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Old 3 Days Ago   #1
Join Date: Jan 2019
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What up tho? Welcome to the first edition of Tee’s Corner for 2018! I’m ready to offer my own views and opinions on the state of the New Orleans Saints secondary and very glad that I did not share my opinion after week one. In fact Womens A.J. Klein 2019 Jersey , any opinion that would have come out within the first month, would’ve painted a horrible picture of failure, doom, and gloom. Or not. I’m a fairly optimistic writer and I like to analyze corners and give them a chance to settle in before I call for their heads. Let’s get to it! I’ll take a look at the entire starting secondary and we’ll start with the safety position. We’ll then taking a look at the 3 cornerbacks who get the most snaps. If I have to point out the weakest link in the secondary as of today, my attention immediately shifts to strong safety. The position is manned by Vonn Bell (PFF 72.4, #31 S) and Kurt Coleman (PFF 60.0, #70 S). The results have been mixed at best and in some cases very bad. In run support, both Bell and Coleman have been good. The problem lies in their ability to cover tight ends and sometimes running backs. Bell has actually regressed a tad bit in coverage in comparison to 2017 and he is also getting home less on blitzes going from 4.5 last year to 0 in 2018. Coleman has completely fallen off from his play with the Panthers, and is being out-snapped by Bell. As great as the signing of Demario Davis has been, signing Coleman seems like a dud so far. Fortunately, second year free safety Marcus Williams (PFF 74.5, #26 S) is playing at a very high level and shows no signs of a hangover from the 2017-18 playoffs. Williams has remained consistent and allows defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to be flexible in his coverage on the back end. After a rocky week one that seemed to overwhelm the young player, he’s settled into a groove and is stopping the big play, essentially eliminating long gains by the opposition.The cornerback position has seen its fair share of ups and downs in 2018 but a savvy acquisition, just before the trade deadline has proven to be vital to improving the defense. After starting the season with confidence and returning starters Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley, the Saints added one of the best slot/nickel CBs of 2017 in Patrick Robinson. The defense looked set to continue its upward trend in 2018. All it took was a little Fitzmagic to reveal a glaring weakness in the defense - the steep decline of Ken Crawley. I will not use this article to shame a player, so I will say that a number of things seem to have negatively impacted his play including poor match-ups, confidence, and lost physicality, and piling up penalties. Regardless of the reason, there was a ripple effect throughout the secondary.After several weeks of sketchy play in the secondary, New Orleans made a move and traded for former 1st round pick Eli Apple (PFF 57.6, #96 CB). A move that would pay dividends in many ways. Right about the time the pass rush started to find its way, Apple arrived to provide a perceived bandage opposite Marshon Lattimore (PFF 74.6, #22 CB), that stopped the hemorrhaging. What actually happened is the Saints found a quality #2 CB who can neutralize opposing #1 WRs (with a little safety help) or blanket opposing #2 WRs. His 2 best performances thus far have come against the Bengals and Bucs, Here he allowed a total of 3 catches on 14 targets for 21 yards. It hasn’t all been sweet as Apple had a very rough first half against the Cowboys, but compared to the early season struggles by the Saints #2 CB, he’s doing a good job.Lattimore also started the season with a rough opening day versus the Bucs. He soon found his way back to high quality reps in week 3 versus the Falcons. After rookie receiver Calvin Ridley had an insanely productive first half facing P.J. Williams (PFF 55.2, #102 CB) and Crawley Cheap A.J. Klein Youth Jersey , Lattimore manned up on him and essentially shut him down after the first half. Finally rounding into form and football shape, Lattimore began his rise back up the NFL CB rankings. Facing Joe Flacco, Lattimore allowed 1 catch on 6 attempts for eleven yards and a 39.6 passer rating his way. Facing the Eagles, Marshon allowed a passer rating of 16.7 on throws into his coverage, allowing 2 completions for 8 yards and an interception.The slot was supposed to be manned by Patrick Robinson this season. That was cut short by injury versus the Falcons. P.J. Williams was given his shot at covering opponents #3 WRs. The truth is, Williams has some good and bad moments. Often on back to back plays and it is quite possible that he has sometimes been spared being targeted more frequently, because Apple is vulnerable as well. That said, Williams is often penalized for the most ticky-tacky amounts of contact and sees his fair amount of flags. When he is on, P.J. is pretty good. He can be physical at the line or play off in the slot, and really cover big and small receivers on most routes. As long as expectations are tempered, you can see the true value of this young player.In my own long-winded way, I wanted to share my impression of the Saints secondary so far. My takeaway is that besides Lattimore and M. Williams who would be good anywhere, these players are most cohesive as a unit, having built a connection and chemistry. The reputation earned by the group that played the first 3 or four games is branded in the minds of many, but the reality is that this group has become opportunistic and is limiting the big play. I am happy with the progress and as long as this group stays focused and the pass rush continues to thrive, I see this unit getting better.As always, thanks for reading, Be Cool Who Dats!A Brief History of the NFL Salary Cap During the NFL offseason, teams make a multitude of player personnel decisions. Several factors