I thought it was pretty interesting.
FREE AGENT MARKET OUT OF CONTROL (AGAIN)
After four full days of free agency, many league insiders are echoing past complaints of an orgiastic spending spree that has resulted in more than a few players getting far more money than they're worth.
It all makes us wonder whether some teams are interested in winning -- or whether they simply want to flex their muscles by spending money.
After all, with revenue sharing, luxury suites, and a billion-dollar television deal, none of the NFL teams is losing money. And with the bottom half of every roster essentially composed of a group of fungible minimum-salary veterans and rookies, many teams can afford to throw cash around in March without significantly hurting their ability to field an objectively competitive team in September.
So as the talent level in the NFL continues to compress, we're starting to think that the free-agency frenzy has a lot more to do with the egos of G.M.'s and owners than it has to do with putting together championship teams.
One personnel exec commented on some of the early signings.
Take defensive tackle Fred Robbins, who left Minnesota because he wasn't good enough to start. Robbins' refuge was a six-year, $20 million contract from the Giants. Robbins "has been in the witness protection program his entire career," said the source.
And before the Vikings start feeling too good about letting Robbins go, the source also took aim at the decision to foist more than $30 million upon 5'9" cornerback Antoine Winfield, who likely asked for a booster seat while he was being wined and dined by the Jets and Vikes.
"We wouldn't have given him $500,000 to sign," said the source.
How about John Tait? "A stiff," said the source.
Another insider was amazed by the Redskins' decision to offer a six-year, $15 million deal to Rams cornerback Jerametrius Butler.
"I can see [Joe] Gibbs sitting in his office now, looking at NASCAR mags and waiting for Little Danny to barge in again and say, 'Hey Grandpap, we got another . . . . We got another . . . . We got another,' and Gibbs having to look at his football guide to see who in the hell the guy is."
One NFL player who once played with Butler told us, quite simply, that the third-year pro "is not that good."
Of course, whether or not a guy is "not that good" doesn't matter. At this stage of the offseason, the only real game is the grabbing of headlines by the spending of coin. Because if the buzz created by spending a chunk salary cap money sells some more tickets and/or jerseys and/or bobbleheads at a time when the sports world otherwise is focused on baseball (yawn) and NCAA basketball (snore), signing an overrated turd might just be a good business move.
But the consensus in many circles is that, even if it's a blueprint for financial prosperity, it's not the pathway to the Super Bowl.
And the end result is a mantra spreading throughout the league:
"We have to get that guy before the other team does, even if he sucks."