It's July. There's not much to talk about. I've dropped film review after film review, and the next one to come is going to be Alex Smith (there will actually be a pre-article article on that as well, so that'll be fun). Which means there's a little time left until everyone hates me, and I intend to enjoy that time.
Let's use it to mailbag!
OK @RealMNchiefsfan was Andrew Luck overpaid? My verdict is yes.— Casey Adkins (@ForeverRanger91) June 29, 2016
Well, let's look at the numbers and HOLY MOTHER OF ALL THINGS GOOD AND PURE.
Look, I'm a fan of Andrew Luck. Because he got hurt last year and was surrounded with an absolutely pitiful supporting cast, his numbers took a huge dive. His stock is a lot lower right now than at any other point in his career, but I think the guy can really play and has a ridiculous ceiling.
But man, that contract is HUGE.
Compare him to Alex Smith, who (per Spotrac) averages $17 million a year and had 42 MILLION DOLLARS less guaranteed. I remember when Smith's deal was signed I thought, dang, that's a pretty big chunk of change. His deal is dwarfed by Luck's deal.
However, a big part of this is just a function of what's happened with quarterback contracts as of late. Want to hear something insane? Alex Smith, on a dollars per year basis, is the 20th highest paid signal caller in the league. At $17 million per year! That blows my mind.
The problem is that the league is very much quarterback-centered, in that if you've got a guy who can compensate for a poor supporting cast (say, a Rivers or a Brees) you've got a shot at the playoffs every year. Inversely, if you've got a guy who drags a team down, you need to do everything else exactly right to even compete. So a risk-averse league becomes reluctant to even let go of "decent" quarterbacks because of how hard life is with a bad one.
Luck is better than "decent," though he has some issues with his decision making and accuracy. And considering how much QB contracts have gone up in recent years, combined with his ceiling and ability when not surrounded by utter crap, I'm gonna go with no, he's not overpaid. Though it's pretty dang close.
My problem with the current QB market is there's no middle class group. I think a reasonable value for a decent quarterback ought to be in the 12-15 million dollars per year range. Instead, you've got Kirk Cousins getting paid $20 million a year and the whole system seems out of whack.
Luck as an individual player is worth it. The position as a whole is getting overpaid.
@RealMNchiefsfan what are your thoughts on Justin March?— Josh Miller (@Ferrari247X) June 30, 2016
I've talked about March before, but to put it succinctly...
1) There's absolutely not enough film on the guy to know one way or another. All we've got is a single training camp and a few preseason games to go off, as well as some hype from the coaches.
2) On the other hand, he looked REALLY fast to the ball and REALLY instinctive in the limited time we saw him, and the sheer level of hype from the coaches makes you stop and say "hmmmm..."
I think he's a guy everyone needs to watch. Between him and Ramik Wilson, I think Josh Mauga should definitely be sweating a little bit. We'll see when the preseason games start.
@RealMNchiefsfan GoT question: has the show gotten better or worse in Season 6 now that it has diverged sharply from the books?— Travis McMahan (@T_Mc06) June 30, 2016
@RealMNchiefsfan what other shows do you watch besides GoT?— Robbie Adams (@jiveadams) June 30, 2016
Gonna go for a two-fer here. I actually need to answer the second part first, if that makes sense.
I actually no longer watch Game Of Thrones in its entirely. I keep up with the plot via recaps / reviews, as well as the extensive YouTube footage that's out there. I could bore you with the reason I no longer watch the show, but let's just say it has nothing to do with the entertainment level or quality. It's a personal choice on my part for a few (in my opinion) good reasons.
Anyway, that means I'm not quite an expert on exactly how quality the show has been this year. BUT... since so much of the show is placed on YouTube (literally every big scene and a lot of small scenes end up there very quickly), I'm still able to gauge a lot of the writing and acting. Both remain top notch, by all appearances.
Obviously, the show has seemed more "fan service-y" (definitely not a word) as Season 6 rolled along, but I think part of the reason people view it that way is because that's what they were expecting. There have still been plenty of "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!" moments on the show. What's differentiated this season is that it's actually been balanced out by plenty of "YEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!" moments. That wasn't generally the case in previous years.
To me, that hasn't reduced the quality of the work at all, but it's changed the nature of what it is. Before this season GoT felt like a commentary on the nature of man. It still feels that way, but it's also started to lean a little more toward traditional fantasy genre stuff (with payback and karma playing more of a role than you see in the real world all too often). I think that was inevitable as things began to wind toward the final results, and I believe the books will do the same.
As far as other shows go, I don't have much time for television at this point with a billion kids, a full time job and a side gig writing here. So I don't watch much TV aside from at night as I try to wind down. Honestly, a lot of what I watch is sermons online (I really am that boring). Right now I'm pretty into Ravi Zacharias and Francis Chan, if you're looking for recommendations.
The TV show I currently watch is "Better Off Ted." I've seen it before, but I'm re-watching it. If you've got Netflix, I HIGHLY recommend it if you're looking for an utterly strange comedy that will force laughs out of you. Lem and Phil are two of the greatest television characters in history. I also think everyone should see every episode of Scrubs (last season optional), Friday Night Lights, and Prison Break. If you're a suspense type, "Supernatural" is a lot of fun, as are "Arrow" and "The Flash." If you're looking for a girl show to compromise with your wife, I'd go with "Gilmore Girls."
Whoa, did I get as far as admitting I like Gilmore Girls? Let's move on.
@RealMNchiefsfan who is your favorite pick from this years draft class?— kody (@NordricWarrior) June 30, 2016
Chris Jones, and it's not even close to being close.
You never know how things will end up with defensive linemen in the NFL, or if what you see on college tape will translate, but what I saw of Chris Jones (read about it here if you haven't) was "holy crap this guy is a monster" level stuff.
