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Monday, February 03, 2014

Super Bowl proves one thing

Many will point to the outcome of the Super Bowl and say it shows that defense and running the ball still matter in the NFL.

While that might be partly true, to me it also shows that teams who are not paying their quarterback big money - yet - have an advantage.

Seattle has done a good job drafting over the past few years. But, because it doesn't have $10 to $20 million tied up in the quarterback position, the Seahawks were also able to add some key players last offseason in free agency.

In fact, take a look at this list of players Seattle had the cap space to sign in the offseason:

Wide receiver Percy Harvin, defensive end Michael Bennett, defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, defensive end Cliff Avril, cornerback Antoine Winfield and cornerback Marcus Trufant

Harvin didn't play much this season because of a hip injury, but made a huge impact in the Super Bowl, while McDaniel, Avril and Bennett were all key players in the defensive front rotation.

Harvin counted $13.4 million against the team's salary cap this season, while Avril was $9.25 million, making them two of the team's top five-paid players (Harvin was first, Avril fifth).

Quarterback Russell Wilson counted just over $800,000, and that number goes up to just over $950,000 next season.

In fact, it won't be until 2016 when the chickens really come home to roost for Seattle, though a number of key players off that stellar defense will become free agents before that.

But once it has to pay Wilson, who has won more games in his first two seasons than any other quarterback and is signed through 2015, Seattle is going to be in cap hell like everyone else who has a star quarterback.




25 comments:

Anonymous said...

The QB? Don't you think maybe they had money to make moves because they aren't overpaying Ike Taylor, LaMarr Woodley, Troy Polamalu & Ryan Clark? If we payed players their actual worth and quit constantly restructuring contracts, we too would have money to sign players.

Eric T said...

To Dale's point, Wilson's low cap number allowed the Seahawks to offset the big cap numbers to non contributors, such as S. Rice and Z. Miller, who accounted for $20 million of the cap.

Dale Lolley said...

Exactly. But please feel free to keep bitching about big contracts given to guys who helped win Super Bowls.

Dale Lolley said...

That was to anonymous, not you Eric T.

Anonymous said...

You aren't supposed to pay players based on what they've done but one what they will do.

The Steelers used to know that. Now we cling to aging players.

Dale Lolley said...

No, they signed those players to those deals when they were in the middle of solid careers.

Dale Lolley said...

The Steelers got hurt by the cap flattening out the past couple of years. Previously, it had been going up between five and $10 million per year. The past three years, it's seen very little growth.

Anonymous said...

Eh. Denver also added some FAs to their roster despite their $20m QB. Knighton was huge. Welker. Few others. Tired of the SB window excuse. They've been in the cap sh#t since before 2005. Got bailed out by the 2006 CBA.

Here's the thing. Rooney built Heinz Field to be competitive with the rest of the league. In FA, in player retention. With what they've done with their cap situation is equivalent to rolling back the clock to the Three Rivers days.

This last offseason was pure delusion. Colbert feigned digust last year with going 8-8, then put together a roster that on paper was less than that 8-8 team. Now they've pissed away 2 years treading water. Coulda been well into rebounding by now.

phil said...

they ARE rebounding right now. the difference is that the bengals go 2-14 when they're rebounding and the steelers go 8-8

Dale Lolley said...

The 2014 Steelers were better than the 2013 version, by far, in my opinion.
I see a team getting better. The 2013 team was clearly on the decline.

As for rolling things back to Three Rivers days, I guess one losing season, five AFC Championship games and three Super Bowls with two wins, in 12 seasons at Heinz Field just isn't good enough for some.

NineFingers said...

Come on people...Count your lucky stars that you are Steelers fans. There have been 48 Super Bowls. The Steelers have played in 8 of them. That's one Super Bowl appearance every 6 years. I'll take that all day, everyday.

#zerofortheBrowns

Anonymous said...

The 2014 Steelers were better than the 2013 version, by far, in my opinion.
I see a team getting better. The 2013 team was clearly on the decline.

