day, multiple times, you’ll be able to check back and see the latest from all sources NFL.

I do this already using revolutionary technology called "Twitter" and "the Internet" where I bookmark my favorite sites that give me information about my favorite team.

The MMQB: How do you get your news?
Rolapp: My news source—and I’m just a focus group of one—my routine is I check Twitter first to figure out what’s going on. I look at that, then I look at some of the other news feeds that I have, and my email for things like ratings on the NFL Network, and then I get to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times. It’s all on my tablet.

Look at Mr. Fancy Pants who uses several multimedia devices to get his information. 

The newspapers are delivered to my office, but essentially I put my feet on them. They serve different purposes. They’re coasters for my Diet Coke at lunch. Then there’s other sites that I’ll go to.

What a sick burn on the newspaper industry. How about Rolapp unsubscribes to these newspapers and then goes out and buys coasters for his Diet Coke? Seems like a better use of funds than buying a paper just to use as a coaster. 

The MMQB: What is the future of NFL Network? Does it stay in L.A. or does it eventually come to the East Coast, to the NFL Films’ home in New Jersey?

Peter is obsessed with the idea of NFL Network being in L.A. He just doesn't get why every business doesn't move to New Jersey. It's unfathomable to him that's 2014 and every single separate entity of a large business don't have to be located in the exact same city as each other. Plus, it's New Jersey. Why not move there over having your business in L.A.:? 

Rolapp: We haven’t really looked actively at moving. It’s an expensive proposition. We’ll look at it. There’s a lot of advantages to being in L.A. There’s great access to the people you need to run a network—producers to talent and everything else.

Wait, so there's actual talent out in L.A.? Peter doesn't believe this. He thought all of the talent in the United States resides on the East Coast and more specifically within a 50 mile radius from where he lives.

The MMQB: Will games on free TV ever go away?

Rolapp: Look, we have built a very good thing here by making NFL football available to as many people as possible. I don’t see free TV going away.

Free games won't go away as long as the television contracts with NBC/ESPN/FOX/CBS make the NFL more money than going with a network that will ask fans to pay to watch NFL games. As long as it is in the best financial interests of the NFL to make the games free, they will stay free. It's about making the NFL available to as many people as possible as much as it is about finding a way to make a ton of money while making the NFL available to as many people as possible.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

England is such a wonderful place, with kind and considerate people and the loveliest landscape. I rediscovered that on our trip to England for the burial of my brother Ken last week.

England is such a great place, Peter probably wonders why it doesn't move to New Jersey where all the talent is? Move to New Jersey and I'm sure England will be much happier.

Peter then discusses his brother's funeral and the big takeaway from this is he posts a picture of himself and his two brothers all with neckbeards. Maybe that's why Peter loves Andrew Luck so much, they are all part of the Neckbeards of America Society.

If you don't click on the MMQB link when I post MMQB you will want to click on the link to see the picture of Peter with a neckbeard. The picture Peter posts (alliteration!) is taken of a young, lofty Peter King who is only beginning to learn through his collegiate experiences how to make himself an older, more haughty version of Peter King who criticizes tourists for taking pictures of the Apple logo. Here is the link to the picture.

I can't shake the feeling Peter is talking down to his audience and to the people he met in England. It may just be me, but he writes things like...

“Where ye from?” said one of the locals at the bar.

“New York,” I said. “The city.”

“This must be prettih slow,” he said.

“I love it,” I said. “Love your village.” Which made him happy.


The bar’s 11-year-old black lab, Jake, burrowed into us for some of our crisps. (Potato chips.)

Where it seems like Peter is talking down to his audience. He even puts the local's words in quotes in the exact accent that person used, while not putting his words in quotes using his own New Jersey-ish accent.

“I don’t really buy ‘Draft Day’—it’s a shallow and evasive movie …”

—Highly respected movie critic A.O. Scott of the New York Times, on the new movie about the NFL draft. Scott reports the movie was made “with what appears to be the very enthusiastic—not to say domineering—cooperation of the NFL.”

