Draft King Analysis|
March 11, 2013
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com
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There isn't much of value that I can do for the site right now from a draft projection standpoint, not with things changing at warp speed ahead of tomorrow's 4 p.m. EDT upcoming trades and free agency signings. But there are some things worth noting:
-The deal by Minnesota to see WR Percy Harvin to Seattle will, according to multiple published reports, involve the Vikings receiving the Seahawks' 2013 first-round pick, #25 overall, along with multiple other picks. That gives Minnesota picks #23 and #25 in this draft.
-San Francisco trading a sixth-round pick to Baltimore for Anquan Boldin might sound like a steal, but remember that Boldin turns 33 in October. This isn't to say that Boldin doesn't have any gas left in the tank, but the 49ers are in a position with their plethora of picks to load up with low-cost rookie contracts and be able to afford paying someone like Boldin $6 million for one year of service and take the associated cap hit.
-I don't get how the Redskins are supposedly going to outbid the Patriots for pending UFA CB Aqib Talib. It would be a total Redskins type move, shelling out big money for a talented-but-sometimes-troubled player, though with the salary cap penalty they face I don't see how it's supposed to happen. In a related note, I still haven't heard a satisfactory explanation that doesn't involve the word collusion for why the Redskins and Cowboys spending freely in an uncapped year somehow warranted punishment. And don't feel me the structured in a manner designed to secure an unfair competitive advantage line -- those 2010 contracts were all approved by the league office.
At the same time, the uncapped year was a great example of the importance of the salary cap in preventing the NFL from falling into an MLB-style abyss of have and have-not franchises. As I've written many times, the NFL sells hope -- and an arms race of spending would cut into that hope considerably, particularly for clubs in medium-sized media markets. Imagine the Packers having to trade Aaron Rodgers to the Jets because they couldn't afford to keep him due to Green Bay being such a small city compared with the home bases of the rest of the league's franchises? The fact that doesn't happen in the NFL is because of the television revenue sharing setup that large market owners wisely agreed to several decades ago.
-It's impossible to know how things will play out when the starting gun for unrestricted free agent signings goes off tomorrow, but as I linked to earlier today on Twitter, Evan Silva of Rotoworld posted this outstanding list of probable destinations and contracts for the top 100 unrestricted free agents. Also, it's noteworthy that this is the end of an era for drafted players being unrestricted free agents. With all drafted players signing at least four-year contracts ever since the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement went into effect, this is the final year of drafted guys (from 2010) who signed three-year deals.
There will continue to be cases of undrafted RFAs like Giants WR Victor Cruz being on the market, but overall this is it for drafted guys as restricted free agents unless something changes. But it's not that big of a deal considering how seldom restricted free agents sign offer sheets; without the power of a poison pill (which is no longer allowed) there is typically very little motivation for teams to negotiate deals with RFAs knowing that the parent team has the right of first refusal.