Archive for the ‘Free Agency’ Category

First Round Value BY POSITION

March 24, 2008

In the Past 10 drafts, here is a list of the number of first round picks taken BY POSITION:

QB 28, WR 43, OT 28, RB 30, G/C 13, TE 13, DE 37, DL 29, LB 36, CB 43, S 15, P 1

NET FREQUENCY DRAFTED

Here is the same list for NET FREQUENCY DRAFTED. This is defined as drafting frequency taken MINUS frequency on field. (Example: QB is 1 out of 22 players on field or ~4.6%, frequency taken is 28 out of a total of 316 players taken or ~8.9%, so QBs are taken with a NET FREQUENCY of 8.9%-4.6%= +4.3% excess weight in first round.)

RB +5%
QB +4.3%
DE +2.6%
CB +2.2%
WR +2.2%
DL +0.1%
LB +0.0%
OT -0.2%
TE -0.4%
S -4.3%
G/C -9.5%

What this says is that RBs, QBs, DE’s, CB’s and WR’s are more coveted vs their number of players at that position on the field. It also says that Safeties and Interior Offensive Linemen are less coveted relative to their numbers on the field. This makes a great deal of sense given what we know about the game. Interior Offensive Linemen are less skilled than Tackles, and while they are in the trenches, they do not cause fumbles and make impact the way other players can. Likewise, Safeties are not as fast as Cornerbacks and certainly not as important as a versatile LB or DE (who can wreak more havoc on a QB).

ULTIMATENYG General Manager:
(a) Underweight RB. While these players can have great impact, they also rate to get injured and have far shorter careers.
(b) Underweight WR. We have discussed this in 2007’s offseason. There are always WRs available in free agency. Case in point Burress, Moss and Stallworth. Less draft, more free agent. If you want a quality WR, the Toomers and Smiths are there in Round 2 anyway.
(c) Underweight DL if you can. This is not a statement about need for effectiveness in the trenches. It is merely an observation that DL is probably the second hardest position for a rookie next to QB, and that experience is more important than pedigree. I keep thinking about Barry Cofield and Keith Hamilton at Round4 vs the Jets’ Dwayne Robertson at Round1, the 4th pick in the entire draft. Good DL’s take years to develop, and it negates the immediate impact you need for your first rounder in today’s cap world. Articulated another way- you can win a title with a midround DL who simply is afforded the time to play the position.
(d) Overweight OT. SLAM DUNK. The statistic above that Offensive Tackles are only taken roughly in line with their natural frequency on the field is very surprising to me. The numbers do not lie. Use this to your advantage and draft more Offensive Tackles.

Burress, Accorsi and Reese

March 17, 2008

Back in March of 2005, Burress’ agent tried to make an arms race between the Giants and a few other teams. Burress shows up at Giants Stadium. The agent does not accompany him, meaning that a deal is not likely to get done. This maneuver by the agent pissed the Giants off big time. The Giants told his agent that once Burress left them their interest was done. In an unusual move, the Giants then went out of their way to tell the media and the world that they no longer had interest in Burress. This was a way of telling the agent that they were not letting him shop their interest. It served to tell other teams that they should be wary of the agent’s gaming tactics. And lastly, it directly undermined the player’s value. After Burress went to look at the Vikings, he fired his agent, got Drew Rosenhaus and got a deal done with the Giants. The date was March 17, 2005, and Plaxico Burress took jersey #17 for the day of the contract. Three years later he is a Super Bowl champion wearing Giant blue.

The story reminds us that the Giants will not be leveraged. They go one and one, but once you leave you are done. And as they have shown so many times, they will go the cheaper route if they have to. It is interesting to note that Accorsi signed THREE BIG PLAYERS that month: Antonio Pierce, Kareem McKenzie and Plaxico Burress. Nice haul. ALL THREE WERE A BIG FOUNDATION FOR THE 2007 YEAR AND SUPER BOWL WIN. Reese still must respect that element of the front office. He is a scout, and wants to win with the players he drafts. That is great, but you need to go after a special player once in a while because he is a proven source who can help a need and win you a championship. Reese is not Accorsi, but he has to respect that Accorsi was a part of his success last year when he did not chase the next round of free agents. He had others from Accorsi’s years to fall back on.

