I feel like when I discuss the mock drafts, I should use a disclaimer. I'm not that knowledgeable so just don't kill me. My boss used to be a lead accountant for players contracts with the Buccaneers here in Florida. So every once in awhile he has some tidbits he'll throw out about the inner workings of player contracts. Last week we were talking about the draft and he said some stuff about behind the scenes negotiations and the business side of the draft I found interesting.
I would be unable to tell you the exact words he used because I don't remember them. But anyway, here's some interesting perspective from a purely business aspect.
In a better economy, owners could sidestep a lot of advise from their accountants. Owners did not have to worry about money 5 years ago. Now they do. It is inevitable that at some point the NFL will become vulnerable to the same economy that they share with the rest of us. Is it possible then, that the economy could change the way teams draft as soon as this year?
Let's look at this together and you decide for yourself.
First, let's start here;
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Team Team Value (billions) Stadium Revenue (millions) Operating Income (millions) Player Expenses (millions) Gate Receipts (millions) Arizona Cardinals $0.91 $203 $19.7 $129 $43 Atlanta Falcons $0.87 $203 $30.9 $115 $43 Baltimore Ravens $1.06 $226 $23.0 $135 $56 Buffalo Bills $0.89 $206 $12.4 $139 $40 Carolina Panthers $1.04 $221 $22.3 $124 $51 Chicago Bears $1.06 $226 $33.7 $134 $55 Cincinnati Bengals $0.94 $205 $22.0 $129 $46 Cleveland Browns $1.04 $220 $19.3 $129 $46 Dallas Cowboys $1.61 $269 $30.6 $137 $46 Denver Broncos $1.06 $226 $18.8 $132 $59 Detroit Lions $0.92 $204 $-3.1 $136 $44 Green Bay Packers $1.02 $218 $21.9 $125 $47 Houston Texans $1.13 $239 $43.9 $128 $48 Indianapolis Colts $1.08 $203 $16.1 $132 $42 Jacksonville Jaguars $0.88 $204 $27.6 $126 $42 Kansas City Chiefs $1.02 $214 $11.9 $138 $50 Miami Dolphins $1.04 $232 $36.1 $123 $56 Minnesota Vikings $0.84 $195 $18.9 $122 $42 New England Patriots $1.32 $282 $39.2 $144 $80 New Orleans Saints $0.94 $213 $21.5 $139 $41 New York Giants $1.18 $214 $41.2 $112 $54 New York Jets $1.17 $213 $25.9 $129 $52 Oakland Raiders $0.86 $205 $27.0 $126 $39 Philadelphia Eagles $1.12 $237 $33.5 $131 $53 Pittsburgh Steelers $1.02 $216 $14.4 $135 $46 San Diego Chargers $0.89 $207 $19.0 $133 $49 San Francisco 49ers $0.87 $201 $4.1 $137 $39 Seattle Seahawks $1.01 $215 $8.9 $130 $44 St Louis Rams $0.93 $206 $26.4 $130 $43 Tampa Bay Buccaneers $1.05 $224 $39.3 $128 $56 Tennessee Titans $0.99 $216 $24.5 $127 $44 Washington Redskins $1.54 $327 $58.1 $154 $84
The above article also points out something I think every Chiefs fan might find very interesting, because it could shape how the Lions pick in this draft. That would of course affect how we draft.
Only one team in the league — the Detroit Lions — lost money last season
I want to be clear that I am no way insinuating that I am privy to any secret insider information. I just thought AP might enjoy viewing the upcoming draft from this vantage point. This is strictly for conversation. I thought it was really interesting and thought you might to. So here it is;
We have established that the Detroit Lions are in financial trouble. I know you probably watched the highlight of Matthew Stafford injuring his arm and still throwing the winning TD. You know what caught my eye about that highlight? How empty the stands were. The Detroit Lions are in trouble financially. Matt Millen has destroyed that organization. They have their work cut out for them over there. Which brings me to the point. This could possibly change everything about the upcoming first round draft picks. How so?
Because it is not impossible that the St. Louis Rams will draft something other than a QB with their first pick. It might be likely that they will, but it is not definite. As jrcnc pointed out recently; a top ten pick is as much a punishment as a reward. Their expensive, and yes, they can end up being a bust too. Teams will be watching the economy a little tighter from here on out. It is possible that the Rams would want to get rid of their number one pick. But they would not just pass on it all together.
And according to Mike Florio,
the Eagles would want a first-round pick plus something else for McNabb, and that they'd want two first-round picks for Kolb, a second-round pick in 2007. (I think he meant 2011)
If your a team that is not filling your seats you might consider that a blessing. The second rounder is the only one that really hurts. Dumping those two first rounders off might be an opportunity to grab a high quality QB and avoid the high cost of the first round draft picks you dumped on the Eagles. You can draft a later round QB much cheaper and develop him under McNabb, or just make the deal for Kolb and be done with it. The Eagles can afford those picks. The Rams would get a QB that they would have spent one of their first round picks on anyway, and they save some money. Presto! Every mock draft is instantly wrong.
Re-enter the Detroit Lions. This is a team that would probably LOVE to get out from under their first round pick. How? I have no idea. But, guys like Shawne Merriman could be available for the right price. Who knows specifically? I don't. But it seems inevitable that this economy is going to change the draft trends at some point in time. Teams like the Redskins could conceivably trade up to get a QB if they really have their heart set on one. They are one of the top 5 teams for profitability coming into this season. We all know they aren't afraid to spend money. They can afford to trade up and they just might find a willing suitor. They could trade up and not lose their other first round pick. The Lions or Rams could be in a position to barter for second round picks spread out over a number of years versus "you give me your number one and I'll give you mine". Teams may not want to trade down and be stuck in the top ten.
Teams like the Rams and Lions may be more willing to give up first round picks in trade for players they deem valuable enough to trade for. Guys who would come with at least one first round draft pick on the price tag. Guys like Brandon Marshall, Kolb, McNabb, Merriman etc. The teams demanding first round picks for these players can afford them, so you may see more of that occurring than in the past.
I have no idea if anything like that will happen or not. But I just wouldn't be shocked to death if teams like St Louis & Detroit are at least inquiring about available players. You hear rumors of it from time to time. And yes, rumors are rumors. But many rumors have some basis in truth at some point along the way. If the economy affects how any of the first four teams picking before us draft this year, it could open new possibilities for us.