Would I rather watch "Draft Day" or actually watch all of the 2014 NFL Draft weekend with the volume as high as possible so I can hear Chris Berman's annoying baying seal voice in my ears at all times ? It's a tough choice. 

“We have talked about keeping our own players and this is a positive for us. Alex is a quality person and player that truly brings to life what playing like a Brown means.”

—Cleveland GM Ray Farmer, upon matching Jacksonville’s five-year, $42 million offer sheet for center Alex Mack, meaning Mack will remain a Brown for at least the next two seasons.

If you remember, Peter tried very hard to get Alex Mack away from the Browns by essentially saying if the Jaguars (hint, hint Jaguars...which is a hint they took) tried to sign Mack to an offer sheet, then the Browns would not match the sheet in the way Marvin Demoff had the offer constructed. Whoops, I guess it didn't work out that way. So Peter has to back track and save face by pointing out Demoff got Mack $18 million guaranteed (that's 100% of his earnings in the first two years!) in the first two years of his deal and forgetting that he was trying like hell to get Mack out of Cleveland by essentially writing an entire column stating Demoff can construct an offer sheet the Browns wouldn't match.

Nothing to see here. Mack wanted out, Peter tried to help his and Mack's agent get Mack out of Cleveland, and it didn't work. Time to focus on how much Mack will be making.

Then Peter provides a graph so everyone can know what a great job Demoff did getting Mack paid. Unfortunately, the point seemed to be to get Mack paid by a team who wasn't the Cleveland Browns.

It also appears Peter has learned how to embed a Tweet, so he is embedding Tweets of the Week now. I'm sure the new NFL Media chief showed him how to do this.

Perhaps Brandon Spike is being a little over-dramatic here. Of course I'm sure there are some idiot sportswriters who will point to this Tweet as further proof The Patriot Way is no longer working.

What Peter is saying by including this Tweet is the Browns have hurt their salary cap room by signing Alex Mack. They should have just let him go to Jacksonville and then they would have more cap room, Peter wouldn't have gotten yelled at by Marvin Demoff for not doing a good enough job of pimping Mack out, and Mack could be out of Cleveland.

Ten Things I Think I Think

2. I think this is the way Jacksonville could have forged a contract that Cleveland would not have matched with center Alex Mack: agree to pay him $15 million in the first year, fully guaranteed, with the option to quit the deal after one year.

I'm serious when I think Peter wrote that article to pimp out Alex Mack on behalf of Marvin Demoff. I absolutely believe this happened. He's not happy his attempts to pimp Mack out to the Jaguars didn't work. I'm not sure why the Jags would have paid Mack $15 million for one year and then allowed him to be a free agent after that, but logic doesn't apply when King/Demoff need to work together and get Mack out of Cleveland. Why would the Jaguars essentially sign Mack to a one year contract for $15 million? Mack could just opt-out and become a free agent after one year.

If you don't believe me that Peter was trying to get Mack out of Cleveland, notice how obsessed with this contract Peter is in the back-half of this MMQB.

Many of you on Twitter have made the point over the past couple of days that Cleveland matching Jacksonville’s offer sheet means there couldn’t have been an offer to entice Cleveland to let Mack go.

3. I think all three sides in this deal won.

Of course you do, Peter. You wouldn't criticize your own agent for failing to get his client a contract he wants with a team he wants. The clear intent of that original column by Peter was that Demoff was going to write a contract the Browns wouldn't match. That was the intent. It didn't happen. So how in the hell did all three sides win?

a. Mack won, because he gets $18 million fully guaranteed over two years and the chance to be an unrestricted free agent at age 30 in 2016 (he’s never missed a start in five years), and he will have his third season at $8 million guaranteed if he gets a disabling injury in either of 2014 or ’15.