Summary- using cheap replenishments in free agency exclusively only works when you already have a great deal of talent and are very successful in the draft. There is too much talent lost in free agency for a team to reasonably assume that it will not need to use this player pool to improve the roster.

Attention Kmart Shoppers

March 15, 2008

Let’s review the Giants’ free agent signings in 2008:

1) Sammy Knight S 5.15M/3yrs
2) David Carr QB 1M/1yr
3) Danny Clark OLB 4M/2yrs
4) Derrick Ward RB 1.1M/1yr

Do you see a profile? Reese is simply looking for CHEAP bodies in NEED places.Last month we identified needs and four of them were hit by the Giants. These are role players that plug holes. Do the Giants still need a CB, S, LB and LT in this draft? ABSOLUTELY. But now the Giants will not be tripping over themselves drafting for need ahead of value. Reese’s formula is simple- get enough need taken care of with lower tier free agents so that you are as flexible as possible in the draft.

Derrick Ward re-signs with Giants

March 14, 2008

Derrick Ward has re-signed with the Giants.

The price was cheap enough. Ward has been injured a lot, and while he did a good job when healthy, Rob points out that Ward could never break that tackle which sent him to a long gain. If he got past the line of scrimmage, he was ALWAYS going down for a gain of 8-9 yards. While there is nothing wrong with an 8 yard gain, in the open field you have to be able to go for a 30-50 yarder some of the time, something Bradshaw and Jacobs have proven they are able to do. With Ward’s salary very modest, it is the right thing to do for the team… but I certainly want to see BRADSHAW getting the bulk of the carries going forward. If Ward’s presence interferes with Bradshaw’s touches, then this signing is going to end up costing us more than the insurance is worth.

NY Giants free agency news and items

March 11, 2008

1) David Carr is visiting the Gmen. I like the move. I thought Carr had enough skill to get the job done, but was with teams that were flawed (Texans) and forced him to do more than he could (Panthers backup too quickly in starting role/injured). The Giants offense has all the pieces of the puzzle (excepting a very good LT), so we do not need a tremendous backup QB to keep us competitive. Remember that the Giants offense does not ask the QB to do everything. Schwartz refers to the sack numbers this guy took- he will be able to improve on that because he will get much better protection and will not be asked to stay in the pocket with the ball forever. I suspect he was not the Giants’ first choice because he comes with a price tag. But now that it is 12 days into free agency, that price may have dropped enough to make him more value than before.

2) The Daily News does some salary cap math for us. Very good to read these items to understand where it all goes. Quick summary is that there is really only around 10M-11M left, not ~21M. Reese will need that money to up the antes on Strahan, Umenyiora and Burress.

ESPN reports Giants sign Sammy Knight

March 3, 2008

3 yrs 5.15M, 1.25M Guaranteed.

Free Agency Busts

March 3, 2008

Free Agency Models compared

BEFORE ANYONE GETS TOO EXCITED WITH THE GRASS BEING GREENER IN THE NEIGHBOR’S YARD:

Top 10 Free Agent Busts (..and the Giants not close to anyone on this list.)

I think you could have come up with a list of the Top 10 Redskin Free Agent Busts singlehandedly. Hmm, let’s try (in no particular order)…

1) Deion Sanders (this is a stickup, gimme all your money!)
2) Adam Archuletta (instant doom)
3) Dana Stubblefield (my favorite, he had me quaking in my boots coming over from the 49ers in the early years of free agency, and every game we saw him he was as tame as a kitten)
4) Jeremiah Trotter (good with the Eagles, bad with the Skins, good with the Eagles!)
5) Bruce Smith (the older they are, the more insane the team)
6) Jeff George (Jeff George)
7) Stanley Richard (4 quiet years, a relative genius acquisition on this list)
8) James Washington (Dallas dude, Washington dud)
9) Mike Barrow (beware of LBers over the age of 30)
10) Jacquez Green (you could have had your pick of any one of a # of Spurrier misses)

Non-moves continue..