As for rolling things back to Three Rivers days, I guess one losing season, five AFC Championship games and three Super Bowls with two wins, in 12 seasons at Heinz Field just isn't good enough for some.


And for others, there's no water pail too heavy. You know, as long as we're generalizing here.

Their cap problems have been persistent. Long before this new CBA. There's no bemoaning this protracted flattened cap, when the prior CBA pulled them from the fire. You give Colbert far too much credit.

Like Colbert and Tomlin have reminded us so many other times, you are what your record is. Last year they were an 'unacceptable 8-8'. This year they are an 'improved by far' 8-8. Go fig. 8-8 is 8-8. Their cap situation once again has them stymied. In the past, when they were say, carefree tagging Starks back to back, there was enough talent and depth on the team that it wasn't as critical that most options were closed to them. As long as they drafted ok. Now they're punting that too.

But whatev.

marc said...

the seahawks have a favorable cap situation because they drafted extremely well and coached players up. will they eventually hit "cap hell"? - it depends on how well they continue to draft and coach. if they keep this up, then no, they will be able to let high price FA's go and replace them with young, talented players still on their first contract. this will allow them the latitude to then bring in a needed FA's to plug holes on a year to year basis. of course, much easier said than done.

if they have a couple bad drafts and lack young talent then they will get stuck in needing to overpay for veteran's to stay.

the steeler's are in "cap hell" because they blew some drafts and overpaid to keep guys around for "one more try" at the superbowl. the only way to get out is cut bait on vets and draft well. that's what they started doing last offseason and will continue to do this offseason. if they don't draft well - and coach well too - then this team will slide under .500 within a couple years.

Anonymous said...

In the 90's the steelers never kept high priced players and never got over the hump. The last decade they did and won 2 superbowls and appeared in a third. But now we are paying the piper for keeping those players.

Anonymous said...

The days of letting rookies sit and learn are over, as we saw some rookies contribute this year. I think the coaching and front office realize that we need young guys on the field and can't wait to play them until their contract has a year left on it.

Zeke

Anonymous said...

What happened to the Steelers who dumped an aging Joey Porter and started Harrison?

Now we overpay Woodley and prepare to let Worlids leave in FA.

Don't even get me started on letting Keenan Lewis go while we paid Ike Taylor 10 million to give up the 7th most yards of any corner in the NFL last year.

Anonymous said...

Another lesson: put the young talent on the field.

All of those young talented defenders wouldn't have helped the Steelers as LeBeau refuses to play youngsters unless he has no other alternative.

Steve said...

No guarantee that Wilson (and his agent) are going to wait two more years to talk about a new deal.

Steve said...

Anon,

What's the argument for playing youngsters for the sake of playing youngsters?

adamg said...

I think Seattle showed a team can win with a competent qb playing within a system with an effective running game and dominant defense. Why pay 20M and up for a qb when all you need is a game manager?

marc said...

agreed.

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

The defense that Seattle has just as the one the Steelers had in 2008 don't come every year either. It is probably as hard to have such a tough and game changing defense as it is to get an elite QB, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Not saying youngsters should play just for the sake of it. Saying LeBeau only plays them if he has no other options. These are the 2 extremes. I would like to be in the middle.

Anonymous said...

Good read from Starkey:

http://triblive.com/sports/joestarkey/5524432-74/steelers-defense-players#axzz2sSVe33bS

Anonymous said...

Doom and gloom, the sky is falling! The Steelers are fine. They have made some bad decisions. The Woodley contract looks bad now but no one thought that at the time. They had a couple bad drafts with 2008 being the worst. They should have found a way to keep Keenan Lewis, assuming he wanted to play here. I hated the Jarvis Jones pick. But this is all arm chair GMing with the benefit of hindsight by insanely unqualified fans who don't even see players in practice! They look at a few GIFs on a Steelers blog and think they are the next Steelers GM in waiting. I have opinions on the moves the steelers make but come on, who am I? The Steelers have plenty of talent already on the roster heading into next year and will be in the thick of the division race with a relatively easy schedule. Go watch your steelers Super Bowl DVDs and remember that wasn't that long ago.