Right, but his agent was trying to get him to sign with another team. This idea had to originate with Mack, so he didn't completely get what he wanted.

b. Cleveland won, because the Browns keep a rock-solid player and leader in the middle of their offensive line for what will be about 7.8 percent of their 2014 cap and 6 percent of their cap in 2015. Now the Browns don’t have to explain to their fan base why they let a top player at his position, a home-grown one, walk.

c. Jacksonville won, because the Jags showed their fan base they’re serious about bidding, reasonably, for good players.

Yeah, but they failed. I guess that's a win. It sort of feels like a no-decision to me.

In two years, if the Jags find and develop a quarterback and are a contender, Mack could look at them and remember the favor they did him by offering him $18 million fully guaranteed for two seasons, and he could think about opting out of the last three years in Cleveland to sign in Jacksonville. We shall see.

See, Peter is ALREADY laying the groundwork to get Mack out of Cleveland. I will not believe he isn't doing Marvin Demoff's bidding. I refuse to believe it. The ink isn't dry on this contract that Mack "won" and Peter is still trying to lay the groundwork to get Mack out of Cleveland in two years.

4. I think the only blip on the Cleveland radar from this issue is Mack had to put himself out on the market and force the Browns to pay him market value for a top-five center,

Three of the "things he thinks he thinks" are about Alex Mack and his new contract. I can not be told Peter didn't have an ulterior motive when writing about Mack's free agent. I don't care what kind of slow news week in the NFL it was.

and if you’re Mack, a smart guy, you have to be thinking: The team I’ve played every game for at a high level had a ton of cap room available and didn’t choose to pay me until its hand was forced. I’ll remember that in two years.

I mean, seriously. Is it possible that Peter could have an ulterior motive more so than he does now? He clearly is disappointed his attempt to get Mack away from the evil Browns did not work. Peter first brags about the contract Mack signs, lays the groundwork to say Mack can leave the Browns in two years, and now is acting like the Browns did Mack wrong by giving him $18 million guaranteed over two years. Unbelievable.

6. I think the news nugget of the week—reported by NFL Media’s Albert Breer—was Johnny Manziel scoring a 32 on the Wonderlic test. That’s five points higher than Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson scored once upon a time, and probably goes a way toward confirming that Manziel could digest any offense.

Because we all know the Wonderlic is the best determinant of how well a quarterback will digest a team's offense. Obviously if Manziel knows if Bob has 19 apples and gives half of them away to Susie who gives him 7 of her 8 oranges, then this would give Bob 9.5 apples and 7 oranges with Susie having 9.5 apples and 1 orange he will be able to understand an execute an NFL playbook. It's nearly the same thing. 

9. I think more teams should do the human thing, the thing GM Doug Whaley and the Buffalo Bills are doing with the Easter holiday coming up and the draft pushed back two weeks on the calendar from last year: The Bills are giving their scouts and draft personnel a week off to be with their families, and to halt this paralysis-by-over-analysis that happens when you give more time to a process that already lasts a month too long.

Maybe this means the Bills won't over-think the draft like half of the NFL teams end up doing this time of year. 

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

c. I am a Nutmegger. The first 18 years of my life I lived in Connecticut. And so I have followed UConn sports closely over the years. I saw none of either basketball championship game, but the Huskies of both genders did their state proud last week. Congrats to the UConn men and women. Nine titles for the women now, and four for the men in the last 15 years. That is pretty amazing for a university in Storrs, Conn.

When has any business or school in Connecticut ever succeeded at anything right? The entire state is a dead area for business and education due to there being very few wealthy people located in the state.

d. Atlantic Coast Conference fathers must be so pleased about excluding UConn from the ACC. What a smart decision, listening to Boston College, which never wanted a rival as dangerous in recruiting and in games as UConn in the ACC. BC got its wish, and UConn now toils in some conference invented to give some athletic orphans a port in the NCAA storm.