His level of strength (both holding up at the point of attack and throwing offensive linemen around) is absolutely frightening, and the best I've ever seen watching a defensive lineman. We'll see how he does, but I very much believe there's a chance he improves our interior rush immediately. He has the advantage of sharing the field with guys like Hali, Houston, Howard, Poe, and Bailey, which means that he'll have every chance to see one-on-one matchups early. Hopefully he makes the most of it.
@RealMNchiefsfan Which is most likely, 4 TEs, 5 RBs, 6WRs or 11DBs on the final roster?— CatsLoveGravy (@3GravyCats) June 30, 2016
I think the most likely is going to be a big WR group. My reasoning for that is that you've got Jeremy Maclin (certified stud), then a whole lot of question marks.
I'm secretly hopeful that Albert Wilson and Chris Conley both take big steps forward this year (Wilson going to the slot would be helpful for him given his particular skillset), which would alleviate a lot of concerns. But right now they've got a whole cluster of bodies they're hoping solve things.
I think Streater is going to wind up with a role if he's healthy, and DAT is... well, a mystery. But when you're as unsure about the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th WRs as the Chiefs currently are, it's a good idea to keep a few extra bodies around to try and churn up something.
@RealMNchiefsfan Have you given us your thoughts on The Force Awakens?— Matt Loper (@MattJLoper) June 30, 2016
I have, if I recall correctly, but I've never shied away from repeating myself (especially during the offseason).
I liked it. I liked it a lot. They captured the SOUND of Star Wars far, far, far better than the prequels ever did. I think the acting was good by and large, and while the plot line famously retraces the steps of "A New Hope," that really didn't bother me that much. To me, it felt like they were spending the movie handing the baton over from the old generation to the new. By the time the film ended, I was INVESTED in the new characters. That's a big deal, and something the prequels never really accomplished.
I watched it twice in the theaters (the second time with my two oldest children), and I was astonished at how much more I fell in love with it the second time around. I dunno if I was able to calm my nerves a little or what (like many people my age and older, I grew up with Star Wars meaning a lot to me), but I was able to take in the way they really nailed the essence of what Star Wars is.
The scene with Han Solo and Ben, in particularly, is exponentially more powerful the second time you watch it. Knowing what's coming, the scene is legitimately "chills" material. And the way Ford acted it was just... ridiculously good. So good. So, so, so, so good.
Re-watch that scene again. It's borderline perfect. And the aspect that clinches it for me? After Han gets... well, you know, stabbed... watch his face. His reaction. The way he cups his son's face in his hands and the look in his eyes right before he fell. He doesn't really look angry. A little shocked, yes (I mean, duh), but even that's not his main emotion. He's CONCERNED for his son. You know, the son that just summarily executed him.
He's not worried about the fact that he's about to die. He's worried about the effect this act is going to have on his kid, who he loves. As Mrs. MNchiefsfan said to me afterward (she's the best at summing things up), if you could put words to Han's expression / action in that moment they would be, "Oh, son..."
Man, I've watched about a thousand movies about being a parent and how much you love your kids. But I don't know if I've ever seen it better demonstrated in a film than that moment. Even when your kid just completely betrayed you and everyone you love, even when he's just done the most horrible thing possible, even when he's freaking STABBED you... you love your kid more than anything else in the world, and all you're worried about is him.
Man, I got chills again. I love that movie. Oh, and Kylo Ren had a gaping wound from Chewie's ridiculously powerful bowcaster, which utterly destroyed everything that it shot and is about 10x more powerful than a normal blaster (remember all the gags about how powerful it was?). That's why Kylo couldn't beat Rey (well, that and the fact that she's already a fighter and clearly really strong in the force). No, it's not a sign he's weak. It's a sign of how strong he is that his midsection didn't disintegrate when he got shot.
Glad I got that off my chest.
@RealMNchiefsfan will Eric Berry be in a Chiefs uniform in 2017? If so, how do we afford Poe?— Joshua Forrest (@ManyLaughNTrees) July 1, 2016
I think he will. It just makes too much sense for both sides. The simple matter of it is that Berry is arguably the most versatile safety in the league with regards to his ability to be very, very good to exceptional at every aspect of the position. Pair that with the fact that Bob Sutton seems to love versatile safeties, and you've got a perfect marriage of skills and scheme.
The only doubt I have is that Dorsey seems to be able to find solid safeties everywhere. However, it seems the team is very interested in keeping him around, at least based on their actions to date. I think it definitely happens.
As far as Poe goes, if they want him badly enough they'll find a way. The cap will go up (as it has year after year) and some decisions will have to be made with a few players, but there's enough room to wiggle him in (albeit barely). That said... I'm curious what the plan is for Poe moving forward.
They've given Jaye Howard and Allen Bailey very reasonable contracts that carry through 2017 and 2018, respectively. Taking Chris Jones, a guy who is (hopefully) going to be a full-time player, makes one wonder if they aren't positioning themselves to be able to move forward with Howard taking NT snaps (the times they actually use a traditional NT) in 2017, and then seeing where things go from there.
I'm a BIG fan of Poe, and I really don't want the Chiefs to go back to question marks at the position, but if Jones works out they'll be in a position where it may well not make sense to pay the insane price Poe could well command (the contracts for defensive linemen are getting really, really out of hand).
So I don't know if it's a matter of whether they CAN, it's whether they WILL. I think a lot will rise and fall on how Jones pans out, and how Bailey and Howard play this year. If Howard continues to be just as good as Poe in a lot of games, Bailey continues to play at a solid level, and Jones pans out... I can't see them coughing up the 15-18 mil a year it may well take to keep him.
In the meantime, hopefully that defensive line eats some offenses alive this year.