matter in the decision to retain, restructure, or cut a player, but perhaps none have as large an impact as a player’s impact on the salary cap.I realized, as much as I hear about the NFL salary cap, I really didn’t understand why it was necessary and how it came to be. Salary caps are used mainly for two reasons: maintaining league parity among teams and controlling operating costs for league franchises.Back in the days of the All-American Football Conference of the 1940s, the Cleveland Browns, yes the Cleveland Browns, were so dominant that no other teams could compete with their level of spending and ability to hoard the league’s best talent. The league folded after four years in which the Browns won every game but three and took home the title each time as well.When a league employs a salary cap, the hope is that each team holds roughly the same economic power to attract and retain quality players. In the Major League of Baseball, for instance, there is no salary cap. This allows financial powerhouse teams like the New York Yankees to operate a 2018 player payroll of $115 White Alvin Kamara Jersey ,711,450 while the lowly Oakland A’s have to patchwork together a competitive team with a 2018 player payroll of $56,780,833.The 2011 hit movie Moneyball shed perfect light on the struggles of general managers like Billy Beane, who had to resort to a sophisticated sabermetric approach to scouting and signing players. There are a couple of alternatives to the no cap approach of the MLB.A hard salary cap, like the NFL’s, is a set amount that may not be exceeded for any reason. A soft salary cap, like the NBA’s, is an amount which may be exceeded, but will trigger a penalty - in this case, a luxury tax - which is known in advance. The NFL also operates with a hard salary floor that requires teams to spend a minimum amount of the salary cap. In the NFL, penalties for violating the salary cap and/or floor include fines of up to $5 Million per violation, cancellation of contracts, and/or loss of draft picks. The Saints almost drew a penalty in 2010, which, after NFL owners opted out of the 2008 Collective Bargaining Agreement, became an uncapped year. New Orleans joined Dallas, Washington, and Oakland in spending like crazy. Only Dallas ($10 Million) and Washington ($36 Million) were fined, and their fines were divided equally among the other 28 teams (excluding New Orleans and Oakland) who had not exceeded the salary cap. Because teams must remain under the salary cap at all times, NFL contracts almost always include the right to cut a player before the beginning of the season so his remaining salary cannot be held against the cap. Like my Dad says about the NFL in comparison to the NBA, “the teams aren’t going to guarantee a player’s health until their contracts are guaranteed too.” NFL bonuses, for the purposes of the salary cap, are classified as either “likely to be earned,” and count against the cap, or “not likely to be earned,” and not count. NFL franchises can stay under the cap a multitude of ways but the main effect of a hard salary cap was the release of higher paid veteran players in favor of younger players still playing out their cheaper rookie contracts.The NFLPA had to step in and create the veteran’s minimum salary which paid, without bonuses, up to $810,000 Alvin Kamara Jersey 2019 , while accounting for only $425,000 (47.5% discount) against the cap. A small reprieve, it’s still going to be hard to keep between 53 (in-season) and 90 (off-season) player salaries from exceeding the 2018 NFL salary cap of $177.2 Million.Divided among 53 players, that comes to an average of $3,342,396 per player. For perspective, the 2018 NBA salary cap of $101.869 Million, divided by a roster of 15, allows an average of $6,791,266 per player salary. That’s about $3,447,870 more in salary per player than the NFL.Maybe that would make sense if the NBA made tons more money than the NFL, but the exact opposite is the case. The total worth of all NBA franchises combined is roughly $40.8 Billion while the total worth of all NFL franchises combined is about $64 Billion. Even though I’d make the argument that the NBA has better international appeal and growth potential than the NFL, NFL players need to bring this misappropriation of profits to the forefront during their renegotiations of the CBA in 2020. Perhaps they could take another note from the NBA playbook and institute mandatory salary increases based on performance accolades.An NBA player coming off his rookie scale contract, for instance, is eligible to receive 30% of the cap if he was named MVP in any of the previous three seasons, named Defensive Player of the Year in the immediately preceding season (or two of the three most recent seasons), or named to an All-NBA team in the immediately preceding season (or two of the three most recent seasons).The main problem with this system, however, is that really good players are often overlooked because they didn’t receive the media hype and attention that leads to winning one of those distinctions. In fact, being left off an Associated Press All-NBA list can literally cost players millions of dollars as they negotiate their next contracts.No matter what the NFLPA’a game plan is for the 2020 CBA, hopefully it includes discussing the topics of guaranteed contracts, retooling the rookie wage scale for fairer pay earlier in contracts, and, most of all, raising the hard salary cap more than a meager 6-8% annually. The profits are there, even after a year of downward ratings and fan favorability.NFL players are getting hip to this. They are starting to demand guaranteed contracts. Word on the street is Aaron Rogers may very soon sign the largest fully guaranteed contract ever. But until the hard cap goes up as astronomically fast as recent player salaries, all Rogers’ contract will mean is a win for him and a loss for the four or five guys who the Packers now can’t afford to pay.
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