March 1, 2008

Excerpted from Schwartz at the NYPost:

1) The Saints called and expressed interest in trading for tight end Jeremy Shockey. The Giants are not shopping Shockey and they declined to discuss any trade.
2) The Giants have some interest in Seahawks RB/kick returner Alvin Pearman. They also could be interested in a similar player, Maurice Hicks of the 49ers, and possibly two veterans, CB Jason Webster (Bills) and DE N.D. Kalu (Texans).
3) The Giants spoke with the agent for QB Trent Green.

The Giants expressed interest in a few other mid/lower tier players, and once there was more than a couple of teams interested as well, the Giants said no thanks. Typical. When was the last time you saw the Giants get in an arms race? They like going one on one. No bidding wars for the Giants.

Free Agency Eve

February 28, 2008

Free agency begins tonight. Do not try to predict what Reese will do. If one uses last year as a single datapoint, he will be quieter than we would like. But drawing conclusions from one datapoint is ridiculous. There could be one particular player who the Giants rate much higher than others, in which case Reese gets active in a hurry. We’ll put it another way- the over/under number for high ticket free agents the Giants entertain will be 1, and the over/under number for high ticket free agents the Giants sign will be 0.5. Here is a quick summary of excerpted positions from packersnews.com which are more relevant to the Giants-

Linebackers: Lance Briggs has been linked to San Francisco and Washington after spending a season wallowing under the franchise tag in Chicago. He seems best suited to play outside linebacker in a 4-3 defensive scheme, and at 27, he will strike it rich. … Terrell Suggs (Baltimore), a hybrid linebacker/end, and Karlos Dansby (Arizona) have been franchised. … The price for converted end Calvin Pace (Arizona) jumped after his breakout season in 2007, but the Cardinals reportedly want to retain the five-year veteran. Bargain basement: Boss Bailey (Detroit), Kawika Mitchell (N.Y. Giants), Brandon Chillar (St. Louis), DeMorrio Williams (Atlanta), Rosevelt Colvin (New England, released).

Cornerbacks: New Orleans reportedly is the front-runner to land Asante Samuel (New England), the 27-year-old cover king who is considered the top free agent in this year’s class. The Jets, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia also have been linked to Samuel, who is expected to get a contract averaging $10 million or more per year. … Nnamdi Asomugha (Oakland) and Marcus Trufant (Seattle) were franchised, leaving Drayton Florence — who lost his starting job in San Diego last season to Antonio Cromartie — as the next best option. Question mark: Will Brian Kelly (Tampa Bay) regret paying $435,000 to buy out the final year of a contract that would have paid him $3.2 million in base salary next season? Bargain basement: Ty Law (Kansas City, reportedly to be released), Randall Gay (New England), Travis Fisher (Detroit), Jacques Reeves (Dallas).

Safeties: Gibril Wilson will test the market. Philadelphia and Denver have been reported as possible destinations. Dallas placed the franchise tag on Ken Hamlin. Question mark: How will season-ending injuries to Yeremiah Bell (Miami) and Madieu Williams (Cincinnati) affect their value? Bargain basement: Eugene Wilson (New England), Will Demps (Houston), Marquand Manuel (Carolina), Chris Crocker (Atlanta).

I was going to include a recap of Left Tackle, but when I read it, it made me wince. They had Flozell Adams at 32 leading the parade… between his age and his stature as a penalty offender on the order of Luke Petitgout, I would be surprised to see Reese go for him.. and any other high priced name in this category. This leaves us with Safety, CB, and LB as the only places where we might be active. The only other item of note will be Derrick Ward, who is expected to hit the free agent market tomorrow.