The ACC chose to admit Boston College over UConn in 2005 and was a decision made completely about football (much to the chagrin of coaches like Coach K). That was almost a decade ago. The decision was also about football and the thought Boston College could bring in more money to the ACC than UConn ever could when it comes to football. It was a purely football decision (have I made that clear enough yet?), so Peter's criticism while accurate in terms of football, misses the mark for what the ACC was trying to accomplish when it came to improving the conference in terms of football revenue.

h. Coffeenerdness: I couldn’t drink Starbucks while in the hinterlands of England. My brother worked for three decades for Whitbread, which bought Costa Coffee. So I drank Costa. “Starbucks had a chance,” Ken told me on our visit in March. “We went looking for a coffee company a few years ago, and Starbucks could have been it. But they drove too hard a bargain, and so we bought Costa.”

Wait, I thought Peter said in his MMQB two weeks ago that his brother didn't drink coffee? Why would his brother go looking for a coffee company? I'm guessing the "we" is the hinterlands of England? I don't understand how they "bought" Costa though. 

m. I am a basketball doofus, but if you gave me a vote for the professional team of the century, I’d pick the San Antonio Spurs. Gregg Popovich and his guys are amazing. You can’t keep them down.

"I know nothing about this sport, but here's an opinion I expect you to take seriously."

Peter does this sort of shit all the time.

The Adieu Haiku

Bedard can’t Haiku.
But what a job last Monday.
I got Wally Pipped!

But if you got Wally Pipped then that means you wouldn't be back writing this week and Greg Bedard would be writing MMQB from now on. It seems Peter still doesn't understand being "Wally Pipped" means. He used it incorrect a few months ago as well.


Eric Long said...

As long as he is represented by Peter King's agent, a center should definitely get $9 million a year. If he had any other agent, the only winner would be the center... The team who signed him would be a big loser in Peter's mind. I went to Cal and love Mack, but $9 million a year? For a center?

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, my favorite team has a center who makes $7.3 million, so I can't talk too much. I think an excellent center is important when it comes to making line calls and getting good chemistry with the quarterback. I feel like $9 million is a bit much for the position, but then I've seen the Panthers play without Ryan Kalil and it made me sad.

So I'm torn. I recognize the need for a strong center, but I also know $9 million feels like a lot.

And yes, you know if another team signed Mack then Peter would make it seem like that team made a bad deal. I found it hilarious that Peter is bragging about how much money Mack got in the first two years of the deal, then acts like the Browns did Mack wrong. They paid him after his value was set, what's wrong with that?

I want someone to explain to me why in the holy hell the Jags would have signed Mack to a contract for $15 million for one year where Mack could opt-out? What's the point of that contract for the Jags?

Snarf said...

d. Atlantic Coast Conference fathers must be so pleased about excluding UConn from the ACC. What a smart decision, listening to Boston College, which never wanted a rival as dangerous in recruiting and in games as UConn in the ACC. BC got its wish, and UConn now toils in some conference invented to give some athletic orphans a port in the NCAA storm.

The ACC chose to admit Boston College over UConn in 2005 and was a decision made completely about football (much to the chagrin of coaches like Coach K). That was almost a decade ago. The decision was also about football and the thought Boston College could bring in more money to the ACC than UConn ever could when it comes to football. It was a purely football decision (have I made that clear enough yet?), so Peter's criticism while accurate in terms of football, misses the mark for what the ACC was trying to accomplish when it came to improving the conference in terms of football revenue.

I know it goes hand in hand with the idea of football, but I think it's worth noting that TV markets is a big part of this discussion. BC gives the ACC the Boston market, which is likely more appealing from creating a conference TV network/TV deal perspective than Conn. That's the reason the B1G wanted UMD, the Baltimore/DC TV market(s). Some dope analysts will probably watch MD get slammed by OSU this year and ask why the B1G wanted to bring in such an average football program, well that's the reason.

Bengoodfella said...

Snarf, that is true as well. Peter needs to stop spitballing this stuff and actually do some research to figure out why the ACC wanted BC over UConn. It's about money.