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From the Press Box: Week 14

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From the Press Box: Week 14

Today marks yet another day where the contracts of Major League Baseball befuddle me and why, while there are problems, the NFL was smart to put together a salary cap and avoid fully guaranteed contracts.

The Seattle Mariners—from what I understand, not a great team one player away from the World Series

Now, I'm no longer a much of a baseball fan and I will admit to ignorance about most of the inner workings these days but I've always thought the contracts in baseball were ludicrous.

A 10-year, $240 million contract singed by former New York Yankee/new Seattle Mariner Robinson Cano is insane. Fully guaranteed.

That means if he sucks, he gets paid. If he misses games, he gets paid. If he never plays another inning,he gets paid.

I used to love baseball, now I'm more of a casual fan. Some of it is probably the PEDs flap, some of it was the last labor strike.

But at heart, some of it is the stupid contracts.

In part because it means some teams who can't or won't spend will never compete.

Not that huge contracts guarantee World Series wins. Some of them are downright disastrous.

But if you can't spend a stupid amount of money, more than likely you will not see the postseason and you almost certainly won't win a world series.

Now, I don't hate the players for taking it any more than I hate any athlete who takes money while they can get it.

But if you look at the competitive balance in the NFL versus Major League Baseball, while there are always some of the same teams contending for the NFL championship, any number of teams can win it. Baseball never feels like that.

And I always have felt that the guaranteed contracts are a large portion of that.

 

Thursday Night Lights & Kubiak Gets the Boot

Despite the fact that Thursday's game was rather meaningless, there was still some information to be gleaned from it.

I give it the full once over at my personal blog, but the big news would be that the Texans fired head coach Gary Kubiak.

I've heard some opine that it seemed ridiculous that the Texans do this now, with just four weeks to go in the season. The thinking seems to be that the "coaching season" is months away so why now?

Well, you can certainly argue that firing Kubiak now won't turn things around or impact the play of the team much—it's already playing terrible football.

However I disagree that "coaching season" isn't starting—there are plenty of college coaches the Texans can go after who have time on their hands—even if they have a bowl game soon—and could be in play even now.

Not to mention nobody else is dialing up Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher or Lovie Smith at this moment.

It's not like this is a knee-jerk reaction.

Sure, Kubiak had back-to-back 10-plus win seasons but prior to 2010 he'd had exactly one winning season. His overall record as a head coach is 61-64 and while that shouldn't automatically get him fired, it's not a compelling reason to keep him on.

His refusal to give up on Matt Schaub—who I've said should be gone since over a year ago—didn't help and looked worse and worse as Schaub imploded spectacularly this year.

Kubiak will find another job at some point, should he choose to look. He's a fine coach but it looked like whatever success he had the last two years wasn't coming again soon.

 

Who is getting ready for the 2014 NFL draft?

It's all coming together now. It's all becoming clear.

Well, not really.

There are certainly some divisional races which have been settled, but many more still in flux.

A few weeks back we looked at the teams I felt were out of contention and why. I can't find that piece right now (which tells me I was a tad early on it) and was going to update it anyway.

So let's look at who who is out, who is almost out and who is doing their early draft due diligence.

Some we've hit before so we won't get very in depth here.

The Dead and Buried

Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater anyone? Don't put it past them to ignore the quarterback issue, but they shouldn't.

Washington: Would be in line for a great pick if they had a first rounder.....which they don't. So sad.

Atlanta Falcons: They need help on the offensive line, badly.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Can you draft a new head coach?

Jacksonville Jaguars:If the Texans don't take Teddy, the Jaguars have to. I'm just getting my draft work going so second choice for a quarterback isn't set but Derek Carr out of Fresno State looks solid.

Minnesota Vikings: Another quarterback? Bridgewater?

Cleveland Browns: Another team desperate for a quarterback. Could they trade up?

Oakland Raiders: Another quarterback need, maybe some help on the defensive side.

Buffalo Bills: Will be interesting to see if they go defense or continue to try and build an offense along the line.

New York Jets: They need receivers. Badly.

New York Giants: The offensive line is bad. The secondary needs help. There's some work to be done.

San Diego Chargers: A lot of holes, but my guess is they address the defense.

St. Louis Rams: They'll have two picks—this one and Washington's. So they have a shot at two blue-chip prospects.

Tennessee Titans: Really need to look at this team but seems like they need offensive help.


Grim but not Dead Yet

Chicago Bears: Still an outside shot of a division title if the Lions collapse.

Green Bay Packers: No way do I think a Wild Card is coming out of the North but there is an outside chance they can win the NFCN.

Pittsburgh Steelers:  Offensive line needs some help.

Miami Dolphins: Offensive line part 6.

 

On the Bubble

Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles: The Niners looked like they had locked the second Wild Card up early but now it's close and any of these three teams can take it. There's the outside chance the Panthers or Saints don't win the other card too.

Baltimore Ravens: Just a pair of games behind a reeling Bengals team so, they aren't dead yet.

 

That's where we stand as we hit Week 14. We'll take a look again later and start breaking down some draft stuff over the next few weeks as well.

Enjoy the games!

Andrew Garda is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. He is also a member of the fantasy football staff at FootballGuys.com and the NFL writer at CheeseheadTV.com. You can follow him at @andrew_garda on Twitter.

 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (3) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Lou's picture

I can't think of a long high dollar contract in baseball that has validated the move and in the NFL only Reggie White's signing as a free agent really took a team all the way. As long as owners have egos they will continue but fortunately the NFL has a real salary cap and shared revenue to balance the playing field. The timing of the Kubiak firing has merits both ways but the real issue is wishing him good health. He was very fortunate to make a ton of money and learn the game backing up John Elway, he and Doug Pederson made more money per play than most NFL players. A year out of the game for him is the best medicine he could take.

Al Dante's picture

They would call it collusion if all the beesball owners go together and agreed not to sign contracts longer than 5 years. Congress, the Unions, the President, all hell would break loose. However, now that the Yankee's finally put their foot down and said no, hopefully other owners will see the light and just pass.
A Rod is still due a ton of money until 2017 and his career is mostly in the toilet at this point.
The owners create their own bed of nails and they and they alone can stop this by saying no.
I laughed when talking to my brother in law about Fielder. I said the Tigers would be wise to dump this loser and take their loses and the next day they did.
That alone will help that team.

Unfortunately on the football side, only Ted T is in a game by himself. No deep pockets, no backloading contracts which means passing on low round draft picks, no free agents. Eventually it bites you in the you know what and that time is now. Its called our defense or lack of. It could get a lot worse if Ted gives up those low round picks for 5th and 6th rounders. Its time he gets players, not bodies.

Turophile's picture

A contract of almost a quarter of a billion dollars. Think about that for a moment. Add together the chances of that player going off the rails in a decade (drugs, mental problems with such pressure to perform, loss of 'mojo', injury or accident). Hmmm.

That is comfortably inside total fruit loop territory.

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