Contrarian thinking is something most usually talked about concerning the stock market. Contrarians will invest in things that others wouldn't even consider. They don't consider them because they are not en vogue at the moment. Tech stocks have been a recent example of this. No one was investing in techs much since the bubble burst a few years ago, but recently there has been a resurgence and some 'contrarians' have made good money on 'dead' stocks.
What does this have to do with football? Well, if you look at where the Chiefs(and several other top 10 draft teams)are in relation to the old salary floor, you find an interesting coincidence. Six of the top 10 draft spots are owned by teams that are under the old salary floor--way under. Why would that be the case? Let's give it a look after the jump.
Don't you recall all of the cheap(not Chief)talk about how the Chiefs were so far under the salary floor that they were going to make a big spash in FA? At least a lot of folks were hoping that was the case. It didn't happen. Having to spend money in the draft may have been a reason. In fact, there were very few BIG free agency moves this year. That seems to be a strange occurance considering that there was no salary cap. I mean, if you had the cash you could have done nearly any deal you wanted to for that 'special' player. Why was this year's FA a dud?
According to Mike Florio of PFT: Based on the numbers, the following franchises are, to date, taking full advantage of the lack of a salary floor: the Chiefs ($79 million), the Buccaneers ($79 million), the Jaguars ($81 million), the Bengals ($85 million), the Cardinals ($91 million), the Rams ($92 million), the Bills ($98 million).
Six of these teams will have top ten picks in the draft this year. It looks like to me that they knew that they would have to spend a bunch of money on an unproven rookie because of their draft spot. With all of the needy teams in the top of the draft, they won't all be able to trade down. Could this be an explanation of why there were no big time FA moves for these teams this year? Remember how everyone was so impressed with how cheap(not Chief)we got Thomas Jones? He probably has some very healthy incentives in that contract that was so CHEAP. Was Pioli conserving cash to pay the hefty money that top ten draftees would command? All the talk about how 'deep' this years draft is in talent would also seem a reason that teams would rather spend their money on the draft than on a not so stellar crop of FAs.
So I ask you, would it not be contrarian at this point to consider trading up in this years draft? A lot of folks are out there pulling a Henny-Penny, shouting "The sky is falling, the sky is falling" because all of these poor, poor NFL teams have to make a pick in the top 10. The reason that the sky is supposedly falling is that these teams are stuck with picks that no team in their right mind would want simply because of the cost. They would rather be able to trade down to get to where the VALUE is right?
Well what if a contrarian(I think Pioli might qualify)were to decide to swim upstream? What if he says hey Mangini, Chan and even Shanny, how about us giving you a second, third and fifth rounder for your first round pick? Suddenly we are looking at getting two impact players in this years draft instead of one. How would that grab you? We would go from a sad sack, can't trade out of that stupid, usless number five pick, to getting Eric Berry and Cody/Williams/McClain/Okung/Suh all in one fell swoop.
Pioli has engineered this kind of thing before. Trades on draft day? Once a GM breaks open the pinata this year the ensuing scramble may just surprise everybody.